When the myrrh-bearing women came to the Lord’s Tomb in order to anoint His Most Pure Body, they did not find Him there. The Tomb was empty, for Christ had risen. An angel with a lightning-like appearance, who had rolled the stone away from the Tomb, announced this to them. “He is not here, but is risen” (Luke 24:5-6).

Christ had risen. But the apostles did not immediately believe the miracle of the Resurrection. Even when He Himself appeared to them, doubts did not leave them, although they saw Him with their own eyes, heard Him, felt His wounds, and He ate before them. But when they overcame all their doubts, faith came and – together with it – joy. And so from then on, where faith is, there also is joy.

Fulfilling the commandment of their Divine Teacher, the holy Apostles with faith and great joy sped throughout the world to preach the Gospel. Fearlessly, they testified everywhere of Christ and His glorious Resurrection. No kind of power on earth could frighten them or compel their mouths to be silent. “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” they said by the words of St. Paul (Romans 8:35). They endured all of this, and following after them, the whole race of Christians has also. A sea of blood was poured out in witness to the truth of Christ’s Resurrection. Terrible sufferings and torments strengthened them in faith. They stood firm in the face of all temptations. No one and nothing was able “to separate (them) from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus (the) Lord” (Romans 8:39). Their faith conquered the whole world (1 John 5:4).

Throughout the ages, this faith has been passed down from generation to generation. How many trials had to be borne along this path. But they only strengthened their faith. And so it is unto our days.

What kind of podvig [spiritual struggle] for faith do we perform? It is evident that we too need to find Christ in our life and bring to Him the aromatic ointment of our good works; we too need to roll away from our hearts the heavy stone of unbelief, doubt and a sinful life. But who will move this stone, if not Christ Himself, who is risen and radiant in His glory.

Is there sufficient strength in us to find the way to Him? So many temptations and seductions stand in our way! We are so afraid of every sorrow and oppression, we so love the comforts of life, we so want to avoid sufferings. The world raises us up to the height of prosperity or casts us down to the depths of degradation, demanding that we deny Christ. Do we stand firm, do we remain faithful to Him and separate ourselves from His love? It is difficult to stand firm in the face of such temptation. It can be conquered only by the power of living faith and active love for Christ.

The myrrh-bearing women showed us the true path to the Lord. They hurried to the Tomb, and we hurry to God’s Church. An angel announced the good tidings to them, and the assembly of angels and saints proclaim to us the radiant Resurrection of Christ. And so, he will appear to us in His glory, but it is incumbent upon us to walk in the light and not be darkened through deeds of darkness. Those who are darkened by them will not comprehend, will not know, Christ. If we purify our senses, we shall see Christ, radiant with the unapproachable light of the Resurrection. Clearly we shall then hear from Him “Rejoice,” and we shall rejoice, for He “is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life.”

Christ is Risen! Again and again I congratulate all of you, dear brothers and sisters in the Lord. May the peace, grace and joy of the Resurrection fill your hearts and strengthen you in the love for Christ!

Archpriest Victor Potapov

Address of our Cathedral

  • 4001 17th St. N.W.,
  • Washington, D.C., 20011

Phone  (202) 726-3000




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