In the beginning, let us give our warmest greetings to our sisters in Christ. They form an overwhelming majority of our army of the Lord and certainly its better part. In everyday language, some may call them the weaker sex. But make no mistake: God’s power is manifest in weakness. A woman’s heart is deeper than a man’s. Our women have always stood firm against the enemies of Christ and our church. They have always fought it out to the end. They protected our faith, our goodness and our trust in the Lord. Many have become martyrs.
By all accounts, today is a special day. Tonight, we are coming together for a concert and theatrical show. I expect – although I do not know for sure – that it will be about the life of our convent, our good works and our feasts. See you all there, everyone is welcome.
It has become our long-standing tradition to have the concert on the Sunday of the Holy Women Myrrhbearers. It is our way of sharing the joy of Paschaltide at a time when it is badly needed. People have stopped smiling. They are glued to their screens. They are too busy watching the news about all the terrible things happening in our world.
The news portrays the world as a horrible place. But that is a big lie. There is no reason to be depressed because we are celebrating Christ’s resurrection. We are rejoicing. Yet few people want to talk about the joy. They are obsessed with all the troubles and misfortunes of the world.
Yet Christians are different. They rejoice in the face of all the troubles and adversity. We know full well that they will have sorrows in this world, but Christ has overcome this world, and we are going His way. We are not going into a grave but to the Kingdom of Heaven. We know we must be strong to bear all the sorrows and beat the despair that holds us down. Christ rose from the dead. The angels removed His tombstone. We, too, must overcome our burdens, rise and get going. Let us complain no more about the hardships of our lives and our difficult days. We must keep progress; we must follow Him to everlasting life and find the strength to do it.
This great Christian feast day – celebrated throughout the world – is an occasion to praise our good women. Many are our beacons and role models. Their prayers for their family is salvific. I know one sister. Her marriage was a bad shape. But eventually, her husband discovered God, converted. Today, he made his confession and is preparing to take communion.
Our battle for Christ takes place in our homes; we win it by teaching our children piety, and this is remarkable. Our women are at the forefront of this battle; they are the guardians of Christ and peace in our hearts. Nothing will work without the peace. We can teach and preach all we like, but no one will hear. But with peace in our hearts, thousands will be saved around us.
This week is full of great events and celebrations. At the church of our farmstead, we celebrate this Tuesday the feast of the Icon of the Mother of God “Undrinkable Chalice”. Heavy drinking is a cruel enemy that claims many casualties and even lives. We must continue to pray incessantly for our loved ones.
On Saturday, we commemorate one of our most beloved saints, Nicholas the Wonderworker. He always intercedes for us and never stops praying. On the eve of the feast, we will celebrate an all-night vigil, read an Akathist, and perform the rite of sanctification of the water.
The Lord gives us plenty of occasions to celebrate. Many more are coming. We are preparing to celebrate the feast of the Icon of the Mother of God of Zhirovichy. Christ has resurrected, and we celebrate. Do not destine yourself to the grave. Rise and follow Christ.
Glory to You, O Lord, glory to you!