PASCAL MESSAGE 2014 – Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia

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STYLIANOS

By the grace of God

Archbishop of Australia

To all the Reverend Clergy and devout faithful of our Holy Archdiocese

 Archbishop Stylianos of Australia

Brother concelebrants and beloved children of the Church,

Pascha, the sacred feast, today shines forth for us

Pascha that has opened the doors of Paradise to us

Pascha that sanctifies all faithful”.

These three concise verses of the Pascal Canon of Hymns are sufficient to impress upon us the meaning of Christian Pascha (Easter/Passover) as the only Absolute in history.

Pascha – as the ‘feast of feasts’ – is not an anniversary. Pascha is not a past event that should be forgotten simply. It is eternity within time, the sacrosanct and ceaseless presence of God.

We celebrate the entire week of the Passion and Resurrection of Christ once a year, in order to remind ourselves of the historical sequence of events. Yet, this does not mean that we have Pascha only once a year.

Pascha is our every Sunday, our every Liturgy. Because Pascha for the Christians is not an anniversary, which is to say an historical memory, but rather a liturgical event. It is a daily holy offering “in every way and for everything”. Our Pascha is Christ Himself.

The Hebrew word Peshah, from where ‘Pascha’ derives, means a ‘passover’, a ‘passage’, which for the Jews marked a certain unrepeatable time in their history: the passage through the Red Sea.

For us, the passage and the Passover is not one of time, but rather a manner of existence. It is Christ Himself, as constant obedience to the will of the Father: “For our paschal lamb, Christ, has been sacrificed” (1 Corinthians 5:7).

Our Pascha, therefore, is not time, but our manner of living, which is Christ Himself. The manner is the possibility of freedom for the human person, which is guaranteed by God.

To be a “child by adoption” amidst increasing apostasy, to be a “light in the darkness”, “life in the tomb”, “broadened in sorrows” is another order of things that this world does not understand, nor is it taught by time.

This order of things was shown by Christ through His Passion and Resurrection, having become “the firstborn of all creation” (Colossians 1:15).

To Him be all glory and worship to the ages. Amen!

Pascha 2014

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With fervent prayers in the Risen Christ

 Archbishop Stylianos of Australia in Litrugy

Archbishop STYLIANOS

Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in Australia

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