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ARCHPASTORAL MESSAGE OF HIS BEATITUDE, METROPOLITAN JONAH, ON THE OCCASION OF THE FEAST OF FEASTS, THE LORD'S PASCHA
Beloved in Christ, Fathers and concelebrants, brothers and sisters,

Christ is risen! Indeed He is risen!
I greet you with joy in the Risen Lord!

Having passed the course of the Fast, let us feast soberly, giving thanks to God. Let our feasting never obscure the Feast of Grace, the experience of the Presence of Jesus Christ, the Risen Lord, in our midst, the Host of our Feast.

We have beheld the Resurrection of Christ, and we have experienced the resurrection of our souls. We have seen the true Light, and have been illumined by the radiance of the Kingdom. We have feasted on the Lamb of God, and eaten the Flesh of God. We have partaken of the Fountain of Immortality, and drunk the new Wine of the Messianic Banquet. Our minds and hearts are illumined and raised up, drunk with the Grace of the Resurrection. This Feast of Feasts is the ultimate celebration of the Lord of Lords, who came to be slain and given as food to the Faithful.

Jesus Christ has come and purified us, sanctified us, and arrayed us in His own glory, which He shares with the Father since before time began. He is the Great High Priest, the true Hierarch and Bishop of our souls, who so loved us that he took our own fallenness and brokenness, and healed us. He healed our bodies, unto life eternal by overcoming death itself. He heals our souls, by cleansing our minds and hearts from the corruption of passions. He opens our spiritual eyes so that we can behold Him, perceive Him, dwell in Him, be aware of Him, and live in Him. He has given us salvation, the knowledge of the God as Father, by sharing His own life with us, His will, His perception, His faith, His prayer, His Spirit.

Our Fast has been to purify us from all things that distract our minds and heart from Him. We have striven to cut off our selfishness by self denial. We have followed Him and taken up our cross, in the likeness of Jesus who bore His Cross, so that we might crucify the corruption which is in us through our passions and desires. We have striven to forgive our neighbors, so that we might be forgiven. Let us abandon ourselves to Him, committing our minds and hearts and all our lives to Him, detached from all that has kept us in bondage to the fallenness of the world. We have judged ourselves, so that we might not be condemned as we stand before Him by our judgment of our brothers and sisters, on that awesome Day of His Coming.

Pascha is the Day of Judgment! Pascha is the Day of the Lord! Pascha: the Day of Resurrection, the Dawning of the Kingdom. Let our rejoicing be spiritual, our souls illumined and our hearts open, to receive Him, Who comes in the Name of the Lord. Let our resurrection be unto spiritual rejoicing in salvation, not the condemnation drunkenness of the passions.Let us rejoice! For Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing Life!

With love and joy in the Risen Christ,

+JONAH

Archbishop of Washington

Metropolitan of All America and Canada

 

 

 

 

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This Week in the Life of your Bishop

Diocesan Assembly: October 8-10, Lansing, IL

Upcoming Feasts of the Church

Polyeleos-rank Jun 19 - The Holy Apostle Jude the Brother of the Lord
Polyeleos-rank Jun 23 - Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God
Great Feast Jun 24 - Nativity of the Holy Glorious Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist, John
Polyeleos-rank Jun 26 - Tikhvin Icon of the Mother of God
Polyeleos-rank Jun 28 - Icon of the Mother of God, called The Three Hands; Polyeleos-rank Our Venerable Fathers Sergius and Herman, Wonder-workers of Valaam
Great Feast Jun 29 - The Holy Glorious and All-Praised Leaders of the Apostles, Peter and Paul
Polyeleos-rank Jul 2 - The Holy Hierarch John Maximovich, Archbishop of Shanghai and San Francisco;
Polyeleos-rank Jul 3 - The Holy Hieromartyr Philip, Metropolitan of Moscow
Polyeleos-rank Jul 5 - Our Venerable Father Sergius, Abbot and Wonderworker of Radonezh
Polyeleos-rank Jul 6 - Our Venerable Father Athanasius of Mount Athos
Vigil-rank Jul 8 - The Sitka (Kazan) Icon of the Mother of God
Polyeleos-rank Jul 10 - The Deposition of the Robe of our Savior; Polyeleos-rank Our Venerable Father Anthony of the Kiev Caves
Polyeleos-rank Jul 11 - The Holy Equal of the Apostles Blessed Princess Olga
Polyeleos-rank Jul 12 - Icon of the Mother of God, called The Three Hands
Polyeleos-rank Jul 14 - Our Venerable Father Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain
Vigil-rank Jul 15 - The Holy Equal of the Apostles Great Prince Vladimir
Polyeleos-rank Jul 17 - New Royal Passion-bearers Tsar Nicholas and his family
Vigil-rank Jul 19 - Our Venerable Father Seraphim, Wonder-worker of Sarov
Vigil-rank Jul 20 - Holy and Glorious Prophet Elijah
Polyeleos-rank Jul 23 - Pochaev Icon of the Mother of God
Polyeleos-rank Jul 24 - Right-believing Russian Princes Boris and Gleb
Polyeleos-rank Jul 26 - The Righteous Priest Jacob Netsvetov, Enlightener of the Native Peoples of Alaska
Polyeleos-rank Jul 28 - Smolensk Icon of the Mother of God
Polyeleos-rank Jul 30 - The Holy Martyr John the Warrior

 

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