In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen Today we see the Lord show compassion on a widow and raise her son from the dead. Now when you read the Scriptures, it is not just a story or history, there is something that the Holy Spirit wants to apply to you; to teach you; to enlighten you; to bring you closer to God. So what is it that this story can teach us? Well, the Lord is coming into a city and the woman is in a retinue of mourners for her son. Now a woman who was a widow in those days who lost her son was truly destitute. Truly she would have many hungry days ahead of her. And the Lord sees her and has compassion on her and He says to her, ?Weep not.¦ Now, the Lord says this to her and it doesn-t make a lot of sense; not in the context of a woman who was mourning her only son. Stop crying? She has much to be sad about. But then He comes and touches the bier. He stops the procession by physically putting His hand on the bier. Now the Fathers put great significance on this action. The Lord was willing to take on our flesh, wasn-t He? He was willing to be mixed up in humanity; He was willing to endure the problems of being a human being and the pain and the uncleanness to make us able to obtain things that we otherwise couldn-t obtain. He touches the bier because He loves us. Touching the bier is akin to remembering His incarnation. It is the same thing as the story of the Good Samaritan where he takes the man who has been wounded and is half dead and puts him upon His own beast-that is the same idea. Putting him upon His own beast as it were putting him upon His own shoulders; being willing to fix what is broken by becoming incarnate and changing humanity from the inside out. So He touches the bier and something very important happens when He touches the bier: they stop. If they had not stopped and stood still, then He would not have spoken. Now, He tells the young man to rise and the young man rises from the dead and the woman is beside herself with joy. Now the bier is also our flesh. This is where you should learn something; where you should apply it to yourself. Otherwise it is just a story. A miracle, to be sure, but something that doesn-t really touch us. The bier is our flesh and indeed there is much in us that needs reviving and the Lord is willing to touch us. There is something very important that must be done by us if we want healing: we must stand still. We must stop. Now actually I believe the major reason why we continue with our sins, our difficulties and our passions is because we don-t stand still. The Lord wants to touch us. When we have the Holy Mysteries, is this not the Lord touching us? With the Holy Spirit abiding in us, is this not touching us? But we don-t stand still. Do we listen? Do we spend time being contrite; praying with as much fervor as we can? Or are things quick for us? Are things off-hand? Do we go on from moment to moment and not really stand still? If we stand still, the Lord will speak to us. Now He has touched us; He has touched us many, many times. Now many of us will receive the Holy Mysteries today; this is truly the Lord touching our bier, touching our flesh so that we will be made alive. For how many of us is this gift that the Lord gives us today going to touch us to the core? Is it going to make us tremble full of faith and warmth? Or, is it just going to be something that we do and then we will go on to something else that we will do? Is it really going to change us? Are we really going to stand still and let the Lord speak to us? Allow the Lord to heal us? This is a real key to the Christian life. When the Lord touches your bier, your body, you must stand still, much like Elias did when he went into the cave. Only when he stood still did he hear the Lord. Our society is full of all kinds of uproar; everything must be distilled to sound bites and to catch phrases. We hardly have time, or make time, to stand still. I am also convinced that this is one of the reasons why our churches are not very full. People go to big auditoriums to be entertained, but they don-t come to the Orthodox Church to stand still so they can be healed. Everything outside of the Church is fast and frenzied and has very little meaning and doesn-t last very long, while what is in the Church is eternal. But, it is not fast or frenzied. In fact, we are forced to be patient; to wait on the Lord. Do you ever wonder why that so many of the things that you pray for the Lord doesn-t answer? That they don-t occur right away? Or even things you pray for the opposite occurs? Have you ever wondered about that? The Lord is trying to teach you to be still. Now our nature is such that if we get everything we want, whenever we want, we lose interest; we lose fervor. We no longer have any compunction. But the Lord in His mercy is trying to get you to stand still, to wait on Him. If He makes things to easy for you, then you will be far from Him because truly Christianity, even though the Lord-s yoke is easy and His burden light, for us it can be very difficult to bear. It is difficult to bear this yoke because we don-t stand still in it. We chafe against it. Christianity can be very hard for those who sin, for those who are selfish, for those who are impatient. I think this miracle where the Lord touches the bier and makes it stand still speaks out to all Christians to be patient and to seek the Lord. Even in the midst of things that appear to be hopeless, and certainly this woman-s situation appears to be quite hopeless, the Lord will touch us, help us. Now, if you are saying two minutes of prayer in the morning, or none, then you are not going to hear the Lord. If you are rushing through your day and barely giving though to God, you are not going to hear the Lord. If the last thing you did with your Bible was wipe the dust off of it, you are not going to hear the Lord. The only way to hear the Lord is to focus on Him. When He touches your bier, and He does it all the time, stop! Listen! Be expecting to hear something! Be expecting to be helped! Perhaps to be rebuked. Perhaps to be comforted. This is what this miracle teaches us. Stand still when the Lord touches you. Then you will be able to hear Him; hear the voice, ?I say to you, arise!¦ He says this to you all the time. Do you hear it? All the times He touches you, all the times He says, ?I say to you, arise! I say to you that you can be perfected, you can be changed! All things are possible for you!¦ Do you hear Him say these things? If not, then try to focus more on standing still. If you do not pray much, start praying more. If you rarely read anything that is good for your soul, then start reading. If you rarely pray for others, then make up a list and start to pray. Try to have spiritual exercises every day in quietness so you can hear the Lord. He is speaking to you! Now, if you can-t hear Him it is not because He is not speaking, it is because you are making such a commotion that you can-t hear Him. So, when the Lord touches your bier, brothers and sisters, stand still. Amen.