The place of these two catecheses in the numbering suggests that they may have been given during the 4th week of Lent.
this Pascha is a type of the future and eternal Pascha;
Isaias 35:10. The phrase is familiar from the prayer for the departed.
Cf. Psa. 42:4, where the Greek has a singular. The same phrase is found, but
with the plural, in the prayers after Communion.
Cf. John 21:12.
The Greek has koinon, ‘common’, but the word should be kainon,
‘new’, as the following citation makes clear. There is also an echo of
the Paschal canon, ‘Come, let drink a new drink’ (poma kainon).
It is difficult to reproduce the play in Greek on stenochoria and evrychoria.
2 Corinthians 11:14.
St Theodore uses a very rare verb paschazein, and temptation to
follow G. M. Hopkins and use ‘easter’ as a verb is irresistible. The
only reference in Lampe is to St Theodore’s contemporary Theophanes, who
uses it of the Quartodecimans, who ‘easter’ with the Jews.
to feast each day and to easter to the Lord God consists in the death the
passions and the resurrection of the virtues.
and fathers, the day of Pascha is drawing near, since with God’s help we have
passed the mid-point of the fast. But are we pressing forward to reach the
Pascha that comes and goes? Have we not achieved this year after year? The
present Pascha too will pass, for there is nothing lasting inthe present age,
but, All our days pass like a shadow,
and our life travels like a rapid rider, until it has driven us to the final
boundary of life. ‘What’, someone says, ‘is Pascha not to be desired?’
Of course, it very much to be desired. How could it not be? But we accomplish
Pascha every day. And what is this? Cleansing from sins, contrition of heart,
tears of compunction, a clean conscience, the death of the
parts of us that are earthly: immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire,
and any other evil that is at work. One who has been found worthy in all this
does not easter and celebrate a much longed for feast to the Lord just once a
year, but, we may say, does so each day. Someone, on the other hand, who does
not have all the foregoing, but is held fast by the passions, cannot celebrate.
For how can someone celebrate whose god is their stomach?
Or who is aflame with fleshly lust? Or melted by the heat of jealousy? Or
drowned by the love of money? Or enslaved to vainglory? Or caught up by
the other passions. No one could possibly say that someone with a high fever was
at rest, or that someone shipwrecked was making a good voyage. It simply isn’t
possible. It is impossible for someone who has become dark to be enlightened, or
for someone possessed by sins to celebrate. But for you, brothers, we are
confident of better things, ones that promise salvation. For our way of life is
nothing other than preparation
for a feast. Look at the reality: psalmody succeeds psalmody; reading, reading;
study, study; prayer, prayer, like a wheel drawing us and joining us to God. How
truly excellent is this way of life, how supremely excellent! How blessed this
life and thrice-blessed! So then, since we have been shown the sought for Pascha,
my honoured brothers, let us make it our aim, and, as far as we can, celebrate
it every day, through the death of the passions and the resurrection of the
virtues, in imitation of the Lord, because he too suffered for us, leaving us
an example that we should follow in his steps.
And I say this, not so we become judges of the others —for each has their
own load to carry—but
so that, conscious of the grace that has been given us by God, we may give
thanks to the giver, glorify the benefactor, repay the master, who has not only
granted our present blessings, but also, to those who genuinely serve him to the
end, he will also give those that are in his promises, that eternal and heavenly
Pascha. May we all attain it, by the grace and love for humankind of our Lord
Jesus Christ, to whom be glory and might, with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
now and always, and to the ages of ages. Amen.
Cf. Philippians 3:19.
The ordinary Greek word for ‘preparation’, paraskevi, in
Christian Greek also means Friday, in particular Good Friday, the
‘preparation’ for Pascha.
1 Peter 2:21. The critical editions have the second person throughout.
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This page was last updated on 03 November 2008