Easter 2011

09:56 PM | By | Category: Parish and pastoral care, News
Dear friends!   The German week in Saint Petersburg this year was opened by the Bavarian prime-minister Horst Seehofer. This became another opportunity for me to discuss a pending issue regarding our cathedral’s territory. It seems I have found understanding from Mr. Seehofer, who has promised me to discuss this topic in his meeting with the governor. At the same time, four consulates general continue to show support, after having sent our complaint along with their own supporting letter to the head St.Petersburg’s government. Yet another attempt to move this issue from a dead point.  

fresco by Andrea Bonaiuti da Firenze. Florence (1343 - 1377)

On Easter, we celebrate Christ’s Resurrection; His triumph over sin and death. It’s preceded by His descending into hell (Acts 2:30-31). Even in the name of faith, we continuously speak the words “descended into hell”, but in reality it’s difficult for us to understand and imagine our Lord being in the underworld. Great theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar thinks this portrays the state of loneliness and abandonment of Jesus Christ on the cross. In doing so, von Balthasar references the last words of our Savior on the cross: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? (Mark 15:34). We can only faintly imagine how the Son of God felt God’s abandonment.   Such state is the most painful and horrific experience of mankind. It is the hell that we believe to be not some place, but a state of isolation and complete loneliness (according to the words of cardinal Ratzinger). Jesus, Son of God, shared and lived through this horrible loneliness and abandonment with many people, in order to save them. Despite of the threat of despair, there is hope that our relationship with God will not end. We believe, not without reason, that no one is left out from God, including all generations of people, who lived before Christ’s birth and those, currently outside the communion of the church, as long as they open their hearts to God’s love.   But even those, who turned away from God and chose to be in the state of loneliness and abandonment, can turn to Christ. We can find evidence to this in Peter’s message: “So He went and preached to the spirits in prison” (Peter 3:19). We can conclude that Christ wants to bring everyone to God without exception. Death on the cross and Resurrection of our Lord serve as the source of Easter happiness, like a source of the water of life. The entire world is bound to know: Christ has risen! We, as Christians have a very thorough ideology, which reaches beyond the boundaries of any constrained human experience.   With Easter wishes of God’s blessing and wholehearted wishes.   Translatet by Max Rivlin, America.  

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