Saint Nikolai Velimirovič
About humility as a precursor of glory [honor]
“…And humility goes before honors [glory]” (Proverbs 15:33).
Here, the word is about true glory and not false glory; about glory that is eternal and not about glory that dies. Glory that is of man is glory that dies, and glory that is of God is eternal. Those whom men glorified are not glorified and those whom God glorifies are glorified. Our Lord said to the Jewish scribes: “How can you believe who receive glory [honor] from one another and do not seek the glory [honor] which is from the only God?” (St. John 5:44). See how our Lord makes a distinction between the glory from men and the glory from God. And about Himself, He said: “I do not receive glory from men” (St John 5:41). He who seeks glory from men travels the path of pride and he who seeks glory from God travels the path of humility. No one is glorified by God without humility. The saints of God were the most humble servants of God. The Most Holy Birth-giver of God [Theotokos] was adorned with overwhelming humility. To her great humility, she ascribed her being chosen as the Mother of God: “Because He has regarded the lowliness of His handmaid” (St. Luke 1:48). But the humblest of the most humble, our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, was the founder of asceticism. During His earthly life, humility always preceded glory.
Brethren, it must also be that way in our life if we desire true glory. For if humility does not precede glory, glory will never come.
O Lord Jesus, Model and Teacher of humility, our only glory and the Glorifier of all the humble and meek, inspire us with Your inexpressible humility.
To You be glory and thanks always. Amen.
The Prologue from Ohrid: Lives of Saints by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič for Old Calendar date June 14, and New Calendar date June 27.
…In the house of Joseph, the All-Holy Virgin continued to live as she did in the Temple of Solomon, occupying her time in the reading of Sacred Scripture, in prayer, in Godly-thoughts, in fasting and in handiwork. She rarely went anywhere outside the house nor was she interested in worldly things and events. She spoke very little to anyone, if at all, and never without special need. More frequently she communicated with both of Joseph’s daughters.
When the fullness of time had come, as prophesied by Daniel the Prophet, and when God was pleased to fulfill His promise to the banished Adam and to the Prophets, the great Archangel Gabriel appeared in the chamber of the All-Holy Virgin and, as some priestly writers wrote, precisely at that same moment when she held open the book of the Prophet Isaiah and was contemplating his great prophecy: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son!” (Isaiah 7:13). Gabriel appeared in all of his angelic brightness and saluted her: “Rejoice, highly favored one! The Lord is with you” (St. Luke 1:28), and the rest in order as it is written in the Gospel of the saintly Luke.
Source: St. Nikolai Velimirovic, The Prologue of Ohrid
Troparion of the Annunciation, Tone 4
Today is the beginning of our salvation, the revelation of the eternal mystery! the Son of God becomes the Son of the Virgin as Gabriel announces the coming of Grace. Together with him let us cry to the Theotokos: Rejoice, O Full of Grace, the Lord is with you.