Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin – 2/4/18
THE MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS KAREKIN II- SUPREME PATRIARCH AND CATHOLICOS OF ALL ARMENIANS ON THE OCCASION OF THE FEAST OF THE GLORIOUS RESURRECTION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST (Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, April 1, 2018).
In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen
“I am the resurrection and the life.
Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live.”
On the wondrous feast of the Holy Resurrection of Christ, with joy in our souls we exchange with each other the life-giving good news, “Christ is risen.” The tomb of the Lord is empty. His divine power is revealed and the defeat of death as well as the victory of life is a reality. On this day, the risen Christ brings to all His followers the gladsome promise of eternal life: “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live.”
Dearly beloved, by conveying the greetings of the Resurrection of Christ, we reaffirm our faith, which is grounded in the universe-renewing miracle of the Resurrection. We believe that through the Resurrection of Christ the calamitous darkness of sin is dispelled by the dawn of eternal life. We believe that human life, powerless against death, is transformed by celestial power, the time-bound changed into eternal existence. We believe that communion with the Saviour and His grace of immortality renews our lives, makes the crosses to blossom, turns the Golgothas into the heights of victory. Indeed, we believe, that the Holy Spirit of God which graciously advances towards our human frailties, sharpens our spiritual sight, strengthens us to turn away from sin and to walk the path of virtue, to proceed toward our Lord, so that we may have life with Him and be coheirs of the Heavenly Kingdom.
To believe in the Resurrection of Christ means to humbly carry the Cross of Christ like Simon of Cyrene, with unwavering faith in the victory of life. It means performing charity like Joseph of Arimathea. It also means remaining faithful and loyal and spreading the joy of the Resurrection of Christ, like the oil-bearing women, and it means illuminating the world with the light of the Resurrection of Christ like the apostles. Only such dedication can make us worthy of the promise of the Saviour: through the power of faith to vanquish the dominion of death that we may enjoy eternal life.
Dear faithful, the grace-filled reality of the Resurrection of Christ is the way of salvation for humanity and the world; it is the witness of God’s boundless love and care; the power of overcoming hardships and tribulations. To the doubting world, like Thomas, Resurrected Christ shows His wounds, so that the wounds of the world, caused by wars and calamities, may be healed. He displays the stigmas of His tortures, so the troubles of the human soul may perish, the voices of hatred may be silenced and the paths of ruin may be rejected, so that humanity, seeking hope for the future, may accept the power of the Resurrection of the Saviour, exclaiming with the apostle: “My Lord and my God” (Jn. 20:28).
It is thanks to such God-given power and grace that our people have persisted, overcoming bitter blows in the course of history while attaining new achievements. Through Christ we were spared from our own crucifixion, thanks to faith in the Resurrection and salvation. We re-established our statehood, undertook the alleviation of hardships and protection of our rights, and embarked on the mission of building a brighter future. The progress of our people, the strengthening of our country and the prosperity of our lives around the world are founded on the presence of Christ in each of us, by the influence of the power of His Resurrection and by our own worthiness of the promise of the Saviour: “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live.”
Our beloved faithful sons and daughters, let us carry on living and acting with Christ. Let us care and cherish in our families the light of faith and let us remain unwavering in our care and solidarity, with unity and love for each other in our social and national life. Let us continue live with faith, so that the good news that “Christ is Risen” resounding today, may strengthen us with confidence and optimism for the future, with determination and zeal, so that despite all obstacles and hardships we may strenuously strive, create and care; so that we may also bring to fruition our goals for the progress of our national endeavours and aspirations. Let our hearts be fortified today by the Resurrected Lord, revealed today to us, in order to proceed in love and unity on the path of our new life of freedom and to remain steadfast and loyal to the commandments of our Lord and stay firmly on course towards eternity.
With the joyful tidings of the glorious Resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ, we greet His Holiness, Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia; the Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem, Archbishop Nurhan Manoogian; we pray for the bedridden Armenian Patriarch, Archbishop Mesrop Moutafian. With love in Christ we greet the heads of our Sister Churches and to their faithful. With pontifical blessings we greet the President of Armenia, His Excellency Serzh Sargsyan and the first lady present here today for the Divine Liturgy, the president-elect His Excellency Mr. Armen Sarkissian. We extend our greetings to President Bako Sahakyan of the Republic of Artsakh; the state officials of Armenia and the representatives of diplomatic missions accredited in Armenia. We bestow our pontifical love and blessings on all our clergy and our faithful people, in Armenia and in the Diaspora.
We beseech our Lord, Jesus Christ, that the life-giving gifts of His Resurrection perpetually remain in our homeland and in the entire world, so that peace may reign over the entire world, in the hearts of the humanity and on the borders of our country. We pray that every activity of our sons and daughters, fortified by the grace of the Resurrection of our Saviour, may bring renewal and reawakening to our national life and that God-given gifts may always safeguard our people, now and always echoing the joyous tidings:
Christ is Risen from the dead.
Blessed is the Resurrection of Christ.