April 2015 – Church of Romania
“Rejoice in the Lord always!
And again I will say, rejoice!”
The Feast of Easter is an icon of light of the eternal joy in the Kingdom of heaven, which originates in the crucified and risen Jesus Christ, Victorious over sin, death and hell.
Since the crucified and risen Christ is the source of full and everlasting joy (cf. John 17:13), the living relationship with Him through strong faith, fervent prayer and good deeds brings joy into the life of the Church and in the hearts of believers. This joy of the faith in Christ and of the steadfast love for Him is a constant characteristic of Christian life and is called by St. Paul“joy in the Lord” (cf. Philippians 4:4). This is the fruit of the Holy Spirit in the soul of a human being that is faithful and loving of Christ and of his fellow humans (cf. Galatians 5:22) and aforetaste of the eternal joy in the Kingdom of God (cf. Romans 14:17). Thus, for human beings, belief in the resurrection is the source of light and spiritual strength to give witness of the truth in the world, to fight for justice and freedom, to cultivate pure and compassionate love.
Therefore, in today’s society – marked by instability and insecurity, violent conflicts and misunderstandings between peoples, by many evils caused mainly by greed, power and vainglory – we must seek more intensely the joy that the encounter with the Risen Christ is bringing to us, He Who conquered sin and death, and share this joy to those in distress, through prayer and acts of help and solidarity.
We pray God that the holy feast of the Resurrection of Christ may bring you many years of peace and joy, good health and salvation and give you help in your pastoral, missionary and social activity.
With brotherly embrace in Christ, the Risen Lord,
Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church