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

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Teachings of Christ

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are one.” (John 10:27-30 ESV)

Saint Nicholas of Myra

The truth of your deeds has revealed you to your flock, * as a rule of faith, an image of meekness, and a teacher of abstinence. * Therefore, you attained the heights through humility, * and riches through poverty. * O Father and Hierarch Nicholas, * pray to Christ God that our souls may be saved. (Troparion, Tone 4)

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

In Myra, You were shown to be a servant of the sacred things, O Holy Nicholas, * for, fulfilling the Gospel of Christ, you, O Venerable, laid down your life for your people, * and saved the innocent from death. * Therefore, you were sanctified as a great initiate of the grace of God. (Kontakion, Tone 3)

Random Proverb

For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. (Proverbs 2:6 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

God is nearer to us than any man at every time. He is nearer to me than my raiment, nearer than the air or light, nearer than my wife, father, mother, daughter, son or friend. I live in Him, soul and body. I breathe in Him, think in Him, feel, consider, intend, speak, undertake, work in Him. `For in Him we live, and move, and have our being' (Acts 17:28).

St. John of Kronstadt, My Life in Christ