“Let no one bewail his sins. Forgiveness has dawned from the tomb .”
Beloved in Christ,
One of the many cherished parts in our Paschal celebration is the Catechetical Homily of St. John Chrysostom, where those hopeful words are exclaimed.
Sometimes we may feel that the good change in this world is too slow or not happening at all. Sometimes we may feel that we know we are doing something wrong, but do not know how to change. Sometimes we resist repentance, and sometimes we resist forgiving the offenses of others.
What is this dawn of forgiveness, then, to which the Holy Hierarch calls our attention?
God, having been a guest in His own earthly creation, having been a guest in a new tomb, offers not only hospitality to us in His Heavenly Kingdom, but he makes us the very heirs of the Kingdom.
Day by day, we must never forget that, with God, forgiveness is possible. Forgiveness is a miracle, and it is the gift that God gladly bestows to those desiring to do His will.
So often, we feel that our track records must be perfect, otherwise all hope is lost.
The Church does not care about what goes down on paper as our track record, but is concerned about the Holy Spirit and the power of sanctification, the growth and progress we show with the gifts God has given us. Peter’s denials are all on paper, and we read them year after year! All of us know he repented and gave his whole self to Christ. All of us now call him Saint! What a great tribute to God, Who gives grace, love, healing. And restoration to the sinner!
We must never become callous by our sins or the sins of others. We must never let our love run cold. Run to the Lord and partake of the forgiveness! Share that with others! Insist on pursuing God for spiritual growth, and never lose trust in God's love and forgiveness that has dawned from the tomb!
May we recognize the love of God that is in every person, receive and offer forgiveness, and believe in Christ who gives resurrection to all!
Love in Christ,