ЛЕСТВИЦА

РАДОСТТА ОТ ВЯРАТА

РАДОСТТА ОТ ВЯРАТА

Ставр. ик. Димитър ЙОРДАНОВ
ВЪЗКРЕСЕНИЕ И ЖИВОТ

ВЪЗКРЕСЕНИЕ И ЖИВОТ

Проф. к.б. Тотю КОЕВ
ЗА ВЪЗКРЕСЕНИЕТО

ЗА ВЪЗКРЕСЕНИЕТО

Св. Йоан Дамаскин
 

ГАЛЕРИЯ ИКОНИ

Икона
 

PATRIARCHAL AND SYNODICAL PASCHAL EPISTLE

15 април 2017 15:00, Българска Патриаршия
PATRIARCHAL AND SYNODICAL PASCHAL EPISTLE

PATRIARCHAL AND SYNODICAL PASCHAL EPISTLE

Having beheld the Resurrection of Christ,

Let us worship the Holy Lord Jesus,

The only sinless one.

Beloved in the Lord Children of our Holy Church,

Unto this most luminous day of the triumph of our faith as well as of the fulfilment of our hope and ineffable joy thanks to the all-powerful love of God we are turning again to all of you with the Paschal greeting:

Christ is Risen!

Together with the whole Church of God, we are feeling triumphant and co-rejoicing in Christ`s triumph over death and we are calling upon you the fullness of joy turning you towards good deeds of mercies and sacrificial love as well as towards being zealous for that same love God Himself granted to us, since for the sake of our salvation He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life (cf.John 3:16).

This unlimited, all-merciful and all-conquering divine love involved into the creation of the world is the love which has been revealed to us by the Son of God Himself Who, following obediently the will of the Father, made Himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men (cf. Phil. 2:7), and humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross (cf. Phil.2:8). Yet, this is exactly the reason wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (cf. Phil.2:9-11).

Millennia afterwards, we bow down time and time again, confessing neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved (cf. Acts 4:12). We stand fast in the faith, endeavoring every day of our life to imitate His mercy and self-sacrificial love for mankind that He has bequeathed, telling us: By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another (cf. John 13:35).

This ultimate love He revealed to us on the Cross and this very love He expects we would give, too, and it is this same love that we would be examined for mostly on the Day of Judgement, as it holds the whole mystery of our theosis. Beloved, the Divine Evangelist wrote at the dawn of Christendom, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God (cf.1John 4:7). Furthermore, the Apostle added up that he that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love (cf.1John 4:8). And even though I have all knowledge, as St. ap. Paul put it, and have not charity, I am nothing, and it profiteth me nothing (cf. 1Cor. 13:2-3).

This very love is the momentum not only of the holy will of God revealed to us, but it should be the impelling strength, too, to all of us who endeavor to imitate the Lord and who aim to be transformed into the likeness of God. So that it would be the core and essence along our path of following the steps of the Lord in our everyday advance, together with Him, towards the Crucifixion and the Resurrection as well as towards the growing in the likeness of the One Who, in His sonship obedience to the will of the Father, went through every humiliation and suffering, even to the scornful death on the cross, yet bringing to full success His Theanthropos mission, bestowing Salvation upon us.

Fighting against the principalities of evil, His armour was not His Divine authority and ultimate power, but His Divine humbleness and His all-conquering love. This humbleness as well as this love are now our armour, too, for our fight is not against flesh and blood, but … against spiritual wickedness in high places (cf. Eph. 6:12). This is the fight which brings us every day against the sin of our own in order to prove that we are worthy of getting the salvation granted to us by the Lord, yet being not alone in this wrestle, for we always have close to us the One Who first defeated, through His triumphant Resurrection, the ever old enemy of humankind, ascending into heaven on the third day after death and thus setting forth our salvation.

Dear brothers and sisters,

Being disciples and followers of Christ, we are called upon, for we are Christ-famed generation, to be co-workers in this Divine triumph every day of our Christian life, keeping always in mind the Lord Who resurrected from the dead and endeavoring, in tune with our own personal power to follow Him by word and by action in every possible way, as He is the warrant for our own salvation too. Without having this Resurrection of His, the Lord would have been just one of the numerous masters known in the millennia-old history of humankind. He would have been just one among all those men who have invested their wisdom within the treasury of human culture. Christ however is the Son of God and He is our Lord. He is the way, the truth, and the life (cf. John 14:6); He is our everlasting Teacher, Master and Heavenly Sovereign Who, by His absolute triumph over death, hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us (cf. Eph. 2:14) and Who with His loving heart keeps looking forward to every one of us to reach the heavenly homeland granted to us by God and calling upon us to come to know the genuine liberty in the Spirit of the Lord (cf. John 8:32; 2Cor.3:17) as well as the love we have been revealed by the Crucifixion. It is in this love that the body of Christ maketh increase unto the edifying of itself (cf. Eph. 4:16), the love being described by the Apostle as the bond of perfectness (cf. Col.3:14); it is in this love the new commandment I give unto you (cf. John 13:34) and it is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us (cf. Rom.5:5) with the establishment of the Church of Christ. And the Lord Himself is the first One Who attested to this kind of love, the whole creation worshipping the glorious triumph of His. Only this very triumph makes our own life worth living, as it grants us absolution from every sin and transgression against the holy will of God. We are again reminded of all that by the most luminous and great feast of today, i. e. the day of our unfailing faith as well as of our bright hope and ultimately unblemished joy.

On the occasion of the most glorious Resurrection of Christ, we are greeting all faithful children of our holy Orthodox Church: those who are living within our Motherland as well as all those who are living abroad; we are extending our most cordial wishes to all of you for enjoying the bright light of Pascha, so that the triumph of God would be always luminous in our hearts!

To all of us Grace and Peace from Christ Who has risen from the dead as well as communion of the Holy Spirit! Amen!

CHRIST IS RISEN!

HEAD OF THE HOLY SYNOD

† NEOPHYTE

PATRIARCH OF BULGARIA

METROPOLITAN OF SOFIA

MEMBERS OF THE HOLY SYNOD:

† METROPOLITAN IOANIKY OF SLIVEN

† METROPOLITAN DOMETIAN OF VIDIN

† METROPOLITAN JOSEPH OF USA, CANADA AND AUSTRALIA

† METROPOLITAN GREGORY OF VELICKO TURNOVO

† METROPOLITAN IGNATY OF PLEVEN

† METROPOLITAN GAVRIIL OF LOVECH

† METROPOLITAN NIKOLAI OF PLOVDIV

† METROPOLITAN AMVROSY OF DOROSTOL

† METROPOLITAN ANTONIJ OF WEST AND MIDDLE EUROPE

† METROPOLITAN JOHN OF VARNA AND VELICKY PRESLAV

† METROPOLITAN SERAPHIM OF NEVROKOP

† METROPOLITAN NAUM OF ROUSSE

† METROPOLITAN CYPRIAN OF STARA ZAGORA

† METROPOLITAN GREGORY OF VRATSA

Note: Following a decision of the Holy Synod, this Epistle is meant to be read at the church pulpit on the Feast of the Resurrection of Christ, i.e. the Pascha of the Lord, on April 16th, 2017.
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