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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

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