Metropolitan AGAFANGEL (ROCOR-A) Paschal Epistle

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Metropolitan AGAFANGEL (ROCOR-A) Paschal Epistle

First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad

Dear brethren in Christ bishops and clergy, God-loving monastics and laypeople!
We all know that the world keeps changing and it favors first one group of events or values then another.  That which seemed important and critical yesterday suddenly becomes unimportant and unnecessary.  New priorities will appear tomorrow and will diminish everything that seemed important today.   Our  lives  are completely at the mercy of the forces of nature and are deprived of meaning.  They lose any unique value and are like leaves cast about by the waves of life, eventually tossed into the so-called “historical past.”  One generation is replaced by the next, who do not remember their predecessors, just as they will be forgotten by those who come after them.  The changing world is so and without anything permanent it cannot contain Truths, since Truth is  unchanging.  It endures outside of time and outside of this world.   That is why one of humankind’s main temptations is fleeting time, because “the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:16)  We are all in danger of becoming preoccupied with fleeting events and as a result become slaves of the Devil who is a darling and a prince of this world.  The “worldly sea” is nothing more than destructive chaos for humankind.  It is so, but only when we abide in Christ.  Christians should avert their gaze from the everyday world and cast it upon the spiritual world, where the fleeting values of this world are supplanted by the eternal Kingdom of Heaven.

The Pascha of Christ symbolizes the Kingdom of God and the eternal life of the righteous in that
Kingdom.  The curtain will be drawn back today and with our spiritual eyes we can see  a glimpse  of this Kingdom, wherein time which causes change loses its meaning and where there will be an end to death, illness, and all manner of evil and injustice.  It is important who we will be at the end of our lives on earth – children of eternal truth or sad captives of chaos, sons and daughters of nothingness.  The Lord through His Resurrection calls upon us to cross the boundary between the temporary and the eternal.

We should draw closer to Christ and trust in Him all that occurs around us and within us.  There can be no other truth.  Futile is the wisdom of the strong in this world and their unrestrained striving for greatness and glory.  Our lives on earth are fleeting.  What treasures can we gather while here?  All that we can bring with us to eternity is faith in Christ and love of our Savior.  All else will turn to useless dust at the first sound of the Archangel’s trumpet calling us to judgment by our Creator.  If the feature of true faith is, as in the words of the Apostle, the “assurance of things hoped for” (Hebrews 11:1), then may this hope arise in all who love the Lord.

I congratulate everyone with the Resurrection of Christ!

Metropolitan AGAFANGEL (signature)
Odessa, Pascha, 2012


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