Great and Holy Pascha

4 April 2021

Christ is Risen!
He is risen indeed!

This resurrection cry is the subject of my good wishes to my friends, to whom I attribute the beautiful title of “sons and daughters of the Resurrection.”

We are sons and daughters of the Resurrection, although in the reality of our everyday life, we all carry all sorts of crosses, as do our countries, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, the Holy Land, Palestine… We all bear the cross of illnesses, Coronavirus, handicaps, prison, loss of parents, vagrancy, emigration, deportation, hunger, suffering, homelessness and hopelessness.

Despite that, we are children of the Resurrection, of hope and joy. We believe in the Resurrection and in the Salvation of Jesus Christ, risen from the dead!

Psalm 73: 12 (LXX) makes allusion to this real, true spirituality, “But God is our King of old; he has wrought salvation in the midst of the earth.” I like to link the meaning of this verse with the Holy Land, Jerusalem and the Church of the Resurrection, where Jesus wrought his saving work “for us and for our salvation,” as we state in the creed.

This is what we see when we look at the cross: Jesus, the tree of life (like the tree in paradise), a cave under the cross, the symbol of all our sufferings, the skull of Adam, who transgressed the law of the Lord, whence the name Golgotha, the place of the skull.

That symbolises a theological reality: Jerusalem is the centre of the world; Paradise is at the centre of Jerusalem. Sin is in the world, the human heart and in our life, yet salvation is still at the centre of the world and of our life, in Jerusalem and in the life of every person.

This salvation is there for everyone, for every creature, for every man and woman. And it is to this salvation that the Resurrection is calling us. And we shall always be sons and daughters of the Resurrection!

Christ is Risen! He is risen indeed!

Gregorios III

Patriarch Emeritus of Antioch and All the East,
Of Alexandria and of Jerusalem
For the Melkite Greek Catholic Church


Teachings of Christ

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God." (John 3:16-18 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

"My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you." (Proverbs 3:1,2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Every man baptized into Christ should pass progressively through all the stages of Christ's own life, for in Baptism he receives the power so to progress, and through keeping the Commandments he can discover and learn how to accomplish such progression.

St. Gregory of Sinai