Sunday, April 26, 2015

Lessons from the Mhyrr-bearing Women

icon-mhyrrbearing-women.jpgThe mhyrr-bearing women were perplexed about not finding Jesus’ Body in the tomb.

They were perplexed. Indeed we ought constantly to remember that we cannot find our Lord’s body on earth. We are more confused in our minds as we see that we are still wandering far from Him, in Whose presence alone we are capable of living happily.
St Bede the Venerable, 7th century

But when they saw the angels in the tomb, they were afraid and looked to the ground. St Bede reminds us that we should be like them when we attend the Divine Services in Church:

We must strive meticulously when we come into the church….to be always mindful of the angelic presence, and to fulfill our duty with fear and fitting veneration, following the example of the women devoted to God who were afraid when the angels appeared to them at the tomb, and who, we are told, bowed their faces to the earth.
St Bede the Venerable, 7th century

The women disciples of our Lord become apostles to the Apostles. They first to tell the Good News to Christ’s closest friends, who nevertheless, do not believe them:

He Who of old had said to them, “In pains thou shalt bear children”(Gen 3:16), gave them deliverance from their misfortune, by having met them in the garden…and said, “Rejoice!” To the holy apostles, however, the account of the resurrection seemed to be absolutely but an idle tale and a falsehood; for even they did not know the inspired Scripture, and so they were incredulous. Thus, they mocked the news and rejected it.
St Kyril of Alexandra, 5th century

For Orthodox Christians, the Resurrection of Christ is a monumental event in history - one that forever changed the world. According to ancient tradition, it was the Mother of God who saw the Risen Lord first.

The resurrection of the Lord was the regeneration of human nature…and recreation of the first Adam, whom sin led to death. The resurrection is the return to immortal life. Whereas no one saw the first man Adam when he was created and given life…Woman was the first person to see him after he had received the breath of life by divine in-breathing….Likewise, no one saw the second Adam, that is, the Lord, rise from the dead….Following the resurrection, however, it was a woman (the new Eve) who saw Him first.
St Gregory Palamas, 14th century

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