April 15, 2012

What Pascha Isn't and What Pascha Is

Pascha isn't the lamb, nor the red egg, nor the tsoureki bread, nor the candle, nor the new clothes, nor is it our presence in the church ten minutes before the "Christ is Risen!" and a minute after. Pascha is not the worship of food, the festival, nor dance and drink. Pascha is not the spits in the street, nor the exchange of greetings, nor returning to the village. Or at least, that's not all it is.

Pascha is above all the taste of the Kingdom of God, the voice of heaven within us that comes when we receive at the Divine Liturgy. Then our soul, albeit briefly, is transformed, is calm, it feels something of forgiveness and love that rises from within the tomb. Then we feel we are brothers with the world, because we partake of the cup of Life together. Pascha is our change of life, our resurrection from our passions and vices which scar us. It is not worth saying that Pascha came and we were not reconciled with God, our fellow man, neighbor, ourselves, and that we feel more free from the bondage of evil and death. Pascha is also the defeat of the last enemy of human nature, that is death: He has trampled death by death ....

Pascha is the occasion for unity, unity between peoples and societies. We can not say that we celebrate the Resurrection while war and discord prevails in our souls. We can not say that we believe in the messages of Christ and to invoke this capacity to crush our people, reputations, conscience, fellows, neighbor, our brothers. We can not do Pascha with malice for others, whoever they are, what they have done us!

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos