Gospel Reading April 12th

Midnight Resurrection Service

Mark 16:1-8

This passage recounts the dramatic events that unfolded after the Crucifixion. We read that because Christ died so close to the Sabbath, the burial customs of the Jews had not yet been completed. Therefore, the faithful myrrh-bearing women, Mary Magdalene and Salome, went as early as possible to the tomb of Christ to complete the burial rites.

When the women arrived at the tomb, they were surprised to see that the stone that was covering the entrance had already been rolled away. The women then entered the tomb and they saw a young man clothed in a long white robe sitting on the right side. 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 and tell his disciples” (v. 6-7).

It is noteworthy that the angel refers to Christ as the One who was crucified. The angel instructs us then from the outset not to shy away from the death of Christ but to glory in the Cross as the very the weapon that was used to destroy death.

Saint Porphyrios, in a conversation with a pilgrim, captured the profound meaning of the Resurrection and the transformative impact it should have on each of us by referring to the hymnology of our Church[1]. In the third hymn of the 7th ode of the Paschal canon we read: we celebrate the slaying of death, the destroying of hell, the beginning of another way of life that is eternal. And leaping for joy, we sing a hymn to the Cause, the only blessed and most glorious God of our fathers.”

Through Christ and His Resurrection, we do not cross a river or a lake, but rather an abyss that no human being could cross independently. According to the Saint, ages came and went with the world waiting for this Pascha, for this passage!

The theology of our Church therefore instructs us that the Resurrection of Christ is an opportunity to reorder our soul and put our entire life into the proper perspective, being that Christ, our Christ has triumphed over death and changed everything forever. All that is left is for us to embrace the gift of the Resurrection with all our heart before it is too late.

[1] “The Elder Porphyrios on Paschal Hymns and Victory over Sorrows and Setbacks” by Father Alexis Karakalinos http://ancientchristianwisdom.com/2013/05/07/the-elder-porphyrios-on-paschal-hymns-and-victory-over-sorrows-and-setbacks/



Source: AprilMay 2015 Lychnos Edition