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Σάββατο, 31 Οκτωβρίου 2009

WHAT HAS THE FEASTS OF FEASTS LEFT IN OUR SOULS? By Saint John of Kronstadf.


And so, the Feasts of Feasts has passed by us: and the Royal Gates in the Lord's temples are shut; and the services are no longer as triumphant as it was during Holy Week. What then, brethren, has this feast left in our souls?

Christian holidays, you see, do not pass before us, one after another, just to leave our souls idle, but in order to discharge us from the cares and affairs of life's concerns; to put it another way: the Lord provides us with holidays in order that we might temporarily put aside thinking about, concerning ourselves with, rejoicing at, grieving over, that which is worldly, earthly, quick to pass; but instead, that we might meditate upon, concern ourselves with, rejoice at, that which is heavenly and eternal. It was precisely for this reason, as well, that the holiday just past was given co us.
The Lord made us worthy of beholding the All-Radiant Feast of Christ's Resurrection in order that we might descry in it the first-fruits of the universal resurrection of all mankind in the last days of the world: Christ rose from the dead, being the first fruits of those who had died (i Cor 15:20), says the Word of God. It was for us, you see, that the Lord suffered, died, was buried, and arose: His death, burial and resurrection is, as it were, our own death, burial and resurrection. It is for this reason that we sang during the Matins of Bright Week: Yesterday was I interred with Thee, O Christ; conjointly with Thee do I rise today. (Paschal Canon Ode 3, Troparion 2).
Yes, we, all of us, invariably shall rise up; and we all look for and await the resurrection of the dead. This is as certain as it is certain that there will be a day tomorrow. Has this ever entered your heads; have you given any thought to this during the holiday? Yet it was necessary to think upon this, without fail. All the great holidays of the Church - and the Feast of Pascha in particular - remind us of our redemption, through Jesus Christ, from the age to come.

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