Christ is risen!
Le Christ est ressuscité!
Christus is opgestaan!
Christus ist auferstanden!
¡Cristo ha resucitado!
The Catechetical Sermon of St. John Chrysostom is read during Matins of Pascha.
If any man be devout and love God, let him enjoy this fair and radiant triumphal feast. If any man be a wise servant, let him rejoicing enter into the joy of his Lord. If any have labored long in fasting, let him now receive his recompense. If any have wrought from the first hour, let him today receive his just reward. If any have come at the third hour, let him with thankfulness keep the feast. If any have arrived at the sixth hour, let him have no misgivings; because he shall in nowise be deprived therefor. If any have delayed until the ninth hour, let him draw near, fearing nothing. If any have tarried even until the eleventh hour, let him, also, be not alarmed at his tardiness; for the Lord, who is jealous of his honor, will accept the last even as the first; he gives rest unto him who comes at the eleventh hour, even as unto him who has wrought from the first hour.
And he shows mercy upon the last, and cares for the first; and to the one he gives, and upon the other he bestows gifts. And he both accepts the deeds, and welcomes the intention, and honors the acts and praises the offering. Wherefore, enter you all into the joy of your Lord; and receive your reward, both the first, and likewise the second. You rich and poor together, hold high festival. You sober and you heedless, honor the day. Rejoice today, both you who have fasted and you who have disregarded the fast. The table is full-laden; feast ye all sumptuously. The calf is fatted; let no one go hungry away.
Enjoy ye all the feast of faith: Receive ye all the riches of loving-kindness. let no one bewail his poverty, for the universal kingdom has been revealed. Let no one weep for his iniquities, for pardon has shown forth from the grave. Let no one fear death, for the Savior’s death has set us free. He that was held prisoner of it has annihilated it. By descending into Hell, He made Hell captive. He embittered it when it tasted of His flesh. And Isaiah, foretelling this, did cry: Hell, said he, was embittered, when it encountered Thee in the lower regions. It was embittered, for it was abolished. It was embittered, for it was mocked. It was embittered, for it was slain. It was embittered, for it was overthrown. It was embittered, for it was fettered in chains. It took a body, and met God face to face. It took earth, and encountered Heaven. It took that which was seen, and fell upon the unseen.
O Death, where is your sting? O Hell, where is your victory? Christ is risen, and you are overthrown. Christ is risen, and the demons are fallen. Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice. Christ is risen, and life reigns. Christ is risen, and not one dead remains in the grave. For Christ, being risen from the dead, is become the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. To Him be glory and dominion unto ages of ages. Amen.
A very very Happy Easter to you and yours. I hope that your spouse is doing well and wish you all good times ahead, Happy Prayers and a lot of Chocolates…:)
Doesn’t really explain the bright resurrection though, does it? Let’s take a far-from-exhaustive look at a few things in the bible…
First, there’s this: Job, probably older than the books of Moses, records this strange statement of hope: ‘though my body is destroyed, yet in my flesh shall I see God.’
After God tells Moses that no mortal man can see him and live, Moses is exposed to the periphery of God’s being and is transformed so that his face becomes radiant. The Hebrew says he had horns on his head, an expression we’d translate as tongues, i.e. perhaps of fire or something similar in appearance. Eventually, this brightness faded, but due to its frightening appearance he wore a veil.
A strange story occurs later of some men in a rush to dispose of a body throwing it into the tomb of a holy man where, on contacting the bones, the deceased returns to life. The implication is that a power, faded as it had with Moses, somehow manifested through the remains of this man.
In the New Testament’s ‘Acts’, Stephen’s face becomes radiant ‘like an angel’s’. Similarly, Jesus on the mount of transfiguration is seen as bright, and in Revelation not merely as bright but radiant like the sun, like molten metal in a furnace. When his disciples earlier ask him to show them God, he says if they’ve seen him, they’ve seen God, albeit veiled in human form that his character might be known. In Revelation though, even the veil of his flesh is glorified for the ‘perishable shall put on the imperishable’ and ‘he will swallow up death forever’.
This is the bright force of life that raised him from the dead and the force that will one day transform all who are his for ‘when we see him, we shall be like him’ and ‘all who have this hope in him purify themselves as he is pure.’ He is ‘the firstborn from the dead’ and ‘those he foreknew he predestined to be conformed to the image of his son, the firstborn of many brothers and sisters.’ This brightness is the unvanquished life of God and though on earth it is seen and described as light, as bright, it is something eternal, potent beyond all created power.
Dear Saker and friends–I see this was originally posted some years ago, and now in 2018 it is more timely than ever. Today I downloaded several inspiring photos from the Iraqi Christian Human Rights Council “Twitter” site that showed one of the patriarchs leading Syriac Christians in celebrating their first mass at the Virgin Mary Syriac Orthodox Church in Deir Ezzor, Syria, after the area was liberated from terrorists. The church suffered terrible damage, and I wouldn’t be surprised if ultimately it will have to be demolished and rebuilt. One of the “tweets” from the Iraqi Christian HRC site stated this: “Similar to Bush and Iraq, Trump will be known as the president who destroyed Christianity in Syria.” If that truly is Mr. Trump’s intent, then I pray that the Righteous Lord will reward him according to his works. Meanwhile, the ancient message goes forth, out of the ruined church where the faithful believers have once again gathered: “If any man be devout and Love God, let him enjoy this fair and radiant triumphal feast…..” This is a miracle! These people are living in a post-Armageddon society, and their faith continues.
What is the meaning of all the keys and tools at the bottom of the icon?
A bet, same as in the movie Matrix. There is some walls to break and doors to open before you find the way.
So true!! Alleluia!!
Ask the Lord to help us peel our fingers off our carnal life a little at a time…yes we will be eccentric…our loved ones will wave at us from across the river…but it’s worth it. Peace & humility, Saker!!!
Blessed be God forever!