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Promise The HOLY TRINITY GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH WESTFIELD ^ NEW JERSEY April 2012 ^ Volume 36, Issue 4 908-233-8533 The Paschal Joy CHRIST IS RISEN! TRULY, HE IS RISEN! ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΑΝΕΣΤΗ! ΑΛΗΘΩΣ ΑΝΕΣΤΗ! ■ THE REVEREND PETER DELVIZIS My dearest brothers and sisters in the Lord, Christ is risen! Truly, He is risen! Χριστός Ανέστη! Αληθώς Ανέστη! T ogether as a family of believers we fi nd ourselves in the midst of the Paschal celebration. For forty days, until May 23, we greet one another with this faithful address confessing the joys of Christ’s Resurrection. By sharing this unique greeting with another on a personal level, we bind ourselves together in the Orthodox faith by succinctly describing the glorious empty tomb from which our salvation has sprung. This faithful exchange also becomes an affirmation of faith, as it speaks loudly of God’s immeasurable love for us. These are not empty words but the very foundation of our faith summarized in a short phrase. When we say, Christ is risen, we automatically think of Christ’s victory over death. Perhaps we see Him coming forth victoriously leaving the tomb. But the concept of Christ’s Resurrection is not fully understood unless we add ourselves to this event. If we look at the icon of the Resurrection, we see Christ not as an isolated man by Himself, but rather as the Lord who grants Resurrection to the fallen. We see Christ destroying the very gates of Hades and bestowing new life upon our first parents, Adam and Eve. This same gift is offered to the prophets, kings and people of the Old Testament. So too, at this present hour is the gift of Christ’s glorious Resurrection being offered to us. Let us picture ourselves as participants in Christ’s Resurrection. Upon seeing all, let us confession the belief of the Church and profess it to be ours by saying, Christ is risen! Truly, He is risen! Χριστός Ανέστη! Αληθώς Ανέστη! ^ THE GREAT AND HOLY PASCHA E aster Sunday bursts forth with all its glorious and resplendent rays of light. The beauty emanating from the empty tomb dispels the darkness and fi lls the hearts of all believers. This is the most ancient and preeminent festival, Pascha, the Feast of Feasts! In these days, Death is swallowed up in victory and life is liberated. Pascha is the dawning of a new and unending day, as it constitutes the most radical and decisive deliverance of humankind. The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is the fundamental truth and absolute fact of the Christian faith. It is the central experience and essential kerygma (message) of the Church. It confirms the authenticity of Christ’s remarkable earthly life and vindicates the truth of His teaching. Christ’s Resurrection is the guarantee of our salvation. For the faithful, we know that the Resurrection of Christ has not yet abolished the reality of death but it has revealed its powerlessness. “Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and released those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” – Hebrews 2:14-15. We continue to die but this physical death does not destroy our life of Wait for the promise of the Father Pag. 3 1

The Promise -April 2012

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