Theotokos simply means Mother of God or God-bearer. This is Mary, Christ’s mother. Think of her! She became the first and best disciple and sets the perfect example for anyone who is trying to follow her Divine Son. There are three main elements in her witness. She said to the archangel,
‘Be it done to me according to your word.’ God’s will, not my own! She gives us this example and through it Christ enters our lives. She also said, ‘My soul magnifies the Lord.’ We are asked to centre our lives on the Lord, not ourselves. And she says, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’ We learn from her another type of freedom, the freedom to be free of your own plans. We realize he becomes present in our lives, as he became present in hers, through obedience. It is the obedience of love, a gift of the Holy Spirit. In her silence, in her capacity quietly to consider events in her heart, we also learn much about prayer as face-to-face conversation with God in silence. Contemplating the Mother of God is a great help and is itself a form of prayer.
His Beatitude Anastasios (Yannoulatos)
Archbishop of Tirana, Durrrës, and All Albania