Dear Parish Faithful,
CHRIST IS RISEN!
Pascha - The Eleventh Day
In the Gospel passage from last Sunday (JN. 20:19-31), we read and heard of the "first day" of the week" and the "eighth day." Below, St. Gregory Palamas offers some profound insight to the meaning of the "Lord's Day" - Sunday - as both the first and eighth day of the week, and how this relates to Old Testament typology and the Resurrection of Christ.
"Moses esteemed the seventh day because it led into the truly honorable eighth day. Just as the law given through him is honorable in so far as it leads to Christ (cf. GAL. 3:24), so the seventh day is honorable because it leads into the eighth day on which the Lord's Resurrection took place. The eighth day comes next after the seventh day, and if you look carefully you will find that after the seventh day, when we are told that all the dead from past ages were resurrected, on the eighth day Christ rose. Not only was Christ's resurrection accomplished on the eighth day, but it was both the eighth day in relation to the day before, and also the first day in relation to the hoped-for resurrection, the rising again, of all human beings in Christ. That is why Christ is hymned as "the first-fruits of them that slept" (I COR. 15:20) and "the first begotten of the dead" (REV. 1:5). In the same way, Sunday is not just the day eighth in order after the preceding days, but the first of the days that come after. So it becomes in its turn the New Day, the first of all days, which we call the Lord's Day, and which Moses referred to not as the first day but as "one day" (GEN. 1:5 LXX), being exalted above the others and the prelude of the one day without evening of the age to come."
St. Gregory Palamas (+1359) Homily on the Sabbath and the Lord's Day