2012 Paschal Greetings from Bishop Anthony
Great and Holy Pascha
April 15th, 2012
Dear Beloved clergy, brothers and sisters in Christ:
Christ is Risen! Indeed, He is Risen!
May God's blessings and my joy at His Resurrection be given, first, to our beloved Metropolitan Philip and to the local Synod of this God-protected Archdiocese!
I wish I could be with all of you in person, but I am with you in the Spirit and in my heart.
St. Macarius the Great has written: "When God created Adam He did not give him bodily wings like the birds, but prepared for him in advance the wings of the Holy Spirit - the wings He desires to give him in the Resurrection to lift him up and carry him wherever the Spirit wishes."
Yes, in the great prophesies of Isaiah concerning the Savior, we read: "The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. . . . They that wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles. (Is. 40. 28b, 29, 31)"
When we grow faint and weak and die, He comes to us to carry us up to Him, because He will not lose the loved ones who He has made to be like Him.
In the spring, my mother would take me to visit the graves of loved ones and to do some clean-up work around the graves. There would be fields of blue and pink phlox spread allover the ground, wherever you would step. She said these were blankets God tucks us in with. And just as we wake in the morning and leave the blankets on the bed, we leave the sleep of death to awaken to eternity with God. I would often think of a poem that said: "When the temple bell stops - the sound keeps coming out of the flowers." As the bells ring in the Resurrection the waves of life they carry move everywhere. And Life has proved it is more powerful than death.
In the Love of the Risen Lord,