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April 24, 2022

Second Homily for Pascha Sunday (Archpriest Rodion Putyatin)

 By Archpriest Rodion Putyatin

"This is the day the Lord has made: 
let us rejoice and be glad in it!" (Ps. 117:2).

This day is a day of special joy, unique gladness; we have no feast more cheerful and joyful than the present. And with what eagerness we all await it, with what pleasant anxiousness we prepare for it, with what pleasure we greet each other when it comes. At the words "Christ is risen", we ourselves, as it were, are resurrected, the soul comes to life, the heart admires. Yes, this feast is established for this, so that we rejoice and be glad.

Is it really necessary now for everyone, even unrepentant sinners, to rejoice? What does such a sinner seem to rejoice about now? Christ has risen, but in the soul of the unrepentant He has not risen; Christ destroyed the kingdom of darkness, but the impenitent are all in captivity with the devil; Christ crushed the gates of Hades, but the unrepentant will not escape the fire of Gehenna; Christ trampled down death, but the unrepentant does not escape eternal death; Christ brought Angels closer to us, but they all flee from the unrepentant, as from a stinking corpse.

Alas, poor unrepentant sinner! Everyone has a festival now, only you do not. Everyone is now having fun, celebrating, people and angels are rejoicing together, only you have nothing to celebrate and no one to have fun with. No matter how you adorn yourself from the outside, no matter how you clean your body, it is clear that you will not have joy now, because your soul is not renewed, stained with sins, not washed with tears of contrition, not cleansed in the bath of repentance. Whatever table you prepare for yourself, it is clear that you should be hungry now, for your soul is hungry, you did not feed it either with the word of God, or with the Body and Blood of Christ. Wherever you go, there is no joy for you anywhere - for here you will meet a beggar whom you have refused; there you will see the widow whom you despised; at every step you will come across either someone offended by you, or seduced, or deceived, or slandered, or ....

But why am I disturbing the soul of a sinner on such a feast? Oh, he, the poor one, never has peace without doing that. No, calm down, sinner! You are poor in good deeds, but God is rich in mercy to you. Take it easy! The door of repentance is not yet closed to you, and through this door you will enter into the full joy of this day. Weep, sigh to God from the depths of your soul about your sins. Some weep for joy, but you will rejoice in your own tears. It is cheerful to shed tears of remorse; crying sweetly for sins. Cry, sigh for the feast - and you will have a real feast of the Resurrection: Christ will rise in you, you will be freed from the slavery of the devil, you will not die an eternal death, the Angels of God will rejoice over you in Heaven. Yes, the Angels of God in Heaven will rejoice when they see your tears of repentance, when they hear your sighs for your sins.

Therefore, none of us should now lose heart; the doors of gladness are open to all; enter without hesitation; rivers of joy flow for all - draw without fear.

Let us revive with real triumph, embrace each other, forgive those who hate us all for the Risen One, and let us sing with our lips and heart: Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and on those in the tombs, bestowing life. Amen.