“…Christ is a new Passover, a living Sacrifice,
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.”
(Chorus of the Easter Canon)
Beloved in the Risen Christ, honorable fathers,
dear brothers and sisters!
The many-merciful Lord, in his unspeakable love for humanity, has again vouchsafed us to reach the great and saving day of the Passover of Christ. From the fullness of my heart, filled with Paschal joy, I bring to each of you a life-giving, unquenchable apostolic greeting that shines through the ages:
CHRIST IS RISEN!
All the Holy Evangelists tell about the Resurrection of Christ. According to the Apostle Matthew’s Gospel, the angel of the Lord says to the myrrh-bearing women: fear not ye, for I know that ye seek Jesus which was crucified; He is not here: for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead; and, behold, He goeth before you into Galilee… And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail! (Mt 28: 5-7, 9).
On this named and Holy day, we perceive with a special feeling the truth about the crushing of the enmity that divides humanity by the Crucified and Risen Christ (Eph. 2, 14-16), and we listen to the heartfelt Catechism of John Chrysostom, in which the great Saint speaks of Easter as a source of reconciliation and a pledge of peace.
On this Holy and luminous Easter night, the heart of an Orthodox person rejoices, the Resurrection of Christ is the Foundation of our faith, for, according to the word of the Apostle Paul, if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain (1 Corinthians 15:14).
But Christ is Risen! And this is what we proclaim on this Holy and named day to all people and to all living beings on earth today: Christ is truly Risen!
“Truly celebrates the Resurrection the one who has risen from dead works, for deeds of virtue, for faith and Christian love,” –St. John of Kronstadt said.
Therefore, on the Holy Paschal days, celebrating the Resurrection of Christ, let us do works of charity, with a comforting word and compassionate love, to help the sick, the needy and the destitute.
The famous modern theologian and preacher Metropolitan Anthony of Surozh famously said this: “This is our calling: where it is dark, we must be light; where there is no faith – we must bring the assurance of faith; where there is no hope, we must shine with hope, when it would seem impossible to hope; where love is extinguished – we must be invincible love! We should be an example of what a real living person is, a person who is a living image of the Savior Christ, united with God inseparably and giving himself irrevocably to the service of other people!»
My dear brothers and sisters, let us succeed in fulfilling the precepts of the Orthodox faith, which is an abundant source of moral improvement, piety, love, diligence, and peace, guiding us to eternal salvation.
Our message today will once again be the words that I address to you in celebration of the feast, amazing in their power and exalted in their content and meaning:
CHRIST IS RISEN! TRULY HE IS RISEN!
By the grace of God,
Metropolitan Pavel of Manila and Hanoi