Master, it is good for us to be here (Luke 9:33) – this is what we can say now to our God, Who came to this world to save humanity. Today we are here because this is where God’s love dwells — the love that heals all fatal wounds, corrects all errors and makes up for any loss. There is no other road for an Orthodox Christian but the road to Christ. All other roads will lead us to a dead-end sooner or later. We will find nothing in that dead-end but our own ego, our own madness and loneliness.
We thank God for allowing us to attend His Feast on this Easter night. People who have partaken of the Holy Communion today will head into the city and carry the Risen Christ with them. What a light it will be! Just look at how many churches there are in this city, and in each of the people are accepting God.
Sometimes it seems to us that there is so much evil in the world that people have lost their ability to think and choose good over evil. This is wrong! Christ is the Victor! There is nothing to be afraid of if we choose to be with God. There were some periods in our history when the government used the power of all its immense apparatus to destroy the Holy Church and the people’s faith in Christ. In spite of that, Christ defeated them. Today, Christ is triumphant, too! There are many other temptations in the world – the modern civilization, loads of information, various things that make life more convenient and comfortable – and without all of those things, our life appears to be impossible. Actually, the only thing that is really impossible is life without God. On the contrary, with Him, you can live anywhere, even in prison. Father Nicholas Gurianov once told me: “You know, being in prison can be good, too. People work there…”
You will find it good to live anywhere if you live with God. At the same time, you will feel bad wherever you might be if there is no Christ in your heart. I congratulate you all on receiving the Sacraments of Christ and on this Day of His Resurrection! Let us keep this joy of the Resurrection throughout the entire church year. Let us always bear in mind the example of the life of St Seraphim of Sarov. His life was difficult and sometimes even intolerable. Despite the fact that he faced many challenges on his way, he would always greet others with the following words, “My dear, Christ is risen!” We should also learn to live as he did. We should keep the Risen Christ in our hearts despite all our sorrows and pains. We should learn to see God in every person. This is what the victory over death is really about. May God allow us to become part of this Victory. May we experience it and become strong enough to see the Kingdom of Heaven, where every believer wants to be, instead of anticipating the end of our existence.
Christ Is Risen!
We are all connected. Moreover, we are in the same boat, we all have the same helmsman who is setting the course, and we will get to our destination safely if we all stay on board.