Sunday, May 5, 2013

The Holy Fire Descended & The Cats Sing

Dear John,
The Holy Fire descended in Jerusalem today
Christ is risen! Truly, He is risen!
I'm at home in bed, dog asleep at my feet, instead of at church where I want to be. Pain and exhaustion won out. But the joy of the resurrection has been with me today in a more vivid way than it ever has been before. I have a more personal stake in all of it, now that you're not here. I feel like I've been keeping Lent for 2 1/2 years and have come through a 15-month-long Holy Week. But Hell has been harrowed and Christ is risen, the door to our reconciliation and salvation is open. The gates of Hell have been shattered, Light has invaded its darkness, death has lost its sting.
What I'm trying to say was said better by St. John Chrysostom in the 5th century. Here's the last half of his Paschal sermon:
He that was taken by death has annihilated it! He descended into Hades and took Hades captive! He embittered it when it tasted His flesh! And anticipating this Isaiah exclaimed, "Hades was embittered when it encountered Thee in the lower regions." It was embittered, for it was abolished! It was embittered, for it was mocked! It was embittered, for it was purged! It was embittered, for it was despoiled! It was embittered, for it was bound in chains!
It took a  body, and face to face, it met God! It took earth and encountered Heaven! It took what it saw but crumbled before what it had not seen! "O death, where is thy sting? O Hades, where is thy victory?"
Christ is risen, and you are overthrown! Christ is risen, and the demons are fallen! Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice! Christ is risen, and life reigns!
Christ is risen, and not one dead remains in a tomb!
For Christ, being raised from the dead, has become the First-fruits of them that slept.
To Him be glory and might unto ages of ages. Amen.
On a lighter note: All God's Creatures say Amen!
You are already sharing in the fullness of the Resurrection. Please pray for me as I live the foretaste of it in the world for a bit longer. May every moment of my life be lived in its light!
Glory to God! He is risen!

No comments:

Post a Comment