“Christ is risen from the dead”
(Hymn of the Resurrection)
Today is the glorious feast of the Holy Resurrection; a feast of elevation, of victory over sin and death. Christ is resurrected, the door to the grave is opened, the angels brought the luminous good news of life and the apostles were strengthened and inspired by the appearance of the risen Savior. The wonderous Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ gave mankind the heavenly grace to rise from Golgotha, to conquer death and to inherit eternal life. We are encouraged by that confidence and strengthened in the face of tribulation and sorrow, in the horrible reality of death, having the firm belief that Christ is risen, he has restored life, brought mankind out of the darkness of sin and evil, and established reconciliation between man and God. “God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son”, says the Apostle (1 John 5:11). The Resurrection of Christ opened the bright path of blessed life, hope, love, peace and solidarity. Straying from this life-giving path spreads death and destruction instead of resurrection, condemnation instead of salvation, and turns life into a vortex of hatred and division, full of evil trials and dangers.
Beloved, last year our people, like the Savior, suffered a crucifixion again. Thousands of our loving sons died in the hellish furnace of war while passing through a suffering of Golgotha, and we lost a significant part of Artsakh, our native homeland. Both before the war and in the post-war period, the commitment to love and solidarity and the way of life according to God’s messages, was not steadfast in our lives. The divisions and the sowing of hatred, the spirit of intolerance, and the continuing political upheavals have put our country and people in danger of new disturbances and decline, overshadowing noble ideas of devotion and patriotism. Also, the unanswered concerns for the security of the homeland, the lack of a vision for life in the homeland, and disappointment and frustration, have clouded our future hopes with the darkness of uncertainty. No circumstance, no goal, nothing can justify the division and weakening of the nation and the homeland, the scattering of our flock, the violation of our national and spiritual values and ancestral heritage, the immoralization and uprooting of the new generation from the national identity, and the degradation of the nation’s dignity and honor.
Our crucifixion will not be crowned with the life-giving power of the resurrection if there is delay in taking the necessary actions to overcome the crisis of difficult political, economic, and social problems, while we remain in the cave of death. Resurrection does not take place through reprehensible hatred and enmity, division and destruction, but through love, mutual respect, common purpose, love of homeland, and shared commitment to overcoming hardships and difficulties together. The life of our people in the homeland and in the diaspora is waiting for an immediate relief of sorrows, emergence from suffering, and victorious resurrection.
Dear ones, the light of Christ’s salvation and resurrection, radiates through the virtue of making sacrifices; sacrifices for one another, and sacrifices for the love of our entire nation. It is in this light that we turn away from selfishness and turn toward godliness and that we cast off deadly conduct and turn toward the life-giving God, that actions which cause suffering are replaced by the deeds of the resurrected life, leading towards salvation and eternity. Bringing our country and people out of the plagues and raising the life of Artsakh from ruins, the revival of the Armenians and the homeland are imperative commitments that must be taken up byall the sons and daughters of the nation, political parties, and in particular the authorities, with the greatest responsibility. These patriotic efforts will be adorned, be crowned with success through the commitment to save the statehood from a fatal situation, by giving up personal ambitions, and prioritizing the interests of the state and the nation. In this spirit, we must bring to a victorious destination our cherished aspirations for the restoration of our painful losses, the protection of our national rights, and the universal recognition of the Armenian Genocide.
Beloved faithful, Christ has risen to bring us the power to renew our souls, our lives. Let us not despair or be discouraged by the trials that surround us. Let us remain strong in the faith of the resurrection. Let us live the miracle of the resurrection in our country and in life. Let us stay in our native cradle with warm aspirations to avoid emigration from the homeland and to strengthen our statehood. With the help of the Lord, we will overcome the bitterness and disasters of our lives, and achieve the realization of our hopes and visions, the creation of a resurrected new life.
On this soul-stirring day, let us pray that the blessings and grace of our Lord and Savior be spread through the hearts of the people, bringing peace and prosperity to the world, wisdom to the state officials in their responsibility to harmonize and stabilize the state and public life, leading to prosperity. Let us pray for the health of our children wounded in the war, the return of the prisoners of war, the missing, the souls of our fallen heroes, and the dead from the pandemic; with the consolation of the words of our Lord Jesus Christ. “I am the resurrection, the life. He that believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live” (John 11:25). May the hopeful news of Easter grant the power of realizing the shared dream of a safe, prosperous homeland to our people all over the world. Let the skies of our national-ecclesiastical life be adorned with the dawn of the Resurrection, and may our homeland, Armenia and Artsakh, remain peaceful and secure, and our people be strong in faith, with love and unity, today and forever. Amen.
Christ is risen from the dead,
Blessed is the Resurrection of Christ