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April 25, 2022

Third Homily for Pascha Sunday (Archpriest Rodion Putyatin)

By Archpriest Rodion Putyatin

Christ is Risen! We thank You, Lord, that You made us sinners worthy to arrive at and worship Your Holy Resurrection!

Christ is Risen! I wish you, listeners, to spend this holy and joyful feast in holiness and in joy. How much it is proper to rejoice now, how much it is necessary to behave holy now; it is a sin, one might say, not to rejoice now - so great is this feast for us; it is purely sinful to sin now, so holy are these days. So, and I repeat to you my desire: I wish you to celebrate this holy and joyful feast of the Bright Resurrection of Christ in a holy and joyful way; I wish that you are now both cheerful and not sinning.

How can we combine both? How can we make sure that we both have joy on a real feast and not sin?

The holiness and joy of this holiday comes from the remembrance of Jesus Christ, Who is the source of all holiness and joy. As light and warmth come to the earth from the sun, so holiness and joy are poured out on this feast from Jesus Christ. Here, pious listener, is from what source you can and should draw for yourself both holiness and joy: remember Jesus Christ, the Originator of this feast, and you will celebrate both holy and in joy. The remembrance of Jesus Christ will save you from sins, and fill your heart with joy, Jesus Christ is full of holiness and abounds with joy, so that even a momentary remembrance of Him leaves holiness and joy in the soul for a long time; just as a vessel filled with fragrant myrrh gives fragrance to all who approach it, so Jesus Christ, this inexhaustible vessel of holiness and joy, pours out holiness and joy on everyone who remembers Him.

Remember Jesus Christ, remember Him unceasingly, relate everything to Him, do everything for Him, look at Him in everything, may Jesus Christ be with you and before you all on this feast - and you will celebrate both in holiness and in joy. If sinful thoughts come to your mind, then tell them: for the sake of Jesus Christ, I do not want to deal with you. If something good comes to your mind, say to yourself: I will do it for the sake of Jesus Christ. If something pleases you, then say: I will rejoice for the sake of Jesus Christ. If worldly sorrow weighs you down, then tell it: I do not want to have such sorrow for the sake of Jesus Christ. If you are unhappy, poor, lonely, upset, offended, then say: I will forget all this, I will rejoice, be glad for the sake of Jesus Christ. If you sin in anything ... no, do not sin, for the sake of Jesus Christ do not sin, do not desecrate the holy feast. So decide to be glad and behave for the sake of Jesus Christ, then Jesus Christ will save you from sins and give joy to your heart. Do everything for Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ will do everything for you.

But if, despite all this, nothing will please you on this joyful feast, if, while trying to keep yourself from sins, you cannot but grieve, if you become so cowardly that you are not able to sing the Resurrection of Christ, then turn to the sweetest Jesus, tell Him about your grief, convey your sorrow to Him, reveal your weakness to Him: “Lord! Grief weighs me down, I mourn, I cannot rejoice. Send me some gladness, please me with something so that I don’t feel sad on Your feast. So pray, so sigh, and then you yourself will not want worldly joys, for sinners like you and me, no joy can be higher than that which a sinner feels when he weeps before the sweetest Jesus.

Yes, it is sweet to weep before the sweetest Jesus. However, Jesus Christ Himself will not want to leave you in sorrow and in tears for the sake of His feast. He will certainly please you with something, please you with something you don’t think; and you will be of good humour, and you will cheerfully sing the Resurrection of Christ. Amen.