April 19, 2020

A Resurrection "Behind Closed Doors"

By Fr. Andreas Agathokleous

The Service of the Resurrection began this year inside the church and not outside, as is usual. This can be done in emergency situations, such as difficult weather conditions, a ban imposed by occupying forces, etc. The future will also add the fear of the coronavirus. Thus, "behind closed doors" the universal message of the Resurrection was heard.

It reminded me of the appearance to the disciples "with the doors shut" (Jn. 20:19). Gathered together "for fear of the Jews" He came, stood in their midst, and said: "Peace be with you." And to His disciples today, who are behind the shut doors of their homes, for fear of death, He comes out of the church, "with the doors shut," and He tells them: "Peace be with you."

The Resurrection of Christ, certainly, as an event of faith cannot be proved. Not in the sense of "believe but don't investigate," but it is an experience that stems from the appearance of the Resurrected Lord. This experience is confirmed when it is had by many. Then, as a collective experience over the past two millennia, it is classified as "proof."

The appearance of the Resurrected Lord is done in a personal way, in a special way for every one, secret and incomprehensible for those who have not experienced it at all. Therefore, no one can say "CHRIST IS RISEN!" and reply with "TRULY HE IS RISEN!" if they are not certain.

If Christ was not prevented by the shut doors to appear before His disciples, and if the Church is not prevented by the shut doors of the churches from chanting to the ends of the universe the Resurrection of her Lord, then can any measure we encounter prevent us from meeting the Resurrected Lord in our hearts?

The problem is not the space - although it is clearly important that the people of God are deprived of being present in church - but the heart. If the door of the heart is shut, with cold faith, unrepentance and the passions, then there will be no appearance of the Resurrected Lord for us.

And if "CHRIST IS RISEN!" was heard "behind closed doors" this year, the Lord, as the conqueror of death, has the power to crush our weakness, coldness and passions, granting us His joy and peace, since we all come from Him and He was resurrected for all of us. As long as we extend our hands to Him, expressing our desire for a personal resurrection.

CHRIST IS RISEN my brethren!

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.