ON HOLY PASCHA
B A R T H O L O M E W
BY THE GRACE OF GOD ARCHBISHOP OF CONSTANTINOPLE,
NEW ROME, AND ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH,
TO THE PLENITUDE OF THE CHURCH,
GRACE, PEACE, AND MERCY
FROM CHRIST OUR GLORIOUS AND RISEN SAVIOUR
with joy was the mouth of the Myrrh-Bearing women as
they said, The Lord is Risen!
this same great joy, we also repeat over and over again
this year the proclamation of the most important event
in the history of mankind and in the life of every person:
Christ is Risen. This event has become a
form of salutation, for the pronouncement thereof is
a matter of deepest joy. It is not, like most salutations,
a mere wish. It is an actual event, it is a reality.
Christ is risen and death is abolished. Death is abolished,
for Christ resurrects with Himself all the faithful
who, inasmuch as they believe in Him, do not taste death,
but pass from death unto life.
man, being unable by his own power to face the inevitable
reality of death, has repressed this fact into the depths
of his subconscious. He does everything he can to prolong
the natural life of his body; and when the inescapable
end arrives, he makes cosmetic improvements to the situation,
he conceals the manifestations of death, he hides what
happened, so that those who are left may continue with
their natural life as if the spectre of death did not
the natural cessation of the bodily existence of humanity
is unavoidable, and futile is the effort of modern man
to ignore this reality.
as faithful Christians face the fear of death, not by
refusing to think about or deal with it, but rather
through our faith in the Resurrection of Christ, which
entails also the expectation of our own resurrection.
Having risen from the dead, Christ became the First-born
of the dead, and He is ready to bestow resurrection,
the passage from death to life, unto every person who
entrusts his life to Him. These are the gladsome tidings
which we proclaim to the whole world, crying out, Christ
joy of the resurrection and of the abolition of death
inundates our hearts. We do not deem it sufficient simply
to wish for life for our fellow human beings. Christ
came to earth, Christ became incarnate, Christ was crucified
and resurrected so that we might have life, and have
it more abundantly. Therefore, we do not wish simply
for resurrection. We reassure all that Christ is Risen
and death is abolished. We invite all to the joy of
eternal life, which begins in the present life. For
our anticipation of the resurrection is not merely a
hope: it is a reality inherent in the Resurrection of
Christ. In this sense, our wish is also a reality, and
this reality replaces the wish.
is Risen! And every person is called to rise together
Christ is Risen! And every person has the potential
to rise together with Him.
Christ is Risen! And in effect every person has already
risen together with Him.
preconditions are required for our participation in
Christs Resurrection: faith and love for Him,
and all that these entail.
today we celebrate the Resurrection, we proclaim the
fact, and we rejoice in saying The Lord is Risen.
is not a fiction, it is not a lie. It is a truth confessed
by the myriads of Saints who loved Christ and fully
trusted Him, and who are now alive with Him and appear
Resurrection, thanks to Christ, is a reality, and it
is offered unto all.
is risen from the dead, by death destroying death, and
to those in the tombsand to those not yet in the
His grace and mercy may we all participate in His Resurrection
and His life. So may it be.
+ Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew
Fervent intercessor for all before the Christ the Risen