Everyone that knows me, also knows that I am a bottom line person. This week, is bright week, and like a light-bulb and reading over 600 pages of scripture and readings from the The Services for Holy Week and Easter, the dawn comes. If it not, something is wrong. I left you hanging from the last blog saying that we'd be hearing about Mary, the one who lovingly prepared Jesus for his death and burial. So in this blog, I will try to fill you in...you don't want to be shut-out from the kingdom when the bridegroom comes. This story is a love story right from the beginning, where the bridegroom prepared for his bride.
Job, a man acquainted with grief, confronts the Lord asking why? The same question Mary the Mother of God, asks at the foot of the cross. The Lord questions Job saying, "Where were you when I...." Job is made to understand that: "I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know." Simply, we have no idea what God has in store for us. We are deserving of all that is upon us, and only through God's mercy are we saved, delivered from, and protected by a loving God. After the Lord showed Job, he replied, "but now my eyes sees Thee," Job remarks, "I know that Thou canst do all things, and that no purpose of Thine can be thwarted." (book of Job 38:1-21, 42:1-5)
We are but potter's clay in the Hands of the Master. "For He Himself knows well how we were formed: remember, we are only made of dust. A man! His days resemble grass: as a flower of the field, so shall he bloom. But let a breeze pass over him and he is gone, and never shall he know his place again." (psalm 102)
We read in the letter of the Holy Apostle Paul to the Romans. (6:3-11)"Brethren, do you not know that all of us who have been baptized in Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with Him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like His" "But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him.
The women went to the tomb to anoint Him. They saw the stone rolled back and and angel addressed, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Salome. "Do not be amazed; you seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen," they then were instructed to go and tell the disciples.
Now about Mary, we find her standing outside the tomb, broken hearted, she stooped down and looked into the tomb. She saw two angels in white sitting one at the head and feet where Jesus had lain. Later in the same gospel passage we read. "Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?" "She turned and said to Him, Rabboni!" (which is to say Teacher)." Mary recognized "my Lord," Taken from John 20:11-18 This passage makes clear His love for the women who otherwise were known as the myrrh-bearers, but especially, Mary Magdalene who washed His feet with her tears. "Mary Magdalene is the first to see the risen Christ and becomes "the apostle to the Apostles."
(The 12th Antipon).
"Thus says the Lord to His countrymen: "My people, what have I done to you or how have I disturbed you? I gave light to your blind; your lepers I cleansed; a bedridden man I raised up. My people, what have I done for you, and how have you repaid Me? In place of the manna you gave Me gall; instead of water, vinegar; instead of loving Me you nailed Me to the Cross. No longer then can I endure. I will summon to Me the nations and they will glorify Me, together with the Father, and the Spirit. And to them will grant eternal life."
Taken from the service book for Easter Sunday:
"Christ our Savior annulled the writ of our iniquities by nailing it to the Cross, and abolished the sway of death. We worship His Resurrection on the third day. Let us join in the archangels in singing of Christ's resurrection; for He is the Redeemer and Savior of our souls. In fearsome glory and sovereign might. He will come again to judge the world He shaped."
Truly and indeed the Lord is risen!
(John 15:13) "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends."
(John 3:16)"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."
Christ is Risen from the dead! Glory to You, O Lord, glory to You.
5 weeks ago