Δευτέρα, 13 Απριλίου 2009

Message of His Holiness Garegin II on the Feast of the Glorious Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ

In the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.“Yet now He has been reconciled in the body of His flesh through death,to present you holy and blameless, and above reproach in His sight –if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast,and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard,which was preached to every creature under heaven.”Colossians 1:22-23Dear pious faithful,The tiding of the glorious and holy resurrection of our Lord and Savior is proclaimed to us from the holy altars of our churches today. The incomparable news of the grace of mankind’s salvation once more resounds within our faithful souls: Our Lord Jesus Christ reconciled us with God in the body of His flesh through His death, to present us before the Father as holy, spotless and immaculate, if we remain grounded and steadfast in faith and unshaken from the hope of the Gospel, which we heard and was preached to all creation under heaven.Indeed, who can present men before God as holy and immaculate, if not the Son of God alone? He Who paid the ransom for the sins of mankind with his righteous and honorable blood; and through His resurrection, saved us from death and granted us the path to eternal life. Today we once again praise and glorify Christ with exultation; we are renewed with faith and hope, which is the message of the Gospel, since the Savior of the world is Risen and we are hopeful for the grace of salvation He grants us.The belief in God is not merely the comprehension that He exists. Rather, it is the love for God, the acceptance of His message, as our fathers have taught us, and to be guided by that life-giving message. Faith is the most precious legacy, the light and vitality of the soul, which must be protected, cared for, sustained and nurtured, so that no thought, word or deed may cause it to be harmed or damaged within our soul.Faith in Christ, Who is the “true image of the invisible God”, is the recognition and praise of divine love and mercy toward men, and to live life with that love. During the course of His earthly mission, our Lord Jesus Christ frequently spoke about the importance of faith. He preached and performed miracles primarily in those places where He found faith; and was saddened and grieved when He could not find souls with faith and hope in God – finding instead merely the external appearance of worshipping God. Our Lord is always with us, if we are with Him with an undoubting soul. And there where the Lord is, is freedom, truth, justice, love and peace. Where the Lord is, is the grace of salvation, healing, consolation, resurrected spirit, hope and faith.The miracle of faith lives in the pages of the Holy Bible. The blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are healed, and the dead are resurrected. Seeing all this and hearing the life-sustaining words of our Lord, men followed Him, believing that the prophecies about the Savior of mankind had come true. Faith was shaken and hopelessness enveloped men following the crucifixion. Fear overtook even the disciples of Jesus, who were confused and filled with doubt, when the Risen Christ appeared to them and spoke with them. The same Lord Who was crucified and placed in the tomb was now standing before the Apostles; they were now seeing Him, at last, risen. Then, with their minds enlightened, the Apostles understood that the path toward salvation for man – from death to life – had been opened before mankind. If they had been afraid or hopeless until now, they no longer feared death as they evangelized and spread the Gospel – the good news that Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world, is Risen!Dear faithful sons and daughters, today and always, the Risen Christ is with humanity – to renew life, to transfigure the world. The Risen Christ is with men to solidify the love of God and the love of humanity within their souls, so that falsehood, injustice, jealousy and hatred are rejected; so that disasters and wars, pain, suffering and want are eliminated; and that the grace and mercy of God multiply in life as the earth receives light from the heavens, and dew and rain to make it green, flowering and bounteous. However, what can we expect, what future can we hope for, if life created by the Maker is entrenched within the soul that departs from the true love of God, from the divine light; within a soul that denies God? What outlook can there be, if not one “where evil men and imposters will go on from bad to worse”? 2 Timothy 3:13. The hope for the future is God, our Lord Jesus Christ, Who grants mankind the strength to live with resurrected life, to always progress toward the good, toward a peaceful, prosperous, secure and just world.Our people as well believed in their renewal of life and salvation in Christ, establishing themselves on the solid and unshakeable foundation of the hope and faith preached in the Gospel. The Risen Christ walked throughout our countryside through the faith of the Apostles, through our pontiff, the Apostle-like Saint Gregory the Illuminator and through many other saints, and illuminated the life of our people, blessed them with virtues of the mind and spirit, reinforced and protected them with hope during trials and tribulations. With the Savior as our refuge, our people rose again from the depths of the chasms of death; and their resurrected new life sprouted again. They built their homes, kept their native hearths burning, and although exiled from their homeland and dispersed throughout the world, stayed unified and united, believed in the victory of justice, the right of liberty, the renewal of life through goodness and the vision of a peaceful world.It is with these aspirations and faith, dear faithful, that today we work to make our free and native land of Armenia and Artsakh prosperous, and strengthen our ecclesiastical and national life throughout the world. For the realization of our hopes and goals, and the overcoming of the challenges of our day, let us make God-commanded love, respect, honesty and confidence, assistance and care for one another our companions, for they are the foundation and strength of our ecclesiastical and national life, and of our families, friends, communities and productive cooperation. These values nurture and advance state and societal structures, and serve the welfare of all. These values will help especially today, during uncertain economic times, in conditions of present issues and concerns, to find stable and hopeful ways to bring to life beneficial endeavors in Armenia and in the Diaspora. Yes, the true faith and acts flowing from that faith are and shall be triumphant and fearless. Seeing the noble results of a faithful spirit in every sphere, in every step turned into reality, is how our children will learn to live with them, love family and friend, love homeland and God. Therefore, dear ones, clothed with the gifts of the Lord’s salvation, and always renewing our souls with faith and hope, let us serve the realization of all our national aspirations and goals with love and with one mind, one heart and one will. And the Lord, Who is always with us, seeing our good works, will reward us with resurrected life.With the joyful tiding of Christ’s glorious resurrection and with fraternal love we greet the incumbents of the hierarchal sees of our Holy Apostolic Church: His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia; His Beatitude Torkom Manoogian, Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem; His Beatitude Mesrob Mutafyan, Armenian Patriarch of Constantinople; and the spiritual heads of our Sister Churches, asking for countless successes filled with the grace of the Lord in their spiritual mission. We convey our Pontifical love and blessings to all devoted ranks of clergy and our faithful sons and daughters dispersed throughout the world, and wish them a life of goodness, fruitful service and manifold accomplishments.We extend our Pontifical blessings and greetings to the President of the Republic of Armenia, Serzh Sargsian; the President of the Republic of Nagorno Karabagh, Bako Sahakian; and all state officials of the Armenians. May the abundant graces of the Lord bestow them with new successes for the sake of our homeland and Armenian life everywhere.We greet with wishes for all good things the leaders and representatives of diplomatic missions accredited to Armenia. May the Almighty Hand of God keep and protect you, your countries and state officials, in your God-pleasing mission of strengthening the friendship among nations and peoples.On the Risen Savior’s day of renewal, dear faithful children throughout the globe, let us offer our united prayer to heaven, asking for the faith and hope of our Lord’s salvation to be with all men, console those in pain, reinforce those in difficult situations, and keep us all on paths of divine love. May God bless our people, to continue toward peaceful and benevolent harbors; filled with blessing, grace and mercy. Let us remain strong and steadfast in faith, and unshaken in our hope of the Gospel, so that our Risen Lord and Savior present us before the Father as holy, spotless and immaculate, alongside all those who rely on Him.“Glory to Your Almighty Resurrection, O Lord, today and always. Amen.”CHRIST IS RISEN FROM THE DEADGREAT TIDINGS TO ALL