EDITORIAL: An Easter message

Father George M. Coca

Father George M. Coca

When we moved to our home over 20 years ago, it was November and we couldn’t see what plantings there were around the house. At the first sign of warm weather, the dozens of daffodils popped up their heads and the beautiful purple and white hyacinths near our breezeway began to blossom.

Their fragrance wafted in the air and their perfume filled our senses and stayed with us whenever we came home or left the house. In spite of all the snow and ice piled up onto them and the chipmunks munching on them, they continue to push up with even more beauty year after year.

“O, Lord, how manifest are your works, in wisdom have You made them all!” Nature itself mirrors God’s truth and reveals His eternal mysteries in ways that we can understand simply by observing and understanding.

Saint John tells us in his Gospel, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to receive great glory. I am telling you the truth: a grain of wheat remains no more than a single grain unless it is dropped into the ground and dies. If it does die, then it produces much fruit.”

Jesus said these words to tell us that He came to the world and became one of us in order to show just how much God loves us. He came to live among us, to assume our troubles and sorrows, to suffer His passion and to die on the cross in our place with His arms spread wide in His loving embrace. From that death came His glorious resurrection from the tomb producing much “fruit” — namely the life without any end that He’s promised to all of us who love Him.

We Orthodox Catholic Christians use the name Pascha (Passover) for Easter. We believe that we pass from “bondage” to freedom, from death to life and from an end to a new beginning. During the 40 days of the Paschal season (from Pascha to Ascension Day) we greet each other with the phrase “Christ is Risen” and the response is “Indeed (Truly) He is Risen” before any other greeting.

And everyone sings the Pascha hymn “Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death and to those in the tombs, bestowing life.” God loves you and all of us His children. May He richly bless all people who seek the truth and work for the good of all humankind!

Father George M. Coca is parish priest at St. Dimitrie Orthodox Church, 504 Sport Hill Road, Easton.

St. Dimitrie Orthodox Church at 540 Sport Hill Road in Easton is undergoing a major iconography project on the interior of the sanctuary. The dome project was completed in March. — Susan Hunter photo

St. Dimitrie Orthodox Church at 540 Sport Hill Road in Easton is undergoing a major iconography project on the interior of the sanctuary. The dome project was completed in March. — Susan Hunter photo

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