On the Third Sunday of Pascha, the Church commemorates the love, courage and faith of the Myrrhbearing Women, who before sunrise on the Day of Pascha, went to the tomb of Christ to anoint His Body. They didn’t take any men with them neither for protection, nor did they even consider how they were going to manage to remove the large stone from the tomb. They only took their faith, their courage and their love. When they arrived at the tomb, they found the stone had already been rolled away, and they found Jesus waiting for them nearby. It turned out they only needed Christ, and they were rewarded by being the first humans to see the Risen Lord.
Today the Church also commemorates the faith, courage and love of motherhood. Like the Myrrhbearing Women, mothers know what needs to be done, and they get it done for the good of the family. Mothers show great courage from the moment of childbirth, willing to face any struggle for the benefit of their children and family. Mothers show great love when they face the daily, sometimes hourly, struggles to remove the rocks and other obstacles that block their families ability to experience the love of Christ. And just like the Myrrhbearing Women, many of our mothers were here in Church this morning, before sunrise, so they could see Christ and bring the good news of His love to their loved ones.
It is no surprise that women were the first to see the resurrected Christ. These were the same women who had been with Jesus and His Disciples all along His journey. Some had spent three years caring, as dedicated women, for the entire company. We sometimes tend to think that Jesus walked around, going from city to city, with just the Twelve. According to the Holy Tradition of the Church, there were always more than than just the Twelve, including many women.
While the Disciples were still hiding in the room “for fear of the Jews”, the women ran to the tomb to do their duty according to their faith. But there is always more than meets the eye, when it comes to the way God works. It was only fitting that women were the first to witness the Risen Lord, since it was a woman who first disobeyed the Lord. In allowing the men to hide in fear, and the women to shine in courage, God show us that women are no less important than men. In fact, God established that women would be the first evangelists in the Church.