Episode 365 – The Faith and Courage of Mothers

Every few years the commemoration of the Myrrh Bearing Women and Mothers’ Day coincide, as they do this year. It offers us a great opportunity to honor the faith and courage of women in general, and mothers specifically. Without our mothers and grandmothers and their grandmothers, going back to Eve in the Garden, we would be lost in the darkness without God. Our faithful and courageous mothers help us find God, which is worthy of all honor. Thank you mothers!

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This morning, my brothers and sisters, for me this is a double feast. It is the day that we commemorate the Myrrhbearing Women and their courage to go to the tomb before the sun had risen, early, early, early in the morning. And also today we celebrate Mother’s Day. And every time that there is this coinciding of the feasts, it doesn’t happen every year, but when it does, it’s a beautiful reminder of the importance of the women in our church. It was the Myrrhbearing Women in their courage and faith that went to the tomb before the sun had risen, into the graveyards, to the cemetery, if you will. And in those days, that was not a safe place for them to be. While the men, the Apostles, were hiding safe in the upper room, it was the women who went to the tomb. It was the women who showed the courage and the faith to go and find Christ. It was the women who stayed at the very end.

We heard in the gospel that Joseph had placed his body in the tomb. We saw this just a few weeks ago, and it was the women who stayed to watch where Christ was buried, not the men. And so it’s appropriate that our society honors mothers and women today because without our mothers, we would have nothing.

First of all, and the most basic, our life comes from our mothers. Our mothers, and I was telling a very pregnant woman yesterday, she’s due a couple of weeks. She’s not Greek and I shared with her the Greek greeting, Καλή Ελευθεριά And when I translated, she laughed. For those of you who don’t speak Greek, our tradition, when a woman is approaching childbirth, we say, “Good freedom to you,” because the woman has been enslaved by the baby for nine months in her womb. You’ll know this soon enough. And then this woman laughed. She says, “And then what?” “Oh, then it gets much worse,” I said. But this is the joy and honor of motherhood, to bring life into the world, but not just to bring life, but to bring our faith. It is the mothers, the yιayιas, thieas who hold onto our faith in our church to bring our children to learn about God, while the men are off doing their thing. Important things. I’m not saying that men are not important. But without our mothers, without the women, we’d be lost.

We men think we’re tough guys, right? Tough men. We don’t know nothing because ever since Adam, God knew a man needed a woman. But he didn’t need a woman so that she could cook for him. Man needs woman to find God. And this is what we celebrate today in remembering the Myrrhbearing Women. While the men were terrified for their lives, it was the women who proclaimed the resurrection of Christ. The women were the first evangelists of our church. So men, honor your mothers and your wives and your sisters who will become mothers because we can’t find God without them. If it were left up to just Adam, we would have been lost. And so we also thank God that he brought us together, husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, so we could find ourselves in heaven. This is what we’re honoring today, not just in the Myrrhbearing Women, but in Mother’s Day, our faith in love in God.

And so I encourage our mothers and women today, be like the Myrrhbearing Women, have the courage to go into the dark world and proclaim the good news of Christ. Have the faith and courage to worship God when everyone else scatters because our children are watching. Our children are watching our every step. In our every word, they listen to. And if they see us with courage and faith, they will grow up with courage and faith. If they see us scattering into the darkness, our children will also scatter. And we know in our contemporary society, the devil is working hard to scatter our children.

And so my plea for our mothers and our grandmothers, our yayas, our Theas. Bring the children to the church, for the prayers of the church, for the liturgy, for the blessings, for the Holy water, for Holy Communion. Don’t just bring our children for Levandia and basketball, but bring them to Christ and his church. That’s the courage of the Myrrhbearing Women. That is the courage and faith that we honor today.

The gospel gives us this great, great story. The angel says to the women, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth who is crucified. He has risen. He is not here. See the place where they laid him, but go and tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him as they said to you.”

Go, my brothers and sisters. Go, women and mothers, and proclaim the good news of Christ to anyone and everyone who will listen and invite them to church. Invite them to come in here for themselves and to be in God’s presence. So all humanity, all of our citizens of our city can glorify the resurrected Christ. That is how we honor God and His mother, our mother and our yiayias, and our yiayias before them, and their yiayias before them. Have faith and courage. Christos Anesti Christ is risen.

Episode 365 – The Faith and Courage of Mothers

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