Paschal Encyclical by Metropolitan Iakovos of Chicago
Holy Pascha, 2017
“Shine, shine, O New Jerusalem…”
“Come receive the Light…” So we begin our proclamation and praise of the Resurrection of Christ our God at the glorious “feast of feasts, and festival of festivals,” the Lord’s Pascha. Our Lenten journey has prepared us for this moment, when we sing out for all to hear, that the Lord Jesus is risen from the dead, by “death trampling down death.”
Pascha is not only a time for us to celebrate and feast, but a call to “pass over” into a new manner of life where fear, and sin, and death hold no sway. Having received the Light, we hear the paschal hymn imploring us, the faithful of the Church, the Body of Christ, the New Jerusalem, to shine, for the “glory of the Lord has dawned” on us. If our joy and gladness shall be full and complete, then we must heed this imperative to shine.
Let us shine in radiant enthusiasm for the Christian way of life, forgiving one another as we have been forgiven by the Lord. Let us shine in our actions and words, bringing relief to those in need of our aid and loving charity.
Let us shine as examples to all around us so that the whole world will know that we have become children of the Light and beacons for all those who desire to live the truth, and live in peace. Let us shine so bright that those of ill-will will be inspired to pattern their lives as citizens of Paradise and join themselves to Christ, risen from the dead.
Reaching out to embrace all the faithful, with the joy of the Unwaning Light of our Lord, we greet all with the triumphant hymn and the Good News: Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!
With Paternal Blessings this Pascha,
Metropolitan Iakovos of Chicago
Photo: Orthodox Church in America
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