Pascha 2000 (English)
PATRIARCHAL MESSAGE FOR THE HOLY PASCHA 2000
BY THE GRACE OF GOD, POPE AND PATRIARCH OF ALEXANDRIA AND ALL AFRICA, TO ALL THE FAITHFULL OF OUR CHURCH GRACE, PEACE AND MERCY FROM OUR SAVIOUR CHRIST,
WHO RESURRECTED IN GLORY.
Brethren concelebrants and beloved children in Christ,
The holy and eternal light of the Resurrection of our Saviour Christ shines again. Today Heaven, Earth, and the infernal regions are all-embraced with this light and the joyousness of the Resurrection, for the Resurrection of the Only Begotten Son of God, the King of glory who was crucified for our own sake, is the abolition of death, the regeneration of the world, the salvation, the life and the deliverance of human kind. In other words, it is the foremost event that marks the victory of life over death, the victory of light over darkness, and the victory of truth over untruth.
The supreme and most awesome enemy of man has always been death. Our Lord Jesus Christ, with His own blood, released man from this fear and the threat of death. He went through His passion, He died and was resurrected for all of us sinners, rather than rule among the living and the dead, so that through His Resurrection the world would be able to find its own resurrection, eternal life and deliverance.
“Truly the Lord is risen” the Apostles and the other disciples confirm with their personal witness and with great joy they proclaim: “We have seen the Lord, we ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead”.
In order to show the meaning of the Resurrection, St. Paul the Disciple wrote to the Corinthians: “For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again on the third day according to the Scriptures”.
Through the divine acts that we have experienced throughout these days of the Holy and Great Lent, we are called to conceive our great responsibility both as individuals and as society. We are called upon to follow the example of the humble, tearful, grieving, yet hopeful and heroic Myrrh-Bearing Women, indicating to us our duty, which is the way to the life-bearing tomb.
On their way to the tomb the Myrrh-Bearing Women said among themselves: “Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us?” But when they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away. And the angel said to them: “He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him.”
Over the last two thousand years, many have tried to seal the Tomb of the Lord. However, life can not be imprisoned and the light cannot be extinguished. Although many have tried to enclave the body of Christ inside the engraved and dark Tomb, to make it disappear so they will be able to assert themselves, they have never succeeded.
Neither Publicans nor Pharisees, sovereigns nor kings, using worldly or psychological means, violence, terrorism, threats and wars, have managed to cover the truth and abuse our consciousness.
Let us cease to continue crucifying Him with our selfish behavior as, at the same time, we celebrate with great glory the 2000 years since His Nativity.
In these difficult years, the borderline between the two millenniums, with new hopes and strength, we say ‘No’ to injustice, to social, racial and class discrimination and to everything that is against the life of Christ and what He taught us.
We proclaim the triumph of Christ over death as the only joy of life and We send this message to every human soul that is ready to experience His Truth, from the Gate of the African Missionary Continent to its furthest reaches. We repeat the words of St. John Chrysostom: “Fear not death, for the Saviour has delivered us all, Christ is Risen, demons have fallen, Christ is Risen, Angels are rejoicing….”
Beloved children in Christ,
The Resurrected Lord is sending us out into the world to share with others the great joy of His Resurrection. Father Fr.Alexander Schmemann writes: “From the beginning, Christianity was the proclamation of the only joy on earth. Without this joy Christianity is incomprehensible.”
Let us rebuild the message of this great joy and become communicants of the Resurrection of our Saviour Christ, with a spirit of love, peace and mutual understanding. With the Risen Christ in our hearts, we have life.
Immersed in the light, the joy and the grace of the Resurrection that flows from the Holy Tomb, we confess with the Holy Disciples of Christ that the Lord truly is risen!
CHRIST IS RISEN
For His is the dominion and the glory, now and forever and to the ages of ages, Amen.
For all of you, your fervent intercessor unto God
Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa
In the Great City of
Holy Pascha 2000