Holy Pascha 2015

ΠΑΣΧΑ 2015

Ευλαβεστάτους Ιερατικώς Προϊσταμένους,
Εντιμοτάτους Προέδρους και Αξιότιμα Μέλη των Δ.Σ.,
Φιλοπτώχους Αδελφότητες,
Διδασκάλους, Διδασκάλισσες, Μαθητές και Μαθήτριες,
Νεολαία των Κοινοτήτων και άπαν το ευλαβές πλήρωμα
της Ελληνικής Ορθοδόξου Μητροπόλεως Τορόντο (Καναδά)

«Σταυραναστάσιμο»

Μητροπολίτη Σωτηρίου

Μας δημιούργησε από αγάπη και με αγάπη. Μας έβαλε στον Παράδεισο. Για να είμαστε ευτυχείς. Τον παρακούσαμε. Ποιόν; Τον Δημιουργό μας. Τον πικράναμε. Κόψαμε τις σχέσεις μαζί Του. Γίναμε δυστυχείς. Ζούσαμε στο σκοτάδι.

Ήλθε ο Μονάκριβος Υιός Του. Ο Θεάνθρωπος Χριστός. Ήλθε για να μας δώσει μια δεύτερη ευκαιρία και να σωθούμε. Δεν Τον αναγνωρίσαμε. Δεν Τον φιλοξενήσαμε. Δεν Του δώσαμε ούτε τόπο να γεννηθεί. Γεννήθηκε στη φάτνη των αλόγων.

Μας δίδαξε την αλήθεια. Τον σταυρώσαμε με ψευδομάρτυρες. Στο σταυρό πονεί. Σφαδάζει. Χύνει το αίμα Του σταλαματιά – σταλαματιά για να πλύνει και να γειάνει τις δικές μας τις πληγές. Εκείνος έπασχε για μας. Εμείς Τον λοιδορίζαμε. Τον υβρίζαμε. Εκείνος από το σταυρό συγχώρεσε και μας. Τους στραυρωτές Του. Εμείς δεν καταλάβαμε τον πόνο Του. Ούτε την αγάπη Του.

Παρέδωκε το πνεύμα Του στο σταυρό. Κατέβηκε στον Άδη. Εκήρυξε και εκεί την αλήθεια. Για να σώσει τους απ’αιώνος νεκρούς. Για να τους αναστήσει. Αναστήθηκε για να αναστηθούμε. Αναλήφθηκε στους ουρανούς, φέροντας στους ώμους Του την ανθρώπινη φύση. Για να κάμει δυνατή την δική μας ανάληψη. Την επιστροφή μας στον παράδεισο.

Όπως απόψε γιορτάζομε την Ανάστασή Του και κρατάμε στα χέρια μας αναμμένες λαμπάδες, σκέφτομαι. Είδαμε το φως το αληθινό; Επικρατεί το φως της Ανάστασης στο σημερινό κόσμο; Μήπως ο κόσμος επέστρεψε στο σκοτάδι της αμαρτίας; Σήμερα ο Χριστός σταυρώνεται χιλιάδες φορές στα πρόσωπα των χριστιανών και μη χριστιανών που αδικούνται. Φονεύονται. Σφάζονται. Σταυρώνονται αθώοι και μάλιστα στο όνομα κάποιου θεού. Είναι δυνατόν αυτός ο θεός να είναι αληθινός; Ένας είναι ο Αληθινός Θεός. Ο Αναστημένος Χριστός, που θυσιάστηκε για τους ανθρώπους.

Αγαπημένοι μου χριστιανοί. Ζήστε την Ανάστασή Του! Μην ξεχνάτε τους σταυρωμένους σήμερα μικρούς χριστούς. Όπως αναστήθηκε ο Χριστός θα αναστηθούνε και οι σταυρωμένοι μικροί χριστοί. Θα αναστηθούμε και όλοι εμείς. Αναστημένοι θα ζούμε αιώνια μαζί Του, συμμετέχοντες στην άπειρη Αγάπη Του. Στην άπειρη Δόξα Του. Στην Αγιότητά Του. Χριστός Ανέστη!

Με πατρική αγάπη και θερμές ευχές εν Χριστώ Αναστάντι

Ο ΜΗΤΡΟΠΟΛΙΤΗΣ

Ο ΤΟΡΟΝΤΟ ΣΩΤΗΡΙΟΣ

Metropolis1

PASCHA 2015

Reverend Fathers, Honourable Presidents,
Esteemed Members of the Community Councils,
Philoptochos Societies, Teachers, Students and Youth,
And to the entire plenitude of our
Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Toronto (Canada)

“Thoughts on the Crucifixion and Resurrection”

By Metropolitan Sotirios

God created us out of love and in abiding love. He placed us in Paradise, so that we could be filled with joy and everlasting happiness. But we disobeyed Him. Who did we refuse to listen to? God, our Creator. We embittered and saddened Him. We severed our relationship with Him. We became miserable and unhappy. We lived in gloom and darkness.

God took the initiative, out of His deep love for His creation, to come and to help us. He sent His only and most precious Son to save us. Jesus Christ was sent by God the Father to be born of the Virgin Mary and the Holy Spirit as a human, yet remaining God. He is both God and Man, so that as God He could save the human race from perishing. He came to give us a second chance so that we can be saved from eternal death and corruption. But we did not recognize Him. We did not welcome Him. We did not extend to Him our love and hospitality. We could not offer Him even a fitting place to be born. He was born in a dark cave – a stable for animals, and placed to rest in the feeding trough of hay for the animals.

He taught us the truth. In return, we crucified him on the basis of false accusations and lying witnesses. He was tortured by being crucified on the cross. He writhed in pain, as the nails pierced His hands and feet. The crown of thorns teared at his flesh. He shed His blood – drop by drop – in order to wash away our transgressions and to heal our own wounds and sorrows. He suffered greatly for us. We mocked and reviled Him. We jeered and insulted Him. As He sufered on the Cross, He forgave not only those who tortured and afflicted Him, but all of us. We can never appreciate or understand the pain and suffering He endured for our sakes. Neither can we apprehend the depths of His boundless love for us.

Our Lord Jesus Christ gave up His spirit and died on the Cross for us and for our salvation. He descended into Hades. There, He also preached the truth and granted new life to those who were there. He shattered the bars that imprisoned those long dead, in order to grant them eternal life and resurrection. He Himself was raised from the dead in order to raise us up at the Universal Resurrection. The Risen Christ ascended to heaven after 40 days, bearing on his shoulders the human nature that He was born with and received from the Virgin Mary. He does this in order to make possible our ascension to the heavens and our return to paradise.

Tonight, we joyously celebrate our Lord’s glorious Resurrection from the dead. Before we light the candles that we now hold, let us take a moment to reflect. What does all this mean for us? What is our relationship with the Risen Jesus Christ like? Have we seen His true light? Do we invite Him into our lives to illumine the darkness within? Does the light of His Truth and Resurrection illumine the hearts and minds of all people in the world today? Have the people perhaps returned to the darkness of sin and enmity and hate? Daily, we see and hear in the news of wars, strife and unrest in many parts of the world. Today, Christ is crucified again and again in the thousands of people who are killed in His name, and in those of other creeds who are hunted down and killed for their beliefs. They are unjustly murdered and are slain like lambs. Others are beheaded and even crucified in the name of a false god. Is it possible for this counterfeit god to be real and to be appeased by the blood of so many innocent martyrs? There is only One True God! He is the Resurrected Theanthropos Jesus Christ, the Lord and Saviour, who willingly sacrificed Himself out of love for the sake of all humanity.

Beloved Christians! Live and celebrate the joy of our Lord’s Resurrection tonight and always! Remember in your prayers and never forget those “little christs” who are being martyred and crucified today because of their faith in the Resurrected Christ. They too will be resurrected with Him. All of us will be resurrected as well with our Risen Saviour, who conquered death and bestows Life to those in the graves. Being raised from the dead to new and everlasting Life, we will live eternally with Him, participating in His infinite and boundless Love for us – in His infinite glory and Holiness forever more. Christ Is Risen!

With fatherly love and blessings in the Risen Lord,

Metropolitan Archbishop Sotirios

Head of the Greek Orthodox Church in Canada

Comments are closed.