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2018 Paschal Letter to the Diocese from His Grace Bishop BASIL

Beloved and Christ-loving Clergy, Monastics and Laity of the Diocese of Wichita and MidAmerica:

I embrace and greet you with a holy kiss in the Name of the Resurrected Theanthropos Jesus Christ, and, together with you and Orthodox Christians throughout the world, I joyfully proclaim that Christ is risen! Christós anésti! Al-masíh qaam! Christós voskrésse! Hristós a înviát! Crísto ha resucitádo!

As we delight in the brilliance of the Resurrection, the dawn of the New and Eighth Day, I offer for your consideration the following words of the late Metropolitan of the Russian Orthodox Church in Great Britain, the Most Reverend ANTHONY Bloom (1914-2003):

For the Apostles, Great Friday was the last day of the week and the last day of life as they had known it; on the following day, the day which preceded the Resurrection, the darkness was as dense, as obscure, as impenetrable as it had been on Great Friday, and if the Resurrection had not happened, all days of the year and all the days of their life would have been days of total darkness, days when God was dead, when God had been conquered, when God had been definitely and radically exiled from the community of men. And if you bear in mind the unity which was gradually created between Christ and His disciples, so that the life they lived was His life, in Him and through Him they moved, saw, perceived and understood, you will grasp that His death was not only this total and irremediable darkness of Great Friday – for them the last day of history – but it was also their own death because Life had been taken away from them; they could no longer live but merely exist. Thus you will understand why, for the Apostles, the Resurrection was such a complete renewal, such a decisive event ... The joy of the Resurrection is something which we, too, must learn to experience, but we can experience it only if we first learn the tragedy of the Cross. To rise again, we must die. Die to our hampering selfishness, die to our fears, die to everything which makes the world so narrow, so cold, so poor, so cruel. Die so that our souls may live, may rejoice, may discover the Spring of Life ... Because Christ is risen, because we do not see in the Lord Who walks ahead of us the defeated prophet of Galilee as He was seen by His tormentors, His persecutors. We know Him now in the glory of the Resurrection. We know that every word of His is true. We know that the Kingdom of God is ours if we simply follow Him.

Wishing you and your families a glorious Paschal season, looking forward to being with you all at our Diocesan Family Reunion in Santa Fe (June 13th -16th), I remain

Your Father in the Risen Christ,

+Bishop BASIL
Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America

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