May 2, 2021

Sermon -Paschal Sermon

St. Michael Antiochian Orthodox Church
of the San Fernando Valley
16643 Vanowen Street, Van Nuys, California 91406-4622
May 2, 2021
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…” 
Celebrating comes with whole hearted preparation.  The more the preparation, the greater the celebration.  Our time together during Great Lent as parish community has again been glorious thanks to everyone’s help and contribution to our services.
I want to express my personal thanks and the appreciation for the help and support we’ve received this past year in weathering 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!
As Christ’s agents of hope and reconciliation in the world, let us take seriously the Paschal message of forgiveness that we may be examples of overcoming all forms of division, hatred, and enmity.  The Resurrection of Christ reveals to the world that darkness, hatred and death does not have the final say.  God’s love is triumphant and provides healing from sin and human weaknesses.    
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