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The Easter of the Lord and our own!

Archbishopric of Catholic Athens
In the Easter Vigil the priest calls “Τhe remembrance of the Lord’s Pasch” and sings the Easter Proclamation (The Exultet): “O truly blessed night, alone worthy to know the time and the hour when Christ rose from the dead. Night when heaven is wedded to earth and man is reconciled with God.”  And interprets the events: “O Father, how wonderful your care for us! How boundless your merciful love! to ransom a slave you gave away your Son!”
During the Easter Vigil we also hear various readings, to “study the way in which God saved His people”. When the priest blesses the water of Baptism, we ask God: “Continue to surround with your protection those who are born again with the water of Baptism.” And we ask Him:  “May the grace that we feel today because of your gifts stabilise in us the hope for you future goodness.”
To enjoy this future goodness, however, it is necessary: “to be cleansed from sin in a new birth of innocence by water and the Holy Spirit”
This is why the priest asks us: “Do you reject sin so as to live in the freedom of God’s children? Do you reject the glamour of evil and refuse to be mastered by sin? Do you reject Satan, father of sin and prince of darkness?”

By these few words the reason for the importance of Easter is revealed.
First and foremost it is the Passover of Our Lord, i.e. the passage of Jesus Christ from rejection, pain and death without having sinned and so passing on to the Resurrection into a new and imperishable eternal life. It is His victory over evil because he did the will of His Father right up to the end, and His victory over death because He rose from the dead and will never die again! And this Easter-Passover gives us to this the possibility and invites is to live our own Easter-Passover into a new life! Why a new life? Because God sacrificed His Son to save humanity!  How can I, a human being, be saved?
The first step was taken when we were baptised, and when as we grew up received catechism and believed in the Saviour. But THIS IS NOT ENOUGH. Our Baptism offers us now a new life with which God adopts us as His children with a view to us enjoying His Eternal life.   But for our passage to eternal life to be assured, we must live our lives here maintaining daily the hope of eternal life, and living each day in the freedom of the children of God.    
Freedom from what? From totalitarian regimes? From injustice, illness and pain? No! What really enslaves a person is not that which happens around us and outside ourselves, but whatever happens inside us. Christ tells us: “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, and blasphemies. These are the things which defile a person.” (Μt 15,19-20).
This is why the priest asks us again: “Do you reject sin so as to live in the freedom of God’s children? Do you reject the glamour of evil and refuse to be mastered by sin? Do you reject Satan, father of sin and prince of darkness?”
What shall we answer so as not to pretend, but to live a true Easter along with the Risen Christ? May the Lord Jesus give us His grace!

Sebastian, Archibishop



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