Sunday of Easter
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Al Masyhou Qam,
On this morning of the Resurrection I want to focus an and meditate with you, on four points highlighting the importance of the resurrection that we celebrate today:
- God raised His Son from the dead on the third day. It is the essence of our Christian Faith which is practically based on this confession and this announcement. God the creator of the universe, God who is the God of life and the Lord of death, God who through His plan of salvation wished to send His only begotten Son to our humanity, and became man, God who wanted to give life back to humans as they were in eternal death, has raised His Son from the dead, His Son who is true man and true God and new life is given through Him. This time, the human being is liberated from eternal death, and is filled with eternal life that is realized through His resurrection. It is the foundation of our Christian faith.
- Jesus is no longer in the tomb. The tomb is empty, He is not there. In fact, He has returned to His father and lives with us, at the same time. His kingdom is that of His father, but also the heart of man. He says in His Gospel: “The kingdom of God is within you.” In order to see it, to feel it, to leap of its hope, our eyes and heart should look at the sky but also at the depth of our being. We have to live the presence of the resurrected and living Christ in the depth of our hearts otherwise faith becomes an external religious action tasteless and without fruits.
- The theological and spiritual space of His encounter is the Eucharistic banquet. We know that the Holy Eucharist of every Sunday is a celebration of the resurrection. And today’s feast is a strong time that reminds us of the historical time of Jesus in which the Pascal Mystery was realized. But it is every Sunday that the Church celebrates in depth, the resurrection. In other words, we have to celebrate this every week rather than every year, that is once a year, or occasionally. How beautiful it is, to meet Jesus every Sunday in the Holy Eucharist and to celebrate His resurrection, having children, young people and families grow in this deep and living faith.
- The human space of the resurrection is each person that God puts to our path every day of our lives. It is exactly here that the confession of the resurrection is realized. It relates to living the values of the Gospel, the values of hope, peace, reconciliation, forgiveness, brotherhood so as to build together a human society where God is the Lord of the Lords, and where His love dominates the hearts and thoughts. It relates to destroying the walls of hatred, divisions, prejudices and injustices. It relates to be set free and believe in human freedom. It relates to rediscover among us the beauty and richness of our land, of our island, where the first communities have born witness of the risen Christ. It is the place where many cultures managed to live together, despite challenges and difficulties. The world needs examples, witnesses of the resurrection through unity and love, through truth and light.
I wish to all of you Happy Easter, where everyone assumes responsibility of transmitting the faith in the living Christ, source of our hope, to Him be glory for ever, Amen.
Nicosia, 15th April 2012
† Youssef Soueif
Maronite Archbishop of Cyprus