Pascha - 1997

As Many as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ!

Tonight, brothers, and sisters, I wish to bring you one word. We sang just a moment ago, "As many have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ". This is sung at several great feasts, preeminently Pascha. Why do we sing this hymn today? What does it have to do with Pascha?

Look at the example of the apostles and all the Saints. For them, the Lords resurrection, with the subsequent giving of the Holy Spirit, ENABLES them to become like the Lord in virtue! This is the meaning of Pascha! Now we are ABLE to live, ABLE to know God, ABLE to become sweet. Without our Lord living as a man, and breaking the hold death held on the flesh, we would not be able to live, truly be alive, and be in Christ, that is, put on Christ.

He broke much more that Hades hold on us after this life. His resurrection heals us now, enables us to attain to the knowledge of Him, and as the Apostle says today - to become sons of God.

This is only possible by putting on Christ. If you do not do this, by sincere struggle, the stone at your tomb will not be rolled away, and there will be no resurrection in it's cold, darkened contents.

Put on Christ! Live like Him! Struggle to live virtuously. Put away evil and do good, knowing that all this is possible because Christ did all these things as a man, and therefore we can too, and His resurrection breaks any hold death has on our flesh in this life or the next, if we only live!

Christ is risen!

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St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas