“Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut…Jesus came and stood in the midst [of the disciples], and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’ ‘As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.’” – Gospel of John 20:19 & 21
FATHER PETER’S PASCHAL MESSAGE
Christ is risen! Truly, He is risen!
ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΑΝΕΣΤΗ! ΑΛΗΘΩΣ ΑΝΕΣΤΗ!
The mystery of the Resurrection is as remarkable as it is unfathomable. How can we comprehend God taking on flesh, which includes all the limitations surrounding our human nature, in order to defeat death once and for all? As a result of this victory, the power of His divinity shines forth reminding us of His tender love and great mercy. No day holds the message of His arising with greater significance than this day – Holy Pascha.
By examining the theological doctrine of Christ’s Resurrection, which is the very foundation of the Christian faith, one will discover that it is at the center of the human experience. Every interaction, every moment in life, every connection and dealing with another individual is intrinsically linked to God. To highlight this, our Saviour delivers a significant directive that creates a profound anthropological implication. As specified in the Gospel of John, Jesus tasks His disciples of spreading the Gospel of Righteousness. Likewise, by extension, we too are to share in this sacred mission of spreading His Gospel by witnessing to His wonders in our lives.
The Church’s anthropology [how it understands the human composite as being a mixture and blend of the material body and immaterial soul] is formulated and set by the Lord’s words; “As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.”
During the Paschal celebration, we must remember these words as being spoken to us personally. These words can challenge us and embolden and strengthen us for the sacred task of preaching the Gospel.
We cannot be parochial when it comes to Christ and His message of salvation. We are to introduce the Lord and speak of Him daily with all whom we come in contact. Let us, as St. Peter says, “sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.” – 1 Peter 3:15
On the glorious day of Pascha, God’s power and majesty are fully displayed. His forces alone are sufficient enough to encourage and move us into action. Let us, therefore, declare His wonders to the world.
If we are spiritually attentive to the Paschal celebration, Christian anthropology teaches, without a shred of doubt, that Christ will cause an awakening in how we regard the intersecting of Christianity and humanity. Year after year, during this the Feast of Feasts and the Festival of Festivals, the Church asks us to integrate all things into the Risen Lord. By doing so, we will sweep aside the primitive and insular views of a modern society that disassociates the Divine and human conjoining.
Finally, and most especially in the celebration of Pascha, we understand that Christ has eternally linked Himself to us [the icon of the Resurrection depicts this with a simple touch; Christ holding the hands of Adam and Eve.) Through this Divine action and sacrifice upon the Cross, man has been forever united to God. So my dear brothers and sisters, let us now bask in the glory of Christ’s Resurrection, for our Saviour, having destroyed the death and Hades alike, now reaches out to tenderly touch us as He did our first-born parents bringing us to eternal life.
With this we are given grace to take up the noble task of proclaiming the Gospel that the Crucified Christ has risen to the glory of God the Father, Amen.
Wishing all a blessed Pascha, I remain yours in Christ,