In this contemporary Greek icon of the Virgin Mary called “Hodegetria” (the Greek term for “Directress”) painted by the iconographer Monk Michael of the Holy Mountain of Athos in 1990, we see the Theotokos indicating or showing the way to her Son by indicating Him to us with her right hand. This is a very ancient style of icon and an early theme in icons of the Virgin, for her message to us is her wonderful Son Whom she was privileged to hold, suckle, and have such a deep and personal relationship with when He lived on earth. That relationship continued after His Crucifixion, Resurrection, and Ascension, and continues today.
We, as broken and sinful people, are lost in our self-regard built on the false assumptions of existential independence and self-rule which poison our minds and hearts to disregard the one thing needful: a direct, personal, dependent, and loving relationship with Our Lord and God and Saviour Jesus Christ. The active effort to reenter the Gates of Paradise through deep repentance and ascetic Christian life begins the healing of our many ills, which only the Lord Himself can effect. May we truly go towards Him today!