Easter Greeting from Bishop Longin
We celebrate the death of death, the destruction of hell, the beginning of eternal life. And leaping for joy, we celebrate the Cause, the only blessed and most glorious God of our fathers. (Paschal Canon, Ode VII)
Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!
What powerful words we hear from the Paschal Matins, dear brothers and sisters! Again, our hope and faith are confirmed in that we are assured that death has been annihilated, hell has been overturned, and life eternal has been granted to us. Although the bodily death still remains after Christ’s Resurrection, the spiritual death is no more due to Christ’s victory over the devil’s reign, and the body will rise again. These are not empty words of old that do not apply to today, but rather are a reassurance of God’s Divine love and the forgiveness He has granted man. When we understand and believe with our heart that there is no death, even in physical death, then we look at life and all that it brings us in the light of Christ’s Resurrection.
This is now even more the case in light of the events of the last year. The world has completely changed, led by fear—in some cases productive, while in others debilitating. We lost our Patriarch and other leading hierarchs of our Church, some clergy and faithful. We mourn their loss and ask our Lord to grant them eternal rest where the Saints abide. But this, of course, is much more understandable to us when we believe in the Lord’s eternal mercy and love for mankind. We know that those He has taken left according to His will and for their salvation. It also affirms that we are in so little control of what happens to us—whether we prosper or suffer, remain healthy or become ill, live or die. All things are
in the almighty hands of God. And, when we understand that everything is according to His will, then our fear is taken away. Of course, we do our best to protect others, but at the same time, we live our life with faith in Christ’s omnipotence and good will towards our salvation. Let us not live in fear, but in hope of God’s good will towards all of us.
May the Conqueror of death, Christ our true God, bless and protect all of us with true faith, hope and love, protecting us from all evil and guiding us on the path to eternal Resurrection.
As we celebrate the Lord’s Resurrection, we thank all of our faithful who have continued to support our Holy Church during these uncertain times. Your love, dedication and contributions have carried many of the burdens of the Church over the last year, and we trust that God will reward you for your efforts.
Truly Christ is Risen!
In the Resurrected Christ,
Bishop LONGIN of New Gracanica and Midwestern America