By Fr. Aristotle Damaskos
“Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us?” Mark 16:3
This was the question of the Myrrh-Bearing women as they went in anticipation to the tomb on early Sunday morning, to anoint the body of Jesus. This they did to fulfill the requirement of the Jewish law and also as a sign of love for their Master. Yet, to their amazement when they arrived at the grave site, the stone that they feared, had been rolled away, and a young man clothed in white gave them the glad tidings and said, “He is not here. He is Risen!”
Imagine if these three women had allowed their fear of the giant stone to stop them from going to Christ, they would not have heard nor experienced the Resurrection of the Lord.
To be sure, we are living in pressing times, unemployment is at an unprecedented high, and we hear of more and more home foreclosures. A feeling of uncertainty permeates our lives.
Unfortunately, fear on any level has the capability to cripple and prevent us from living our lives to their fullest, because there is that persistent anxiety of the ‘other shoe falling,’ making our already taxed lives, even more challenged. What becomes even more onerous is that we allow our fears and apprehensions to block us from going to Jesus Christ in order to receive His forgiveness, restoration and hope for our lives. We allow the ‘stones of this life,’ despair, sin, broken marriages, sickness, being at odds with others, hatred, financial worries, death, depression, wars and pride, to separate us from the love of God.
Thankfully, my brothers and sisters, we are blessed with the message of the Resurrection, which brings to us hope and renewal. It is the reality that the Risen Christ is the only one who is willing and able to roll away those ‘stones in our lives’, which prevent us from living full and productive spiritual lives. We, however, must approach Him in prayer, with sincerity, humility, patience, love, and with the anticipation that Christ is real and He wants to bring healing to our lives. After all, “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18
Therefore, as we celebrate this glorious season of Pascha, let us re-examine ourselves and explore what ‘stones in our lives’ need moving. May we avail ourselves to the Sacrament of Confession, as that perfect leverage to push away those oppressive boulders that life and the ‘evil one’ hurls at us.
Finally, and most importantly, let us prepare and partake of Holy Communion throughout this Holy Season and allow the love and healing power of the Risen Jesus Christ to fill our very presence, so we may become victorious and bold in our faith and encourage one another that our God is a great and marvelous God who works wonders in our lives¨