THE MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS KAREKIN II
SUPREME PATRIARCH AND CATHOLICOS OF ALL ARMENIANS
THE FEAST OF THE GLORIOUS RESURRECTION
OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST
Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, April 8, 2012
In the Name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen
“God raised the Lord, and will also raise us up by His power.”
1 Corinthians 6:14
Dear and pious faithful,
The sunrise of the feast of Christ’s glorious resurrection has once again dawned and illuminated the world. Festive joy has taken flight in our souls; elation has enveloped our hearts. Our joy today is combined with the happiness of the apostles, who became the first witnesses of Christ’s resurrection. The day was Sunday, life was going on as normal, people were living their daily lives; however, everything was changed for the disciples and those who saw the empty tomb, heard the good news, and accepted the glorious reality of Christ’s resurrection. They were filled with the hope of resurrected life and salvation, were strengthened in their faith, and they spread the life-giving glad tiding of the resurrection throughout the four corners of the world, proclaiming, “God raised the Lord, and will also raise us up by His power.”
On that life-sustaining day, man and universe were renewed. Christ, our Lord, defeated death through his crucifixion and resurrection, redeemed the sins of men, and reconciled the world with God; so that it would remain reconciled in faith and abiding by the commandments, in peace, justice, love and mercy. With Christ, we are separated from the past and have become a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17), as the apostle testifies, so that we, with a risen life on this earth, approach our Father who is in heaven and inherit eternal life. Hearing the glad tiding of Christ’s resurrection, dear ones, let us offer thanks and praise to our Lord today with a grateful heart, for the grace of salvation He grants, and appeal for the life-giving strength of His resurrection for our life and the entire world.
The world today also has the need for transfiguration, a renewal of life, since peace is broken, justice is incomplete, and poverty, wars, disasters and destructions continue. Nations and peoples still walk the path toGolgotha; they bear the thorned crown of persecution and abuse, and are nailed to the cross of conflicts and bloodletting. In these God-denying paths, the words of the apostle bring the good news of the hope and optimism of a blessed, reborn life to which today resounds again with the same timeliness. “God raised the Lord, and will also raise us up by His power.” By accepting the graces of the salvation granted by Christ, it is through the reborn soul that mankind will find the power to transfigure life, to solve the issues and imperatives of the modern world, and to overcome the storms of trials. The reconciled and peaceful life, in harmony with neighbors, will amply blossom and flow from souls renewed with Christ, and the efforts and desires to build on earth that blessed reality, which has the image of the heavenly kingdom.
Dear and pious faithful, the Feast of Christ’s Resurrection today is an invitation for us to reflect on how much space have we allocated to our Savior in our soul, how much does our life take light from His risen presence, how much is our reality transfigured by His words and commandments, and whether His truth is our truth. It is necessary for us to always ask ourselves these questions, so that our course is always steadfast on the Lord’s paths and our life will have the light and guidance of God. The people and country that enjoy the goodwill of God accept the blessings and graces granted by the Lord. Therefore, dear ones, let us strengthen our faith and spiritual knowledge, let us reinforce our soul through prayer and our fathers soul-building words, by reading the Lord’s Gospel and the Holy Bible, so that according to the words of the Apostle, our inner self is renewed every day (2 Corinthians 4:16). Let us become new men and women in order to build a new country and a new life. As the apostles – transfigured and strengthened through the glad tiding of the Lord’s Resurrection – transformed the world, we also, always growing and strengthening in our faith, shall transform our reality, overcome life’s difficulties, and face the challenges of our times. It is the new dawn of our history, full of the hopes of our independent country and rebirth of our national life. Our fathers survived more difficult and complex times due to this vision; they weathered heavy trials, endured persecutions and tribulations, toiled and created with their righteous labor, and for the sake of the homeland, went outnumbered into lopsided battles. We have a debt before our fathers and future generations: To build our country and manifest our national aspirations. Faithful to our Lord’s life-giving words and commandments, filled with His Truth, let us demonstrate love and devotion for the Homeland in all matters and labors, have vigilance and comprehension of national interests, and let our energy and effort produce results, progress, new hope and a vision for the future. With this sense of responsibility let us participate also in the coming elections for the National Assembly of theRepublicofArmenia, and turn them into the power and buttress for strengthening and developing our country and our life dispersed throughout the world. We may have different plans and expectations in political and economical perspectives to build nation and country, and differing paths to their implementation; however, justice, respect for the rule of law, mutual respect, a spirit of harmony and understanding in all situations, and as well in the election process, are a vital necessity to unite around our goals and testify to our desire and will to transform life. It is with this course, by turning spiritual-moral values and principles into life, that we shall always have the encouragement brought by the apostle, that God, who resurrected our Lord, will bless our life as well with resurrection and awakening. Filled with this hope and belief, dear ones, and with works of faith, let us direct our gaze toward the horizons of tomorrow, and toward our luminous future.
On the festive occasion of Easter, we extend our greetings of brotherly love to the incumbents of the hierarchal sees of our Holy Church: Catholicos Aram I of the Great House of Cilicia, Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem Archbishop Torkom Manoogian, Armenian Patriarch of Constantinople Archbishop Mesrob Mutafian, the spiritual heads of our Sister Churches, and the entire ranks of clergy of our Church, and appeal for the Lord’s daily strength in their divinely called mission.
With pontifical blessings and best wishes, we greet the President of the Republic of Armenia, Serzh Sargsian, present today for the Divine Liturgy accompanied by the First Lady; and convey our greetings to the President of the Artsakh Republic, Bako Sahakian, and all Armenian state officials, appealing for new achievements in nation-building under the bountiful graces of our Lord. We greet also the leaders and representatives of the diplomatic missions accredited inArmenia, wishing them success in their work of reinforcing the friendship between our peoples and collaboration between our countries.
We convey our pontifical love and blessings to our beloved and faithful sons and daughters in the Homeland and throughout the Diaspora; and offer prayers to heaven, that the peace, mercy and saving graces of our Risen Lord be dispersed over the world and within the souls of men, and grant strength to build a life of tranquility and welfare for mankind. We appeal for our Lord to keep our native land, ourHolyApostolicChurchand our Armenian nation dispersed throughout the world unshaken and safe, bright and steadfast, under His blessings, and that we today, always and forever, exclaim with joy:
Christ is Risen from the dead!
Blessed is the Resurrection of Christ