Great and Holy Pascha
4 April 2021
Christ is Risen!
He is risen indeed!
This resurrection cry is the subject of my good wishes to my friends, to whom I attribute the beautiful title of “sons and daughters of the Resurrection.”
We are sons and daughters of the Resurrection, although in the reality of our everyday life, we all carry all sorts of crosses, as do our countries, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, the Holy Land, Palestine… We all bear the cross of illnesses, Coronavirus, handicaps, prison, loss of parents, vagrancy, emigration, deportation, hunger, suffering, homelessness and hopelessness.
Despite that, we are children of the Resurrection, of hope and joy. We believe in the Resurrection and in the Salvation of Jesus Christ, risen from the dead!
Psalm 73: 12 (LXX) makes allusion to this real, true spirituality, “But God is our King of old; he has wrought salvation in the midst of the earth.” I like to link the meaning of this verse with the Holy Land, Jerusalem and the Church of the Resurrection, where Jesus wrought his saving work “for us and for our salvation,” as we state in the creed.
This is what we see when we look at the cross: Jesus, the tree of life (like the tree in paradise), a cave under the cross, the symbol of all our sufferings, the skull of Adam, who transgressed the law of the Lord, whence the name Golgotha, the place of the skull.
That symbolises a theological reality: Jerusalem is the centre of the world; Paradise is at the centre of Jerusalem. Sin is in the world, the human heart and in our life, yet salvation is still at the centre of the world and of our life, in Jerusalem and in the life of every person.
This salvation is there for everyone, for every creature, for every man and woman. And it is to this salvation that the Resurrection is calling us. And we shall always be sons and daughters of the Resurrection!
Christ is Risen! He is risen indeed!
Patriarch Emeritus of Antioch and All the East,
Of Alexandria and of Jerusalem
For the Melkite Greek Catholic Church