Sermon – Holy Pascha
St. Michael Antiochian Orthodox Church
of the San Fernando Valley
16643 Vanowen Street, Van Nuys, California 91406-4622
April 19, 2020
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 personal thanks and the appreciation from our faithful for the help we’ve received in this unique time in the history of our Church as we weather the storm of a major public health crisis. And even by facing all that we have, it is my sincere prayer that we have clearly 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 after half a century as parish community has again been glorious. I will again say, as I did last year: We hopefully pray to be able to celebrate the Feast in our new church sanctuary next year. Our ability to fulfill this task will be achieved as God wills through our dedication and commitment. I am very 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