CWN - In a joint Easter message, the Christian leaders of Jerusalem have proclaimed that “pain, suffering, and death do not have the final word, it is God—who has the first word and the last.”

The patriarchs and other leaders of Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant groups in Jerusalem said: “The Resurrection inspires the resolute steadfastness in the living stones (local Christians) as living witnesses in the Holy Land.”

In their statement the Christian leaders recalled the ecumenical ceremony that marked the re-opening of the Edicule—the shrine at the site of Christ’s tomb, inside the basilica of the Holy Sepulchre—after extensive renovations. “The completion of this challenging work,” they said, was a testimony to ecumenical cooperation as well as to the support received from all around the world.

The Easter message was signed by:

  • Greek Orthodox Patriarch Theopilos II
  • Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Patriarch Nourhan Manougian
  • Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzabella, apostolic administrator of the Latin-rite Catholic Patriarchate of Jerusalem
  • Father Francesco Patton, the Franciscan Custos of the Holy Land
  • Archbishop Anba Antonious of the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem
  • Archbishop Swerios Malki Murad of the Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate
  • Archbishop Aba Embakob of the Ethiopian Orthodox Patriarchate
  • Archbishop Joseph-Jules Zerey of the Melkite Catholic Patriarchate
  • Archbishop Mosa el Hage of the Maronite Catholic Exarchate
  • Archbishop Subeil Dawani of the Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East
  • Bishop Munib Younan of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land
  • Bishop Pierre Malki of the Syrian Catholic Exarchate
  • Msgr. George Dankaye of the Armenian Catholic Exarchate

References:


Teachings of Christ

“The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45 ESV)

Exaltation of the Cross

Save Your people, O Lord, and bless Your inheritance; * grant victory to Your Church over her enemies * and protect Your commonwealth by Your Cross. (Troparion - Tone 1)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Willingly lifted up on the Cross, O Christ God, * bestow Your compassions upon the new commonwealth that bears Your name. * By your power grant joy to Your Church, * granting her victory over her enemies. * May she have your Cross as the weapon of peace * and the invincible ensign of victory. (Kontakion - Tone 4)

The Church celebrates the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross on September 14th.

Random Proverb

"Let your heart hold fast my words; keep my commandments, and live." (Proverbs 4:4 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

While the Bridegroom tarried, they slumbered and slept: Give ear, ye prudent, to our Lord's parable, for it is all light. All of them slept, both the foolish and the wise -- Which signifies that the good and the wicked die until the resurrection. The same sleep comes upon the ten of them, which is as much as to say, That death is the same for all creation without distinction. One was the sleep of the wise and of the foolish, For one is death, both of the righteous and of sinners. The good die, as the wise virgins slept; And the bad die, as the foolish also slept. Behold, all creation looketh for the coming of the Bridegroom, Christ, Who cometh at the end with His angels. But since He hath tarried, all generations slumber and sleep with the sleep of death, while looking for when He cometh.

A Homily on the Ten Virgins by Mar Jacob, Bishop of Serugh