31 Mar 2018

Easter Message of the Patriarchs and Heads of Churches in Jerusalem 2018

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” (1 Peter 1.3)

We, the Patriarchs and Heads of Churches in Jerusalem, jointly send our Easter greetings and joyful proclamation of the Resurrection of our Lord and Saviour to all people everywhere. From Jerusalem, the place where Christ was raised from the dead, we offer our blessings to the faithful who are celebrating the Feast of the Resurrection at this blessed time.

For over two millennia pilgrims have been following the footsteps of Jesus and streaming to Jerusalem to behold the empty tomb. The Resurrection of our Lord was an historic event which encompassed the whole cosmic order and renewed the face of the entire creation. This is the time where the Christian Family worldwide remembers God’s redeeming work in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jerusalem, the City of Hope and the Resurrection, remains a sacred symbol of God’s salvation and a reflection of the heavenly Jerusalem that is yet to come. In fact this sacred, communal, and spiritual character of Jerusalem continues to be a beacon for hope, peace, and life for the people of this region and the entire world. We pray that we here in the Holy Land may continue unhindered to fulfil our sacred duty as manifestations of the living Gospel to serve the poor, seek justice and walk in the light and love of the risen Christ.

The Holy Gospel tells us that before Jesus Christ ascended to joy he suffered pain, and before entering into glory he was crucified. We pray to almighty God that people who are walking in the way of the cross may find it the way of hope, peace, and life. We hold in our prayers all those who are suffering in our region and throughout the world, and also, all those who are suffering in silence; for refugees, asylum seekers, and displaced people, for those who live under oppression, for those in want and deprivation, for all victims of violence and discrimination, and for all who strive for justice and reconciliation.

The Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead is a constant reminder that the powers of evil and death will not overcome life, instead life has victory over death and darkness. God has reconciled us to Himself in Jesus Christ and called us to the ministry of reconciliation. May the risen Lord strengthen us with His Holy Spirit in order to go forth in his risen life to love and serve and bring the good news to all.

Christ is risen. Alleluia! He is risen, indeed. Alleluia!

+Patriarch Theophilos III, Greek Orthodox Patriarchate

+Patriarch Nourhan Manougian, Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Patriarchate

+Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Apostolic Administrator, Latin Patriarchate

+Fr. Francesco Patton, ofm, Custos of the Holy Land

+Archbishop Anba Antonious, Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate, Jerusalem

+Archbishop Swerios Malki Murad, Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate

+Archbishop Aba Embakob, Ethiopian Orthodox Patriarchate

+Archbishop Yaser AL-Ayyash, Greek-Melkite-Catholic Patriarchate

+Archbishop Mosa El-Hage, Maronite Patriarchal Exarchate

+Archbishop Suheil Dawani, Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East

+Bishop Ibrahim Sani Azar, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land

+Bishop Pierre Malki, Syrian Catholic Patriarchal Exarchate

+Most Rev. Krikor-Okosdinos Coussa, Armenian Catholic Patriarchal Exarchate

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