Christ Has Risen From The Dead
Once again, the church proclaims the good tidings of Christ’s resurrection, which fills our souls with unfathomable joy. Words are unable to express the inscrutable mystery of Christ’s resurrection, which brings us renewed life through faith. Through the “Golden Chain” of Lenten Sundays, spiritual reflection, and prayer, our spiritual journey leads us to Holy Easter. This not only brings us closer to God but also prompts us to adopt and live the new life in the likeness of Christ, cleansed from the stains of sin. This is the true essence of the resurrection of Christ, which can and will work miracles in our lives if we commit to living by it.
Holy Easter invites us to live a prayerful life so that we may feel God’s divine touch and become peacemakers and children of light in the spirit of forgiveness. Thus, we can create the New Church with faith, love, and hope. Today, our message to you is this: Live life with hope and become embodiments of love through words and deeds. When life is void of Christian virtues, it becomes a hollow space where materialism may breed. Material riches are corruptible and transient, yet Christian values reflect what is sacred and divine. Look at the people who dwell in darkness. The kindle of God’s love has extinguished in them, and the significance of Christ’s resurrection is distorted in them. The dormant seeds of the divine can revive only through the power of prayer. Solitary prayer alone with the Lord is powerful. It enlightens our hearts, souls, and minds. Prayer with the community, however, is most powerful. When we pray in the church with our faithful brothers and sisters, the resurrected Christ is revealed through our prayers. Together, we become part and parcel of the mystery of resurrection.
We direly need Easter renewal in our national life – be it in Armenia or in the Diaspora. The everyday challenges weigh heavily on us, and our souls wither from the gusty winds blowing from right and left. In order to withstand those winds, we need empowerment and inspiration stemming from the faith of our forefathers. In their testimony of faith, we see the radiating love of God, influencing their families, churches, and communities at large. We cannot change the world, but we can change ourselves. We can influence our families by instilling Christian values in the hearts of our children and encouraging them to live prayerful lives. The more we are challenged, the more we must rely on our faith, especially on the mystery of resurrection. Every time we find ourselves in the snares of evil, we must make the sign of the cross and find strength in the crucified and resurrected Christ.
Every time we proclaim the resurrection of Christ by saying, “Christ is risen from the dead; blessed is the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,” we declare the defeat of the evil one. The more we draw on our faith, the more we banish sin away from us. Today, we boldly announce that we are the children of the resurrected Christ. We have been the adopted children of Christ from the beginning of time, when we embraced Christianity as our state religion. Our forefathers lived by their Christian faith, thus surmounting every obstacle that stood in their way.
Our prayer and hope are that we can emulate the faith of our ancestors and live life through the mystery of Christ’s resurrection, defeating death and embracing life.
CHRIST HAS RISEN FROM THE DEAD! BLESSED IS THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST!
Abp. Hovnan Derderian, Primate
Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America and Mexico