Prelate’s Easter Message – 2007


“…And the women who came to anoint the body of the Lord heard from the angel that the eternal living had risen from the dead” (Hymn)

It is Easter once again and a time when Christians worldwide celebrate the Glorious Resurrection of Christ with unsurpassed spiritual joy.  Once more, we recall the everlasting message of the angels who centuries ago proclaimed,

“Why do you seek the living among the dead, He is not here, but is risen…” (Luke 24: 5-6)

 Each aspect of the earthly mission of our Lord Jesus Christ, but especially His Glorious Resurrection, epitomize everlasting messages which do not diminish over time but rather continue to illuminate our lives and guide us towards eternity.

Let us return for a moment to that marvelous occurrence.  Let us remember the last days of the earthly mission of our Lord, which lead to the crowning moment, His Resurrection.

The triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem leading up to his betrayal, arrest, trial, crucifixion, and Resurrection, comprise a series of events that together wholly express the infinite love of God toward man.  The Lord had sent His only begotten Son not to condemn mankind, but to take on the burden of man’s sin and to make the ultimate sacrifice, to shed His blood for the expiation of those sins and for man to be worthy of eternal life.  “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).God promised salvation to mankind through His Son, our Savior. Had the mission and teachings of Christ ended with His crucifixion, the promise of the salvation of God would not have been fulfilled. However, the mission of our Lord Jesus Christ did not end on the cross. His commandments do not apply solely to our earthly lives, but rather are intended to prepare us for eternal life. Therefore, he who abides by the commandments of our Lord on earth will inherit the Kingdom of Heaven.  “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life” (John 5:24).“I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).

The glorious Resurrection was the ultimate triumph of good over evil, the final triumph over death and the greatest expression of this message.  Armed with the spirit of the Resurrection, man can truly face death without fear, for “We know that we have passed from death to life” (1 John 3:14).

The messages of our Lord Jesus Christ were those of light and righteousness, which advised man, and still advise us, to defeat evil and injustice.  They advise us to steer clear of sin and all practices that will deprive us of the graces of eternal life and lead us to obliteration.

Centuries later, the enduring message of the Resurrection continues to resonate throughout the world, and especially throughout the Armenian nation. The Armenian people survived and thrived amid adversity due to our loyalty and adherence to the light of righteousness.  Indeed the light of the Resurrection, which was brought to the Armenian people by the apostles Saints Thaddeus and Bartholomew, quickly spread through the hearts and minds of the people and resulted in the adopting of Christianity as the state religion, the first ever nation to do so. Moreover, the aspirations of our illuminators to spread the Gospel lead to the invention of the Armenian alphabet and the subsequent development of Armenian culture with the translation of the Bible, the “Queen of Translations”.

The culture that we inherited from our forefathers, which originated from the Armenian language, has been enriched over the centuries and has become a source of inspiration for the Armenian musician, writer, and artist, and the basis of our existence.  It is with this same inspiration that we have heeded the call of H.H. Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, over the past few years to celebrate the victory of the Armenian Culture, School, and Language.

Dear Faithful,

The events and experiences our history is built upon exemplify our victory over evil and the threat of annihilation.  There have been countless attempts to take our faith away but each time the ideals shaped on the field of Avarayr reinforced and reminded us that no one can take away our faith for we believe in and follow Christ and the Lord assures us, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live” (John 11:25).

Many have tried repeatedly to massacre us and obliterate us from the pages of history. However, our faith and strength have always guided us on the path toward justice, truth and righteousness.

With our past experiences we, the Armenian people, became the most faithful adherers of “conquering death by death”, and transformed the message of the Resurrection to a national value and ideal.  Today and always, we will continue on this righteous path, which will grant us eternal life.

With this spirit of the Resurrection, we extend our best wishes to our clergy, Executive Council members, parish representatives, educational institutions, sister organizations, and our faithful parishioners.  May this glorious feast reinvigorate us all, whether in Armenia or the Diaspora, and may our Savior grace us with the faith and hope to triumphantly continue on our righteous path.

Christ is risen from the dead
Blessed is the Resurrection of Christ.

Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian
Prelate, Western United States

Easter 2007


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