Archive for the ‘3rd Sunday of Pascha – The Holy Myrhhbearers’ Category

“Having become bold” What made Joseph, Nicodemus and the Myrrh‑Bearers bold? Myrrh‑Bearing Women Mark 15:43‑16:8 2012

Monday, May 20th, 2013

 

Myryhhbearers with the Angel at the empty tomb. http://www.orthodox.net/ikons/myrhhbearers-02.jpgIn the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, Amen.

 

Christ is risen! Truly He is risen! Hristos voskrese! Voistinu voskrese!

 

I want to tell you, before I begin, about some people that I want you to remember during the Liturgy. There is an especially important time, right after the Epiklesis, the calling down of the Holy Spirit[1], when we are to pray for those we especially care for or that have special needs. We also of course commemorate sometimes people that have special needs in the entrance, in the Great Entrance ‑‑ which will be coming up soon ‑‑ and also of course we have the custom of praying from a list, a public list, of people for just their general needs, travelers and among the sick.

 

Now, among the sick that I want you to remember, I want you to do this after the Epiklesis, now, because this is a holy responsibility of everyone. It is not only the responsibility of the clergy, absolutely not! Everyone should pour their heart out to God during the Divine Liturgy. And this time after the Epiklesis, is the time especially to pray with your heart for God.

 

[Several people and their needs were mentioned] Try to remember those names, and as a sacred trust during the Epiklesis pray for those people. It's very, very important. We are not passive in Liturgy. It's part of the reason why we stand and part of the reason why pews are such a terrible thing: Because they encourage passivity. You are participants in the Liturgy. The Liturgy means "the work of the people". It's not the work of Father Nicholas and myself. It's the work of the people. So pray for those people, okay? And you will hear them in the entrance and also hear them in the list of people that we pray for in the fervent Ektenia.

 

Joseph and Nicodemus take Jesus off the cross. http://www.orthodox.net/ikons/cross-joseph-and-nicodemus-01.jpg Among the most important words in today's Gospel that are truly amazing, that are too big to talk about or understand, are when it says that Joseph become bold. Remember, our Lord had just been crucified. The Jews were looking to kill everybody that was associated with Him. People were in terror. Everybody had run away. But Joseph became bold. This is a marvelous thing. It was dangerous to go and ask for the body of Jesus, who was a known felon, a criminal, a heretic. Boldness doesn't care about danger.

 

You know what boldness cares about? It is only one thing. True Christian boldness is based on one virtue. Love. Where there is love there is not fear. Now, I don't mean that you won't have emotional fear, but you won't be paralyzed with your fear.

 

Absolutely, Joseph was frightened when he did this, but he knew he had to do it. His heart told him he had to do it, and so he became bold and did it, and he went in to crave the body of Jesus and got it, and Nicodemus helped; St. John adds that detail. And they worked very quickly in order to be able to put Him in the grave in order to still abide by the Jewish Sabbath which was fast approaching.

 

This kind of boldness is what you and I need, brothers and sisters. It's the same boldness that the Myrrh‑Bearing Women had because they also were doing something extremely dangerous, and not only this; but they didn't even have any idea how they were going to accomplish it. There was a gigantic stone that had to be rolled with many men using a fulcrum to be able to get it in front of the tomb, and now the tomb was guarded by the best of the best, the centurions, hard men who wouldn't hesitate to kill someone. They weren't going to help roll away the stone.

 

They had no idea how they were going to accomplish their task, but they were bold. They had been frightened before but then they were bold. Where there is the love of God, perfect love casteth out fear. We have to aim to have this kind of love, brothers and sisters, and this kind of boldness.

 

We are now in an era where there are a lot of micro persecutions. There will be major ones soon enough. But there are micro persecutions now. Perhaps your management is coercing you to give to the United Way. The United Way gives to a lot of things that are completely un‑Christian. You hear people talk about different kinds of immorality and perhaps you feel afraid to say what you really feel.

 

I have noticed that there are Christians now, Orthodox Christians that are changing their opinions about things that God has always spoken of, because they're afraid. They see that most other people don't have this opinion; it seems like most of the world doesn't have this opinion.

 

You must beg the Lord to help you be bold. But this boldness comes from love, an all‑consuming love for the Lord. We must have this boldness.

 

Now, an interesting thing, a very important thing about the boldness of Joseph and Nicodemus and the Myrrh‑Bearing Women, is that what they were doing was because of a misunderstanding. Our Lord said He would rise again. He had made it very clear. In retrospect, they understood that it was clear. So what need would they have to anoint the body? None. Our hymns even say that: "Why do you seek for the living among the dead?". He is alive. But they thought He was dead. But their love for Him made them bold even though only shortly before they had been terrified and they didn't get it right. The Myrrh‑Bearers were going on an errand for someone Who was not there. But they didn't know that. And so with what they knew, with their feeble understanding, they acted out of love.

 

And if you act out of love, God will always make a good come out of it. Always, without fail. You might not see the good. There might be bad things that happen to you. But always, always God's Word will not fail to return back to Him. And the love that we give to God will always be good, always cause our Lord to work in some merciful and unseen way that will be for our salvation and the salvation of others. Every time, without exception.

 

So the fact that the Myrrh‑Bearers were doing something that showed that they did not understand what the Lord had been talking about for the past three years, is not important. And you must apply this to your life. I have learned now, being a priest for so many years, there's so much ignorance. Oftentimes I feel like I don't know anything and yet I do. Based upon whatever knowledge I have and the small amount of love that I have for God, I do. And then I see things happen that are completely unrelated to what I thought was going to happen.

 

It should be that way with you, too. Ignorance is no excuse. You still have to act on what you know with boldness. Don't be afraid. Act on what you know because of love for God. You will have many opportunities, today, tomorrow, the rest of your life, always to act with boldness and love for God. And your ignorance God will enlighten. But only those who love God will He enlighten. So we must follow the example of these Myrrh‑Bearers and of Joseph and Nicodemus and be bold.

 

Now, boldness comes out of a deep longing to be with God, a deep love for Him. You don't have to be smart. You don't have to be theologically astute, but you do have to desire to know the things of God. I would say it's not possible to be bold if we don't cultivate our love for God through our prayer, through fasting, through reading of holy things, through the Services. Otherwise, our hearts are cold. We might know a few things. But we will be making compromises in our lives and we won't even realize that. Many times. Or when we do realize, then we will have dug ourselves a hole; we will be afraid to speak the truth at that point.

 

Cultivate your love for God, and realize that you are a soldier; you're called to service. The Scripture says the Kingdom of Heaven is being won by violence. That violence is our boldness to do what is right because of love for God, no matter what the consequences.

 

So let us follow the example of these Myrrh‑Bearers, of Joseph and Nicodemus who acted in boldness. That boldness was given to them by God. They didn't possess it on their own. It was given to them because of their love for Him, not because of their knowledge, because they were wrong; they were administering to a dead man and He wasn't dead.

 

Let us be like these holy saints. Cultivate your love for God, brothers and sisters, and look for opportunities to be bold. And when you're not bold, when you're afraid to make the Sign of the Cross in front of a bunch of people you don't know or your family or at your business meeting, or when you're afraid to speak out when people are saying things that are wrong, or when you do not feel moral authority because of your own sins, force yourself to be bold. This latter obstacle is probably the major source where we are not bold, where we need to correct someone whom we love, but we look at ourselves and we think I'm such a terrible person, I have no right at all, no strength to be able to talk to this person. That's not humility acting. That's cowardice. You have no right to not do something good because you think you are bad!

 

If you have boldness before God, it is because of love for God and even in the midst of knowing your sins, God will tell you, call your name; and you must be like Samuel and say, "Here am I." Then, no matter what it is, do it. There's many things all of us need to do. But it starts with loving God, and the love for God will wash away our ignorance and our timidity. May God grant it. Amen.

 

Transcribed by Helen, May the Lord save her and her loved ones.

 

Priest Seraphim Holland 2012

 

This and other Orthodox materials are available in from:

St. Nicholas Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas

 

· Mailing Address: Box 37, McKinney, TX 75070

· Rectory Phone: 972/529-2754

· Email: seraphim@orthodox.net

· Web Page: http://www.orthodox.net

· Redeeming the Time Blog: http://www.orthodox.net/redeemingthetime/

 

This homily is at:

http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/pascha-sunday-03_2012-04-29+myrrhbearing-women-joseph-nicodemus+having-become-bold_mark15-43-16-8.html

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http://www/.orthodox.net/redeemingthetime

Archive of commentaries: http://www.orthodox.net/scripture

Archive of homilies: http://www.orthodox.net/sermons

 

To receive regular mailings of sermons, and scriptural and services commentary and other things throughout the church year, read our blog “Redeeming the Time” (http://www.orthodox.net/redeemingthetime). You may also subscribe to the RSS Feed or receive its postings by email.

 

Our parish Email list (http://groups.google.com/group/saint-nicholas-orthodox-church) also has all the latest postings from our website and blog; everyone is welcome to join.

 

All rights reserved. Please use this material in any edifying reason. We ask that you contact St. Nicholas if you wish to distribute it in any way. We grant permission to post this text, if completely intact only, including this paragraph and the URL of the text, to any electronic mailing list, church bulletin, web page or blog.

 

 

 

 



[1] The Epiclesis occurs during the Anaphora, which is the time when the gifts of bread and wine are offered up, and the celebrant begs the Holy Spirit to transform them into the body and blood of Christ. The Greek word "Epiclesis" means "invocation" or "calling down from on high", and is the part of the Liturgy that occurs when the people are singing slowly: "We praise thee, we bless thee, we give thanks unto Thee, O Lord, and we pray unto Thee, O our God".

 

You can know that it has ended when a hymn to the Theotokos is sung. Here is an edited transcript of what occurs in the liturgy during this time:

 

The Priest says aloud:

 

Take, eat: this is my Body which is broken for you, for the remission of sins.

 

and

 

Drink of it, all of you: this is My Blood of the New Testament, which is shed for you and for many, for the remission of sins.

 

and

 

Thine own of Thine own we offer unto Thee, in behalf of all, and for all.

 

At this point in the liturgy is another good time to offer up your secret prayers for the people that matter the most to you. This is been suggested by certain modern fathers, and it is good advice. I always pause for a moment and remember the people that are on my heart at this time as well as at the end.

 

The people are singing:

 

We praise thee, we bless thee, we give thanks unto Thee, O Lord, and we pray unto Thee, O our God.

 

During this time the priest is invoking the Holy Spirit and begging that He change the gifts offered, the bread and wine, into the body and blood of Christ.

 

At the end, the priest exclaims aloud:

 

Especially for our most holy, most pure, most blessed, glorious Lady Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary.

 

At this time, in most liturgies served during the year, the following hymn is sung:

 

It is truly meet to bless thee, the Theotokos, ever blessed and most blameless, and mother of our God. More honorable than the Cherubim, and beyond compare more glorious than the Seraphim, who without corruption gavest birth to God the Word, the Very Theotokos: thee do we magnify.

 

This is the time referred to in this homily, a holy time to put forth your most deep desires to the Lord. It is good to have a list if you have trouble remembering, and pray simply, and forcefully: "Lord have mercy on ____". This is a holy moment; DON'T miss it!

 

 

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Just do the right thing. All the time. God will roll away the stone. Myrhbearing Women. Next text homily.

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012


3rd Sunday of Pascha – The Myrrhbearing Women

Just do the right thing.  All the time.  God will roll away the stone.

Mark 15:43 – 16:8

2010

 

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen. 

 

Christ is risen!  Truly He is risen!  Christos voskrese!  Voistinu voskrese!

 

Brothers and sisters, when we read the Scriptures, sometimes there must be detailed exegesis in order to really understand it, such as we say the Lord was the Bread from Heaven, or speaking about the Eucharist or the Beatitudes, or other places in the Scripture which are really theologically dense, and take a lot of study to understand. 

 

And other times, like today, it's a story and we glean the characteristics of the people involved from what they did.  Their actions show us their personalities, and teach us theology if we listen. 

 

This is one of those times. 

St Joseph of Arimathea and Nikodemus and the Myrhhbearing women at the cross http://www.orthodox.net/ikons/cross-joseph-and-nicodemus-01.jpg

This is the Sunday of the Myrrhbearing Women.  We also celebrate Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus who took down Christ from the Cross and buried Him in Joseph's tomb. 

 

And we know the story. 

 

The women, after the Sabbath had passed, early Sunday morning, at five or six, when the sun is coming up, and they are going to the tomb.  And they wondered, who can roll away the stone from the tomb because it's very big.  They don't know how they're going to do it, and yet they still go, and they were going with myrrh and aloes in order to anoint a dead man.  And they went at a time when it was dangerous to go.  They were approaching a tomb where there were armed soldiers who could have killed them and nobody would have thought anything of it.  And yet they went.

 

It's interesting, if you look at the tense of the verb tense; it says he became bold[1].  He became bold and craved the body of Jesus from Pilate.  He wasn't bold before, but he became bold. 

 

This teaches us something, I think, if we listen.  There are times when we are not very bold.  But there are critical moments in our life; we have to stand up and we have to be bold.  And God will help us with it. 

 

We don't always get it right.  Joseph didn't.  Joseph heard all of His teachings.  So did Nicodemus.  Nicodemus, very early in the Gospel of John, saw Christ and He said, “you must be born again”, and Nicodemus didn't understand it.  But they still followed Christ, and they were still in their positions of authority and they couldn't quite give them up because they weren't really sure.  They loved Christ but they weren't so sure, not as sure as Peter and James and John and the rest, who had left all to follow Him[2].  And yet when it came to a critical moment in Joseph's life, he became bold, and he went in to get the body of Jesus. 

 

The Gospel today also describes a critical moment in the lives of the Myrrhbearers.  Their teacher, their friend, their son in one case, had given them so much hope, and then He died in a horrible way, and yet there was something they had to do.  They had to go and anoint Him because of love.  They were bold too.

 

To become bold doesn't mean you do something without being scared.  It means you do something despite the fact that you're scared, or confused, or whatever.

 

That's what courage is.  Courage is to do things regardless of how you feel, and that's what the Myrrhbearing Women did, and that's what Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus did, and that's what we must do.  And there will be moments in our life when we have to be bold, not just one, but many moments. 

 

There are critical moments in our life; we must stand up and be Christians, especially in a society now that is ceasing to be Christian in so many ways.  Some would say, we should say it has ceased to be Christian.  But certainly in so many ways, even when it calls itself Christian, it is a far thing from true Christianity, true morality.  We call ourselves Christian but we must be true, so that takes courage. 

 

So there are critical moments in your life that will happen.  They will happen again and again.  If you do not notice them, if you have not noticed them, then you have already lost because I tell you, they've happened.  In the work place, with friends, with family, they happen, where you have to be bold, and you have to stand up for truth.  Perhaps you will shake a little bit in your boots, but you must stand up for truth just as the Myrrhbearers did. 

 

And also, it doesn't matter, when you stand up for this truth, whether you deem it possible or not or that there are going to be good or bad consequences from what you do.  Really, you just do what's right.  That's a good slogan, if you will, or a good way of life. 

 

Just do the right thing.  All the time.

 

Or, shall we say, what you think is right.  Because the Myrrhbearers thought they were doing the right thing, or they were trying to do something that was impossible.  They were trying to anoint a dead Man when actually He was alive.  But God counts it towards their righteousness because of their hearts.  So we must do what is right, even when it's difficult. 

 

There are a lot of critical moments when you must do what's right and you don't see that a good consequence is going to come, or perhaps you don't see that anything good is going to happen, or perhaps you think maybe nothing is going to change.  I have that temptation all the time.  So what?  Serving Vespers, is anything really going to change?  Yes, a lot is going to change.  I know that in my heart.  But my head doesn't always feel it.  And since I am human, I think I know something about you guys since you're human and you feel the same thing sometimes. 

 

So the women go to the tomb thinking, who is going to roll away the stone, a gigantic stone in front of the tomb with large guards in front of the tomb with swords.  How in the world were they going to get in the tomb?  They had no idea, no idea at all.  Someone might say that was a fool's errand that they hadn't figured out what to do.  But they knew it was right and they just did it. 

 

That's how we should do things.  I'm not saying we shouldn't plan our lives.  I'm not saying we shouldn't plan when we want to do something that's good and decide how we are going to do it.  Absolutely.  But there's a certain point in your life where you might say I'm going to do what's right no matter what the consequences are or no matter how we are even going to do it.

 

To be honest with you, my mind is really quite a bit preoccupied right now, trying to get into the temple[3].  In many ways, the temple has had big stones around it.  Mike and I were just talking yesterday.  I don't know if you know this.  We had money with a bank and we were going to take the money out so that it would be available so that we can purchase the land.  This was several years ago.  We didn't know it, but this was just before a financial crisis in which the money that we had in that money market would have been worth less than 25 percent of its value.  We took it out and two weeks later, poof!  God guided us.  We didn't know it at the time.  We would have been destitute, but it didn't happen. 

 

So now, we go through with a lot of difficulties and, really, some real big difficulties at the end.  But if any of you are runners — some of us are — you know, the littlest hill seems really, really, really big at the end of your run. 

 

So we're at the end, and there are some little hills, but they seem really, really big, but God will help us.  Just applying what these people did in this Gospel.  Do what's right.  We pray, we fast, we struggle, and God will help us. 

 

Someone is going to roll away the stone.  I'm not sure how, but it's going to happen.  I think that's the way we need to live our lives.  And the impossible becomes possible.

 

Christianity is all about the impossible being made possible.  God says that we are to be perfect.  It's not an idle command.  This is what we are to become:  Perfect.  It doesn't seem very possible, not when I take stock of my life, and yet it is happening; that stone is being rolled away right now. 

 

So we must do what's right.  We must look for critical moments in our life and just do what's right, no matter how hard it seems.  No matter how impossible it seems.  No matter whether it seems like it's going to have good consequences or bad. 

 

Sometimes I'm speaking of actual critical moments where there is something you must do and it could have a good result or a bad result and you don't know what's going to happen.  For the most part in our life, we must just do what's right.

 

We must pray; we must fast; we must struggle even though we don't feel or see the results from this[4].

 

If you're a Christian, you know the results are happening, but you don't really see them – sort of like a flower opening.  You don't see it open and yet, in a day or two, it has bloomed.  That's what the Christian life is like.  We don't see our flower opening.  We don't see our stone being rolled away, and yet it gets rolled away. 

 

There's another thing that I gleaned from the lives from this story about the Myrrhbearers.  So they go to the tomb.  Picture yourself.  You're going to the tomb; you're scared half to death because this is dangerous what you're doing.  You can go to the soldiers and they might just kill you.  And so you go, not knowing how you're going to get past the soldiers, how you're going to get into the tomb.  And then the soldiers are gone or laying about as stupefied, terrified men, the stone has been rolled away and you speak to an angel[5].  What an amazing thing. 

 

Now, if this was a Hollywood movie then suddenly they would be so filled with joy and be singing and dancing.  That's not how it happened, is it?  They were afraid.  They were confused.  It took multiple times of the Lord appearing on that day to really have people really understand anything, and Thomas didn't understand for eight days. 

 

So God reveals things to us but we don't get it.  God's grace is present, working in us now, but we don't completely see it.  We are like these women.  He's risen; He's not here.  But we're confused.  Maybe afraid, maybe despondent, whatever human emotion or failing you want to name.  And yet God is working in us.  God is here.  God is present.  God lives within us.  But we don't apprehend it.  It's really a deep mystery why we don't.  But even in the midst of that, eventually we have become aware of what God has revealed.

 

This is one of the many stories in the Gospel that shows our life in microcosm.  It's not just a story of people going to a tomb and the tomb being empty.  This is a story of our soul's journey in life, through difficulty, through things that make us afraid, make us confused- trying to do the right thing, not knowing exactly how to get it done.  And then the tomb is opened.  We still don't quite understand, but we will.  We will understand.  This is our life.  This is why these stories have been preserved, because they describe us.  They describe the human soul.  They describe the human need for God and how we can fulfill that need. 

 

All of us are on the journey to the tomb – not knowing exactly how we're going to get the stone rolled away or how we're going to deal with the guards.

 

If you want to make the guards a metaphor, they can be our passions or the world or anything else.  The stone can be our hardheartedness, the deadness inside us, our own weaknesses and passions that make it so difficult for us to do well.  All we know is that we look through a glass darkly[6].

 

We will see face-to-face, just like these Myrrhbearers did.  All we need to do is just keep going, keep walking to the tomb and believing that God will roll away the stone.  He will; He's guaranteed it.  I think you feel it in your heart.  But if you're like me and I know you are, sometimes you don't feel it in your head.  That's when you've just got to keep walking, one foot in front of the other, praying, fasting, struggling, doing what's right, trying to find out what's right, looking for those moments when you really must stand up and be a Christian, when there's a cross to be paid for it.  And then God will help you.  And you will get to the tomb and it will be opened.  That's the Christian life.  May God help us to live it.  Amen.

 

 

Priest Seraphim Holland 2010    

 

This and other Orthodox materials are available in from:

St. Nicholas Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas

 

·         Mailing Address: Box 37, McKinney, TX 75070

·         Rectory Phone: 972/529-2754

·         Email: seraphim@orthodox.net

·         Web Page: http://www.orthodox.net

·         Redeeming the Time Blog: http://www.orthodox.net/redeemingthetime/

 

This homily is at:

http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/

http://www/.orthodox.net/redeemingthetime

Archive of commentaries: http://www.orthodox.net/scripture

Archive of homilies: http://www.orthodox.net/sermons

 

To receive regular mailings of sermons, and scriptural and services commentary and other things throughout the church year, read our blog “Redeeming the Time” (http://www.orthodox.net/redeemingthetime). You may also subscribe to the RSS Feed or receive its postings by email.

 

Our parish Email list (http://groups.google.com/group/saint-nicholas-orthodox-church) also has all the latest postings from our website and blog; everyone is welcome to join.

 

All rights reserved.  Please use this material in any edifying reason. We ask that you contact St. Nicholas if you wish to distribute it in any way.  We grant permission to post this text, if completely intact only, including this paragraph and the URL of the text, to any electronic mailing list, church bulletin, web page or blog.

 

 

 

 



[1] It is really important to read a translation that understands verb tenses and other aspects of Greek grammar. All the paraphrasements are useless for this, and they are tainted by a Protestant mindset in most cases. A good article about this is at: http://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2010/10/holy-scripture-in-orthodox-church.html. Most English translations get this verb tense wrong. Even the generally at least reasonably accurate King James version has “Joseph boldly…”, when the actual verb tense is “became bold”. 

[2] Matthew 4:18-22 KJV  “And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.  (19)  And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.  (20)  And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.  (21)  And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them.  (22)  And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.”

[3] We were building our temple in McKinney at the time, and had many financial setbacks and difficulties with the city.

[4] I have had the unpleasant experience many times of seeing those indoctrinated with the modern reformers heresies considering this to be “works”. We truly use the same words, but speak a different language. In what important endeavor, can we make progress without effort? (None).

[5] The Gospels accounts indicate that there were multiple visits by different groups of people to the tomb. Each describes slightly different details.

 

For instance, in Mathew, the visit by Mary Magdalene and the Theotokos is described as follows, and shows that they saw the stone rolled away, and the guards “as dead men”:

 

“In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.  (2)  And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.  (3)  His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:  (4)  And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.” (Mat 28:1-4 KJV)

 

St Mark’s gospel does not mention any guards:

 

“And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.  (2)  And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.  (3)  And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?  (4)  And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.  (5)  And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted.” (Mar 16:1-5)

 

St Luke’s gospels describes yet another visitation, where the stone is clearly already rolled away (and appears to include Joseph and Nikodemus in the party):

 

“And all his acquaintance, and the women that followed him from Galilee, stood afar off, beholding these things.  (50)  And, behold, there was a man named Joseph, a counselor; and he was a good man, and a just:  (51)  (The same had not consented to the counsel and deed of them;) he was of Arimathaea, a city of the Jews: who also himself waited for the kingdom of God.  (52)  This man went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus.  (53)  And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid.  (54)  And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on.  (55)  And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid.  (56)  And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.  (24:1)  Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.  (2)  And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.  (3)  And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.”

(Luke 23:49-24:4)

[6] 1Corinthians13:12 KJV For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

 

 

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“Having become bold” – What made Joseph, Nicodemus and the Myrhhbearers bold?

Monday, April 30th, 2012

Joseph and Nikodemus taking Jesus down from the cross LISTEN NOW

Synopsis: The Scriptures tell us that Joseph "became bold" and asked for the body of Jesus from Pilate. He did a dangerous thing, which would likely cost him his life, as did the Holy Myrhhbearers when they went to the tomb on the day of the resurrection, to anoint a dead man. Why did they become bold? This is very important! They did not quite " get things right", since Jesus was not dead, so it is not so important that we get everything right and understand everything, but we must &become bold", because of love, and God will cause everything to work to the good. Also, at the beginning, an instruction about praying for people during the most sacred part of the Divine Liturgy, which is an obligation for all Orthodox Christians, and not only the clergy.

More homilies on theSunday of the Myrhhbearing Women are HERE

 

 

Holy Myrhbearers at the tomb with the angel

Mark 15:43-16:8 43 Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus. 44 And Pilate marvelled if he were already dead: and calling unto him the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any while dead. 45 And when he knew it of the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph. 46 And he bought fine linen, and took him down, and wrapped him in the linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of the sepulchre. 47 And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses beheld where he was laid. 1 And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. 2 And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun. 3 And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre? 4 And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great. 5 And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted. 6 And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him. 7 But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you. 8 And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid.


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The Myrrhbearing Women. Joseph became bold and who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?

Monday, May 9th, 2011

myrhhbearers-01

 

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Synopsis: The most important parts of the reading for the Holy Myrhhbearers are the actions of Joseph and the myrhhbearers. We are told that "Joseph became bold" – the same man who had been a secret follower of Christ because of fear. Why did he become bold? This is very important. Three of the myrhhbearers observed the burial of Jesus. Why is this important? Life is full of ordinary things,. but sometimes when we do them, they are extraordinary,. We must do ordinary things in an extraordinary way, as did Joseph and Nicodemus and the Holy Myrhhbearers. In doing these things, we will encounter obstacles, and ask like the myrhhbearers "who shall roll away the stone", and if have fidelity to Christ as they had, the stone will always be rolled away.

More homilies on the Sunday of the Myrhhbearing Women are HERE

Mark 15:43-16:8 43 Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus. 44 And Pilate marvelled if he were already dead: and calling unto him the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any while dead. 45 And when he knew it of the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph. 46 And he bought fine linen, and took him down, and wrapped him in the linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of the sepulchre. 47 And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses beheld where he was laid. 1 And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. 2 And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun. 3 And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre? 4 And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great. 5 And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted. 6 And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him. 7 But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you. 8 And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid.


If the "LISTEN NOW" link does not work, copy this URL into your browser: http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/pascha-sunday-03_2011-05-08+myrrhbearing-women+joseph-became-bold-who-shall-roll-us-away-the-stone-from-the-door-of-the-sepulchre_mark15-43-47.m3u

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Sunday of the Holy Myrhbearers. Homilies in Text, audio, and questions and answers

Saturday, May 7th, 2011

 

myrhhbearers-02

Today is the third Sunday after Pascha, and it is the Sunday of the myrrh-bearing women. And it is quite an interesting reading which we have because these women and these men, Joseph of Arimathaea, who is mentioned today, and also Nicodemus, who acted with great love, but also in great ignorance. They were trying to do something that they were not going to be able to accomplish. These women wanted to anoint the Lord with myrrh, and Joseph and Nicodemus had prepared the Lord's body so carefully, wrapping it in clean, fine linen. Myrrh and aloes had been applied, according to the custom of the Jews. All this they did in ignorance. They acted without full knowledge, but with great desire and with great love.

There is a lesson for us. Pascha is God making man able to know God. This is really what Pascha is. It is not an event only; it is a fundamental change in human nature. The God-man becoming incarnate made us able to live. He accomplished our salvation by His death and His resurrection, and basically all of the period from Pascha to Pentecost we think about how He enlightens us and the practical ramifications of what Pascha means for the soul. In essence, it means enlightenment. It means to know God. But to know God you have to be able to live like God, and you must live in virtue before you have full enlightenment. …

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mary-magdalene-01-with-jesus

Mary Magdalene at the tomb

Questions about the Myrrh bearers

Part 1

Mary Magdalene at the tomb

Part 2



The Myrrhbearing women – how to live in microcosm. Audio Homily 2010.

 

 

The story of the myrhhbearers is like ours, in microcosm. Life is full of moments when we must "become bold" as Joseph (and the myrhhbearers) did, and do what is right, even if we do not how we can accomplish the task (roll away the stone and deal with the armed guards) or what will come of it. Even when we have accomplished something, or grace visits us, we may not recognize it or understand it, just like the myrrhbearers, who were afraid after hearing the announcement of the resurrection from the angel. The myrhhbearers who us the way – do what is right, or even what we think is right, no matter ho "possible" it seems or how likely that the outcome will be pleasing, and in time, all will be revealed to us. This Gospel continues the theme of how the enlightenment of the resurrection is actualized in us. LISTEN NOW

Many more Homilies on the Myrhbearers here.

Mark 15:43-16:8 43 Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus. 44 And Pilate marvelled if he were already dead: and calling unto him the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any while dead. 45 And when he knew it of the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph. 46 And he bought fine linen, and took him down, and wrapped him in the linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of the sepulchre. 47 And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses beheld where he was laid. 1 And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. 2 And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun. 3 And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre? 4 And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great. 5 And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted. 6 And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him. 7 But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you. 8 And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid.


If the "LISTEN NOW" link does not work, copy this URL into your browser: http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/pascha-sunday-03_2010-04-18+myrhhbearing-women.m3u

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myrhhbearers-01

 

Myrhhbearing Women 2009. Act on what you know and you will know more, do what you can do, and you will be able to do more. Audio Homily

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http://orthodox.net/redeemingthetime/2010/04/18/the-myrrhbeari…io-homily-2010/

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The Myrrhbearing women – how to live in microcosm. Audio Homily 2010.

Sunday, April 18th, 2010

LISTEN NOW

The story of the myrhhbearers is like ours, in microcosm. Life is full of moments when we must "become bold" as Joseph (and the myrhhbearers) did, and do what is right, even if we do not how we can accomplish the task (roll away the stone and deal with the armed guards) or what will come of it. Even when we have accomplished something, or grace visits us, we may not recognize it or understand it, just like the myrrhbearers, who were afraid after hearing the announcement of the resurrection from the angel. The myrhhbearers who us the way – do what is right, or even what we think is right, no matter ho "possible" it seems or how likely that the outcome will be pleasing, and in time, all will be revealed to us. This Gospel continues the theme of how the enlightenment of the resurrection is actualized in us.

Many more Homilies on the Myrhbearers here.

Mark 15:43-16:8 43 Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus. 44 And Pilate marvelled if he were already dead: and calling unto him the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any while dead. 45 And when he knew it of the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph. 46 And he bought fine linen, and took him down, and wrapped him in the linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of the sepulchre. 47 And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses beheld where he was laid. 1 And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. 2 And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun. 3 And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre? 4 And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great. 5 And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted. 6 And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him. 7 But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you. 8 And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid.


If the "LISTEN NOW" link does not work, copy this URL into your browser: http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/pascha-sunday-03_2010-04-18+myrhhbearing-women.m3u

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