Augustine Sokolovski

The 3rd Sunday after Easter in the Orthodox Church is dedicated to the remembrance of the myrrh-bearing women. Let us note that in the Orthodox tradition, women at the tomb of Jesus are called myrrh-bearers.

They were not among the twelve apostles of Jesus but followed the Lord in the days of His earthly life. They listened to His preaching and learned the words of life that came from His mouth.

According to the Gospel, some of them served the Lord from their property. This means that, unlike most people who saw the glory of healings and the multiplication of loaves, by the hands of the Lord Jesus, the myrrh-bearing women knew about the poverty of the Messiah.

In the assembly of the myrrh-bearing women, the Church also venerates Joseph of Arimathea and the righteous Nicodemus. By the power of predestination of grace, God mysteriously added them to the number of the disciples of Jesus - the companions of the mournful hour of the King of the Jews. They followed him from afar when he was poor and destitute, in the daily routine of his labors, rushed to him at the hour of death, to cover the nakedness of his burial. So, without knowing it, prophetically, they became accomplices of the One who humbled himself for our salvation.

The myrrh-bearing women did not leave the Lord during His Crucifixion and Suffering. When all the Apostles, except John, left Christ - someone betrayed, someone left - the myrrh-bearers followed the Cross and saw the Crucifixion. If they stood at a distance in front of the Cross, then soon, under the cover of Great Saturday, they were the first to rush to the Sepulcher of the Savior to make sure that He was still truly there. It was a genuine prophetic pilgrimage to the resurrected Body of Christ.

The myrrh-bearing women belonged to that circle of the Lord's fellowship, which He Himself chose, and from which He built the Church. She was born by the power of the words and deeds of Christ, but, as it were, she stopped in her birth with the death of the Lord.

Jesus died the sleep of death, but the Church, like a mustard seed, was preserved by faith in the hearts of those who did not leave Him despite the Cross.

“For love is strong as death” (Canto 8:6), but “faith overcomes the world” (cf. 1 John 5:4). To paraphrase Chesterton's "The Man Who Was Thursday", they were Holy Saturday people.