April 24, 2023

1955 Paschal Message of St. John Maximovitch

 “If anyone is pious and God-loving, let him enjoy this good and bright celebration.”

Now all is filled with light, heaven and earth and the underworld.

The resurrection of Christ is sung by angels in heaven. Praise the pure hearted people on earth. Today every creature rejoices and is glad, as Christ is risen.

Today Adam rejoices and Eve rejoices.

Now the apostles rejoice, having seen their Teacher resurrected.

The myrrhbearing women rejoice, having found alive Him Whom they considered dead.

All who love Christ rejoice in His rising from the dead.

All those who believe in Him rejoice, knowing that He and all of us by His Resurrection will receive eternal life.

The righteous who see Christ rejoice, enjoying the sight of the Divine Light.

The deceased sinners rejoice in repentance, freed from their bonds and led to the light by the descent of Christ into hades.

Those who have turned to Christ rejoice at the last hour of their lives, and are led by Christ into the heavenly dwellings with the prudent thief.

Let us rejoice with them on this day, the Lord created it, we will rejoice and be glad in it!

Today Christ illuminates the whole world with the rays of His Resurrection, shows the glory of His Eternal Kingdom, makes us feel the sweetness of heavenly food.

He calls on all who want to be with Him, does not reject anyone, gives His Divine gift to everyone.

As to His apostles, having appeared after the rising from the dead, He now proclaims “Peace be unto you”, sends down the peace of God, calming the revolt of our souls.

Like the myrrhbearing women, He changes sorrow for joy.

Like Luke and Cleopas, He reveals God's mysteries and makes Himself known to those who seek Him with a clear conscience.

The present day opens the veil of the coming age. That, inexpressible by any word, eternal joy that the righteous will enjoy in the Kingdom of Christ, that “eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man,” (1 Corinthians 2:9), that which God has prepared for those who love Him, the soul now partly partakes on the Luminous Night and the Bright Day of Pascha.

Let us tear ourselves away now from what sooner or later will disappear like smoke, and enjoy what will remain forever!

Leave now all the sorrows of life, all earthly sorrows, overcome illnesses! Wealthy and wretched, healthy and sick, wise and ignorant, free and those in bondage, elderly and infants, those living in cities and desert places in all parts of the world, all together now we will rejoice and be glad.

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

Christ is Risen!

Western European and East Asian flock, Pascha, 1955

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.

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