June 2005

Fr. Antony PortraitDear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen!

I was moved this evening by a sentence in an article written by our own Jamil Samara that sums up for me what being a Christian is all about. "...to be overwhelmed with love for all."

It is love that moved God to create and that moves him to sustain creation. It is love that moved Him to send His Only-Begotten Son into the world. It is love that moved the Father to send His All-Holy Spirit to live and move in and among us. It is love that formed the Church. It is by love that we are known to be His disciples. Without love we are nothing.

Love is impossible without others. To love we must serve. To be like Christ we must lay down our lives for one another. All men and women are our mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters; there is not one we are commanded not to love.

Prejudice and bigotry have no place among us. We cannot allow ourselves to hold grudges of any kind or to harbor resentment or unforgiveness. What heavy burdens these are! How unlike God these are! The yoke of Christ, on the other hand, is light.

Holy Pascha, my dear friends, is the Feast par excellance of Love. I hope and pray you did not miss this message; it rings so loud and clear. Only a hardened heart can mistake it for something else. "Let us embrace one another with joy, O what a Pascha, ransom from sorrow!"

Allow yourselves to be overwhelmed by Love. The same ecstasy of Love that caused God to shower Creation with blessings is what we are invited to participate in and share "at all times and at every hour."

Yours in the Risen Savior,,

V. Rev. Antony Hughes