TO THE GOD–LOVING FLOCK OF THE PHILIPPINE-VIETNAMESE DIOCESE.
“Take heart: I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
Beloved fathers in the Lord, dear brothers and sisters! Having passed the saving path of Great Lent, we celebrate the feast of the Bright Resurrection of Christ in spiritual joy and heartfelt rejoicing. During the days of Holy Fasting, each of us sought to resist sin, purify the soul with prayer and good deeds in order to prepare for the meeting with the Risen Lord. And the words of the Angels addressed to the myrrh-bearing women who came to the empty Tomb of the Lord sound to us as an invaluable reward: “What are you looking for the Living among the dead? He is not here: He is risen” (Luke 24:5-6)! On this saving and radiant night, I greet each of you, my dear ones, with the words of an ancient and eternally new greeting that inspire true joy and unbreakable hope: Christ is Risen! This life-affirming greeting always pleases our heart, filling it with Easter jubilation and festive celebration. Easter is a truly Bright day of our life, which without it would seem like a dead, dreary desert. God has granted us the grace to celebrate it again, and we are all in a hurry to exchange our greetings with each other. May the heart of every Christian be opened to receive the great mystery of salvation, and may it be illuminated with divine light, so that through faith we may become sons of light, to the feeling of the Kingdom of God, which “is within us.” May our Lord, who has risen from the dead on the days of Holy Easter, renew our faith, our love for Him, our willingness to bear everything for His sake. My dear ones, I cordially congratulate all of you on the luminous feast of Holy Easter. “Come, all ye believers, let us worship the holy resurrection of Christ, for joy to the whole world is coming with the Cross….” I prayerfully wish that with the light of His Resurrection Christ would illuminate our souls and our sorrows, so that He would turn into unfading spiritual joy, which, according to His divine word, no one and nothing can steal from us. Christ is Risen! CHRIST IS TRULY RISEN!
BY THE GRACE OF GOD,
METROPOLITAN PAVEL OF MANILA AND HANOI
Easter of Christ, 2023