ADDRESS OF HIS BEATITUDE TO THE REPRESENTTIVES OF THE CHRISTIAN COMMUNITIES.
Holy City of Jerusalem, Tuesday of Pascha, the 17th of April 2012.
“This is the Holy and chosen day, the first of Sabbaths, the Mistress and Queen, the Feast of feasts and the Festival of festivals, and on it Christ is glorified unto all ages”. Says the hymnographer of the Church.
Dear Sisters and brothers
The Holy Jerusalem Church together with the Christian Community celebrates the life-bearing resurrection of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
The Resurrection of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is central to our faith for, as Saint Paul says in his epistle to Corinthians, if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins (1 Cor 15, 16-17).
The Risen Christ is alive for ever in the presence of the Father, sovereign over the power of death, and so pars beyond hat death can do to us. We have nothing to fear: the death that is a punishment for sin in fallen humanity is overcome as we accept the ‘death’ of baptism, identifying ourselves with Christ’s obedient and self giving death. Once this has been done, new life is ours which physical death cannot touch. “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord says Paul (Rom 6, 23)
Our Paschal gathering today here is a visible and tangible witness to the living reality of our faith to the crucified and risen Lord Jesus Christ.
Christian presence in Jerusalem is precisely the physical testimony to the undeniable fact of the death and resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
The death of corruption i.e. of sin has no longer any power on us, despite his aggressive and destructive power on man and ofcourse on our Church Community. For the risen Christ is the incarnate and unfailing hope. It is the hope of Christ’s anastasis that has encouraged and strengthened us throughout the ages to keep our lamps going on with the life-giving light that has come out from the empty tomb of Christ.
Our diverse expression of our faith should not be considered as an obstacle to our common Christian proclamation that Christ is the Incarnate and risen divine Logos of love, justice truth and living light.
Ours is the ministry and mission to be the light of the world. This is Our Lord’s commandment to His servants: “Let your light to shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father” (Mat 5, 14-15).
We pray our risen Lord to enlighten the minds and warm the hearts of those who exercise authority throughout the world to work for peace and justice on earth and especially on our beloved Jerusalem and Holy Land, where the destructive power of Hades was conquered by the divine and salvation authority of the Lord of Justice and peace.
Patriarch of Jerusalem