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

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God." (Matthew 5:9 ESV)

Holy Prophet Elias

The glorious Elias, * an angel in the flesh, the foundation of prophets and the second Forerunner of the coming of Christ * sent grace from on high to Elisha * to drive away sickness and cleanse lepers. * Wherefore, he pours forth healings for those who honor him. (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.

O Prophet and foreseer of the great works of our God, * O renowned Elias, who, by your word restrained the clouds of rain, * pray for us to the only One Who loves mankind. (Kontakion - Tone 2)

The Church celebrates the memory of the Holy Prophet Elias on July 20th.

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

It is a fearful thing to hate whom God has loved. To look upon another – his weaknesses, his sins, his faults, his defects – is to look upon one who is suffering. He is suffering from negative passions, from the same sinful human corruption from which you yourself suffer. This is very important: do not look upon him with the judgmental eyes of comparison, noting the sins you assume you’d never commit. Rather, see him as a fellow sufferer, a fellow human being who is in need of the very healing of which you are in need. Help him, love him, pray for him, do unto him as you would have him do unto you.

St. Tikhon of Zadonsk