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

“I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6 ESV)

Exaltation of the Cross

Save Your people, O Lord, and bless Your inheritance; * grant victory to Your Church over her enemies * and protect Your commonwealth by Your Cross. (Troparion - Tone 1)

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

Willingly lifted up on the Cross, O Christ God, * bestow Your compassions upon the new commonwealth that bears Your name. * By your power grant joy to Your Church, * granting her victory over her enemies. * May she have your Cross as the weapon of peace * and the invincible ensign of victory. (Kontakion - Tone 4)

The Church celebrates the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross on September 14th.

Nativity of the Mother of God

Your nativity, O Virgin Mother of God, * heralded joy to all the world; * for from you has dawned the Sun of Righteousness, Christ our God, * and, having annulled the curse, He gave the blessing * and by destroying Death He granted us eternal life. (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.

Through your holy nativity, O Immaculate One, * Joachim and Anna were freed from the reproach of childlessness, * and Adam and Eve from the corruption of death. * Delivered from the guilt of sin, your people celebrate this as they cry out to you: * "The barren woman gives birth to the Mother of God, the Nourisher of our Life." (Kontakion - Tone 4)

The Church celebrates the Feast of the Nativity of the Mother of God on September 8th.

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

The "principal characteristics" of the zealot according to knowledge are the following: "fervent love for God and neighbor, gentleness, religious tolerance, forbearance, graciousness of manner."