2/26 The Spiritual Significance of the Paschal Cycle

The principal aim of the Paschal cycle, first of all, is to prepare our hearts and souls for a worthy encounter with the Risen Christ.  We prepare ourselves for this joyful meeting by humble prayer, fasting, penance and meditation on the passion and sufferings of Christ.  This preparation culminates in Easter Confession and Holy Communion  And so, with a pure heart, we go forth to meet the Risen Christ, singing the hymn of victory:  “Christ is risen from the dead, by death He conquered death, and to those in the graves, He granted life.’

The next aim of the Easter cycle is to have us participate in Christ’s joy, victory and trump, for, just as He rose fro the dead, so we too, shall rise to new life.  “For the hour incoming,” says Christ, “in which all who are in the tombs shall hear the voice of the Son of God.  They they who have done good shall come forth unto resurrect of life; but they who have done evil, undo resurrection of judgement.”  (John 5, 28).

Our re-enacting the Easter cycle is very closely related to the church services of that season.  These services, depending on whether they bear a joyful or penitential character, put our souls in a joyful or penitential mood.  The Easer season teaches us the great and salutary lesson of salvation history, namely, that there is no glorious resurrect without a Calvary; that, like Jesus Christ, we too, must pass through the Golgotha of our life, in order to enter into the joy of the everlasting Easter heaven.