Monday, April 5, 2010

Χριστός ανέστη !!

Christ is Risen!!  I'm just now back from beautiful Hollister, California (actually I stayed in Gilroy, "The Garlic Capitol of the World")...and what a wonderful time it was!!  On Saturday, I got to see Jim and Merrie Libby in the hospital (they are on-the-mend from a horrific traffic accident) and give them Holy Communion for Easter.  Sunday was the Mass at St. Augustine's (and the traditional reading of St. John Chrisostom's Paschal Sermon, below).

One of the best pasts of the trip...??  My old friend Dr. Paul Irving File and his girlfriend Cadence (or, is it "Kadence"?  I never asked how it's spelled!) drove over for Mass from Monterey.  We had a wonderful visit, a burger and a couple Lagunitas IPA's (the yearly Lenten Beer Fast is over!!)...I'll post a couple photos later today.

This was my last Easter celebration here for at least two years...I can imagine that Easter in Hyderabad might be just a little different! 

Amy's annual "High Holy Days of Tax Busy Season" continue.  She worked Easter Sunday and didn't get home until 3:00 A.M. this morning.  My job this morning is to let her sleep.

I was going to include the words of St. John Chrysostom's Easter Sermon here in the blog today...but Fr. Greg Wilcox beat me to it!!  I have been following his Lenten Oasis blog  this year...and it was truly wonderful.  He and I use the same version of the Paschal Sermon...I guess that's because he taught it to me...

Here it is - one of the most powerful sermons in all of Christendom:

The Paschal Sermon of St. John Chrysostom  (c. 347 - 407 A.D.)

If any of you is devout and a lover of God, enjoy this fair and radiant triumphal feast.
If any of you is a wise servant, enter with delight into the joy of your Lord.
If any of you have labored long in fasting, now receive your recompense.
If you have wrought from the first hour, today receive your just reward.
If you have come at the third hour, keep this feast with thanksgiving.
If you have arrived at the sixth hour, have no misgivings, you shall in no wise be deprived.
If you have delayed until the ninth hour, draw near, and fear nothing.
If you have tarried even until the eleventh hour, be not alarmed at your tardiness;

For the Lord, who is jealous of His honor, will accept the last even as the first.
He gives rest unto the one who comes at the eleventh hour, even as unto him who has worked from the first.
He shows mercy upon the last, and cares for the first; to the one he gives, and upon the other he bestows gifts.
He both accepts the deed, and welcomes the intention,
He honors the act and praises the offering.
Wherefore, enter ye all into the joy of your Lord, and receive your reward, both the first and also the second.
You rich and poor together, hold high festival.
You sober and you heedless, honor the day.
Rejoice today, both you who have fasted and you who have ignored the fast.
The table is fully laden; let all feast sumptuously.
The calf is fatted; let no one go hungry away.
Enjoy the feast of faith; receive all the riches of loving-kindness.
Let no one bewail his poverty, for the universal kingdom has been revealed.
Let no one weep for his iniquities, for pardon has shone forth from the grave.
Let no one fear death,  for 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 His captive.
He sickened it when it tasted of his flesh.
Isaiah, foretelling this, cried:  “Hell was embittered when it encountered thee in the lower regions."

Hell was embittered, for it was abolished.
It was embittered, for it was mocked.
It was embittered, for it was slain.
It was embittered, for it was overthrown.
It was embittered, for it was fettered in chains.

It took a body, and met God face to face.
It took earth, and encountered Heaven.
It took that which was seen, and fell before the Unseen.

O Death, where is thy sting?
O Hell, where is thy victory?

Christ is risen, and you are overthrown.
Christ is risen, and the demons are fallen.
Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice.
Christ is risen, and life reigns.
Christ is risen, and not one dead remains in the grave.

For Christ, being risen from the dead, is become the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep.
To Him be glory and dominion unto ages of ages. Amen.
Amen!  He is Risen, indeed!  Alleluia!

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