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


Teachings of Christ

“Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:13-14 ESV)

Lenten Prayer of St. Ephrem

O Lord and Master of my life, drive away from me the spirit of despondency, carelessness, love of power, and idle chatter. (Prostration)

Rather grant to me, Your servant, the spirit of wholeness of being, humility, patience, and love. (Prostration)

Yes, O Lord and King, grant that I may see my own faults and not condemn my brother; for You are blessed to the ages of ages. Amen. (Prostration)

Random Proverb

"My son, do not lose sight of these — keep sound wisdom and discretion, and they will be life for your soul." (Proverbs 3:21,22a ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Even a pious person is not immune to spiritual sickness if he does not have a wise guide -- either a living person or a spiritual writer. This sickness is called _prelest_, or spiritual delusion, imagining oneself to be near to God and to the realm of the divine and supernatural. Even zealous ascetics in monasteries are sometimes subject to this delusion, but of course, laymen who are zealous in external struggles (podvigi) undergo it much more frequently. Surpassing their acquaintances in struggles of prayer and fasting, they imagine that they are seers of divine visions, or at least of dreams inspired by grace. In every event of their lives, they see special intentional directions from God or their guardian angel. And then they start imagining that they are God's elect, and often try to foretell the future. The Holy Fathers armed themselves against nothing so fiercely as against this sickness -- prelest.

Metropolitan Anthony Khrapovitsky