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Easter message of His Holiness Karekin II, the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians

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  • frjohnbrian@priest.com
    Message of His Holiness KAREKIN II Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians The Feast of the Holy Resurrection of Jesus Christ Mother See of Holy
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 1, 2010
      Message of His Holiness KAREKIN II
      Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians

      The Feast of the Holy Resurrection of Jesus Christ
      Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin
      April 4, 2010


      In the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

      "Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were
      also called."
      1 Timothy 6:12

      Our dear and pious faithful,

      The feast of Christ's holy and glorious resurrection has once again brought
      joy and happiness to our hearts, and exultation to all Christians, who have
      been called to eternal life by the Lord's salvation. Today our souls are
      alight in hope as we praise and glorify the Risen Lord and accept the good
      news of the victory of life and the salvation of man.

      The triumph of life over death became possible through the love that God has
      for humanity; through the passion, crucifixion and resurrection of the Son
      of God - the Savior of mankind. During Pilate's unjust trial, the mob
      preferred the outlaw Barabbas over Christ, condemning the Son of God to be
      crucified. The sinful was chosen over the sinless; the evildoer over the
      righteous, "because their deeds were evil, for everyone practicing evil
      hates the light." John 3:19-20. Near the cross, the believers and followers
      of Christ were wailing, while many were mocking Him, saying "if you are the
      Son of God, come down from the cross... and we will believe." Matthew
      27:40-42. Our benevolent Lord, Who came from the bosom of the heavenly
      Father into the world, became man and mortal, did not come down from the
      cross. Instead, he rose from the grave to renew the nature of man and bestow
      the grace of eternal life. Thus the doors to eternity are open and we are
      called to be the inheritors of the kingdom of heaven, to enjoy the blessings
      and joy of God's constant presence. Let us fearlessly approach Him Who is
      the Lord of life, merciful and full of love. He can renew the world heavy
      laden with sins with a single word; by seeing remorse and the desire and
      effort to change in the souls of men. He knows the hearts of men and their
      thoughts; He knows the aims of all deeds and will grant each according to
      his faith and hope in God. It is with this confidence that the apostle who
      has seen the Risen Savior exhorts us to lay hold with Jesus Christ on the
      hope for eternal life, and to steadfastly and unyieldingly fight the good
      fight of faith.

      Dearly pious faithful, in accordance with the words of the Gospel, life in
      this world is a spiritual war for us faithful, and at every turn, in every
      thought or word, it is necessary to choose the true and the good, to be
      found righteous before one another and before God, so that divinely-given
      love always shines throughout life. There is no alternative in the good
      fight of faith, there is no compromise, since it is a war against satan -
      the one who desires the downfall and death of men. It appeared that satan
      was victorious, when Christ was crucified and placed in the tomb. However,
      through the Lord's glorious and ineffable resurrection, evil and its power
      were destroyed, since it is God's will that man be saved.

      The Risen Christ is the way of life. With Christ, we have the power to be
      renewed and to improve life. As Christ's earthly life brought goodness to
      humanity, so too shall the life of those who believe in Him, since the way
      of faith is that special heroism with which men are called to be the
      fearless implementers of God's saving will on earth, to be the 'fragrance of
      Christ before God' [II Corinthians 2:15].

      Dearly beloved faithful, for nearly 2,000 years since Christ's resurrection,
      mankind has passed through diverse societal, economic, scientific and
      technological periods of development. However, in spite of all of his
      accomplishments, man has faltered many times in fighting the good fight of
      faith. Often as well today, the temporary (material) goods of this life, are
      given priority over the eternal ones. Today too the world is not free of
      war, poverty and irreconcilables in society, within families and personal
      relationships. And truly, there will never be peace, unfaltering prosperity
      and happiness wherever the good fight of faith is not being waged; wherever
      Barabbas is chosen over Christ.

      Our people chose Christ as Lord and Savior. And with Him as our refuge
      throughout the centuries, we have overcome countless ordeals and have
      emerged with faith from the graves prepared for us. Today, the sacred
      mystery of Christ's resurrection gloriously ascends and illuminates Armenian
      life, since we commemorate the 95th anniversary of the Genocide of the
      Armenians in the reality of independent Armenian statehood and a Diaspora in
      renaissance. Yes, the 20th century was an era of tragedy, but also one of
      rebirth for our people. Passing through the Golgotha of genocide, our people
      in dispersion and in the homeland, who overcame infinite deprivations and
      sacrifices, sprouted a new life, continued to create, and walk today with
      lasting accomplishments in harmony with the times. Relying on Christ, our
      people were committed to the hope of a peaceful and prosperous world, and
      believed in the triumph of liberty and justice. With this vision and
      confidence, we shall continue to defend our righteous cause, that resonates
      today in the hearts of many people throughout the world, even though the
      Armenian Genocide as of yet has not been universally recognized and
      condemned. We shall also continue our efforts in the recognition of the
      independence of the Republic of Nagorno Karabagh and to eliminate the
      illegal blockade of our country.

      Dear pious faithful, It is necessary today as well to fight the good fight
      of faith, so that the worship
      of God, love and harmony be steadfast in our lives; so that goodness is
      lasting; and our deeds are productive for the sake of our present and our
      future. Today we live that important period of our history when our national
      life and statehood are advancing and being rebuilt in Armenia and the
      Diaspora; when we have been presented with the opportunities to make our
      aspirations manifest; to lead to victory the strengthening of our homeland,
      the implementation of our national goals and the efforts aimed at the
      progress of our people. Each individual in his sphere of service and his
      work, shall make progress with the saving Will of God and the divinely
      pleasing path of love for homeland, which results in bountiful goodness to
      our life and makes us pleasing to God. As the apostle recognized the Risen
      Christ by the signs of the tortures He bore for all mankind, thus does
      Christ recognize us - his followers - through the witness of faith, by
      renouncing all which is opposed to the Will of God and opposed to goodness,
      justice and truth.

      Dear ones, the words of the apostle resonate for each one of us: "Fight the
      good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also
      called." Let us remain faithful to the holy and righteous life of
      Christianity chosen by our pious forebears. In our families, in our personal
      relationships, and in the participation of our national life, let us keep
      bright the luminous lamp of faith, and as the apostles exhort us, "keep
      yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus
      Christ unto eternal life," Jude 1:21; and resembling "those who through
      faith and patience inherit the promises." Hebrews 6:12.

      With the joy of Christ's Holy Resurrection, we extend our best wishes to the
      incumbents of the hierarchal sees of our Holy Apostolic Church: His Holiness
      Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia; His Beatitude Archbishop
      Torkom Manoogian, Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem; His Beatitude Archbishop
      Mesrob Mutafian, Armenian Patriarch of Constantinople; and to the oath-bound
      ranks of clergy of our Church.

      With the love of Christ, we greet the heads of our sister Churches, asking
      for the Lord to grant His most bountiful graces to their faithful flock.

      With the glad tiding of the Lord's Holy Resurrection, we greet the President
      of the Republic of Armenia, Serzh Sargsian; President of the Republic of
      Nagorno Karabagh, Bako Sahakian; and all high ranking state officials of the
      Armenians, asking for the Almighty's blessings for their lives and efforts
      made in the cause of the welfare of our native country and our people
      dispersed throughout the world.

      We convey our greetings and best wishes also to the heads and
      representatives of diplomatic missions accredited in Armenia. May their
      deeds on behalf of a world at peace, friendship and cooperation among
      peoples be fruitful through the blessings of our Lord.

      On this wonderful Easter Sunday, we offer our prayers before the Holy Altar
      of Descent of our Risen Savior, asking God to grant prosperity and vibrancy
      to the land of Armenia with generous goodness. May he keep our small flock -
      the Armenian nation - in peace and welfare. We appeal to our Lord to keep
      our people unified with our holy faith, grant new strength and might to the
      realization of our righteous aspirations.

      May the graces of the Risen Christ be dispersed throughout the world, so
      that all nations can build the life of which humanity dreams, with hope and
      faith, in friendship and brotherhood, filled with love, harmony and serene
      peace, today and forever. Amen.

      Christ is Risen from the dead.

      Blesses is the Resurrection of Christ.

      Karekin II
      Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians
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