My Beloved the Benevolent
Khristos Anesti Alithos Anesti
Christ is Risen Truly He is Risen
I am pleased to congratulate all of you on the Feast of the Holy Resurrection which we celebrate this year on May 2nd; wishing you a happy and a blessed feast covered by the grace of our God and preserved by the power of His glorious resurrection.
According to the Gospel of the Holy Resurrection Liturgy, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb crying, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.” Jn. 20:13. When she saw the Lord Jesus resurrected from the dead, she did not know Him and thought he was the gardener, “Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?”” Jn. 20:15. When the women who were bringing the spices went to the tomb, entered, and did not find the body of The Lord Jesus, two angels appeared to them, “Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen!”” Lu. 24:5.
A person cries, is afraid, is disturbed and bows their head to the ground when they do not know how to ask for something or is afraid of asking for the wrong thing. Mary Magdalene was looking for Jesus’ body and could not imagine that the empty tomb was the sign of His resurrection. How could the Lord Jesus turn the tomb, which is a symbol of death, into a symbol of life.
Jesus said to his disciples “Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.” Jn. 16: 23-24. The Lord Jesus said to his disciples before His crucifixion, “Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you. And in that day you will ask Me nothing.” Jn. 16:22-23. That day is the resurrection day. When the risen Christ resurrected from the dead, the Bible mentions, “When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.” Jn. 20:20.
We rejoice in the resurrection of our good God, who trampled death with death and those in the tombs were granted eternal life. The true joy is that we ask in the name of Christ to make our joy full. The request that results in joy is the true request. Mary Magdalene was seeking Jesus among the dead, looking for the body of the Lord Jesus and could not imagine that He had risen; so she did not rejoice but was crying.
If we are looking for Christ among the mortal matters of this world,
If we are looking for Christ who gives us earthly things,
If we are looking for Christ to establish an earthly kingdom,
We will certainly grieve and cry.
Jesus promised his disciples to come and take them, not to be with them on earth. “I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” Jn. 14:2-3.
As we celebrate the Holy Resurrection of the Lord Jesus, let us lift our hearts and minds, remembering the words of St. Paul, “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” Col. 3:1-3.
The true celebration of the resurrection is the celebration of the new life, “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,” Eph. 2:4-6. It is the new life in Christ Jesus. We must strive in our lives and sow good crops to reap good fruits. St. Paul says, “for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who owns to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.” Gal. 6:7-8. We must not make poor requests, as St. James warns us, “You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.” James 4:3. The greatest thing a person can ask for is wisdom; a wise person always works for his eternity, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him, but let him ask in faith, with no doubting.” James 1:5.
We must seek the living among the dead and not seek the things of this world, but rather seek our God to grant us wisdom; redeeming the time because days are evil. A wise person does good for others. “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heat. Therefore, as we have an opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.” Gal 6:9-10.
May the Lord grant you many opportunities to do good through Santa Verena’s charitable programs. May the Lord reward you with eternal glory for your support for your needy brothers.
Wishing you many happy returns,