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Saturday, May 1, 2021

Reflection for Holy and Great Saturday (St. Theophan the Recluse)

 By St. Theophan the Recluse

The Lord sleeps bodily in the tomb; in soul He descended into hades and preached salvation to the souls there. The Old Testament saints were not in heaven, although they abode in the consoling faith that they would be brought there as soon as the Promised One came to earth, having lived by faith in Him. There also the Forerunner foretold of His coming. When the Lord descended, all who believed cleaved to Him and were lifted up by Him into heaven. But even that heaven is only the threshold of the true paradise which will be revealed after the General Resurrection and Judgement. Although all of the new testament saints also are blessed in heaven, they await an even more perfect bliss in the age to come, with a new heaven and new earth (cf. Rev. 21:1), when God will be all in all (cf. I Cor. 15:28).
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