Feast of Pascha

Archbishop Seraphim : Homily
Universal Proclamation of the Lord’s Resurrection
Feast of Pascha
4 April, 2010
Acts 1:1-8 ; John 1:1-17


In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Christ is risen.

Jesus Christ is risen from the dead. The Word of God has been victorious. The Gospel of the Saviour is intended to be preached throughout the whole world. This good news of Life shining forth from the grave is to be proclaimed to the whole universe. The Paschal custom in the Orthodox world is to do even more of what we just did – to proclaim the Holy Gospel in several languages. When it is possible, one can hear this Holy Gospel repeated at this very time in ten or more languages, depending on the people available, and the texts available. In some churches, there are whole books of transliterations so that the Gospel can be proclaimed in who knows how many languages, even if the proclaimers do not know exactly what they are saying. This is perhaps a different sort of Pentecostal experience.

Just as the Apostle Luke was saying to us tonight in the Acts of the Apostles, the point is that the Gospel is to be proclaimed throughout the whole world. This reading of the Gospel in many languages is a testimony to that. Not only the reading of the Gospel in these many languages (which sadly did not include Georgian tonight, or many other of the languages that we speak in this community), but this community, itself, is a living witness to the fact that the Gospel has indeed been being preached to all the nations because of the multiple nations represented here in this parish family.

The Lord in His mercy is reaching out to us all in His victorious love. He is drawing us all to Himself, offering us His Life, which is shining from the empty tomb today. Here we are, standing with the Myrrh-bearing Women at the empty tomb early in the morning. We, too, are overcome with joy and amazement. Whatever we do in our lives following this experience, it is important that from this moment we progress, that we step forward into the coming year, and remain constantly confident that our Saviour, Jesus Christ, loves us. He is here for us. He is with us. He is enabling you and me, in Him, to be victorious over sin, over death and over darkness, just as He is. In Him, we are participants in His Resurrection, His Life, His Light and His Love. That is why we are here in the middle of the night. We are responding to the love that pours forth from Him.

Let us take hold of this love, embrace this love, and refresh our commitment to our Saviour tonight. In the days, weeks and months of this coming year, let us ask Him to give us the Grace and the mercy to be faithful to Him. May we be faithful witnesses of His love so that not only we may be enabled to live in life and love, with power, joy and perpetual hope, but also that we may be enabled to share it simultaneously with all those around us. May you all have the Grace of the Holy Spirit poured out upon you so that, like Saint Seraphim of Sarov, you may be able to proclaim every day : “Christ is risen”.