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

'Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day." (John 6:53-54 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

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

Abbot Macarius was asked: "How should I pray?" The staretz answered: "There is no need to waste time with words; it is enough to hold out your hands and say: 'Lord, have mercy.'  If you are hard pressed in the struggle, say: 'Lord, save me!' He knows what is best for you, and he will have mercy on you."

Abbot Macarius, quoted in St. Gregory Palamas and Orthodox Spirituality, Meyendorff, 1974, SVS Press