PASCHAL ENCYCLICAL TO THE GOD-LOVING FLOCK OF THE DIOCESE OF NORTH AMERICA
Christ is Risen!
Once again, the most-merciful God has vouchsafed us to arrive at the feast of Pascha. The Church calls upon all of us to “enjoy this fine and bright festival, those who had labored, and those who had been slothful, those who had fasted, and those who had not fasted.” (Paschal Encyclical of St. John Chrysostom)
“The beatifically honorable Lord will accept the last even as the first… He shows mercy upon the last and gratifies the first… and He both accepts the deeds and welcomes the intention and honors the acts and praises the offering.” With these words Saint John Chrysostom reveals to us the benevolence of God and calls upon each believer to enter without distress into the joy of our risen Lord and Savior.
And this joy is not earthly, but spiritual, mystical and therefore is not subject to psychological analysis or testing and is indescribable in any human language. This joy, as the Holy Hierarch John so vividly construes, is not given in accordance with our accomplishments. This is God’s gift abundantly bestowed on this chosen and holy day. What a comfort! “And your heart shall rejoice and your joy no man taketh from you.” (John,16:22)
May God grant all of you, from the first to the last, this Paschal joy, this comfort in our Lord and Savior.
Your humble +Bishop Stefan Pascha, 2015
of Trenton and North America
(A Russian version is available on our Russian-language website. Click here.)