Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin – 20/2/21
Dear Pious Faithful, Great Lent has begun. We have entered the period of Great Lent with the pain of the tragedy of the war that has befallen us in our souls. Many of our children died heroically in the war of Artsakh, for our right to live freely and independently, and we lost a significant part of the land of Artsakh.
These tragic events were in part due to a lack of Christ’s love, disunity, lack of vigilance against internal and external security and threats, and the weakening of the zeal to be united around national values. In this special period of our spiritual life we are called to go through self-examination with feelings of repentance and penitence, to reflect on mistakes, to correct shortcomings, listening to the apostle’s message: ‘Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Messiah, who has been appointed for you—even Jesus.” (Acts 3:19-20) Repentance is the path from weakness to purification, the way in which a person is purified, consecrated, and rises from the fall towards perfection. Sincere and heartfelt repentance spreads the mercy of the Lord in the lives of the faithful and the people, keeping us away from the temptations of evil. St. John Chrysostom says that repentance with God’s benevolence pours out heavenly mercy, comfort, and graces.
The source of heavenly blessings and goodness is opened in the life of the nation through universal repentance and penitence, as God promises in the Bible: “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14) May we use this period of the Great Lent with penitence and repentance for the purification of our souls and our lives, and walk in a God-pleasing way. With this consciousness and God’s support we can find spiritual strength and power to overcome the tense situation in the public life of our country and the many fundamental problems and challenges that have arisen and to continue the course of our creative, faithful life.
We extend our heartfelt prayer to the most-high God to grant His graces to our Armenian nation, and the consolation of the Holy Spirit to the grieving souls, as well as to spread His mercy and guidance on our homeland and our people around the world. Under the good gaze of God, may the good wishes of our people come true with the support of the Lord: to rise from troubles and difficulties to the heights of victories and successes, for the sake of strengthening our state and the welfare of its nation. And may the love of our Savior Jesus Christ be with all of us. Amen.