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Homily for 5/10/08 - Pascha 2 Myrrhbearers - active love

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  • Fr David Moser
    Mark 15:43-16:8 Acts 6:1-7 The great joy of the Resurrection comes from our love of God. We rejoice that He has come to us in the incarnation for we desire to
    Message 1 of 1 , May 11, 2008
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      Mark 15:43-16:8 Acts 6:1-7

      The great joy of the Resurrection comes from our love of God. We rejoice
      that He has come to us in the incarnation for we desire to be near Him.
      We rejoice to hear His words for He tells us of His life, which we
      desire to share. We rejoice when we hear and see His Resurrection for
      the one that we love was torn from us and has now returned to us. We
      also rejoice in the Resurrection for we know that He has defeated our
      old enemy death and the sin that had enslaved us and held us captive.
      Death and sin had separated us from our beloved Lord in an essential and
      basic manner that we could not overcome. He, however, took it upon
      Himself to defeat our enemies: sin death and the devil; and to free us
      from our captivity and so remove that wall of separation that prevented
      us from union and communion with Himself – the One Whom we love and
      desire above all else.

      Today, as we hear in the Gospel about the myrrh-bearing women and in the
      Epistle about the appointing of the deacons, we are reminded of a very
      important aspect of the love of God that is the source of our joy. Jesus
      Christ taught us that our love for God is expressed also in our love for
      our neighbor. Love is not simply a warm and fuzzy feeling, but it is
      action. Our love for God impels us to keep His commandments, to live in
      obedience to His direction. Our love for God moves us to act as He
      would, loving not only ourselves and our friends, but also to love our
      neighbor whoever he might be and even our enemy.

      The myrrh-bearing women were moved by their love to come and anoint the
      dead corpse of the God/man Jesus Christ. As far as they knew, He had
      died and lay in the tomb. They came to care for His body, an act of love
      that is great for there is no return. No matter how kind we are to the
      bodies of the dead, they will not reward us, nor will they even show the
      slightest smile or gesture of appreciation. The body will simply lie
      there and receive all that we give and return nothing to us. Only those
      who have a great love for the one who had died will come to the body and
      care for it – for there is no other motivation, no other reward for
      doing so. In the Holy Myrrh-bearers we see love in action.

      Also within the Church we see this same self sacrificing love
      continuing. The Holy Apostles were the leaders of the Church from the
      beginning. They were preaching and teaching and praying for the people.
      They also acted as caretakers, receiving the gifts of the people and
      distributing to the poor so that all were cared for. This task became so
      great that it interfered with the teaching and prayer of the Apostles
      and so they had to take action. They did not simply discontinue
      receiving gifts and giving to the poor, but rather they sought out and
      appointed deacons – servers – to whom then they delegated the task of
      caring for the needs of the faithful. The deacons were, and are, those
      who express the active love of the Church as a whole. The Apostles knew
      that it was not enough for those in the Church to simply pray and learn
      and study the scriptures. In order to love God, it is also necessary to
      love others and to care for them, even the least among us. Thus they
      appointed deacons to whom they entrusted this task of active love while
      they themselves continued to care for the spiritual needs of the people.

      From these two examples we are instructed in our joy over the
      resurrection not to forget the absolute necessity of loving others. Our
      love of God is the source of our joy. Out of this same love of God flows
      our love for one another and even more our love for the whole world. If
      we say we love God and desire to be with Him, we are also compelled to
      share His love for the world. Just as He showers the sun and the rain
      and the bounty of the earth upon all without discrimination and
      regardless of merit, so also we who love God and desire to be united to
      Him will also give of the bounty that God has given us to those around
      us. Not only will we pray for the peace of the world, but we will act in
      a peaceful way towards others. Not only will we pray for the welfare of
      the poor and the sick and the imprisoned, but we will go to them and
      share with them all that we have. Not only will we pray for their
      salvation, but we will also live the life of Christ before them so that
      they too can come to the love of God and so be moved to seek Him on
      their own.

      We rejoice today in the joy of the Resurrection. That joy finds its root
      and source in our love of God. Just as the myrrh-bearers and the
      apostles and deacons moved to express their love for God not only in
      words, but also in loving action towards others so also we out of our
      joy and rejoicing will move to loving action towards all those we meet.
      In this way we imitate our Lord whom we love and we act in union with
      Him towards the whole world. We become His hands and His voice
      expressing His love to the whole world. We are living then in union with
      Him therefore our love and our joy are made full.

      --
      Archpriest David Moser
      St Seraphim of Sarov Orthodox Church (ROCOR)
      Homilies: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/propoved/
      Website: http://stseraphimboise.org
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