Old Believers (Cornelius): Paschal Epistle 2009

While the Old Believers have no direct bearing on the True Orthodox Churches, the discussions between certain of their hierarchs and the GOC-Kirykos, as well as their history with the ROCOR, merits the inclusion, for the time being of their Paschal epistles. NFTU

Paschal Message of Metropolitan +Cornelius

Moscow Metropoly, Old Believers, Belia Krinitsa Accord

We offer our thanks and congratulations to our God loving bishops and all clergy on this holy Pasch. “This is the day which the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it”

Right Reverend bishops, our priests and deacons, and all out beloved fraternity in Christ:

Christ is Truly Risen from the Dead!! Jesus is the conqueror of death and Hell, and we are glad to help proclaim this good news. By His resurrection Christ trampled down death and opened the way to life eternal. All who believe, then can now enjoy the heavenly paradise. On this Paschal night we can say with the great St. John Chrysostom, “Death, where is thy Sting? Hell, where is thy Victory?!” Christ, the very son of God, descended to this created earth, he suffered for us here and underwent crucifixion. On the third day he rose again and abolished death, after filling the entire world with uncreated light. Today, most truly, our happiness knows no bounds, since Christ died to rescue the believers from their sins and brought light and truth to the entire world. Like the sun, which lights up the entire universe with its beneficial rays, on the third day in the tomb began to shine from the very tomb of Christ, which is limitless, and will shine for all eternity, and will continually rescue all with faith and love. These attributes–faith and love–are necessary to it relative to us believers. All who were grieving are now glad, all who are laden are low lightened. Now, the possibility of a life higher than this temporary one is permitted and let loose for all believers. Our temporary sufferings mean nothing when compared to the rewards we will share with Christ above. In the words of the apostle Paul, our sufferings will mean nothing when w are rescued by Christ’s grace and transported to our heavenly home as heirs of eternal life (Rom 8:17).

The risen Christ can take away all burdens for suffering mankind, and no earthly pain means anything in comparison to Him in His glory. The risen Christ is always ready to help His people in our battles with sin and evil, as well as to back us in the commission of good deeds. But let us magnify our happiness and joy by the commission of good deeds, deeds of love and mercy. We should be glad and thank God as the Son returns to the Father bearing our sins on Himself. Christ underwent terrible sufferings for our salvation: He was mocked and rejected by the people, attacked by the religious establishment of His day and sweat blood in the Garden for us. How do we respond to this Godly love? We must only turn our life solely and entirely to the Lord in gratitude, but this gratitude is a matter of conversion. We must show our gratitude by fulfilling His commandments and learning to love our neighbor as ourselves. The Holy Pasch shows us a passage, a passage from one state of being to another. In ancient times, it was the passage from the carnal slavery of Egypt to their own country. In our case, it is a passage from the darkness of sin to the light of true virtue and piety. As the holy Abba Dorofeii says, “this movement completes the Paschal mystery.” The Paschal mystery crucified sin and raised the dead, the death of sin. There is nothing more joyous for us than this. As Paul says in his Letter to Timothy, “Christ, Who will have all men to be saved, and come to the knowledge of the Truth.”

Yes, we are glad now, by brothers and sisters, and we must thank our Savior for this joy. It must be approached with an ardent faith, hope and a powerful love. Let us share our happiness with each other, and for those who hate us let us forgive once and for all. Let us have the victorious song on our lips; Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life.” This day I sincerely congratulate you all, by brethren, with the greatest of all Christian days, the day of days and the feast of feasts. I ardently desire to for all of us sinners peace, love and Christian happiness and the faith in God for all good deeds. My archpastoral blessings are with all of you.

Christ is Risen – He Truly is Risen!!

+Cornelius

Metropolitan of Moscow

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