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Δευτέρα, 13 Απριλίου 2015

Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!

                               
The Resurrection of Jesus Christ, by Theophanes the Cretan,16th century (OrthodoxWiki)

“Is there anyone who is a devout lover of God? Let him enjoy this beautiful bright festival! Is there anyone who is a grateful servant? Let her rejoice and enter into the joy of her Lord! Are there any weary with fasting? Let them now receive their wages! If any have toiled from the first hour, let them receive their due reward. If any have come after the third hour, let them with gratitude join in the Feast! And he that arrived after the sixth hour, let him not doubt; for he too shall sustain no loss. And if any delayed until the ninth hour, let him not hesitate; but let him come, too. And she who arrived only at the eleventh hour, let her not be afraid by reason of her delay.

For, the Lord is gracious and receives the last even as the first. He gives rest to the one that comes at the eleventh hour, as well as to the one that toiled from the first. To this one He gives, and upon another He bestows. He accepts the works as He greets the endeavor. The deed He honors and the intention He commends. Let us all enter into the joy of the Lord! First and last alike, receive your reward. Rich and poor, rejoice together! Sober and slothful, celebrate the day!

You that have kept the fast, and you that have not, rejoice today, for the Table is richly laden! Feast royally on it: the calf is a fatted one. Let no one go away hungry. Partake, all, of the cup of faith. Enjoy, all, the riches of His goodness! Let no one grieve at his poverty, for the universal kingdom has been revealed. Let no one mourn that she has fallen again and again, for forgiveness has risen from the grave. Let no one fear death, for the death of our Savior has set us free. He has destroyed it by enduring it.

He destroyed the abode of the dead when He descended into it. He put it into an uproar even as it tasted of His flesh. Isaiah foretold this when he said, ‘Hades was in an uproar when it encountered you below.’ The abode of the dead was in an uproar because it was done away with. It was in an uproar because it is mocked. It was in an uproar, for it is destroyed. It is in an uproar, for it is annihilated. It is in an uproar, for it is now made captive. It took a body, and discovered God. It took earth, and encountered Heaven. It took what it saw, and was overcome by what it did not see.

Death, where is thy sting? Hades, where is thy victory?
Christ is Risen, and you, death, are annihilated!
Christ is Risen, and the evil ones are cast down!
Christ is Risen, and the angels rejoice!
Christ is Risen, and life is liberated!
Christ is Risen, and the tomb is emptied of its dead; for Christ,
having risen from the dead, is become the first-fruits of those who
have fallen asleep.
To Him be Glory and Power forever and ever. Amen!”

With these words—the Paschal sermon of our Father among the Saints John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople—my beloved brothers and sisters, I greet you with the resounding message of the Resurrection—Χριστὸς Ἀνέστη—Christ is risen!

On behalf of His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos, Father Niko Bekris, the Parish Council and the Philoptochos, the Choirs and the Youth, Community Link, Soup Kitchen, OIKOS, and all our other parish ministries, I wish you a most blessed and joyous Pascha and remain,
Faithfully,
Rev. Stephen H. Kyriacou
Dean

April 2015

source : Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral, San Francisco

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