Myrrh Bearing Women

SEEKING THE LIVING AMONG THE DEAD
(Sunday of the Myrrh-Bearers)

“The godly women hastened to You with myrrh, O Christ. The one whom they had sought with tears, as a dead man, they worshipped as the living God! And they proclaimed the mystical pascha to Your disciples.” (Paschal Canon, Troparion of Ode 7)

The women hastened to the Tomb that Sunday morning, looking for “a dead man.” But the One they found, the One revealed to them, was “the living God.” Hence the “mystical pascha” (i.e., “passover” or “transition”) that they proclaimed to the disciples was not only the Lord’s transition from death to life, but their own, the women’s, transition from merely-human dedication to “a dead man” to faith in “the living God.” Because their beloved Teacher was “more” than they had recognized. In His resurrection, Jesus Christ exceeded all their expectations.

Today let me not approach “the living God,” my risen Lord, as if He were “a dead man”; as one to whom I may pay my respects in some external way, but whose life-giving Presence in my world I don’t quite recognize, for all practical purposes. Let me embrace wholeheartedly the Great Fact that He is, indeed, risen, and is there for me, and alive to me, beyond my expectations. “Let God arise,” I say this morning with the Myrrh-Bearing Women, “and His enemies be scattered” from my heart. Today let me start anew, and embrace, once again, the new life in my ever-living, ever life-bringing Lord, by re-connecting with Him, rather than “seek the living among the dead,” – among the merely-human opinions and expectations that come from my own head or from God-less voices in my world. O Christ, our mystical Pascha, help us transition once again today, from the tombs of self-isolation and self-reliance, according to our oft-suffocating expectations of ourselves and others, to the freedom of communion with You, a Lord beyond all our expectations.

Meditation by Sr. Vassa

The Myrrh-bearers —Third Sunday of Pascha

This Sunday presents us with the proclamation of the resurrection according to St. Mark.

We are first confronted with the death of our Lord. Joseph of Arimathea goes to Pilate to reclaim the body. Pilate wonders that he died so quickly, while Joseph entombs his body with great care and love. As Christians we must confront the reality that Jesus died as a sign of his love. His glory was the Cross, making the Christian faith unique – love is found in sacrifice, life is found in death, power is found in service. And St. Paul’s words are read on Good Friday: “The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the learning of the learned I will set aside.’” (1 Corinthians 1:18-19). Believing in the Resurrection, we are confronted with the Christian paradox that the world cannot understand.

The women go to the tomb on the third day, but Jesus is not there. The young man announces to them: “Do not be amazed! You seek Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Behold, the place where they laid him” (Mark 16:6). The women are told to announce the resurrection, but they fail to do so, “They said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid” (Mark 16:8). This too is a challenge to our faith. Where do we seek the Christ? Can we today complete the mission the women were entrusted with, can we proclaim the resurrection? Do we understand the gospel and commit ourselves to the Lord, “who trampled upon death by death.”

Meditation by Archpriest David Petras

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The Myrrh-Bearers – Third Sunday of Pascha

This Sunday presents us with the proclamation of the resurrection according to St. Mark.

We are first confronted with the death of our Lord. Joseph of Arimathea goes to Pilate to reclaim the body. Pilate wonders that he died so quickly, while Joseph entombs his body with great care and love. As Christians we must confront the reality that Jesus died as a sign of his love. His glory was the Cross, making the Christian faith unique – love is found in sacrifice, life is found in death, power is found in service. And St. Paul’s words are read on Good Friday: “The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the learning of the learned I will set aside.’ (1 Corinthians 1:18-19)” Believing in the Resurrection, we are confronted with the Christian paradox that the world cannot understand.

The women go to the tomb on the third day, but Jesus is not there. The young man announces to them: ““Do not be amazed! You seek Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Behold, the place where they laid him. (Mark 16:6)” The women are told to announce the resurrection, but they fail to do so, “They said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid. (Mark 16:8)” This too is a challenge to our faith. Where do we seek the Christ? Can we today complete the mission the women were entrusted with, can we proclaim the resurrection? Do we understand the gospel and commit ourselves to the Lord, “who trampled upon death by death.”

Meditation by Archpriest David Petras