Orthodox News

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 2
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:
I
n 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 3
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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