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2010 Patriarchal Proclamation for Pascha (Constantinople)

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    http://www.patriarchate.org/documents/2010pascha 2010 Patriarchal Proclamation for Pascha B A R T H O L O M E W By the Grace of God, Archbishop of
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 1 12:51 PM

      2010 Patriarchal Proclamation for Pascha

      B A R T H O L O M E W
      By the Grace of God,
      Archbishop of Constantinople-New Rome
      and Ecumenical Patriarch,
      To all the Faithful of the Church:
      Grace, mercy, and peace from Christ the Savior Risen in Glory

      * * *

      Beloved brothers and sisters, dear children in the Lord,

      Christ is Risen!

      Once again, the sacred day of Pascha has dawned
      in full delight and splendor, dispersing joy,
      comfort, gladness and assurance of life to all
      faithful, despite the heavy atmosphere that
      prevails in our world on account of the
      multidimensional crisis with all its familiar
      painful consequences for our daily life.

      Christ has risen from the tomb as divinely human;
      and humanity has risen with Him! The tyranny of
      death belongs to the past. The hopelessness of
      hades’ captivity has irrevocably gone. The only
      powerful Giver of life, having through His
      Incarnation voluntarily assumed all of the
      misfortune of our nature and all that it entails,
      namely death, has already “brought death to hades
      by the lightning of divinity,”[1] granting us
      life – and “life in abundance.” (John 10.10)

      This abundance of life, which was granted to us
      by the Risen Lord, is ceaselessly slandered and
      assaulted by the devil – indeed, these actions
      are the source of his very name – although he is
      now weakened, completely powerless, and entirely
      ridiculous. The devil slanders Life by means of
      the hubris that still prevails in the world
      against God, humanity and the creation. The devil
      assaults Life by means of the sinful tendency
      that exists within us like “old rust,” using this
      to entrap us either into tangible sin or
      delusional belief. Hubris is the offspring of
      that “rust”, while both comprise the sinister
      couple responsible for disrupting relationships
      within ourselves, with others, as well as with
      God and the whole creation. Accordingly, it is
      imperative that we purify ourselves of this rust
      with great attentiveness and carefulness in order
      that the profuse life-giving light of the Risen
      Christ may shine in our mind, soul and body, so
      that it may in turn dispel the darkness of hubris
      and pour the “abundance” of life to all the world.

      This cannot be achieved by philosophy, science,
      technology, art, or any ideology; it can only be
      achieved through faith in what God has
      condescended for us human beings through His
      Passion, Crucifixion and Burial, descending to
      the depths of hades and rising from the dead as
      the divine-human Jesus Christ. It is also
      expressed in the sacramental life of the Church
      as well as through laborious and systematic
      spiritual struggle. The Church, as the Body of
      Christ, unceasingly and to the ages experiences
      the miracle of the Resurrection; through its
      sacred Mysteries, its Theology and its practical
      teachings, it offers us the possibility of
      participating in that miracle, of sharing in the
      victory over death, of becoming children shaped
      by the light of the Resurrection and truly
      “partakers of divine nature.” (2 Peter 1.4), just
      as in the life of every Saint in the past and
      present. The thorny weeds of passions growing
      within the depths of our heart, polluted by the
      rust of “the old self” (Eph. 4.22) must
      definitely be transformed as soon as possible in
      Christ, through Christ and for the sake of Christ
      and His living images that surround us – namely,
      our fellow human beings – into a bouquet of
      virtues, holiness, and righteousness. Hence, the
      sacred hymnographer chants in timely manner: “Let
      us put on the robe of righteousness, which is
      whiter than snow, and let us rejoice today in the
      day of the Pascha; for Christ, the sun of
      righteousness that rises from the dead, has
      showered upon us the light of incorruption.”[2]
      The white garment of righteousness was given to
      us symbolically on the day of our Baptism; and we
      are invited to cleanse it continually through
      constant repentance, control of desires, patience
      in life’s pain, and relentless effort to fulfill
      the commandments of God, and especially the
      supreme commandment of love. In this way, we are
      able to participate in the cross-bearing
      self-emptying of Christ, in order that the
      Paschal gladness, radiant light, and joyful
      salvation may enter our life and world.

      We address this from the Phanar, where we
      experience the suffering of Holy Friday and the
      light of the Resurrection, as we express to you
      the affection of the Mother Church,
      wholeheartedly wishing for all the saving gift
      and Paschal blessing of the Lord of Life, who rose from the dead.

      Holy Pascha 2010
      Fervent supplicant for all before the Lord
      + Bartholomew of Constantinople
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