April 12: Pascha: The Feast of the Resurrection of our Lord God and Saviour, Jesus Christ

Posted on April 12, 2020

Христос воскресе із мертвих,* смертію смерть порпав,* і сущим во гробіх* живот даровав!

Христос воскрес із мертвих,* смертю смерть подолав,* і тим що в гробах* життя дарував!

Christ is risen from the dead,* trampling death by death,* and to those in the tombs* giving life!

The Paschal Homily of St. John Chrysostom

If there be any devout people who love God, let them enjoy this splendid and radiant Feast. If any of them be wise servants, let them blissfully enter into the joy of their Lord. If any of them have laboured long in fasting, let them now receive their reward. If any have toiled from the first hour, let them now receive their just wage. If any came at the third hour, let them gratefully join in the Feast. If any arrived at the sixth hour, they should not be afraid, for they will not be deprived of anything. If any of them tarried even until the ninth hour, let them approach without hesitation. If any arrived only at the eleventh hour, they should not worry on account of their tardiness. For the Master loves to grant honours and will receive the last just as the first. He gives rest to the one who came at the eleventh hour, just as He does to the one who toiled from the first hour. He shows His mercy to the last, and His care for the first. To the one He gives; on the other, He showers gifts. He accepts deeds and welcomes intentions. He honours labours and praises resolutions. And so, let all enter into the joy of their Lord, and let the first as well as the last receive the reward. Let the rich and the poor celebrate together. Let the resourceful and the slothful honour this Day. Let those who fasted and those who did not fast be glad today. The Table is bountifully set; let all be satisfied. The Calf is fattened; let no one go away hungry. Let everyone enjoy the Cup of Faith. Let everyone receive the richness of Grace. Let none grieve at their poverty, for the Kingdom that belongs to all people has been revealed. Let none weep for their sins, for forgiveness shines forth from the Tomb. Let no one fear Death, for the Saviour’s death has set us free. The One Whom Death imprisoned has extinguished Death. The One Who descended into Hades made Hades the captive. He caused it distress when it tasted His Flesh. When Isaiah foresaw this, he exclaimed: “Hades was all distressed by encountering You in the nether world.” It was distressed because it was abolished. It was distressed because it was mocked. It was distressed because it was slain. It was distressed because it was overthrown. It was distressed because it was chained. It seized a Body but discovered God. It seized the Earthly but encountered the Heavenly. It seized the Visible but was overcome by the Invisible. O Death, where is your sting! O Hades, where is your victory! Christ is risen, and you are abolished! Christ is risen, and the demons are cast down! Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice! Christ is risen, and Life now reigns! Christ is risen, and the Tomb is emptied of the dead! For in rising from the dead, Christ became the First-Fruits of those who have fallen asleep. To Him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.