Let Your Hearts Be on High, for the Lord Is Risen!
Rev. Fr. Michael Monos, St. Luke the Evangelist - Columbia, MO | May 1, 2020
In the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen. Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!
Dearest in Christ, lovers of God, worshipers of True Life:
We stand in the radiance of the Resurrection of Christ, and so we should be full of joy. We have seen the darkness overcome by the Light, our despair turned to rejoicing; we have once again commemorated the most important and glorious event in the history of humankind – the vanquishing of death and sin through the pure and perfect sufferings of our Lord, and His third day resurrection. But in spite of what we have seen, and the rejoicing that fills our hearts, the darkness of the world and its uncertainties looms largely in our lives and desires to steal away our festive hearts. Therefore, the Church, in Her great wisdom, confronts us with the darkness of the unbelieving world and challenges us by presenting the Apostle Thomas and the story of his weak and doubting heart, and asks each of us: do you believe or doubt in the Power of God? Do you desire the darkness or the light, festive rejoicing or embittered displeasure? Today, we gaze longingly at the Upper Room, where we have traditionally gathered to meet the Lord and partake of His Lifegiving Mysteries, and we see that the entrance is, for now, barred to us — yet we still rejoice, and rejoice greatly, for the Light has dawned upon us from the east, the Lord has arisen from the grave, and no worldly darkness will obscure the glorious brightness of our joy! Some have wept, and others will weep, some have despaired, and others are despairing, but we know that Hope has arisen from the grave and has granted us life and strength.
Like St. Thomas, many will doubt the Power of God – the power of God to renegenrate that which is fallen; the power of God to resurrect that which is dead; but in handling the Lord, the Apostle Thomas’s unbelief was turned to belief, and so has shown all of us the true nature of the Power of God – that it is limitless, that it is not contained by any illusory power, even that of death. Therefore, as we look upon that which we have lost, let us be faithful in the Power of God and not allow the darkness of the world to overcome us, which is the devil’s desire and plot. Some will use this opportunity of perceived weakness to try and destroy our joy, and our hope – even some among us. They will discredit their leaders, they will make petty arguments, they will make false accusations, they will become pharisees and hypocrites, all in the name of the Christ and His Church.
These people do not believe in the Power of God, like Thomas they doubt its truth, and like Thomas, have allowed the darkness of the world to over-shadow their hearts and minds, even in the presence of the Light. But we must remain faithful and strong, immersed in the Light of Christ, which casts out every shadow of darkness. When Thomas handled the Lord, he cried out “My Lord and my God,” because in that moment, his unbelieving mind was opened to the new and wondrous reality of the Risen Christ. Today, we are called to make the same confession, and to allow our hearts to be fully opened to that same wondrous reality. Without this, we will surely fail in the great and daunting task that lies ahead of us. May our Risen Lord strengthen us, according to His great mercy, and open the hardened hearts of those covered by darkness, to whom be glory, honor and worship. Always now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.