St. Nectarios Monthly Message
Message from Father John:
Rejoice and be Glad! Christ is Risen!
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
We celebrate the greatest event of history on Easter. Through His death on the Cross, Jesus Christ, our Lord, defeated our archenemy, death. On Easter Day, He rose from the dead and secured our own resurrection from the dead at the appropriate time. For this reason, we rejoice and are glad when we sing, “Christ is risen from the dead, by death trampling upon death, and to those in the tombs He granted life.”
We vicariously participate in the death and resurrection of Christ during Holy Week and Easter. Each one of us strives to discipline our body to become a willing instrument of the spirit. Now body and soul willingly participate together in the glorious message and eternal hope of the resurrection.
A true story has reached us from the years of persecution and suffering under communism. A young communist had gathered many Russian people in a large hall to lecture them that religion was dead and that communism should be their Philosophy and guide for their life.
After he had finished his propaganda speech, he thought he had convinced his audience, and with an air of superiority challenged anyone to disagree with him. A middle-aged man approached the podium and asked permission to speak. Instead of making a statement, he looked his fellow Russians in the eyes and started singing in his deep Russian voice, “Christos Voskrese,” “Christ is Risen from the dead!”
Timidly in the beginning, but getting progressively stronger, the other Russians joined him in singing. The hall was filled with the triumphant melodies of Resurrection, as they loudly answered the young communist’s statements against their Orthodox Faith. Christ is indeed Risen, and He lives, regardless of what the atheists and doubters of all ages say. Christ’s Resurrection is a fact of history and trustworthy witnesses have bore witness to this life-giving fact and signed it with their own blood.
Christ’s Resurrection will always be the center of our Faith and will occupy the throne of our hearts and souls. When Easter approaches we throng to our Church, to hear afresh the message of Resurrection and experience the joy and power of Christ’s victory over death for us. Ultimately our own eternal destiny depends upon His victory over death.
An orphan boy, named Panagiotis, understood well this message. After the midnight Resurrection Service in his Cypriot village, Panagiotis went to the tomb of his slain father to light his vigil light with his Paschal candle. As he was lighting his father’s candili, Votive light, Panagiotis proclaimed loudly, “Christos Anesti, Baba, Christ is Risen, Daddy!”
Christ is Risen! These three words summarize our victorious Faith and certain belief in life everlasting. We made them into a Creed that we recite every Sunday: “I look forward to the Resurrection of the dead and life everlasting.”
St. John Chrysostom, repeating the words of Saint Paul, wrote, “O death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory? Thanks be to God Who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!”
We celebrate Christ’s victory on Easter--and in anticipation our own victory, and thus, we will always joyfully sing, “Christ is Risen, Christos Anesti, Christos a Imviat, Hristos Voskrese, Maseeha Ahm, Christi U Njgall, Hristos Tenasaah.”
Indeed Christ is Risen! Brothers and Sisters in Christ.
With love, Fr. John. P. Angelis,
P.S. Thank you for your support throughout the year. Your Easter Gift will help our small mission Parish to meet its financial needs. God bless you abundantly for your generosity.
Finding of the Relics of Cyrus and John the Unmercenaries; Pappias the Martyr; Righteous Fathers Sergius and Herman, Founders of Valaam Monastery; Synaxis of the Icon of our Most Holy Lady the Theotokos ; Paul the Physician of Corinth; Sergios the Magister
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