Holy Pascha 2007
By the Grace of God, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, to the faithful of our Apostolic and Patriarchal Throne, entreating Grace and Mercy and Peace from our Lord and God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, who rose from the dead.
“Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here. He is risen.”
Beloved and Blessed Children of the Lord,
CHRIST IS RISEN!
The meaning and the aim of the Lord’s voluntary sacrifice on the Cross for the redemption of humankind, is sealed by His glorious and bright resurrection. The Saviour’s resurrection is the response to the devil’s interference in the life of Man. The Creator of all, the most compassionate Father, does not desert His children after their disobedience and their fall. God’s promise to the first-created, “I will make you (the serpent) and the woman hate each other, her offspring and yours will be enemies. Her offspring will crush your head and you will bite his heel.” (Genesis 3:15), is fulfilled in the resurrection of the God-man. The human soul, that originates from God, is saved. It is redeemed from the chains of corruption and it returns to its Creator.
The resurrection reveals to us redemption and the aim of creation. Our soul is reborn. It distances itself from the worldly and, following the radiant beacon of the Lord’s resurrection, it journeys towards God. Man now knows what is required of him so that he may participate in the Kingdom of Heaven. He is required to take up the Cross and follow the Risen Christ.
We know then that humility and service, love and sacrifice for our fellow man, repentance and the freeing of the soul from the chains of sin, prayer and the receiving of the precious Body and Blood of the Lord, lead us to our own resurrection. This path, however, passes first through the steep Golgotha and finishes at the empty tomb and the resurrection. But do we, in our daily routine, realise where Golgotha is? Every time we are indifferent to the needs of our fellow man, every time we participate in injustice, in violence, in love of self and in ideological confusion and disbelieving everything, we descend Golgotha and distance ourselves from the Cross that is on the summit. We follow a different path that has no resurrection.
My beloved and blessed children of the Lord – Greeks, Arabs, Africans and others throughout Africa,
The resurrection of our Lord invites us to the Church and, through the Holy Communion and the Common Cup, our union with Christ and one another is realised. We are all brothers and sister, children of one Father. This is why we all should support, suffer along with, love and forgive one another. The greeting “the Lord is truly risen” that we confess, has to be heard throughout Africa, in all languages. At the same time, the hope of the resurrection has to be put into practice, translated into action. The pain, the misery, the misfortune, the fear and agony of our African brother is also something that concerns us. We will reach out our hand to sustain him.
With the precious assistance of thousands of our brethren, the mission-work of the Church of Alexandria is growing daily. This offering of love is transformed into thousands of tonnes of necessary items for schools and clinics, for holy Churches and the digging of wells so that the meaning of the resurrection of the Lord can be experienced daily. Thousands of members of the mission task-forces of our Patriarchate, clergy and laity, labour and offer themselves to put a smile on the lips of children that search for care and love. There is so much that remains to be done. We are grateful to all who support us in this difficult work. We will continue to fight misery throughout the African continent.
Beloved and blessed children of the Lord throughout Africa,
From the depths of my heart I pray that the Risen Lord lead you, protect you and grant you every God-pleasing desire, so that His Holy Name may be praised daily.
The Lord is truly Risen!
†Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa
In the Great City of Alexandria
Holy Pascha, 2007