Friday, January 25, 2013



     Every human being desires genuine happiness and contentment but there are few who find what they seek. Some say: “If I had lots of money, I would be happy;” others say, “If I was married I would be happy;” or  “I would be so happy if I could get a divorce;” the varieties of ideas of happiness are  numberless. Yet happiness continues to be evasive for so many people. So the question is where can one find true and endless happiness, for which all men crave? Where are we to find happiness that is lasting?  The answer will amaze many but it is a true answer and there is but one source of happiness.

    Solving the problem of happiness  lies in solving the burdensome problem of all mankind – death and causes leading to it, for death hangs over all of our heads like a sharp sickle, and none of us has 

any idea as to when our turn to die will suddenly come. Death the tyrant appears ruthless!  Death takes husband or wife or children, mother or father, friends and companions.  It does not discriminate whether one is rich or poor, old or young, healthy or unhealthy, none of us  know when we will die, but the threat always hangs over our heads.

   A young couple, well off financially got married and had a child. They are very happy with their new heir, until the child becomes sick to death, then happiness is shattered and sorrow is aroused, leading to despair. The child dies and mourning takes place, and happiness has fled the scene. Mourning takes place and after a while some healing appears, but the husband or wife  is struck down by death, causing more misery and wretchedness.  Death is an enemy that needs to be defeated. Sickness and death, accidents and injury, are the cause of unhappiness among people. Until we solve, once and for all, the problem of death, while living under its threat,  we cannot rejoice with lasting happiness.

   We need not search long for the problem of death has already been solved, and the solution is available to everyone who sincerely desires  true happiness. It is Jesus Christ,  the Conqueror over death who has already destroyed death by His death, and seized its dominion,  and those who believe and follow Him will never die. For Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life.  Jesus Christ  having willingly died once having  risen from the dead will never die again.  We who are baptized into a death like His, will also rise in a resurrection like His, says St. Paul.  Orthodox Christians celebrate Pascha each year, and we celebrate the same Paschal memory on each  Sunday of the year.  To better understand Pascha, let us look back for  it was preceded by the Hebrew Passover. Then the  angel of death went over all the homes in Egypt, and struck with death every  first born if the home was not protected with the blood of a lamb.  The angel saw the blood of a lamb he passed over that house.  Jesus Christ is typified here, for He is the Lamb of God, who shed His Blood for the faithful.

   Jesus Christ is the Logos who became incarnate in the womb of the Virgin. He came into the world in order to set mankind free from the dominion of the Devil, who  ruled over man by the law of sin and death.  Before Christ, sins were not  forgiven but atoned for, even the Hebrew Priests,  had to make a sin offering for themselves as well as for the people. But Jesus Christ is sinless and therefore not subject to death under the law. He came to wage war, was victorious  against the Devil and  nullified his authority.  Happiness is the gift enjoyed when we live our lives in Jesus, for without Him, life can offer no meaning and nor happiness.

   After preaching the Gospel,  after explaining everything that was going to happen to His disciples, including His arrest and imprisonment, His voluntary death on the Cross and His rising from the dead on the third day, but they did not understand.  The suffering did come, with the  spitting, the crown of  thorns, the mockery, the crucifixion and voluntary death, and He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.

     Then on the third day, after Jesus had passed over from earth to heaven wearing our human nature, we rejoice seeing humanity united with God in heaven!  The Devil is defeated, death is destroyed and we have received, not life, but eternal life.  This is the happiness that all mankind needs desperately, and it solves every problem of the race of men for Jesus Christ is the Godman! Hence we sing every Sunday: 

Having beheld the resurrection of Christ, let us adore the holy Lord Jesus, the only sinless One; We venerate your Cross, O Christ, and we praise and glorify your Holy Resurrection; for you are our God . We know no other than you, and we call upon your name.  Come all you faithful, let us adore Christ’s holy Resurrection, for behold, through the Cross, joy has come into all the world. Ever blessing the Lord let us praise His Resurrection. For by enduring the Cross for us, He has destroyed death by death.

   Orthodoxy Christianity is the  Church founded by Christ, of which he alone is Head, and we constitute His Body. Herein is the treasury containing the wealth of happiness, blessedness, joy and everlasting life. Come and share our treasure, it has an endless source, and the more we give out the more we have left. By honoring and worshiping the true Christ, we are already participants of eternal life, and for those who love Him and Keep His commandments, happiness is permanent no matter what evils come. This is the power of many martyrs who suffered willingly for Christ. Their love for Christ was much stronger than the torture and pain they suffered for his sake. “I shall not die but live and praise the name of the Lord.”

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