The Message of His Holiness KAREKIN II
Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians
On the Occasion of the Feast of the Holy Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ
Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, April 20, 2014
In the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen.
“I am the light of the world.
Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness,
but will have the light of life.”
Dearly Beloved Sons and Daughters in Armenia and the Dispersion,
The feast of the wonderful Holy Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ has illuminated our souls with bountiful hope. Our Savior has Risen from the dead; the tool of execution – the Cross – has been transformed into the tree of life; man and universe have been renewed by the grace of life and eternity.
Today risen with Christ, is the new creation, the path of a new life, bright with life-giving light, which is granted by the Savior. “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” These words of our Risen Lord are a divine invitation for an eternal, as well as an earthly illuminated life, directed to each individual since the graces of the Holy Resurrection are distributed for all; including those who as yet, are not walking the path of faith; including those, who brokenhearted by the trials of life, are rebelling against God. The graces of the Holy Resurrection are dispersed also in those places where men and women have become bitter through wars and enraging terrorism, where hearts have become hardened, where people bear the severe burden of misery, where angelic children are sacrificed, all as results of poverty, indifference, and military actions. Today, the darkness-dispersing light of Christ’s Resurrection shines over all conflicts that disrupt the life of mankind, over humanitarian and environmental disasters, economic and political crises, and all worries and challenges. The belief in the Resurrection, which transformed the course of history, and educated soul and mind, created culture, guided states to progress; offered standards for justice and rights for all mankind, philanthropic values and principles; remains also today the miraculous power on which we shall rely and through which the world and the souls of men shall be renewed by new achievements, peace and love, to transfigure with goodness the life of humankind. Today, there are no societies or states without concerns, needs or problem. However, societies and states cannot have progress – and are even doomed to annihilation – if they do not possess the vision and goals of life, progress, and perfection, established on spiritual-moral values; and apostles devoted to the same.
Indeed, the greatest achievements of mankind are the heroisms of individuals who possessed vision; just as those disciples of Christ who spread the light of Christianity, who with their powerful faith in God, and a self-sacrificing sense of duty, laid the beginning of the path of eternal life in this world, for the sake of humanity’s salvation, happiness and wellbeing. Everyone who believes in God, who has love for creation and his fellow man, is an apostle and will implement his mission with the confident knowledge that the source of grace is God’s blessing, which dispels the gloom from life; that God’s help multiplies the fruits of labor, God’s consolation dissipates hopelessness and sadness, and God’s heavenly justice reinforces the foundations of earthly justice. It is with this knowledge and the elevation of this spirit that the wounds of the present world shall be healed, the course of nations and societies be established on paths of love and solidarity, and life be transformed by the light of resurrection, which is the commandment of our Lord and the sacred mystery of the Resurrection of Christ.
Dear and Pious Faithful,
The good news of the Risen Savior today is an invitation to our people dispersed throughout the world to not submit to the difficulties of our national life; rather to invest efforts with steadfast will for the prosperous and bright future of our native land and our people. In the tempests of centuries, where would our people be if not strengthened by the graces of Christ’s Resurrection? If not having love for our homeland and nation? And not able to turn that, into a buttress in times of difficulties, and strength, to live, create and rise up? We can determine solutions to the trials and challenges we face with unshakeable desire to transform life, by fidelity to our Christian values, via the noble and good path, and with our undertakings, and our nation-devoted and beneficial works. The feast of the Holy Resurrection brings to us the encouragement to bring to life with a hopeful spirit those plans that each individual – by responding to the call of the Lord – is able to realize for our familial, societal, state and national life, by not differentiating between the personal interest and the national and people’s interest. Let us serve in our calling and responsibility with spirit and devotion; let us not aspire for successes only for ourselves, rather for one another, for the progress of our native and national life, and as the Lord instructs, consider that we have done all that we were obligated to do. (Luke 17:10.)
We extend our fatherly words especially to our young children in Armenia and the Diaspora, exhorting them to be the bearers of the divinely commanded mission; combining with hope and faith the marvelous vigor of youth with our national life. Keep strong the life-affirming spirit of youth when facing the difficulties and imperatives of our lives, the self-centered and passing soul-destructive trends and views of our times, and all gales of temptation, by steadfastly standing on the rock of faith and recalling the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” Dear and beloved young sons and daughters, you who are the first generation of our free homeland, keep and protect in your hearts as your most precious treasure, the light of your souls that is free with Christ, that is bright through Christ. A people that has scions educated with the laws of God, has real hopes and a positive future. You shall bring to fruition those hopes in the fields of our state, national and ecclesiastical life, at the borders of our homeland, at the positions of defense of our language and culture in the Diaspora; to strengthen our country, to defend the right of Artsakh to live free, to defend our righteous cause on the fields of battle; and with the devotion of your souls, through your responsibilities in our native and national life, you shall weave the victories of our life in this new day.
At present, the difficult situation of the Armenians in the Middle East, continues to concern our national life, especially in Syria. In recent weeks, a new crisis has arisen in Kessab where militant extremists have engaged in military actions with the assistance of the Republic of Turkey. The destruction of an Armenian populated area and the deportation of its Armenian residents is the continuation of the same criminal policy adopted by Turkey towards the Armenian people, which we shall confront through state, ecclesiastical and national structures, to defend the rights of our people through unified efforts.
Today, beloved, when the light and excitement of the Feast of the Resurrection of Christ once again beat in our hearts, and in accord to the apostolic words, having put on the armor of light (Romans 13:12), as one who rejoices in our Risen Lord, and as apostles who reject grief, fear and despair, let us go out to transform our lives and the lives of our brethren and people with new accomplishments, through steadfast steps that shall turn the vision of our bright future into a shining reality.
It is with this faith and wish that we extend the greetings with the good tiding of the Holy Resurrection to the incumbents of the hierarchal sees of our Holy Apostolic 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 all clergy of our Church; as well as to the heads of all sister Churches and their faithful flock. We appeal for the Lord’s protection for them and His daily assistance in their divinely commanded mission.
With the appeal for the graces of Christ’s Resurrection, we convey our greetings to the President of the Republic of Armenia, Serzh Sargsian, and the First Lady, present here today for the Divine Liturgy. We extend our greetings and best wishes as well to the President of the Artsakh Republic, Bako Sahakian, and to all state officials of the Armenians, and all representatives of diplomatic missions accredited in Armenia. We extend our fatherly love and blessings with the joyful news of the Holy Resurrection to all of our sons and daughters dispersed throughout the world.
On this holy and cherished Easter Sunday, our prayer from the depths of our heart, is for the graces of Resurrection to reinforce you, dear Armenian people, to live in faith and hope and love, and to build the new good day of our lives in solidarity.
May God grant peace to the entire world under His Holy Right Hand, grant prosperity and progress to our homeland, and brilliance to our Holy Church and our faithful Armenian nation, to praise today and always, the Holy Resurrection of our Savior.
Christ is Risen from the dead.
Blessed is the Resurrection of Christ.