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Homily for 4/27/08 - Pascha

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  • Fr David Moser
    Christ is Risen! In lieu of my own homily on Pascha, I offer the Paschal message of our Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America. I also heartily
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 29 7:38 AM
      Christ is Risen!

      In lieu of my own homily on Pascha, I offer the Paschal message of our
      Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America. I also heartily
      recommend reading and re-reading the Paschal Homily of St John
      Chrysostom which is read every year at the Paschal Matins.

      ArchPr David Moser

      Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen!

      «The slaying of Death we do celebrate!» exults the Holy Church. Our
      Saviour's death was followed by persecutions against His flock, at times
      flaring up, at times dying down. Not a single Orthodox nation has been
      spared these persecutions: together with Christ, a multitude of holy
      martyrs, through the unutterable Grace and Will of God, experienced this
      truimph over Death, through death. And in our own Russian land, as each
      of us knows, in the generations of our fathers and forefathers, a great
      number of martyrs was revealed, dying for just one thing: for this, our
      Holy Pascha, which holds all the meaning of our faith: for the right to
      celebrate it; for the conviction, that only and exclusively in the
      summons to Orthodoxy does the entire spiritual person find purpose and
      fulfillment; that this Orthodoxy expresses most fully, most suitably our
      shared obedience as a people to Christ our God, and to His commandments.

      The victory of our martyrs who shed their blood for Christ in the 20th
      century is self-evident: in the places of martyrdom, we hear today these
      selfsame prayers rise up to God, that we ourselves preserved in foreign
      lands. Before our very eyes, Russia becomes, through penance and the
      Sacraments, re-sanctified by God: this Russia that has suffered much,
      this Russia that we remember having turned away from God – even if,
      through the Will and Mercy of God, some of the strongest of her faithful
      did manage, in defiance of fierce persecution, in the face of real
      danger, to preserve a remarkably great amount of our common holy
      Orthodox heritage.

      Glory be to God! For what we see is a compelling, deeply moving miracle
      that has come to pass in our own times, and we, unworthy though we may
      be, have been granted by God the joy of witnessing such extraordinary
      events! Death has been slain: not only the death of the body, but the
      spiritual death of human souls, which, as our Lord said, is infinitely
      worse. And so, brothers and sisters, we reach this first Pascha of our
      newly reunified Russian Orthodox Church, as our own Metropolitan Laurus,
      who has reposed in God, shares it with us, invisibly, in the Kingdom of
      Heaven. The last day of Vladyka Lavr's earthly life coincided with the
      day the Church marks the finding of the Sovereign Mother of God ikon;
      his righteous end came on the morning of the Sunday of Orthodoxy
      Triumphant... Thus, on this Pascha, we mark the closing of a grievous
      cycle whose start was signalled by the forced abdication of God's
      Anointed, the martyred Orthodox Emperor Nicholas II. It was a cycle of
      persecution and fragmentation, as well as severe spiritual testing, for
      all the Orthodox world, not just for its Russian part. And the 40th day
      after Vladyka Lavr's repose fell on Holy Thursday, when the Church
      remembers our Lord's establishment of the Sacrament of the Eucharist,
      and reads these, His words, with loving awe: «Neither pray I for these
      alone, but for them also which shall believe in Me because of their
      words, that they all may be one: as Thou, Father, are in Me, and I in
      Thee, that they also may be One in Us... And the glory which Thou gavest
      me, I give them, that they may be One, even as We are One: I in them,
      and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in One» (John 17: 20-26).
      Together with His Holiness Patriarch Alexei, Vladyka Lavr fully grasped
      the depths of this commandment of Christ concerning the Unity of the
      Church; together they took this great principle of Orthodoxy, the
      Sacramental Mystery of Unity, as a cornerstone to be put back in its
      proper place; the heroic spiritual feat was undertaken and successfully
      brought about, thereby triumphing over the superficial, not Christ-like,
      biases of certain weak souls. Thus, having faithfully met the
      obligations of his chief monastic vow of perfect obedience to Christ –
      an obligation which, we must remember, applies not only to monastics,
      but to all true Christians – Vladyka Lavr, the Peacemaker, was made
      worthy of the death of a righteous saint, as God has seen fit to reveal
      in these extraordinary convergences. May his memory be eternal! «I shall
      create a Church of My Own and the gates of hell shall be powerless
      against Her!» The Lord so promised, and it has been fulfilled. Wondrous
      are Thy works, O Lord, for by Thy Wisdom didst Thou create all! Let us
      rejoice, therefore, brothers and sisters, together with all our Orthodox
      family, with those who know kinship to us in Faith and Spirit, both in
      the world and in God's Kingdom! «The slaying of Death we do celebrate:
      and the start of a new, a different life: eternal!» «This is the Day the
      Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it!» Amen.

      † Archbishop KYRILL

      Pascha 2008 A.D.

      Archpriest David Moser
      St Seraphim of Sarov Orthodox Church (ROCOR)
      Homilies: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/propoved/
      Website: http://stseraphimboise.org
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