He is Truly Risen: Weekly Message for 04-23-2019

Dear Friends in Christ,

Last Saturday Evening, starting with the Easter Vigil, we began the Easter season. Yes, that’s right: Easter is not just a day, it is a season. Eastern Christians have the custom of greeting someone by saying, “Christ is Risen!” The response is “He is truly risen” or “He is risen, indeed,” which is loosely inspired in the words of the Apostles when the disciples of Emmaus run back to the Cenacle to tell them they had walked and talked with Jesus (Luke 24:34: “The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!”).

Luke’s account points out that they spoke with the “Eleven,” because Judas had not yet been replaced. When the moment came to choose a replacement for Judas and re-establish the Twelve, narrated in the Acts of the Apostles, one of the requirements to be considered was that he “…must become with us a witness to his resurrection” (Acts 1:22). This occurred just before Pentecost, when the Twelve, spurred by Holy Spirit, went out and gave testimony to the Resurrection throughout the known world: “This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses” (Acts 2:32; see also Acts 3:15, 5:32, 10:39-41).

Sometimes as believers we must remind ourselves that Christ is truly risen. He really rose from the dead, and that victory over death makes it impossible for us to live the same way ever again or to keep that good news to ourselves. As St. Paul said (1 Corinthians 15:53–57),

For this perishable nature must put on the imperishable, and this mortal nature must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:

“Death is swallowed up in victory.”

“O death, where is thy victory?

O death, where is thy sting?”

[…] thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Our Lord won the victory that will enable us one day to put on immortality and rob death of its sting and its victory. That is the Good News that we are all called to share. Why wouldn’t we?

May the Risen Lord help transform you this Easter Season into his joyful witness.

Father Nikola Derpich, L.C.


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