Christ is risen! Indeed he is risen!

 
Save your people, O Lord, and bless your inheritance. Grant victory to your church over evil, and protect your people by your cross (Troparion of the Holy Cross).
 
Holy Pascha (Easter) is all about faith in our being saved. The Year of Faith leads us to intensify our celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
 
St. Peter speaks of our faith-directed life in terms of "inheritance" (cf I Pt 1:3-5). Surely, we are the beneficiaries of the faith of those who shared it with us, but we must not forget that our faith is a relationship with Jesus Christ and thus an inheritance from him. By the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we are saved from the power of death and given a birth to new life. Jesus Christ left new life as inheritance for us, a life that "trampled death." He also presented us to God the Father as an inheritance of sorts, as the troparion reminds us.
 
We become a Christian by our baptism into Christ. Whether as an adult, or through the faith of our parents, a decision is made for Christianity. Being a Christian, however, is truly an act of God, not simply a decision. Although the resurrection could only have happened with Christ’s willingness to die (the cross), life came as an act of God the Father.
 
As people of the resurrection, our faith must be more than an accepting of an idea, or joining a group of like-minded individuals. As Christ’s being was transformed by his resurrection, becoming a Christian implies that our whole being is transformed.
 
This transformation makes us Christians, members of Christ’s church. As Christians, we may expect victory over, and protection from, evil.
 
The true faith is powerful to protect us in our journey to the Father and in our mission to perpetuate salvation for all humankind. We are safeguarded through faith and we are called in turn to safeguard the faith lest it loses its power (cf. I Pt 1:5). Jesus gave this responsibility to us as church. How important it was that the Holy Spirit guides us, just as we prayed that he would guide the cardinals in electing the Pope. What we believe is very important and we rely on the Holy Spirit to direct us.
 
What unites us to others as brothers and sisters, children of one mother, the church, is our faith. Each of us must be formed by the truth and not try to adapt it to our circumstances.
 
Our being saved from the power of evil and death depends primarily on our faith in Christ’s resurrection as it is truly taught by the church. How important it is that …
 
Christ is risen! Indeed He is risen!
 
Bishop John Kudrick leads the Byzantine Catholic eparchy of Parma OH.

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