Javascript Menu by Deluxe-Menu.com

BY THE GRACE OF GOD
BISHOP OF EASTERN AMERICA
THE SERBIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH
 

Most beloved clergy and monastics,sons and daughters,
faithful children of the Diocese of Eastern America of our most holy Church,
from a paternal heart overflowing with Paschal joy,
We greet you on this most radiant and most joyous Feast,
The Feast of Feasts – the Resurrection of Christ from the dead,
with the all joyous and ancient Christian greeting:

CHRIST IS RISEN!

Lift up your eyes, O Zion, round about and see.
Your children like divinely shining stars assemble
from the North, the South, the East and the West
to bless Christ in you forevermore!
(Paschal Canon, Ode VIII.3)

Today, most beloved, Heaven has smiled upon the earth, as it basks in the warming, life-giving Paschal Sun, which imbues all of creation with life and life in abundance! Truly, lift up your eyes… round about and seehow nature emerges from its winter slumber as from a tomb – flowers blossom, leaves bud forth, birds chirp resoundingly, while children rejoice, sing and play – all as an iconic semblance of Christ bestowing life from the Tomb, even to those in the tomb! Today, life truly emerges from death, which has been conquered in Christ, our Paschal Lamb!

Indeed, in the timeless words of the Venerable Abba Justin the New, children and flowers will save us!For the fragrance of this newness of life fills all with joy, as we are restored in Christ. Life lives! Life reigns! Christ is risen and He seeks from us, our hearts and in us, our God-given goodness. Where is our willingness to emulate Him and to witness to His resurrection: here and everywhere, and under all circumstance – today, tomorrow and forever! For He is risen, indeed!

To behold Christ is to seek humility of heart, which is so powerful that even the all-conquering God did not conquer death without it. For only in those who are humble of heart, will the Victor of Life over Death be able to plant the very seed of salvation. Yet, the heart must never become a cold stone in which the Son of God is not invited to enter and permeate with the light of Resurrection. As David, the great Psalmist of Old, would have it, a humble and contrite heart, God will not despise. For it pleases Him to prosper Zion(cf. Ps. 50:17-18), our New Jerusalem!

Today is, here and now, the realization of our salvation, for Christ is risen! Zion has become the Zion of our hearts, and the New Jerusalem, is the promise, seal and stamp of our salvation, which continues to burst forth in our lives as the Holy Fire from the Sepulcher of Jerusalem. Therefore, be it from the North, the South, the East, and the West, grow where you are planted cry out the Holy Fathers of the Desert! Thus will we be blessed, summoned as innocent children before Christ, to whom belong the Kingdom of Heaven (cf. Matt.19:14). And in so doing, Christ will be blessed in our hearts, as in Zion, forevermore!

In light of the same, it is our sacred task, precisely here and now, standing before the Risen Lord and His Mother, to whom we sing today in the words of the Angel, who cried out to her, Rejoice, again I say, rejoice,to protect all children, throughout the world, born or unborn, equally and without exception. We must ever be mindful of the love of the Son, made manifest in His transfiguring words from the tomb to His Mother: Do not lament me, Mother, seeing me in the tomb… For I shall arise, and be glorified with eternal glory as God. I shall exalt all who magnify you in faith and love(Matins of Holy Saturday, Irmos 9).

May this Feast of Feasts, our unending source of inspiration, most beloved, be a trueencounter of children, springand the Risen Christ, as we harmoniously chant,lift up your eyes, O Zion, round about and see your children like divinely shining stars. This is our Paschal appeal, prayer and hope, as we greet you paternally and ever joyfully, with the triumphant words and ceaseless Paschal exclamation:

CHRIST IS RISEN!
INDEEDHE IS RISEN!

Given in New York, at Pascha in the year 2019. 

 

YOUR FERVENT INTERCESSOR BEFORE THE RISEN CHRIST,

+IRINEJ 

BISHOP OF EASTERN AMERICA
THE SERBIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH

Share This:






  Powered by Orthodox Web Solutions

Home | Back | Print | Side