Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!
The Lord God has visited and redeemed His world through the Cross and Resurrection.
I am moved by these marvelous verses from the Book of Wisdom which is on the Old Testament:
But You have mercy on all, because You can do all things;
and you overlook the sins of men that they may repent.
For You love all things that are
and loathe nothing that You have made;
for what You hated, You would not have fashioned.
And how could a thing remain, unless You willed it;
or be preserved, had it not been called forth by You.
But You spare all things because they are Yours,
O Lord and lover of souls… (Wisdom, chapter 11:23-26)
So we boldly proclaim that the salvation from Death we celebrate at Pascha is for all creation, not only for believers, but even for unbelievers, not just for those whom we love or for those who agree with us, for God "loves all things that are."
It remains for us to communicate this Good News (Gospel) to the world through our words, yes, but even more through our deeds. St. Paul speaks of the world which "groans in travail" longing for the redemption of which we speak to be revealed. And so it shall be in that day that has no end. But the greatness and glory of God is also revealed even now through us when we rise up to do good, to fight injustice, to give comfort to the oppressed and charity to all those in need.
With the terrible events in the Middle East weighing heavily on my mind, I ask all of you to pray and to work for peace and justice for all. Although the task seems insurmountable still we must raise our voices to end the occupation of Palestine and to bring about a situation where the desperation felt by the persecuted will end and peace can at last take root and grow for Palestinians and Israelis alike. We cannot be silent in the face of the growing tragedy because our Lord did not turn His face from us. He gave himself wholly to save us from death, so we must give ourselves as completely as we can to save our fellow human beings whenever we see them suffering.
May God bless and keep you save from all harm. May He put into our hearts words and into our hands tools to help bring about His perfect will for everyone throughout the world and particularly for the Holy Land in which He was born. May the Light of His glorious Resurrection shine in you forever.
Yours most sincerely in Christ,