20th April 2014
His Holiness Pope Tawadros II
Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark
In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, One God. Amen.
Ekhristos Anisti, Alithos Anisti. Christ is Risen, Indeed He is Risen
I congratulate you my beloved with the Glorious Resurrection Feast that is the crown of our feasts and joy. Christ’s Resurrection is the main foundation in our Christianity, our Church, our evangelism and our daily life. Christ’s Resurrection is considered everything to us. The Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ is considered our new life that we can live in.
In Christ’s Resurrection, we have three main aspects.
(1) Before Crucifixion and Resurrection, Our Lord Jesus Christ was a teacher and a shepherd
(2) During Crucifixion until Resurrection, He was a reconciliator and a liberator
(3) After Resurrection, our Lord Jesus Christ was present and became a companion to every man. How?
Before Crucifixion and Resurrection, our Lord Jesus Christ was a teacher. He taught the multitude and individuals. He used all available means at that time. He gave sermons, interviews, and meetings. He performed miracles and gave many various and different parables. In His service, He met all people from all levels; He met people from upper classes in society and others from lower classes in the community. He met great multitudes and individuals, in different dialogues. He met Zacchaeus at the tree and the Samaritan woman at the well. At night, He met with Nicodemos. Teaching was the starting point as well as to influence change. before Crucifixion, our Lord Jesus Christ was a teacher and a shepherd.
From the time of Crucifixion until the Resurrection, Christ was a reconciliator and a liberator for mankind. Man looks for freedom at all times. Freedom became desirable for mankind. Man looks for it in any form, as it takes many forms, colors and kinds. There is social freedom, civil freedom, family freedom, religious freedom, etc. But the true freedom is the freedom that comes from inside a man, the freedom from the sin. Sin is the only disaster of this world as said St. John Chrysostom. Freedom from the sin is gained only through the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Christ ascended to the cross specifically to give us this freedom. Through the cross, He gave us the freedom from sins that He carried. We were granted forgiveness of sins and became free when we were forgiven. The cross became the key for wiping out the sin of man. “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” (John 8:36)
The true freedom is the freedom of man from the sin. That is why the cross became the reconciliator and the liberator of man. Man was reconciled with God and with the Resurrection, man started the new covenant with God.
After Crucifixion and Resurrection, Christ became a companion to everyone. After His Resurrection, Christ appeared to individuals like Mary Magdalene, then to the two disciples of Emmaus. Then to the disciples without Thomas, then to them with Thomas with them, then to others, etc. The appearance of our Lord Jesus Christ during the forty days after His Resurrection meant that Christ was present there. He also appeared during catching the 153 fishes for both St. Peter and St. John. The appearance of our Lord Jesus Christ meant His presence.
And after His Ascension to the heavens, after the 40 days of His Resurrection, He remained a companion to mankind. If you read the last verse of the Gospel according to St. Matthew, the Lord says: “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20). Christ is present and a companion to man. He is now present and walks with everyone all times. He knows the life of everyone and guides it. That is why we pray in the third hour of the Agpeya and say: “Blessed is the Lord day by day. He prepares our way, for He is God of our salvation.” Christ walks with man day after day; He “prepares” means that He makes it in best condition. As He is our God of our salvation, He desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:4)
This is the new glorious Resurrection, and these are the fruits we get from the Cross and Resurrection. He says: “In the world you will have tribulation…” This tribulation could be our cross that we should carry. “…but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33). This “Overcoming” is the new Resurrection He grants to every man.
I congratulate you for the Glorious Resurrection Feast. I hope for all our churches, families, youths, children everywhere to rejoice with the Glorious Resurrection.
It is so blessed to have the Glorious Resurrection feast to be at the same day for all Christians at the whole world. This is a good starting point for all Christians, in hope of unifying our feasts, starting with the Feast of the Glorious Resurrection to be in one date in the whole world. We pray for this, and we work for this. May the Lord fulfil His work. May the resurrected Christ bless you. And bless your lives, works, services, and all that is in your hands. May the Lord keep you in His holy Name. To Whom is all glory and blessing, from now and forever.
His Holiness Pope Tawadros II
Feast of Resurrection 2014