Metropolitan Moses - 2006 PASCHAL ENCYCLICAL
- Protocol 112STHE HOLY ORTHODOX METROPOLIS OF SEATTLEHis Eminence, Metropolitan Moses of Seattle
2006 PASCHAL ENCYCLICALofHis Eminence, Metropolitan Moses of SeattleWe celebrate the death of death, the destruction of Hades, the beginning of an everlasting life. And with leaps of joy we praise the Cause thereof, the only blest and most glorious God of our Fathers.
Seventh Ode, Canon of Pascha
Beloved Brethren and Children in Christ,
Christ is risen! Truly He is risen!
We hear those sweet and consoling words once more. One cannot help but think of the first time this report was heard amongst the Apostles and disciples that the Lord Jesus is risen and understand how they believed not for joy (Luke 24:41) at the glad tidings.
Our hearts leap with joy on this day wherein we celebrate the mind staggering truth that the Lord Jesus is risen, and He is the God of our Fathers Who hath appeared unto us in the flesh. Even the disciples and Apostles were overwhelmed at this realization as Saint Matthew records, when they saw Him, they worshipped Him: but some did hesitate. (Matt 28: 17)
This is the doctrine that scandalized the Jews and the Greeks thought foolishness, i.e., how could God become the Son of Man for us and not only that, be crucified and buried and then arise? All things are possible with God and the doctrine of Christianity is an abyss because it concerns the abyss of our incomprehensible Gods love for us.
In the midst of sorrow, joy has dawned forth from the tomb. No longer is there cause for mourning, for the true and everlasting Light has dawned forth from the tomb, our passage through this life is now enlightened with the light of Christ and the hope of the general resurrection. Now are all things filled with light; Heaven and earth, and the nethermost regions of the earth. Let all creation, therefore, celebrate the arising of Christ, whereby it is established (Third Ode, Canon of Pascha).
In the midst of death, the Source of Life and renewal arose from the tomb. Our Savior said, I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. (John 11:25) We celebrate the ultimate victory and our Christ calls us to be changed through the renewal of our mind from the death of sin to life in Him. All that are joined to Christ become a royal priesthood, holy nation, a peculiar people.
In the midst of confusion the Light of Truth dawns from the tomb, for those that have eyes to see. As it is written, In Him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. (John 1:4-5) The present age is filled with darkness and shadow as predicted in the scriptures, and the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind (Revelation 6:13). The stars, that is, the ancient sees of Orthodoxy no longer reflect the light of Christ and now teach strange doctrines, i.e., that one can be saved without Christ and apart from the Church. These new teachings that are peculiar to our era completely contradict the mind of the Church and the explanation of Saint Gregory the Theologian, That is saved which is united to God. (Epistle 101 to Cledonius) It is through union with the New Adam that we are healed.
During this feast of the resurrection, we must remember that for us to partake of the grace of the resurrection, wisdom is required: And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall arise: some to everlasting life and some to reproach and everlasting shame. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and out of the multitude the righteous shall shine like stars unto the ages and beyond. (Dan. 12:2-3)
Let us rejoice in this feast of feasts and festival of festivals. Our Savior came that we might be made new. The Great High Priest, the King of Glory has offered the Supreme Sacrifice and made all things new. The ineffable love of God has been made manifest. This report of the beginning of an everlasting life has changed all things, as our Savior Himself said, behold I make all things new. (Rev 21:5)
May we all be renewed in our risen Christ.
Christ is risen!
Your fervent suppliant unto the Lord
+Metropolitan MosesIn Christ,+Fr. Panagiotes
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