I Thessalonians 4:16
“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel,
and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in God will rise first.” (NKJV)
The days between Pascha and the Feast of the Ascension.
Remember the Students at St. Sava School of Theology, Libertyville, Illinois
The importance the Church places on each day of the year.
Living daily according to the Church calendar.
Recent Activities of Parish Priest
April 19 - Went to Morgantown for printing purposes.
April 20 - Went to Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh to visit patient.
April 21 - Went to Holy Trinity Serbian Orthodox Church in Fairmont, W.Va. for Divine Liturgy.
April 25 - Went to hospital in Waynesburg to visit patient.
April 27 - Went to Diocesan Center in Mars, Pennsylvania for meetings.
Through wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established.
Sunday of the Myrrh-bearers
Mark 15:43-47. 16:1-8
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.
Joseph of Arimathea was a kind and courageous man. He wanted the Lord Jesus Christ to
have a proper burial. By asking for the body of the newly executed Jesus, Joseph put himself
at risk as a believer and follower of Christ.
Joseph of Arimathea subjected himself to potential wrath from those who plotted and
supported putting Christ to death on the Cross. Believers and followers of Christ are
expected to be courageous in showing their love for Christ.
Being a follower of Christ, a believer in Christ, can be dangerous and unpopular.
Individuals having lived under Communism know of the persecution of Christians.
Individuals now living in many countries where radical Islam is rampant know of the
dangers and persecution of Christians. Many have been martyred in the Serbian Orthodox
Church through the centuries because they were Christian.
Christian witness is a way to stem the tide of immorality. Christian witness is a
way to stand against heresy. Christian witness is a way to firmly show the depth of
belief in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Salome were courageous followers of Christ.
Just as Joseph of Arimathea exposed himself to great risk, so did the women desiring to go
to the grave of Christ.
St. Nikolai (Velimirovic) speaks about the grave of the just man as having more power
than the unjust living do.1 The Empty Tomb of Christ revealed the greatest of power,
the Divine Power of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Resurrection of Christ revealed the limits of death and the power of God.
Jesus had said: “With God all things are possible.”
Christians have sound reason to believe in the resurrection of the dead.
Jesus was the first.
(I Cor. 15:18-19)
Two weeks have passed since the celebration of Pascha. The Resurrection of Christ has a
determining effect on the lives of serious believers. Serious believers look to meaning of
the Crucifixion and Resurrection as foundations of daily life.
The Holy Apostle Paul told the Corinthians: “I determined not to know anything among
you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.”
(I Cor. 2:2)
The crucifixion of Christ was clearly of utmost importance to this foremost apostle.
The Holy Apostle Paul made clear the Resurrection was central to the foundation of his life.
St. Apostle Paul said: “We also believe and therefore speak, knowing that He who raised up the
Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus…”
(2 Cor. 13-14)
Our relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ is the most important relationship we have.
We began the relationship with Jesus officially at Holy Baptism. We are expected to grow
in Christ throughout life.
Attending the Divine services of the Church enables us to remain strongly united with Christ.
Holy Confession and Holy Communion enables us to restore and strengthen the relationship.
Christ becomes a part of us and we become a part of Christ through Holy Communion.
Reading and listening to the Holy Gospel keeps us focused on Christ.
Prayer is a proven way to remain united with Christ.
As often as we mention the name of Christ in prayer and think of Christ in prayer,
we thwart the attacks of evil and cling to the life in Christ. The Empty Tomb holds
the message of hope. The Risen Christ is proof of the hope.
The message that “Christ is Risen!” is the greatest message. The message that
“Christ is Risen!” has powered the brightness shining through twenty centuries.
The message that “Christ is Risen!” is all powerful
The love of God is in the message that “Christ is Risen!” We know from the Gospel
of St. John: “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever
believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
The Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ provide the foundation and the framework
for the worldview of believers. Serious believers face each day knowing the love of God
and the hope fundamental to the life with God.
The Holy Apostle Paul made it clear God is not far from us. He said: “In Him we live
and move and have our being.”
We need only open our eyes to see God everywhere. We need only listen to hear God speak to us.
We need only to believe sincerely. The Empty Tomb and the Resurrection of Christ changed
the world forever. May the Lord God give us the courage and love of Joseph of Arimathea and
the myrrh-bearing women to be as faithful to Christ.
Saint Nikolai Velimirovic.
Prayers by the Lake
Translated by Rt. Rev. Archimandrite Todor Mika and Very Rev. Dr. Stevan Scott.
Diocese of New Gracanica and Midwest America, 2010, p. 170.
St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania.
April 16 / April 29, 2012
Sunday of the Myrrh-bearers.
Holy Virgin martyrs Agape, Irene, and Chionia.
Fr. Rodney Torbic
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