Bishop John’s Paschal Letter
April 21, 2012 Length: 5:54
The Pascha pastoral letter was read from His Eminence Metropolitan John, Archbishop of the Antiochian Orthodox Deanery of the United Kingdom and Ireland.
His Eminence Metropolitan John’s Pastoral Letter
To the beloved children in our Archdiocese, protected by the Grace of God.
The Reverend Clergy and the people who love God.
Christ is risen!
History confirmed the resurrection of Christ which took place two thousand years ago. A number of people testified to this miraculous event. Today we meet again in the churches to celebrate the holy feast of the Resurrection of the Lord and to celebrate his victory over death. This means that every one of us has to think and behave as a person who partakes in the glorious resurrection of Christ. In other words, he should live the essence of resurrection in his daily life.
Desperation is not appropriate for us as Christians, because we have the hope of the resurrection. Sadness also should not find its way to our heart, as it is full of the joy of the resurrection. No frowning is to appear on our faces, as on these faces the light of resurrection is shining.
Nevertheless, we comprehend the difficult challenges that face us in this world. We do not forget the strength granted to us by God to face these difficulties. Is this not the the same Lord who said to his disciples: “in the world you will have trouble, but take heart. I have overcome the world.” (John 16: 33)?
Based on this, we should know that we can overcome when we make Christ the centre of our lives. This means that we take the Virgin Mary and All the Saints as ideal persons in our lives. This means that we are supported by the effectual operation of the Sacraments of the Church. That is to say, we should be released from self-preoccupation in order be able to look above where God is, to get strength from Him, and then to look around us where our fellow human beings are and console them.
Now we have a new question: “is it easy to change myself as has been said”? The answer, my beloved is: this is really the concrete meaning of the participation of everyone of us in the resurrection of Lord, and this is really the concrete meaning of the resurrection of fallen Man. When we realize this then we can say that we are really celebrating Holy Pascha, the feast of our passing from death to life. This is what I wish you all, so that every one of us cries from the lips and from the depths of the heart:
“Indeed the Lord is Risen!”
"Your app is a Godsend. I am 42 and a cradle Orthodox Christian. Without AFR, I surely would have completely fallen by now. Thank you. God Bless."