As we learn in the Acts of the Apostles, our Lord Jesus Christ appeared to His Disciples for 40 days after His Resurrection, encouraging them and entrusting them with the care of His Holy Church (see Acts 1:3). This is why the Resurrection is celebrated for 40 days, with this Sunday being the last of this Paschal season.

In the seventh prayer of the preparatory service for Holy Communion we pray: "You know the multitude of my evil-doings, You also know my wounds, and You see my bruises. But You also know my faith, and You behold my willingness, and You hear my sighs. Nothing escapes You, my God, my Maker, my Redeemer, not even a tear-drop, nor part of a drop!”

From the beginning of creation to the present, the human race has received innumerable blessings from God, which we continually seek in our common worship. Despite our sinfulness, we take courage in approaching God with our supplications. The Prayer which the Priest addresses to God during the Divine Liturgy at the 3rd Antiphon ends with the words: Lord we are asking You of all these “Because You are good and loving [charitable] God …” Similarly the Priest, after the series of petitions (which is called “The Great Litany”) in all holy Services, pronounces aloud: “For you are benevolent and charitable God …”

Today the Church commemorates, along with the Myrrhbearers, Joseph and Nicodemus, who took the body of Jesus off the cross and reverently buried it with all due honor.

On this first Sunday after Pascha, the Gospel reading and hymns all speak of the doubt that St. Thomas the Apostle showed with regard to the Resurrection of Christ (even with the assurances of the other Apostles). The Holy Gospels also reveal that the other Apostles showed the same skepticism, despite the testimony of the Myrrh-bearing women (see Luke 24:11,21, 37).


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