Source: Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the USA
Assembly of Bishops’ 2021 Paschal Message
The Resurrection of our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ signifies the triumph of life over death, of salvation over condemnation. It provides the hope that transcends all despair, the comfort that overcomes all turbulence, and brings light to the people sitting in darkness. (Mt. 4.16)
The Lord’s Resurrection raises us out of our darkest, most difficult circumstances. It promises eternal life in His most sacred body and blood. It illumines and purifies human nature, reinstating it from its fallen condition to its restored relationship with God.
Therefore, as we continue to navigate our own Golgotha – that of the global pandemic as well as in our own lives – the celebration of Christ’s Resurrection reminds us that there is light at the end of the tunnel. His light shines through and beyond the Crucifixion.
This is precisely why we give thanks to our Lord for all that He has provided. We give thanks for the advancements in science and medicine. We give thanks especially for essential workers, who risk their lives daily to save others and who exemplify Christ’s sacrificial love on the cross.
We also solemnly remember the more than 550,000 lives lost to Covid-19 in this country: for clergy and laity, young and old, for believers and non-believers alike. May they rest among the saints, where there is neither pain, nor sorrow, but only the promise of the Resurrection.
On Easter Sunday, Saint John Chrysostom reminds us that “no one should be fearful of death, for the death of the Savior has set us free. Death was embittered, for it was abolished. It was embittered, for it was overthrown.”
“O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory? Christ is Risen and death is overthrown. Christ is Risen, and the angels rejoice.”
“Death has been conquered, for it met God face to face. Let no one weep, for forgiveness shines from the grave. Christ is Risen and life reigns.”
“Christ is Risen from the dead, becoming the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.” Christ is Risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and to those in the tombs bestowing life!