Bright Week! Easter Monday, Bright Monday!
April 17, 2017 by prschroeder
Alleluia. Christ Jesus abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. Alleluia. 2 Tim. 1:10
“Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and on those in tombs bestowing life.”-Orthodox Paschal Hymn
COLLECT OF THE DAY
O God, in the paschal feast You restore all creation. Continue to send Your heavenly gifts upon Your people that they may walk in perfect freedom and receive eternal life; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord,who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
or Daniel 12:1 c-3
Psalm 100 (antiphon: v. 5) Acts 10:34-43
or 1 Corinthians 5:6b-8
Introduction: The Eastern Orthodox Churches have a great custom by calling the first week of the Paschal (Easter) Season “Bright Week”. A great way to begin the 50 Days of Pascha leading to Pentecost, as we look at what our risen Lord taught His Church for her life and mission into the world. Easter, like Christmas, is not only a day each, but a season each.
It is hard to put the put the adjective “Bright” in front of Monday as it seems an oxymoron especially after all the celebrations of Easter Sunday. We can not keep the excitement going, as we should not as we can not. It is not our spiritual highs, the emotions that are the source of our life, but the risen Lord Jesus Christ! During these 40 days when the risen Lord appeared to the 530, He, the Good Shepherd, was seeking His own and finding the lost. He was teaching them and comforting them. He came with no condemnation but His Body and Blood for their salvation. His Body and Blood, the Word made flesh, the Word crucified and risen alone keeps us going. Sometimes on a Monday morning, simply afloat! We need His Word as daily bread every day.
Further, as Lent is time of preparation for seekers to be Baptized, then the Paschal Season is a time for the newly baptized, and the ‘oldly’ baptized as well, to be instructed in the Way of the Lord more fully. St. Basil the Great wrote it well regarding Baptism in Christ Jesus’ death and resurrection:
“This is what it means to be born again of water and Spirit: the water accomplishes our death, while the Spirit raises us to life. This great sign of baptism is fulfilled in three immersions, with three invocations, so that the image of death might be completely formed, and the newly baptized might have their souls enlightened with divine knowledge. If there is any grace in the water, it does not come from the nature of the water, but from the Spirit’s Presence, since baptism is not a removal of dirt from the body, but an appeal to God for a clear conscience (1 Peter 3: 21) The Lord describes in the Gospel the pattern of life we must be trained to follow after the (baptismal) resurrection: gentleness, endurance, freedom for the defiling love of pleasure, and from covetousness. We must be determined to, acquire in this life all the qualities of the life to come. To define the Gospel as a description of what resurrectional life should be like seems to be correct and appropriate, as far as I am concerned.” (On the Holy Spirit by St. Basil the Great; emphasis my own)
Almighty God,by the glorious resurrection of Your Son, Jesus Christ, You destroyed death and brought life and immortality to light.Grant that we who have been raised with Him may abide in His presence and rejoice in the hope of eternal glory;through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord,who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,one God, now and forever.