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