My beloved Christians,


How joyful and how marvelous is this greeting! It is the greeting of victory, of good over evil, of truth over lies, of love over hatred. The Church offers this greeting to us to bring joy to our existence and light to our lives.

As we greet one another with these triumphant words, we must not forget the trials that preceded this victory. Betrayal, suffering, crucifixion, death, and burial: all of these trials were inflicted upon Jesus. Still, these tribulations were imbued with the power of truth and love, for it was precisely during these trials that goodness found a voice in the words: "Forgive them, for they know not what they do".

At his crucifixion Christ let the wrath of human beings engulf him. He let evil commit its greatest crime: putting to death the Creator of life. Christ allowed this to happen in order to abolish evil and death, and, as the Lord of Glory, to grant to the world justification, resurrection, and eternal life. Indeed, the victory of the Resurrection is the foundation of our faith, of our hope, and of our very life.

On the sacred icon of the Resurrection we see Christ coming out of hell, holding in his two hands Adam and Eve, that is, the whole of humanity --all those who have lived before us, all of us who are alive today, and all who shall live until the end of the world. His victory over death is our victory over death.

Christ is Risen!

When we, as Christians, greet one another with these words, we confirm our belief that the Lord has indeed overcome the world and has brought us salvation. When we say these words, we proclaim a message that takes away all fear of death and brings in its stead hope in eternal life.

My beloved brothers and sisters, let us go forth celebrating the victory of the Resurrection. And, in the spirit of the Paschal Feast, may we forever joyfully announce to all who would hear:

Christ is Risen!
Indeed He is risen!

[ 19 Απριλίου 1998 ]