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Concerning the Holy Myrrhbearers

Christ is Risen!

Beloved, how great and marvellous is our God for all that He has done for us and all that He continues to do for us.

This week the Holy Church calls us to celebrate the blessed event of the holy Myrrhbearers annointing the body of our Lord. We remember that the women approached the tomb and found the stone that sealed the tomb was rolled away. To their great surprise, they were greeted by the Angel of the Lord.

There is much for us to learn from the events related in this week’s Gospel lesson. First, we should recognize the majority of this Gospel was read in the Paschal ceremony, just after midnight. It is the custom in many churches to read this Gospel outside as a proclamation to all the world of the Resurrection of Christ. Even if there is rain or inclement weather, the Gospel is read in the Narthex with the church doors open so that all of the world can hear, once again, the good news of our Saviour’s resurrection.

Second, this Gospel is one of the 11 Gospels prescribed to be read throughout the year in the Sunday Matins service as part of the cycle of services. So important it is for us to hear this message over-and-over and to re-affirm that each and every Sunday is a celebration of the Lord’s Resurrection and victory over death.

Third, we look at the events surrounding the visit of these blessed women to the Holy tomb. The atmosphere in city of Jerusalem was electrified from the recent events. The followers of Jesus were hiding in fear of the Jewish authorities and the Romans – they feared for their lives. We are ever amazed that while the men remained in hiding, the women boldly set forth to the tomb. This encounter was a dangerous endeavor – the byways were filled with thieves; the tomb was under guard by Roman soldiers; and the tomb was sealed with a large stone. The women cast aside these cares, for their love of the Master far exceeded these worries. So great was their love for our Saviour! How few of us today would possess this love, this boldness, this courage.

May we all ever aspire to this holy zeal and love for our God, that we cast aside all of the tumult and worries of this world to go forth and meet our Lord.

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