Quiet Faithfulness

The Myrrh-bearing women at the tomb. The Myrrh-bearing women at the tomb.
Much can be said about the dignity of women, many words of gratitude can be expressed to our mothers, wives, and sisters. But today we most of all remember the events of that Sunday morning, when several women became the first heralds of Christ’s rising from the dead. After all, one would suppose, what new thing could several frail figures, cautiously but hastily making their way through the sleepy narrow street of pre-dawn Jerusalem, possibly reveal to the world? Abandoned by all in negligent indifference, crushed by the loss of their precious Teacher, the holy women could only think about how to roll the stone away from the cave where they had buried the body of Jesus. But all the more terrible and incomprehensible for this is the miracle that the Lord manifests to us in the event. As it turns out, these very women are the ones who first reveal to the world the truth of the salvation of all mankind! Their testimony announces the completion of the greatest event in world history—man’s redemption from the slavery of sin!

On the pages of the Gospel we find only the brief mention: Mary Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils, and Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto him of their substance (Lk. 8:2-3). Martha and Mary say a few words… And that’s all. Beyond that is only speechless sorrow at the sight of their Teacher’s torments on the cross and the efforts to gather aromatic spices to anoint His body… We do not hear a word from these women’s lips in defense of the Savior, nor do we hear of any particularly zealous deeds testifying to their faith in the Messiah, nor do we find their voices again on the pages of the Gospels.

All the more amazing is the power of this silence, this unshakeable faithfulness to the Truth. After all, the whole world rose up against their faith. The cold darkness of a burial cave sealed by an enormous stone would seem to be the final argument that their hope for salvation was unjustified. Now the world demanded answers from them, that they would admit their powerlessness, that they would voice their despair… But the holy women were silent. Faithfulness to Christ warmed their hearts. And although they did not prove their faithfulness by words, by working miracles, or even by any particularly zealous deeds, they silently served Jesus of Nazareth with their possessions; they simply followed the Teacher… They simply remained faithful to Him.

And this amazing, quiet faithfulness is shown in the final analysis to be worthy of the greatest gift—witness to the Savior’s Resurrection!

Probably, in this consists the greatness of a woman’s podvig in our world—in her especially important silence. In the end, it speaks volumes… This silence of true Christian women overcomes the ages. From the time of the holy Myrrh-bearing women it has been passed along in a mysterious manner from heart to heart and at all times, in all different circumstances it lives in the quiet care for family, relatives, and friends… Woman is quiet throughout history… But how eloquent is the silence of Christ’s true disciples, how great their labor of sacrificial love! Who better than a woman ever inconspicuously and meekly protects those she loves? Her labors and feats seem completely mundane, often even entirely insignificant and intangible. But this is what makes the happiness of families and friends possible. This silence with meekness and humility overcomes even the most insurmountable obstacles, and most importantly—it conquers indifference, it convinces that there is Truth, which always conquers the world!

Priest Roman Savchuk
Translation by Nun Cornelia (Rees)


30 апреля 2017 г.

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