www.basilica.ro – May 2016
The Resurrection of Christ is the sign of the victory of His humble love upon sin, upon the egoistic way of existence. Christ’s love is stronger than death meaning that He did not answer with wickedness to wickedness, with violence to violence. He did not answer with sinfulness to sin, but He conquered sin by holiness and prayed even for those who crucified Him. This crucified love becomes victorious by the Resurrection, and that is why Christ’s Resurrection shows us that every deed done in this world out of love of God and of the fellow people never perishes, said His Beatitude Daniel, Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church, during the midnight Resurrection service officiated at the Patriarchal Cathedral in Bucharest.
Thousands of believers present on the Hill of Joy (Hill of the Patriarchate) received the Holy Fire brought from Jerusalem. The Resurrection Service was presided by the Head of the Romanian Orthodox Church. His Grace Timotei of Prahova, Assistant Bishop to the Archdiocese of Bucharest, served together with the Patriarch.
His Excellency the President of Romania, Mr. Klaus Iohannis, together with his wife, Carmen Iohannis, participated in the Resurrection service at the Patriarchal Cathedral.
THE RESURRECTION OF THE LORD IS THE BEGINNING OF A NEW HEAVEN AND OF A NEW EARTH
The Feast of the Resurrection of the Lord represents the light or the ultimate sense of human life, the Romanian Patriarch stressed out. Light was the first element in the created Universe. The Light, created on the first day (of creation), is a garment or a symbol of another light – the Uncreated Light. With other words, Light is the memory of the Universe, as a transition from nothingness to being, from inexistence to existence. At the same time, the final goal of the Universe is the new heaven and the new earth or the transfiguration of heaven and earth in the Uncreated Light. That is why, on Easter night we chant: Shine, shine, O New Jerusalem. The Resurrection of the Lord is the beginning of a new heaven and of a new earth, where there shall be no death, nor corruption, decomposition or degradation of human nature, the Head of the Romanian Orthodox Church noted.
CHRIST WAS NOT RISEN FOR HIS OWN SAKE, BUT IN ORDER TO RAISE MAN FROM DEATH, FROM ETERNAL SOLITUDE
His Beatitude urged the faithful to fight against sin, as our Saviour Jesus Christ did. Passover or Easter means that Christ has conquered sin, hades and death, and granted us holiness instead of sin, as a way of being. By the descent of Christ’s soul jointed to his divinity, He has conquered hades, understood as an absolute solitude, bringing His eternal love amidst isolation or solitude, and establishing communion between those who had expected the Saviour. That is why, in Orthodoxy, Resurrection starts from Hades, where Christ preaches Resurrection to those who had been dwelling in the realm of the dead since the beginning of the world, since the fall of our forefathers, Adam and Eve. Christ was not risen for His own sake, but in order to raise man from death, from eternal solitude, and to bring him into the communion, the joy and the glory of the Kingdom of God, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel said.
THE MYSTERY OF SALVATION IS THE MYSTERY OF FREEDOM AND LOVE
The universal resurrection is accompanied by the evaluation of our deeds performed in history. Provided we loved God and our neighbours, we will enjoy the presence of God, who is love. If we rejected God, and refused His love, He respects our freedom to be eternally separated from Him. Because He does not force us to love Him if we do not want to. The entire mystery of salvation is the mystery of freedom and love. If we freely love God, we will feel the joy of communion, of eternal life with God. This is the mystery of love, which is stronger than sin, hades and death. This is the actual spiritual contents of Passover, His Beatitude Romanian Patriarch Daniel noted.
To conclude with, His Beatitude urged the faithful not to forget the poor, the ill, the suffering, the bereaved and the saddened.
After the homily, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel celebrated the festal Divine Liturgy of St John Chrysostom at the Patriarchal Cathedral.