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Monday, 16 April 2012

Christ is Risen!

Truly He is Risen!

ENCYCLICAL 
for the All-Glorious Resurrection of Christ our Savior
 

        Our Personal Resurrection and the Descent into Our Brother’s Hades


Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

During these holy days we have been deemed worthy to approach the Mystery of the Cross and Hades in a prayerful spirit. Today, we celebrate the Mystery and the Glad Tidings of the Resurrection and the Light.

“Now are all things filled with light, both Heaven and earth and the nether regions”!

Glory to God for all things! Man and Creation, renewed and liberated from corruption and from every created necessity, are now found amid the Light of the Holy Trinity, participating in the Mystery of Trinitarian Love and fathoming their own wholeness.

The Resurrection of Christ our Saviour is the culmination of Divine Love: God reveals Himself to us as Light, Life, and Resurrection. At the same time, God shows us that man is capable of receiving this Light, Life, and Resurrection.

The Uncreated Light of the Energies of God now permeates all of Creation through the Resurrection, makes us friends of God, and vouchsafes us a foretaste of the Glory of the age to come, the Glory of the Triune Kingdom of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

The Resurrection of our Lord has also revealed to us the Kingdom of God as a Communion of Persons: God exists as a Communion of Three Persons, Which interpenetrate one another in love—that is, the One lives in the Other.

Man has been given the gift of participating in this Triune Communion, but not individualistically. The life of our Church is a communion of persons, who are begotten spiritually, sustained and constantly renewed by the Uncreated Energies of God, and who constitute the family of God, the People of God.

The Descent of our Lord into Hades comprises a strong communal message of love: our personal Resurrection presupposes an exodus from ourselves and a descent into our brother’s dark Hades of pain and tragedy, so that we might encounter him personally and be resurrected together with him.

There is no individual resurrection, that is, no individual salvation. It is together that we must be saved; it is together that we must all return to the House of the Father, the Kingdom of God; it is together that we must partake of the Marriage Supper of the Lamb; it is together that we must live eternally in the Light of the Holy Trinity.

It has been exceedingly beautifully written that “when we appear before the Judge on the dreadful Day of Judgment, He will ask us only the following: ‘You are alone? Where are the others?’”

Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

In the Resurrectional ethos of Orthodoxy, it is inconceivable for us not to participate in the agony of another’s misfortune, in universal human misfortune, and not to descend self-sacrificially into the Hades of human misery, into the Hades of human, existential, and communal pain.

Resurrection, for the Christian, means personhood in the Light, but also a sincere desire to share this Light with another, whosoever that other might be, in a Communion of love in Christ, beyond any kind of walls or borders and free from any form of hellish prejudice.

My brothers and sisters, may the prayers of our much-revered Elder, Metropolitan Cyprian, by the Grace of the Resurrection of Christ our Savior, strengthen us in this self-sacrificial opening-up of our existence, so that we might be suffused by Light and impart Light to our brothers and sisters, to the glory of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, unto the ages of ages. Amen!

                                             Christ is Risen! Indeed, He is Risen!

 

Holy Resurrection of Jesus Christ our Savior, 2012
Your humble supplicant
before our Risen Lord,

† Bishop Cyprian of Oreoi,
Acting President of the Holy Synod in Resistance

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