Today, Christians greet each other with "Christ is risen," carrying in their hearts the great joy that the Savior, by His sacrifice, has shown them the way to eternal life. Because suffering transformed into hope can conquer death itself.
"Our Lord comes to this earth so that we may become sons of God," says priest Angel Angelov from the Sofia-based church of Saint Sophia – Wisdom of God” quoting the words of St. Irenaeus of Lyons. Through the sacrament of the Holy Resurrection, God exalts human nature and gives it what it possessed in the very beginning – eternity.
"Even in ancient philosophy, man's faith in the eternity of his soul is very clearly expressed," the priest continued. - The resurrection that prepares mankind for this eternity is made by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. Even today, so many years after the Resurrection, it is difficult for us to accept that this act does not refer only to the burden of eternity on the soul, but as a whole - even on the material part of us.”
There are people who feel the call of eternity in their youth. But there are others - they start striving for immortality only when they are convinced of the ephemeral nature of everything in this world. According to Father Angel Angelov, the important thing is that sooner or later we reach the understanding of the Resurrection, the true pure faith that Jesus Christ gives us. And if we are not afraid of the sorrows on our way and have a strong and pure relationship with God, we will gain His grace.
"A trial is never a punishment," says Priest Angel Angelov. “We should not think of God as a judge who constantly punishes us for everything we have done in this world. This boundless love cannot punish. But there are times when, wanting to get out of God's care, because we are endowed with our own free will, we do a lot of outrageous acts. Then the trials come upon us. However, they are not a punishment, but a means to forge even stronger faith in ourselves. After each trial, I believe each of us becomes much stronger in their faith.”
Nowadays, humanity is going through a similar ordeal through the coronavirus pandemic. "We must clearly realize what we are, what the world is and what we should look for in this world, because lately materiality has embraced us completely and we barely thought about the things beyond this world," says priest Angel Angelov. According to him, the ordeal that has befallen us all serves as a sobering, clearing of the mind and an opportunity to saturate ourselves with "this wonderful, miraculous faith in Christ."
And have we become more humble, more faithful, more compassionate?
"Yes, we don't always show our good traits, but in most cases I think we are really good," the priest replies. “Many people showed their empathy during the pandemic and it became a leader in our lives”.
The miracle of the Resurrection happens every day in every heart – all the way to the Last Judgment of Christ. According to the Apostle Paul, the Resurrection is the most wonderful feast of Christ's faith.
"If Christ has not been resurrected, faith is empty and we are still in our sins," Priest Angel Angelov adds. “This feast does not tolerate wit, but the greeting that every Christian says to his brothers: "Christ is risen" and the answer "He is risen indeed." This gives meaning to our whole earthly life, because our God voluntarily accepted death and in this absurdity of the dead, God raised human nature and endowed it with eternity.”