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2019 Pascha Message of His Grace Bishop ANTHONY

PDF of His Grace's Message

Great and Holy Pascha ~ the Glorious Resurrection of our Lord 

April 28, 2019

Beloved Clergy and Faithful of the Midwest Diocese,

Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen! المسیح قام! حقا قام!

On the Praises between the verses of Psalm 119 at the Matins of Holy Saturday, we hear chanted: “Thou hast been numbered among transgressors, O Christ. Thou hast justified us, O Lamb of God, by freeing us from the devil’s work.” Christ came to do three specific things: liberate us from captivity to Satan; defeat sin in our fallen nature; and destroy death. Christ’s Passion, Death, and Resurrection is the meaning of Redemption.

“He is the first-born from the dead.” (Colossians 1:18; Revelation 1:5) His resurrection is the beginning of the general resurrection of all of us. He is the first, but not the last, and not the only One. We are enrolled with Him, the assembly of the first-born from the dead. (Hebrews 12:23). “In fact, Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep … each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at His coming (the Second Coming) those who belong with Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:20, 23)”

When we sing the Troparion for Pascha, we sing also for ourselves being in Him. We are risen from the dead. We are given a renewal of life in Him who is Life Himself. Our joy, then, is in Him ~ and for ourselves!

May the Light of the Empty Tomb shine in our hearts forever!

Yours in Christ,

Bishop of Toledo and the Midwest
Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America