From the Pastor

Pascha. Easter. Pascha. A Day of the Resurrection and a fitting beginning for celebration. It calls all of us to be joyous and festive on this Day of Days. The hymn that is offered throughout the season of Pentecost which follows on the heels of Easter says it eloquently:

It is the Day of Resurrection, let us be radiant for the feast, and let us embrace one another. Let us call, Brethren, even to them that hate us, let us forgive all things on the Resurrection, and thus let us declare aloud:

Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life.

We are to look upon all those whom we have touched and who have touched us. As the hymn says, “even to them that hate us;” but also to those who love us, and have helped us, and have suffered anything on our behalf. We are also to forgive one another, even if they have harmed us.

Holy Friday the Lamb of God was crucified so we could be protected by His Precious Blood. His Resurrection, three days hence, freed us from the shackles of the evil one. And in these three days many things happened.

Christ was crucified; and today we glorify Him.  He died a miserable death on the Cross; and we are given eternal life. He was buried in a borrowed tomb; and we resurrect from our own tomb.

And what can we offer Him Who suffered and has risen for us? Gold, silver, precious things, shiny stones, material things that are here today and dissolve tomorrow? None of these will do for the Savior of our soul who willingly and knowingly came, emptying heaven, taking on our human form, and offering Himself in our stead. Let us offer Him ourselves, which to God is the most precious and proper of all gifts: yes, ourselves. Let us offer back to Him Who took our sins upon his shoulders, the divine image which God implanted in us at our birth, along with the likeness with which we are adorned. Thus, we recognize our own dignity as noble creations of God, and maybe we can catch of glimpse of what Christ did for us.

Let us become like Christ, since Christ became like us. Let us become Gods because of Him, since He for us became man. He took upon himself the form of a servant that we might be delivered from our slavery to the devil.

He came down so we might rise up. He was tempted that we might learn to overcome temptation. He was despised so we could have honor. He died to save us from death. He ascended so we can be lifted up with Him into eternity.

Let us offer to Him ourselves as He gave Himself in exchange for us: as the price of our salvation. Truly it is a mystery. For He is the Good Shepherd who cares for His flock. As a Good Shepherd He hopes for us to follow His voice; He prays for us. And watches over us so that our relationship with Him does not falter.

May this Easter be the fulfillment of the magnificent hymn cited earlier and let us renew our relationship with our Lord who touches us and we touch Him, each time we proclaim that “Christ is risen! He is risen, indeed!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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