Dear FRN Readers, with great humility and joy in our hearts, we translate for you the blessed Easter messages from Patriarchs Kirill and Irinej, of all-Russia and the lands of the Serbs, respectively.
We bring their messages of hope and of love, with a truth that through the triumph over death by the resurrected Christ, all of us may find redemption and salvation.
We speak not for them, nor for the church, when we extend our view that the fundamental truth found in this, pertains to all people of faith, around the world, regardless of culture or nominal confession.
For the times we are in, and the conflicts ahead, these trials and tribulations, will bring together those of all faiths, who will unite against the great nothingness and the anti-society of abandonment which it creates. It is this danger which looms heavily over all mankind, and threatens everyone. We take great interest in the growth in faith and of religion around the world, a noted phenomenon called global desecularization. This happens, contrary to projections, side-by-side with the growth of science and technology around the world.
In the field of biochemistry, science is confronted with analyzing and looking at structures and processes that ‘appear as if’ they had been created intelligently. In the field of cosmology and theoretical physics, they grapple with the likelihood, the growing consensus, that this universe we are in was constructed by design. And yet while these are allowed discussions at the post-graduate level, and in high-level hobbyist magazines – the students, youth, and laymen and culture at large as expressed through media, are told another story – one filled without doubts and laden with hubris, that it is supposedly certain that all of this is random and accidental. But it is not, and they know too that it is likely not. But they cannot say, alternatively, what indeed is likely. For that would be telling.
Our mission is both communitarian and, we humbly hope, a holy one. For the work of man inspired by God and working in the world as he wants us to work must bring together faith and humility, with social justice and vigilance against systems of greed, war, exploitation, and horror. Those against us have worked hard to separate believers from the work of social justice. There is a reason for that. And this is the reason we fight.
Easter blessings to you of all faiths and creeds,
From the FRN Team
FROM KIRILL, PATRIARCH of MOSCOW AND ALL RUSSIA
Blessed be the God and Father
of our Lord Jesus Christ, who
by His great mercy has regenerated us by the
resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
(1 Pet. 1: 3)
Graces archpastors, esteemed fathers, honorable monks and nuns, dear brothers and sisters!
On this marvelous and high-honored day, filled with special joy about the risen Lord Jesus, I warmly congratulate all of you on the great and world-saving Easter holiday and send you an ancient and life-affirming greeting to you:
CHRIST IS RISEN!
Nowadays the fullness of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church magnifies the resurrection from the dead of the Son of God and the Son of Man our Lord Jesus Christ with spiritual stumps and spiritual songs , which destroyed the power of death and opened us into the Eternal Kingdom. Truly today everything was filled with light: the sky, the earth, and the inferno; the whole creation celebrates the rebellion of Christ, in whom it is established (Canon of Holy Pascha).
Like the evangelical myrrh-bearing women and other disciples of the Savior, who became the first witnesses of the resurrection, we are called to proclaim this great joy to people — those who are near and dear to us, those who surround us, those we know. We say to them: Christ is risen! And how then, many centuries ago, some of them, believing, immediately answered: truly resurrected! Others, like the Apostle Thomas, doubt and say: until I see Him myself, until I touch Him, I will not believe (John 20:25). Others altogether reject this message.
Belief in the resurrection of the Lord Jesus is the unshakable foundation, the unshakable pillar on which Christianity rests. “If Christ, having died, could not be resurrected, ” says St. John Chrysostom, “ then sin is not exterminated, and death is not conquered, <…> and not only we preached in vain, but you also believed in vain” (T. 39 1 Corinthians).
In his redemptive deed, the Savior united the heavenly and the earthly, the Eternal and the temporal, the Creator and the creature, God and man. He overcame the abyss that at the dawn of history separated the first people from their Creator. Through the violation of the commandment given to them, through their disobedience to the Creator, sin and death began to reign in the world. When , according to the word of the Apostle Paul, the fullness of time came, God, for the sake of our salvation, sent His Only Begotten Son, so that we might receive adoption (Gal. 4: 4-5).
Christ, as the pure and pure Lamb of God, takes upon himself the sin of the world (1 Pet. 1:19; John 1:29). Showing obedience to Heavenly Father even before the death and death of the cross (Phil. 2: 8), He brings humanity to its Creator, reconciles him with Him. Being the Son of God by nature, He makes us sons of God by grace. The Lord reveals to us the path of moral transfiguration and spiritual ascent to eternal and blissful life with God in the non-evening days of His Kingdom (Canon of Holy Pascha).
Having freed us from slavery to sin, having crushed the power of the rulers of the darkness of this age – the spirits of the evil of the heavens (Ephesians 6:12), the Lord ascends to heaven where He sits in the unapproachable glory of the right hand of the Eternal Father. At the same time, He does not leave us here on earth, and is inseparable from His disciples, who together form His Body – the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. Christ, Her Head, leads this ship of salvation through the stormy waters of the sea of life into a quiet heavenly harbor, where God will be all in all (1 Cor. 15:28).
Composing the Holy Church, we Christians are the followers of His glorious mission in the world. Like many of the former brothers and sisters in the faith — the apostles, myrrh-bearing women, martyrs, saints, saints, and righteous, we are called to proclaim the name of the Lord, to proclaim His deeds to the nations (1 Chron. 16: 8). We are called to preach about the Son of God and the Son of Man, who, through inexpressible love for us, shed His pure blood on the Cross for us. We are called both with words and deeds, with our whole life to witness to people about Him who was wounded and tortured for our iniquities (Isa. 53: 5) and resurrected to justify ours (Rom. 4:25).
Dear brothers and sisters! I would like again and again with all my heart to congratulate you on the bright holiday of holidays and the triumph of the celebrations – God’s saving Easter (Canon of Holy Pascha). As the holy Apostle John instructs us, let us love one another, because love is from God, who loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. If God so loved us, then we must love one another (1 John 4: 7-11). May these marvelous words invariably be our guide on all the paths of life, may they inspire us to perform good deeds, to serve our near and far. Amen.
April 27, 2019
FROM PATRIARCH of SERBIANS IRINEJ
the Orthodox Archbishop of the Pecs, the Metropolitan of Belgrade-Karlovac and the Serbian Patriarchate, with all the bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church-the clergy, monks, and all the sons and daughters of our Holy Church: grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, with joyful easterly greeting:
Dear spiritual children,
The hearts filled with great joy and light, today we celebrate the Feast of the Holidays, the omnipotence of the victory of faith and the life of death, the holiday of the Resurrection of Christ, but also the resurrection of human nature, the resurrection of every human being.
Decayability and death, through sin embedded in human nature, with their crude and indefatigable certainty confirm the end of the historical path and life of every human being. The biological cycle that starts from the mother’s womb ends in the womb of the earth, and transience and death appear to be the only inevitable reality. However, from the first man to the present, with each word, thought and part, we demonstrate that we do not agree with death that death is anomaly, that we are hungry and thirsty for an endless life, in a word, that we are created and designated for the fullness of life and eternity. Therefore, we see death as nonsense, as its greatest and essentially the only, last enemy.
Hence all human efforts are directed towards an attempt to find a medicine against death and perishability. All the religions of the world, all sublime efforts of the human spirit – philosophy, science and art – ultimately have only one goal: to win death! To this end, through centuries, mankind has created unprecedented miracles of technique and material culture in general. Unprecedented proportions developed the scientific knowledge, demonstrated the immutable momentum of social creativity, the philosophical thought led to extraordinary fineness and clarity and created great art, but the goal remained unreachable! The reason is simple – transient and created can not only become impermanent and eternal.
Therefore, the only-begotten Son of God, the epitome of the love of God, came into the world, endured and suffered the sufferings on the Cross, and so, for the sake of the wonders, for ever, made his life in our lives! He took on Himself our death as His, so that, by the blessing and the love of the Father of heaven, he would rise from the grave, and with His death, irreverently overcome the general law of death and death.
The resurrection of Christ, as a gentle conscience and as an undeniable fact, has become a permanent foundation and the heart of the Christian faith. It has become a new birth of a man for eternal life and a door that leads him into the world of a new, transformed reality, the reality of the glory of the Kingdom of Heaven. This most conspicuous testifies to the words of the holy apostle Paul, who says: “… Indeed, Christ rose from the dead, and became the firstfather of those who died” (I Cor. 15, 20).
The Secret of the Resurrection of Christ reveals to us that God is by no means an abstract notion or a hypothetical and inaccessible “higher power” that enslaves and restricts us with the moral norms system. He is, on the contrary, the perfect Personality who came into the world not only to improve the conditions of this life, or to offer us some, even the most perfect, economic and political system, or to teach us a method that achieves a certain psychophysical balance. He came to conquer death as “the last enemy” (I Cor. 15, 26) and to bring eternal life to the whole human race. “For God so loved the world that He gave His Son, the One, that no one who believes in Him should perish, but each one has eternal life” (John 3:16).
It is no coincidence that none of the gospels tried to describe the Resurrection Event itself, to present what happened at the crucial moment of the rise from the sleep of death. All, without exception, speak only of the consequences of that event and the indication of people’s testimony about an empty grave. The Resurrection Secret itself remains hidden. What the eunuchs, disciples, and apostles of Christ testified then and confirmed through the ages of the saints of God in the Church are the reports of the Resurrected Lord and their experience of communion with Him. This means that no one can not only understand and see, but also describe these saving events that go beyond our intellectual capabilities. We are immersed in the reality of these Secrets only through faith and spiritual experience because the reality of the community with the Resurrection is not the issue of laboratory research and rational proof of the eucharistic participation in the common Life Cup. We have a blessed opportunity to experience the fruits of the Resurrection, but not to judge the nature of this Secret, just as it happens with the Secret of the Epiphany and with all the Secrets of the divine Resurrection of salvation
Here the Secret of the Secrets was revealed to us by the Lord Himself, when He and His disciples were on their way to the village of Emaus: “O foolish and slow hearts to believe in all that the prophets are saying! Was it not necessary for Christ to endure this and to enter His glory? “(Luke 24, 25-26). He was fully revealed to them in his resurrected and transformed form only when he took bread during the dinner and blessed him, and then distributed it. Then the eyes of the mind opened to them and they recognized Him as the Resurrected Lord. The joyous reality of the Resurrection can not be covered by human reason. Only by the eyes of faith, and not anywhere but at the Holy Liturgy, we can recognize the Resurrected and glorified Savior Christ. The event of the Resurrection is experienced in the liturgical community with others, ie in the Church of Christ. Therefore, the Resurrection not only applies to an individual but to the whole community, The people of God in general. By the gift of God, this is a universal, universal, church event. All peoples and tribes on earth, all human beings, are called upon to experience their holy Pasha through the event of Christ’s Resurrection.
By His Cross and Resurrection, His Christ ultimately has endured enmity and mankind has merged into one Body and one People. Therefore, the One, Holy, Saborna and Apostolic Church is the Church of reconciliation of all and everything. That is why all of us, settled, filled with a new, true life, have become “fellow citizens of the holy and domestic God” (Eph 2: 19).
Unfortunately, in spite of the non-pagan pastoral joy, we are still confronted with a multitude of temptations and troubles, with terrorism, wars and the subduing of human lives throughout the earthly sphere. The pay and agony of the victims, who reach us at the highest speed through modern means of communication, are hurting our hearts. Various and innumerable disappointments, sorrows and discontent are occupied by our souls. Everywhere around us there is injustice and hatred, but the truth is relativized. People of virtuous life slander and persecutions. This takes place not only on the personal and local level, but also on a global scale. We are witnesses that today, throughout the world, the basic Christian values are suppressed in the second plan, and humanity is proposed somewhere, and somewhere impose not only on the Christian side, but also on its totally opposite value systems.
In such a devious world, we, the Orthodox Christians, are invited to testify, by their example, to the near and further, the victory of life over death and the meaning of nonsense. The church must not live only for itself as a closed religious community, concerned only with questions of personal devotion. She is obliged to be the act of peace and reconciliation, love and solidarity in the sacred humanity through the joy and experience of the Resurrection.
Let us ask ourselves: what is our faith? Do we really believe that Christ rose from the dead? Does this Event have crucial saving effects for us and for our lives? In answering this simple question lies and answers to all our troubles, fears and insecurities, to all our temptations, existential dilemmas, psychological conflicts, moral, social, national and all other challenges, personal and global. “For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is the Lord, and believe in your heart that God will raise him up from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10: 9).
In the year in which we celebrate the great jubilee of our Church, eight centuries of its autocomplete, we pray for the fullness of our blessed people, who lives in the homeland and in the scattering, to rejoice in the Resurrection of Christ and to preserve the unity of their Holy Church in love and in harmony; that his own personal or any earthly interests never presupposes the interest of the Church of Christ, but not the universal human good.
With special urgency, we pray today to the Resurrected Christ God that, through the representation of the Holy Savior, the holy emperor Lazarus and all the saints of our race, they return peace and freedom to our crucified Kosovo and Metohija, our spiritual cradle and our Jerusalem, where the greatest Serbian holy places , pearls of Orthodox spirituality, Serbian culture and the overall Christian and world spiritual heritage.
God has embraced all people and all creation and moved into us, full of grace and truth, as the Eternal Love, With His arms spread on the Cross. Therefore, we, by being obedient to Him, obey the cross-loving love of God for one another! Not only are those who love us – we hug our love for our enemies too! We forgive them, because the Lord also forgave our sins on our Lord, saying, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). “That there are no words: forgive me! and let it be free! human life would be completely unbearable “, blessed Serbian Zlatoust, Saint Bishop Nikolai. So forgive each other! Let’s calm down with each other! Let’s hug each other and walk the sacred path of divine love! We testify to Love and live it!
Expressing one mouth and one heart of this truth, all of us, Orthodox Christians throughout the universe, today call: “Today is the day of the Resurrection and we are enlightening with glory, and we embrace each other, and say: Brothers! and those who hate us! We forgive all Resurrection and sing: Christ resurrected from the dead, death death by defeating those who gave life in their graves. “
Dated in the Serbian Patriarchate in Belgrade, on the Easter in 2019.
Your prayer book before the Resurrected Lord:
Archbishop of the Pecs, Metropolitan of Belgrade-Karlovac and
Patriarch of Serbian IRINEJ
Metropolitan of Zagreb-Ljubljana
PORFIRIJE Dabar Bosna Metropolitan
Chrysostom Bishop of Sabac
LAVRENTIJE Bishop of Srem
Vasilije , Bishop of Banja Luka
Jefri Bishop of Buda
LUKIJAN Bishop of Banat
Nikanor Bishop of New Gracanica-Midwestern LONGIN
Bishop of Canada Mitrofan
DOSITEJ Bishop of Western Europe LUKA
Bishop of Zica JUSTIN
Bishop Pachomius Vranje
Bishop Jovan of Sumadija
Bishop b aničevski IGNATIUS
Bishop of Zvornik and Tuzla
Fotije Bishop mileševski
ATANASIJE Bishop of Budim and Niksic
JOANIKIJE Bishop Dusseldorf and German GRIGORIJE
Bishop of Valjevo Milutin
Bishop of Raska and Prizren
Teodosije Bishop zapadnoamerički MAKSIM
, Bishop of Eastern IRINEJ
Bishop Krusevac DAVID
Bishop of Slavonia Jovan
ANDREJ Bishop of Bihac-Petrovac
Ilarion Timok Bishop of Nis
ARSENIJE Bishop Metropolitanate Australia New Zealand SILUAN
Bishop buenosaireski and South Central American KIRILO
Bishop Nicodemus Dalmatian
Bishop Osečka-Polish and Baranja cherub
Bishop of Zahumlje and Herzegovina DIMITRIJE
Vicar Bishop of Moravica ANTONIJE
Vicar Bishop Remesiana STEFAN
Vicar Bishop Mohačka ISIHIJE
Vicar Bishop dioklijski METHOD
Archbishop of Ohrid and Metropolitan of Skopje Jovan
Bishop of Polos and Kumanovo
JOAKIM Bishop of Bregalnica MARKO
Vatican Bishop of Stoby DAVID