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Rejoice full of grace


[Acts 1:12–17, 21–26; John 1:18–28]. When the angel an?nounced the good tid­ings of the Lord’s incar­na­tion he said: Hail, thou that are high­ly favored! (Luke 1:28);[1] pro­claim­ing to the shep?herds the birth of Christ the Sav­iour he also said: behold, I bring you good tid­ings of great joy (Luke 2:10). But pro­claim­ing Lord’s res­ur­rec­tion to the women, the angel only says: He is not here, but is risen! (Luke 24:6). He does not add “rejoice,” for joy would fill their heart on its own, as soon as the assur­ance came that the Lord was risen indeed. At that time this assur­ance was tan­gi­ble: the an?gel pre­pared it; the Lord in His ap?pearing com­plet­ed it. And every?one’s joy was inex­haustibly full! Now our church, hous­es and streets are clothed in the gar­ments of re?joicing, and every­one is caught up in a gen­er­al stream of joy. Now turn your thoughts away from the exter­nals, and gath­er­ing them in your heart, raise up the truth of the res­ur­rec­tion, in all of its breadth, depth and height; so that your re?joicing be more than exter­nal. Bear out that spir­it of joy, like a spring of bright water, gush­ing from depths of the earth.

[1]The first quote in the Slavon­ic reads: Rejoice thou full of grace.

Saint Theo­phan the Recluse