Bright Week Sermons: To Die and To Rise From the Dead


We have the purpose and the meaning of our lives — union of man and God and the victory over death. It is a unique season in our liturgical year now - the time when we get ready for Pascha, when we begin to talk about resurrection not only from a theoretical standpoint but from our personal experience — this invaluable experience of living with God, when there is no death. We need the Lent in order to partake of the great sacrifice that the Lord makes for the sake of our salvation.
The Lent is not only a healthy diet — one can binge on lenten food, too. Many people say, "Oh finally, it's Lent, we're going to eat something delicious! We've had enough fatty and high-calorie meals so here's a chance for us to become healthier while eating something tasty." Fast is something radically different: it involves seeing one's insanity and one's ugliness, as well as working for the sake of resurrection, for a change and transformation of one's life. Food doesn't matter: you shouldn't be distracted by food-related issues! Essentially, you have to humble yourself down and to learn to say no, even if you have a craving for something.
Someone might say, "Oh, the Lent has been so difficult, I have had to work so hard!" Another person might argue, "Oh, it has been so easy: I haven't wanted to eat anything, and I have felt so powerful!" Whose experience is more valuable? The experience of the first person was more precious because he invested a lot into it. It appears to us that praying, fasting, and humbling ourselves down is so painful. What else would you expect? Narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life (cf. Matthew 7: 14). We tread this path in order to become different and to grow into a God's creation. We have come to God so as to see our old self perish and our new self, which lives according to the law of love, to be born. We have come to die and to rise from the dead.

 Archpriest Andrew Lemeshonok


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