CWN - In a joint Easter message, the Christian leaders of Jerusalem have proclaimed that “pain, suffering, and death do not have the final word, it is God—who has the first word and the last.”

The patriarchs and other leaders of Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant groups in Jerusalem said: “The Resurrection inspires the resolute steadfastness in the living stones (local Christians) as living witnesses in the Holy Land.”

In their statement the Christian leaders recalled the ecumenical ceremony that marked the re-opening of the Edicule—the shrine at the site of Christ’s tomb, inside the basilica of the Holy Sepulchre—after extensive renovations. “The completion of this challenging work,” they said, was a testimony to ecumenical cooperation as well as to the support received from all around the world.

The Easter message was signed by:

  • Greek Orthodox Patriarch Theopilos II
  • Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Patriarch Nourhan Manougian
  • Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzabella, apostolic administrator of the Latin-rite Catholic Patriarchate of Jerusalem
  • Father Francesco Patton, the Franciscan Custos of the Holy Land
  • Archbishop Anba Antonious of the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem
  • Archbishop Swerios Malki Murad of the Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate
  • Archbishop Aba Embakob of the Ethiopian Orthodox Patriarchate
  • Archbishop Joseph-Jules Zerey of the Melkite Catholic Patriarchate
  • Archbishop Mosa el Hage of the Maronite Catholic Exarchate
  • Archbishop Subeil Dawani of the Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East
  • Bishop Munib Younan of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land
  • Bishop Pierre Malki of the Syrian Catholic Exarchate
  • Msgr. George Dankaye of the Armenian Catholic Exarchate

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Teachings of Christ

“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul?" (Mark 8:34-37 ESV)

Christ is Born!

Your Nativity, O Christ our God, * has dawned upon the world the light of knowledge. * for through it, those who served the stars * were taught by a star to worship You, the Sun of Righteousness * and to know You, the Dawn from on high. * Glory to You, O Lord! (Troparion, Tone 4)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Today the Virgin gives birth to the Transcendent One, * and the earth offers a cave to the Unapproachable One. * Angels and shepherds sing His glory; * Wise Men journey with a star * for there is born for us an infant Child, the God Who is before all ages. (Kontakion, Tone 3)

Random Proverb

"Take my instruction instead of silver, and knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is better than jewels, and all that you may desire cannot compare with her." (Proverbs 8:10,11 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

The soul that really loves God and Christ, though it may do ten thousand righteousnesses, esteems itself as having wrought nothing, by reason of its insatiable aspiration after God. Though it should exhaust the body with fastings, with watchings, its attitude towards the virtues is as if it had not yet even begun to labour for them.

St. Macarius the Great