Prelate’s Easter Message

The Triumph Of Resurrection

The Way Of Our Life

The Lord is risen and all His enemies are dispersed.

The feast of Christ’s Holy Resurrection–the most magnificent Divine miracle–once again fills our hearts with joy–and arms the whole Christian world–replenishing faith and new hopes.

Christ’s triumphant resurrection which overthrew all His enemies resonates more vividly in the Hymnal Book of the Armenian Church with these words:.

The Lord is risen and all His enemies are dispersed.

And where were His friends at the time?

All the accusations and slander their master was subjected to–his betrayal and arrest–his condemnation and torture–his crucifixion and burial led all his friends one by one to skepticism and despair and horror.

They had grown loose in their faith but did not lose it.

They were weakened in their hope but their hope was not extinguished.

But their love for Him had maintained.

And the Good News arrived soon; the trumpet of victory was blown on Sunday morning.

Mary of Magdalene and the oil bearing women were the first to witness the empty tomb. They were looking for the living among the dead–but He was not there–for He had risen. They went and told the disciples who out of despair initially could not believe to what they heard; their pain was so profound. They were not convinced that their master was left alone helpless and was defeated by His enemies. That was hard for them to believe.

And behold–the veil of doubt was torn off and the haze of despair was dispelled when the Resurrected Christ revealed himself to His disciples in private and in groups–hailed them–ate with them–and they touched him. Thus–they were revitalized in faith–delighted with hope and filled with love; they took on a new life and became new individuals. And from then on they marched forward at the cost of their lives–became fearless witnesses of His Resurrection–blazing the lives and souls of all those who shared their testimony and the victory of resurrection.

With the miraculous Resurrection–friends of Christ were part of the triumph–but His enemies were defeated. Jewish dignitaries–driven by jealousy–wanted to end His life on the cross with false accusations–but they were defeated and so was death with all its might along with them–because:

Christ is risen from the dead

He trampled on death by his own death

And granted us life through His Resurrection.

As friends of Christ–and children of the Armenian nation–during the past two millenniums we came on triumphant against declines and downfalls–subjugation and domination. Our enemies were defeated as long as we were friends of Christ and witnesses of His Resurrection; we were strengthened in our faith and filled with the joy of hope and were fortified in our will through the life that Christ granted us.

We thank God that recently our people has adopted the spirit of resurrection and lives by the testimony of triumph and resurrection across Armenia–Artsakh and the Diaspora.

But the testimony of the triumphant resurrection is current in calling on us more than ever. The enemy is set at all times–from the inside and the outside. Let’s be alert.

In our Christian life "bribed–false witnesses" are all around us. Let’s be alert.

In our national and church life lighted up with the idea of resurrection–our enemies both internal and external–are trying to sow thorns and darnel on our path. Let’s be alert.

In our collective as well as public and family life–jealousy–hatred and self- profit are destructive factors that come across our way in our constructive and radiant journey. Let’s be alert.

Dear faithful–at this miraculous feast of Christ,

Let us fill our lives with the triumphant light of resurrection and be the advocates of truth. Let us prevail the deadly threats and stings of the evil and the darkness with our good deeds by saying:

"O Death–where is your sting?

O Death–where is your victory?"

(1 Cor. 15:55)

Let’s ask our commander–the Resurrected Christ for strength so we could dispel and repel our enemies.

Strengthened by the mystery of the Holy Resurrection–we extend our paternal blessings and affectionate love to all the dedicated people of our Prelacy both clergy and lay– our organizations and those who serve the press and to all our faithful.

Let the Easter message of triumph–hope and love strengthen the lives of our people so we could continue marching through our journey of centuries with Christ.

Praise be to your resurrection–O Lord!

Bishop Moushegh Mardirossian

Easter–1999

Prelate–Western Prelacy

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