And when he was sent by our Lord to preach, as I suppose, he heard how our Lord said to him: “Go, my disciple, to preach, void out of this country, and go fight and be capax of [valiant in] perils. I have first accomplished and finished the works of My Father, and am first witness; fill thou the vessel that is necessary and follow thy Master, love thy Lord, give thy blood for His blood, and thy flesh for His flesh, and suffer that which He had suffered; let thine armor be debonair in thy sweatings, and suffer sweetly among wicked people and be patient among them that perish thee.”
Brethren and fathers, because winter has passed and spring has arrived, we see creation flourishing again; the plants are flowering, the earth is growing green, the birds are singing and everything else is being renewed; and we take pleasure in all this and we glorify God the master craftsman who transforms and changes creation year by year, and it is reasonable to do so. Ever since the creation of the world his eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been understood and seen through the things he has made [Rom. 1:20].
Brethren and fathers, Lent is already galloping past and the soul rejoices at the imminence of Pascha, because by it it finds rest and is relieved of many toils. Why did this thought sound for me in advance? Because it is as if our whole life directs its reason contemplating the eternal Pascha. For this present Pascha, even though it is great and revered, is nevertheless, as our fathers explain, only a type of that Pascha to come.