Raised From Ordinariness 

Christ is risen! 

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Now when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him. Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen. And they said among themselves, “Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us?” But when they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away – for it was very large. And entering the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a long white robe sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him. But go, tell His disciples – and Peter – that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you.” So they went out quickly and fled from the tomb, for they trembled and were amazed. And they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.  (Mark 16:1-8)

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Fr John Breck comments:

As the memory of the paschal celebration fades in the days and weeks following the feast, we are offered in the Myrrhbearing Women an image—a living icon—of Paschal wonder, ecstatic wonder. If we listen attentively to the magnificent hymns of the Pentacostarian, we can hear the angelic announcement they heard and share the wonder that was theirs. In the midst of our ordinariness—shopping, taking the kids to school, fussing with the computer, sitting through office meetings, fighting traffic, or battling anxieties in the middle of the night—in the midst of all of it, that image of the Myrrhbearing Women extends an invitation. It calls us to step out of ourselves for a while, and with them to enter the tomb where Jesus was laid out in death. It calls us to contemplate the ineffable mystery of the empty shroud, together with the angelic proclamation, ‘He is not here, He is risen!

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Out of that silent contemplation can come once again the profound sense of awe, of ecstatic wonder, that seized the women and all those who beheld the risen Lord. As it did for the apostle Paul, that awe and that wonder can lift us out of our ordinariness, if only for a moment, and give us a glimpse, a blessed foretaste, of paradise.   (LONGING FOR GOD, p 160)

Truly, He is risen!

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