April 3, 2010
Blessings to our dearly beloved Chor-Episcopoi, Priests, Deacons, and all the faithful of our Diocese.
As we come close to Feast of the Resurrection of our Lord and the completion of the fifty days of lent, we must remind ourselves of why we have gone through this long period of self-denial, abstinence, and repentance. Many of us think that lent is a time when we are supposed to deny something we like very much, spend more time in prayer, and live charitably. Others think that lent is our time for imitating the forty days and nights that our Lord spent in the wilderness. Yes, it is important, that we maintain a purposeful, prayerful, and penitential lent spiritually, and an outreaching, sharing, and compassionate lent practically. Yet all of these are but means, and should be seen as aids on our journey towards the great Resurrection of our Lord. We therefore have to be conscious that all we do during Lent is our preparation for the death and resurrection of our Lord.
As we live in the midst of a world plagued by war, famine, crime and moral decay, we have no other hope than to look to our Lord who destroyed death and gave new life to all. This new life and hope should strengthen us to overcome all of these destructive forces and, in fact, enable us to speak out against them. With His Death, we have died, but with His Resurrection, we also rise. May He who gives life to those in the tombs, come into our lives and give us Life that sees no death, but eternal life; for this is the triumph we celebrate.
Therefore, we must rise and stand upon our feet and pronounce Our Risen Lord to a world that is in need of Truth. Now is the time for us to turn from our old and sinful ways, to put aside the distractions of this world and to focus on the building up of the Church of Christ, so that our neighbors, our co-workers, our friends and even those who have distanced themselves from the Church may also receive forgiveness of sins and inheritance of the Kingdom of God.
The Holy week exposes the sin of mankind which inflicted severe sufferings and death on our Lord and Master. We could also reflect on the total self emptying of Him while facing these challenges. Easter is a glorious vindication of the fact that Christ’s way or Cross alone is ultimately victorious.
Glory be to Him who willingly died and rose again on the third day for the sake of our salvation!
May the eternal light and peace of the Empty Tomb shine in our hearts, our homes, our parishes, and the whole world. We wish all of our beloved ones a blessed Passion Week and Feast of the Resurrection. We hope that this Lent has given us an experience of transformation in our lives so that we are moved to become stronger witnesses of Christ in this world.
CHRIST IS RISEN! INDEED HE IS RISEN!
Your Shepherd in Christ,
Alexios Mar Eusebius Metropolitan