May 2003

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Fr. Antony PortraitChrist is Risen! Truly He is Risen!

Rightly we celebrate Holy Pascha with great joy! This is the "festival of festivals", the "feast of feasts" and the "night that is brighter than day." How easily we get caught up in the panoply of light, song, pageantry and excitement. But the moment comes quickly when we find ourselves once again in the hustle and bustle of what we like to call "the real world." We wonder what is was all about or why it had to end so soon. What ends is our excitement and with it we lose our focus. Perhaps we, like children, love the party more than the Host.

The Risen Lord stands forever at the door of our hearts and knocks. We may have opened it for a brief moment at Holy Pascha, but the truth is that we close it again and forget that we have no need to fear. The trick is to remember Him, that He is near and wants to come "and dine with us." The experience of the Paschal night may fade, but the joy of His presence need never depart. The secret is to believe and have faith that the One who promised to never forsake us keeps His promises. It is we who move away. It is we hwho become neglectful.

"Come unto Me all ye that labor and are heavy laden. Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me. For I am meek and lowly of heart and you shall find rest unto your souls." This must be our focus. The party is one thing, but the day to day relationship with the Host is quite another. Finally, we must learn that it is the latter that makes possible the former and then even the "mundane meals" with Him, every moment of our lives spent in remembrance, will take on more and more the mantle of True Joy.

Love in the Risen Christ,

Fr. Antony