May 2, 2023

1966 Paschal Message of St. John Maximovitch

 Christ is Risen!

“Even though You descended into the grave, O Immortal One, You destroyed the power of Hades.”

“I will go down to hades mourning for my son” (Gen. 37:35), the forefather Jacob said when he heard about the imaginary death, as if Joseph had died, though in reality he was sold by his brothers. Although Jacob was righteous and received many favors from God, constantly feeling the Hand of the Lord guarding him, he did not expect anything else in the future except hades. Deep was the fall of the forefathers in paradise, and with them all their offspring. Although many tried to live pleasing to God, they only outwardly fulfilled the law of God - it did not penetrate into their hearts and souls - they remained far from God in their spirit. Therefore, at that time there was no paradise for the descendants of Adam, they could not feel the radiance of the glory of God on themselves, their souls could not stay with the angels. Out of communion with God were all the souls of the dead, remaining in darkness and vexation of the spirit.

To save people from eternal death and reunite the human race with Himself, the Son of God came to earth. Having united in Himself Divinity and humanity, He attracted people to Himself, preaching to them and teaching them to perfectly understand and do the will of God. But although many followed Him and listened with delight to His words, inwardly they remained alien to Him in spirit. Even His closest disciples, the apostles, at the Secret Supper clearly showed with their questions and answers that they did not understand either who He is or His teachings. Only when Christ endured terrible torment, rejected by almost everyone, died on the cross and descended into hades with His soul, did the weary souls of the Old Testament forefathers and the rest, together with them, awaiting the Redeemer, recognize in Him the Son of God. Hades ceased to exist for them, having been filled with Divine Light, and together with Christ they entered the Kingdom of Heaven.

And in the Risen Christ, Heaven has now opened for the entire human race, for all who have believed in Christ with the apostolic faith and, following them and the Myrrhbearing women, have spiritually followed Christ. No earthly calamities are terrible for them, for even if they suffer for Christ, they will rejoice forever in His Kingdom. Now death is not terrible for those who believe in Christ; they don't go to hades with sorrow, but with joy their souls will enter into paradise. Hades has been trampled, death has been conquered, earthly sorrows are short-lived. The eternal enemy of God, the devil, has been smitten, and with his convulsions he tries in vain to harm people.

Rejoice, all living! Rejoice, those who die in Christ! Rejoice, those who are sick and mourning! Rejoice, those suffering for Christ! Rejoice, you who live in contentment, not about your earthly well-being, but about the fact that Christ has given us the eternal Kingdom. Let us believe in Him, serve Him and glorify Him in this life and the next!

Christ is risen and the demons are fallen, Christ is risen and the angels rejoice!

Let us also rejoice, forgetting everything that divides us, and exclaim with one voice:

Christ is Risen!

Pascha 1966

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.

Become a Patreon or Paypal Supporter:

Recurring Gifts

Contact Form


Email *

Message *