THE MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS KAREKIN II
SUPREME PATRIARCH AND CATHOLICOS OF ALL ARMENIANS
THE FEAST OF THE GLORIOUS RESURRECTION
OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST
Dear and pious faithful,
With the warmth of the dawning spring and the awakening of nature filled with new life, the hope and joy of the Feast of the Resurrection take flight in our souls today with the angelic tiding of “Christ is Risen”, renewing and strengthening us in the confidence “that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son”.
These words of the Apostle testify to the event that changed the course of the history of mankind, which occurred when the crucified and entombed Christ rose from the dead. From that moment on, death has no power over men, sin is absolved, and the reign of death is destroyed. It is the light of salvation and eternal life on the other side of the grave that brightly shines today in our souls – renewing us in our hope and faith.
The belief in the Resurrection of Christ always brings strength and power to always rise up and live that life that is in the Son of God. The foundation of that life is love – the love that sacrifices. That love with which the Son of God came to the world, fulfilled His mission of salvation, and instructed His disciples and followers saying, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another”. John 13:34. Christ placed love at the foundation of human life, so that man would be perfect and that he would lack nothing. Love creates, builds and establishes and does not ruin; it illuminates, inspires hope, grants joy and bliss and does not succumb to indecision and despondency; it does not bring pain and grief. Love is the fountainhead of goodness and joy, the rock of peace and justice, the encouragement to support and help each other for the sake of a life of goodness and ongoing progress.
Today, alongside the bliss in our heart of the feast of Christ’s Resurrection, is also the regret that our Lord’s message of love for mankind and all of God’s creation does not manifest itself everywhere and always in human life. The seeds of Christ-commanded love that have been preached for two millennia often fall on the barren stones of souls that have strayed away from God, or do not produce results due to the negligence of man; or that which is planted by the Lord is plundered by evil, spreading dissension and leading men astray from their good paths. The present difficult global-political and economic developments, the growing self-centered mindset, and the disregard of spiritual and moral values, bring forth new disagreements and conflicts, problems and concerns in the life of societies, and human relationships. The path to rise above these realities that devastate the peaceful and harmonious life is illuminated by the good news today of Christ’s Resurrection, bringing with it the message of that life, which is in the Son of God. That life is real, attainable and within reach for us all. When human thoughts and works are born and guided by faith in God and love for one another, that is the life that is in Christ. When care and mutual support are the characteristic and natural state of society, that is the life that is in Christ. When thirty pieces of silver do not clear the way for Judas-like falsification and betrayal, and injustices are not realized through Pilate-like indifference, that is the life that is in Christ. When both in times of difficulty and plenty, the mouths of men resound with prayer and praise to God; when families raise pious children, that is the life that is in Christ, and for which mankind is called through God’s benevolent grace.
Dear and beloved faithful, today our state and national life continues to be troubled by serious challenges: the issue of Artsakh, the illegal blockade of our country, socio-economic concerns, emigration, and the influx of false values and customs. Worrisome also are the moods of despondency and disparagement, the lack of mutual trust, the lack of will to listen to each other; and the implacable imposition of one’s own truth. Let us expel from ourselves these kinds of behaviors. Our truth is the newly independentArmenia– the inextinguishable dream of centuries of our fathers and grandfathers; liberated Artsakh – the modern day heroism of our spirit and our proud victory. Our truth is our people who face difficulties and distress, the Armenian Armed Forces who defend our native borders under threats of war, our communities dispersed throughout the world, struggling daily for their national and spiritual identity, and today’s endangered and shrinking Syrian Armenian community – yearning for aid and support. These are the realities before us, dear faithful. We have only one path to strengthen our homeland, to build our flourishing life, for the realization of our visions and with aspirations for national rebirth and reawakening: that life that is in the Son of God. Let us renew our oath with God with the tiding of the Savior’s resurrection, let us fortify ourselves with faith and the hope of the risen life, to overcome our present difficulties and troubles. Let us reject fear, indifference, despondency and all doubt that can weaken our people and our unity, and by helping one another, let us implement all of our nation-building programs and cherished goals. Let us live with the love witnessed and testified by our Lord, so that the success and accomplishment of each one of us serve the general welfare and progress, turn into victory, glory and honor for our country and the entire nation, and may we remain God’s own and faithful people, worthy of the Lord’s heavenly graces and gifts.
With the glad tiding of our Lord’s glorious Resurrection, we extend our brotherly love in Christ and best wishes to the incumbents of the hierarchal Sees of our Apostolic Holy Church: His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia; His Beatitude Archbishop Nourhan Manougian, Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem; His Beatitude Archbishop Mesrob Mutafian, Armenian Patriarch of Constantinople; and the graceful heads of our Sister Churches.
Appealing for the graces of the Risen Lord, we greet President Serzh Sargsian of the Republic of Armenia; President Bako Sahakian of the Republic of Artsakh; and all Armenian state officials, wishing many accomplishments and lasting achievements done in the name of the bright future for our land and people. With the good news of the glorious Holy Resurrection of Christ, we extend our blessings to the leaders and representatives of diplomatic missions accredited inArmenia, wishing them all good things and success to their work.
We extend our pontifical love and blessings to the oath-bound clergy and faithful sons and daughters of ourHolyChurchdispersed throughout the world.
We pray that the graces of our Risen Lord flow into the souls of men, so that peace, love for one another and justice be established and flourish everywhere throughout the world. May the Lord keep our homeland and our people in peace, and may He bless all efforts in the name of the goodness of our life and the vibrancy of our faith, so that the Armenian Nation, today and always says with joy:
Christ is Risen from the dead!
Blessed is the Resurrection of Christ.