Christ Is Risen!
April 19, 2014
On this glorious day, and in this triumphant season, we greet all of our readers with the exuberant words of “Christ is Risen!” Many of us will be able to answer just as exuberantly “Indeed He is Risen!” The feast of feast is as glorious, in the words of St. John Chrysostom, for those who have fasted and those who have not; for those who have been vigilant from the 1st hour, as well as for those who have come at the 11th hour. The Lord is merciful to all and receives us all in our richness and in our poverty. That poverty includes our poverty of faith and the dearth of our compassion. On this Pascha Day we sing the very moving words attributed to St. John of Damascus: “This is the day of resurrection. Let us be illuminated by the feast. Let us embrace each other. Let us call ‘brothers’ even those who hate us, and forgive all by the resurrection.”
On this holy day, we hope you are able to embrace your loved ones as well as forgive those who hate you. For gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered Christians, these actions of embracing and forgiveness are of vital importance. So much of the world despises us for who God made us to be and who we are called to love. We are among those who experience abandonment, loneliness, and isolation. And yet, we must never forget that the Risen Lord does not abandon, or isolate, or shun us. In the words of the Psalmist: “Therefore my heart is glad, and my tongue rejoices, my body will also rest secure, because you will not abandon me…” (Psalm 16) As we are not abandoned by God, let us not abandon anyone, especially those who hate us; embrace and forgive them.
On this holy day we especially pray for those unable to fully celebrate the feast, either due to religious persecution, societal, family or ecclesiastical expulsion, or the poverty of their faith. No one is truly alone, no one is ever abandoned. Christ is Risen for all of us!