May 3, 2021

Reflection for Bright Monday (St. Theophan the Recluse)

By St. Theophan the Recluse 
When the angel announced the good tidings of the Lord’s incarnation he said: "Hail, thou that are full of grace!" (Luke 1:28); proclaiming to the shepherds the birth of Christ the Savior he also said: "Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy" (Luke 2:10). But proclaiming the Lord’s resurrection to the women, the angel only says: "He is not here, but is risen!" (Luke 24:6). He does not add “rejoice,” for joy would fill their heart on its own, as soon as the assurance came that the Lord was risen indeed. At that time this assurance was tangible: the angel prepared it; the Lord in His appearing completed it. And everyone’s joy was inexhaustibly full! Now our church, houses and streets are clothed in the garments of rejoicing, and everyone is caught up in a general stream of joy. Now turn your thoughts away from the externals, and gathering them in your heart, raise up the truth of the Resurrection, in all of its breadth, depth and height; so that your rejoicing be more than external. Bear out that spirit of joy, like a spring of bright water, gushing from the depths of the earth.