The year 2021 presented us with a surprise: May 9 this year is not only Victory Day, but also a holiday of trust, loyalty and love. It will be from May 9 that it will be possible to get married, for the first time after a long break. And this holiday has three names at once: Fomino Sunday, Antipaskha, Krasnaya Gorka.
The first Sunday after Easter received the name “Fomino Sunday” in honor of the Apostle Thomas, who is often mistakenly called “the unbelieving Thomas”, but more on that later. “Antipascha” translated from Greek means “instead of Easter”. That is, on the Sunday of Antipascha, instead of Easter, an event took place that reminds us of the Resurrection of Christ and renews his joy for us. And Krasnaya Gorka comes from the folk tradition of organizing festivities on this spring holiday.
Since olden times, the season of weddings and matchmaking has been resumed on Krasnaya Gorka. In winter, a week before Lent, from Maslenitsa, weddings ceased, then they did not crown the entire Lent and the week after Easter: Bright week is a time of joy, but spiritual joy. And from Krasnaya Gorka, young people received freemen. It was believed that if a girl or a guy spent this day sitting at home, while away the rest of his life alone. So the youth did not stay at home, but nevertheless the day began with a Sunday service in the church. And for good reason: there is a deep connection between the Apostle Thomas, Antipascha and happiness in love. Now we will find this connection, and the story of Thomas, which is remembered on this day in churches, will become the key explaining, without which happiness in love is impossible.
Let me remind you that Thomas is one of the twelve disciples of Christ, the one who doubted that Jesus was resurrected. It was not so easy to perceive the great miracle of the Resurrection of Christ – a transcendental event, surpassing any human experience. This is what the Gospel of John tells us: “On the same first day of the week, in the evening, when the doors of the house where His disciples were gathered were closed, Jesus came, stood in the middle, and said to them:“ Peace be with you! ”Having said this, He showed them both hands and side. The disciples were delighted to see the Lord. ” For the risen Christ, the closed doors were not an obstacle, the transformed body of the Lord did not obey the laws of the physical world, and we can only guess how much the disciples of the Savior were struck, who had not yet departed from the tragic events of the last days of Jesus’ earthly life. Imagine: here they, swept away by His death on the cross, saddened and depressed, see Jesus suddenly appear in a closed house! The natural reaction is bewilderment, distrust of what the eyes see. And it’s not just about the students. Theologians are inclined to believe that the transformed body of the resurrected Christ has become special, the Apostle Paul has a hint when he speaks of the body after the resurrection from the dead as a “spiritual body.” But, in thinking about this, we are entering a shaky ground of conjecture, so it is better to go back to the accurate story of the Gospel. So, the disciples of the Savior are amazed, “they, embarrassed and frightened, thought that they were seeing a spirit,” we read in the Evangelist Luke. “But He said to them: why are you embarrassed, and why such thoughts enter your hearts? Look at my hands and at my feet; it is I myself; touch me and see; for the spirit has no flesh and bones, as you see with me. And having said this, he showed them his hands and feet. “
Thomas is a faithful and courageous disciple of Christ, at that time he was somewhere else. Therefore, when the apostles told him about what had happened, he doubted and said: “If I do not see His wounds from the nails on my hands, and I do not put my finger in the wounds from the nails, and I do not put my hand in His ribs, I will not believe.” Among the people, the word “unbeliever” is firmly stuck to the name of Thomas, which is unfair. Thomas – one of the first apostles of Jesus, was just devoted and faithful to Him until death. When Jesus decides to go to Jerusalem to resurrect his deceased friend Lazarus, the disciples stop Him: “Don’t go, it’s dangerous! How long have the enemies been looking to stone You? And you want to return there!” The apostles are afraid for their Teacher, they are also afraid for their lives, this is natural, but Jesus says: “Let’s go!”, And Thomas the first supports Christ, calling on the others: “Let’s go and we will die with him!” Such is the faithfulness of the “unbeliever” Thomas. That is, the speech here is not about disbelief as infidelity, but about a critical attitude to what is happening. Thomas is critical, and he is a materialist – he himself needs to feel the wounds from the nails, put his hands in the ribs pierced by the spear during the crucifixion. But aren’t we the same? By the way, a subtle point: loyalty does not exclude a critical look at what is happening. In other words, fidelity is not blind, it should not turn off the brain. But back to the Gospel.
Eight days later, Christ’s disciples “were together again, this time Thomas was with them. The door was locked. Jesus entered, stood in the middle and said:“ Peace be with you! ”Then he says to Thomas:“ Stretch out your finger here and look at Mine hands. Stretch out your hand, put it in the wound on his side! .. “- Jesus seemed to have heard what Thomas said without Him! And then the Lord utters words addressed not only to Thomas, to all of us:” And do not be unfaithful, but faithful “. The concept of” faith “includes such qualities as firmness, faithfulness, trust.” Do not be unfaithful, but faithful! “- calls the Lord. And Thomas hears this call.” My Lord and my God! “- Thomas exclaimed. Thomas no longer needs to feel the wounds, he no longer needs proof. “You believed because you saw Me,” Jesus tells him. “Blessed are they who have not seen and believed.”
And now is the time to remember that the words “faith” and “trust” are of the same root. But there is no love without trust and openness. It is no coincidence that the Apostle Paul in his famous hymn of love so connects love and faith: “Love believes in everything, always hopes … There are three: faith, hope, love, and love is great of them.”
The Red Hill completes the Bright Week, but the Easter holiday itself continues until the Ascension of the Lord (June 10). Easter is not over, and the joy of the Resurrection of Christ, of the victory of life over death spills out beyond the walls of the temple – into the field, into the vast expanses of Russian nature, which welcomes all manifestations of love and life with spring jubilation. The poet of the Silver Age Mikhail Kuzmin has wonderful lines that a person can always see the presence of God in our world: “In this life, God’s affection / Like embroidery is visible …” The world in these Easter spring days is permeated with Divine love, and this Divine love sanctifies all aspects of human existence, you just need to be able to see God’s affection on the canvas of your life.
Will be anxious and vigilant
Run couples in the dew
And on the Red, Red hill
They will get married like everyone else.
(MA Kuzmin, 1921)