His Eminence, Metropolitan JOSEPH's
Pastoral Message for Great and Holy Pascha
Christ is Risen! Indeed he is Risen!
We greet you with great joy and love as we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Resurrection of our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ. I wish to share with you this beautiful Paschal Oration by St. Gregory the Theologian as my pastoral message for Pascha:
Yesterday I was crucified with Him; today I am glorified with Him.
Yesterday I died with Him; Today I am made alive with Him.
Yesterday I was buried with Him; today I am raised up with Him.
Let us offer to Him Who suffered and rose again for us…ourselves, the possession most precious to God and most proper.
Let us become like Christ, since Christ became like us.
Let us become divine for His sake, since for us He became man.
He assumed the worse that He might give us the better. He became poor that by
His poverty we might become rich. He accepted the form of a servant that we might win back our freedom.
He came down that we might be lifted up. He was tempted that through Him wemight conquer. He was dishonored that He might glorify us. He died that He might save us. He ascended that He might draw to Himself we who were thrown down through the fall of sin.
Let us give all, offer all, to Him who gave Himself as a ransom and reconciliation for us.
We needed an incarnate God, a God put to death, that we might live. We were put to death together with Him that we might be cleansed. We rose again with Him because we were put to death with Him. We were glorified with Him because we rose again with Him.
A few drops of blood recreate the whole of creation.
- St. Gregory the Theologian, from the Paschal Orations
It is my prayer that the Light of the Empty Tomb will bring us the peace and joy which can only come from above. Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen!
Yours in the Risen Christ,
Yours in Christ,
+ J O S E P H
Archbishop of New York and Metropolitan of All North America