Sermon – Holy Pascha 2019
St. Michael Antiochian Orthodox Church
of the San Fernando Valley
16643 Vanowen Street, Van Nuys, California 91406-4622
April 28, 2019
Beloved in Christ,
With great joy we proclaim that Christ is risen! المسيح قام! Χριστoς aνέστη! Христос Воскресе! Cristo ha resucitado! Hristos a înviat! Ua ala hou ‘o Kristo! Truly, He is risen!
In the words of Saint John Chrysostom: “…the Savior’s Death has set us free. He that was held prisoner of it, has annihilated it. By descending into Hell, He made Hell captive… It took a Body and it met God face to face. It took earth, and encountered Heaven. It took that which was seen, and fell upon the unseen…”
I want to express my sincere thanks for everyone’s participation in helping to make our Paschal celebration this year triumphant. As we have heard in the Paschal proclamation: “…for lo, through the Cross, joy has come into all the world! Ever blessing the Lord let us sing His Resurrection! For in that He has endured the Cross, He has destroyed death by Death!
Celebrating comes with whole hearted preparation. The more the preparation, the greater the celebration. Our time together during Great Lent and Holy Week this Fiftieth year in the history of our parish has again been glorious. We pray that we will be able to celebrate the Feast in our new church sanctuary in the next year. Our ability to fulfill this task will be achieved as God wills through our dedication and commitment. I am truly thankful for those of you who have been faithful in fulfilling their pledge to our Capital Funds Campaign and all who have been regular contributors to our project. The many sacrifices of our founders and faithful parishioners through the years have thankfully helped us to begin a new era in the life of our parish. Our community continues to grow and all of our ministries are involving many of our new members by offering their talents and skills in service. There are many opportunities for everyone to have a part in the many tasks ahead of us for the glory of God.
I trust that this has been a meaningful season of illumination for you and your family. May the joy of the Paschal Feast fill your life with all that God truly desires for us: those imperishable gifts that are truly not of this world.
Christ is risen!
Father Timothy Baclig