He Is Not Here.


The painting Holy myrrh-bearing women at the tomb of the risen Christ is a painting by Maxim Dergachev


Third Sunday of Pascha: The Myrrh-bearing Women

Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent council member, who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, coming and taking courage, went in to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Pilate marveled that He was already dead; and summoning the centurion, he asked him if He had been dead for some time. So when he found out from the centurion, he granted the body to Joseph. Then he bought fine linen, took Him down, and wrapped Him in the linen. And he laid Him in a tomb which had been hewn out of the rock, and rolled a stone against the door of the tomb. And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses observed where He was laid. Now when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him. Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen. And they said among themselves, "Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us?" But when they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away-for it was very large. And entering the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a long white robe sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. But he said to them, "Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him. But go, tell His disciples-and Peter-that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you. So they went out quickly and fled from the tomb, for they trembled and were amazed. And they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.


The Holy Gospel According to St. Mark Chapter 15 vss. 43 - 16:8


Commentary - Saint Theophan the Recluse

The tireless women! They would not give sleep to their eyes nor slumber to their eyelids (cf. Ps. 132) until they found their Beloved! But the men as if dragged their feet: they went to the tomb, saw it empty, and remained in confusion about what it could mean because they did not see Him. But does this mean that they had less love than the women? No, here was a reasoning love which feared making a mistake due to the high price of this love and its object. When they too saw and touched Him, then each of them, not with his tongue, like Thomas, but with his heart confessed: my Lord and my God (John 20:28), and already nothing could separate them from the Lord. The myrrh-bearers and the Apostles are an image of the two sides of our life: feeling and reasoning. Without feeling life is not life; without reasoning life is blind, offers little sound fruit and much is wasted. We must combine both. Let feeling go forward and arouse; let reason determine the time, place, method and generally the practical arrangement of what the heart suggests for us to do. Within, the heart comes first, but in practical application, reason comes first. When the feelings become educated in discerning good and evil, then perhaps it will be possible to rely on the heart alone. Just as shoots, flowers and fruits grow naturally from a living tree, so does goodness alone emerge from the heart, rationally mingling into the course our life.

+ Glory to God for All Things +


St. Theophan the Recluse


Thoughts for Each Day of the Year According to the Daily Church Readings from the Word of God


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