Archbishop Irénée’s Paschal Greeting 2015

easter-iconDans Ton humanité, Tu T’es endormi comme un mortel, ô Roi et Seigneur ! Le troisième jour, Tu ressuscites ! Tu arraches Adam à la corruption, effaçant la mort. Ô Pâque incorruptible, ô Salut du monde. (Exapostilaire de Pâque)

In the flesh Thou didst fall asleep as a mortal man, O King and Lord. Thou didst rise on the third day, raising Adam from corruption, and destroying death: O Pascha of incorruption, the Salvation of the world!

 

As we celebrate the Feast of Feasts, the Ressurection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, we are filled with the light, the overwhelming joy of His victory over evil and death, and the hope of our own forgiveness and salvation. On the other hand we are suffering as our world is shaken by wars, persecution and injustice. But despite this we know that all these have been trampled down by the Messiah. There is only one satisfactory answer to this eternal question—the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ from the grave. Only the joy of the Resurrection more than compensates for all the sorrows of the world, and it will not be defeated unto the ages!

The Resurrection of the Lord makes sense of human suffering, raising it to the level of a redeeming sacrifice for the oceans of human lawlessness. Everyone who suffers, believing in the Redeemer of the world, participates in the mystery of Christ’s Cross, and thereby draws closer that moment of inexpressible blessedness, when evil and death will be forever defeated by Him who rose from the dead—heaven will unite with earth, and the foundation will be laid for a new life, the mere glimpse of which will cast out memories of the oceans of human blood and cruel sufferings. The martyrs of all ages, of all countries and peoples, filled with the glorious celebration, will sing to the Lord God the song of love and gratitude, for they will fully understand then God’s aim for the existence of the universe

The resurrection of Christ as a miracle, is not only an historical event, but something which we live every day. Not only in apostolic times, but even in our modern epoch, numberless are the people who preferred to die rather than deny their Lord’s resurrection. The Gospel proclamation that the Lord is risen is a witness to the historic faith of the Apostles, the martyrs, the righteous; it justifies all of their struggles, even the blood which they shed for the mysteries of the faith. The Apostles knew that their Lord was risen. Out of this faith and conviction was born the « Christ is risen » which the Church so gloriously proclaims for 40 days; and the witness of nearly 2,000 years answers joyously,— “Indeed, He is risen!”