on this day spring is fragrant

“On this day spring is fragrant; the new creation dances now.”

O Thomas, thou hast searched out * My wounded limbs with thine own hand; * doubt not of Me Who was wounded * for thee, but have a single mind * with the disciples, and preach Me, * the Living God, to all mankind.

On this day spring is fragrant; * the new creation danceth now; * today the bars have been taken * off of the doors of disbelief, * as the friend Thomas doth cry out: * Thou art my Lord and God.

Exapostilarion of Thomas Sunday (Antiochian)

Also, the homily this morning pointed out that none of the disciples believed in the resurrection when the women reported it to them. Likewise, Christ invited them all to touch Him a week earlier as He met with them for the first time. It was only Thomas, a week later, however, who cried out after touching Christ: “My Lord and my God!”

Finally, our priest reminded us that—regardless of how we were able to celebrate Pascha—it is all still the equally true: Christ is risen, He has overcome death, He has fully reconciled us to God, and He has guaranteed a bodily resurrection to every human across all time.

St. Thomas, Dionisy and his studio, St. Paul Obnorsk (Pavlo-Obnorsky) Monastery, c. 1500.

Obtain the Lord as a friend

O Bridegroom, brilliant in Thy beauty above all mankind, Who didst call us to the spiritual banquet of Thy chamber, cast away from me the likeness of rags of iniquity by participation in Thy Passion, and adorn me with the robe of Thy beauty. Distinguish me as a brilliant guest in Thy kingdom; for Thou art compassionate.

…Behold, the Master entrusteth thee with a talent, O my soul. Wherefore, receive thou the gift with fear. Lend to the giver and console the poor. Obtain the Lord as a friend, that thou mayest stand on His right hand when He cometh in glory, and that thou mayest hear that blessed voice: “Enter, O servant, into the joy of thy Lord.” Prepare me, a prodigal, for it. O Savior, for the multitude of Thy mercies.

Bridegroom Matins (celebrated evening of Holy Tuesday)
Bridegroom Icon

we have found joy in secret

Bethlehem has opened Eden: come, and let us see. We have found joy in secret: come, and let us take possession of the paradise that is within the Cave. There the unwatered Root has appeared, from which forgiveness flowers forth: there is found the undug Well, whence David longed to drink of old. There the Virgin has borne a Babe, and made the thirst of Adam and David to cease straightway. Therefore let us hasten to this place where now is born a young Child, the pre-eternal God.

From the Ikos for the Nativity (Orthodox Christian hymn).

all the easy speeches that comfort cruel men

Hymn by G.K. Chesterton (1906):

O God of earth and altar,
bow down and hear our cry,
our earthly rulers falter,
our people drift and die;
the walls of gold entomb us,
the swords of scorn divide,
take not thy thunder from us,
but take away our pride.

From all that terror teaches,
from lies of tongue and pen,
from all the easy speeches
that comfort cruel men,
from sale and profanation
of honor, and the sword,
from sleep and from damnation,
deliver us, good Lord!

Tie in a living tether
the prince and priest and thrall,
bind all our lives together,
smite us and save us all;
in ire and exultation
aflame with faith, and free,
lift up a living nation,
a single sword to thee.