Prelate’s Easter Message – 2009


“Christ is risen from the dead! He trampled down death by death, and by His resurrection He granted life to us.  Glory to Him for all ages.  Amen.” (Hymn)

The enlivening spirit of rebirth and renewal resonates throughout the world once again as we Christians prepare to celebrate Christendom’s greatest and most important feast, the Glorious Resurrection of our Lord Savior Jesus Christ, and join together to exclaim

“Christ is risen from the dead! Alleluia.
Come ye peoples, sing unto the Lord!  Alleluia.”

The Resurrection of our Lord brings to us a profound message of rebirth and renewal.  It starts with death, the crucifixion and entombment of Jesus Christ on Good Friday, and ends with life, the Glorious Resurrection on Easter Sunday.  It is the conquering of death and the dawn of a new life, a reassurance that good will always triumph and hope will abound.

It is very fitting that Easter comes in springtime, a season marked by the blossoming of life when the dark, harsh winter ends and the sun shines bright again.  We witness the workings of nature with the death of the old and the birth of the new.  As we too undergo this natural cycle of life, we will not be facing an end, but beginning a new life, a rebirth into a new state, for the Resurrection gives us this promise, “He saves us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by His grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:5-7).

One need not die physically to experience resurrection.  The broader message of the Resurrection is that after pain and suffering comes redemption and hope.  Many times in life we are overcome with obstacles, but these obstacles are just steps, passages to achieving enlightenment.  Jesus Christ had to die on the cross to be resurrected, as St. Peter proclaims, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3-4).

The promise of the Resurrection raises us from the depths of our darkest hours by giving us freedom from our burdens, granting us strength, and hope for a renewed heart, a renewed soul, and a renewed life.

Dear faithful,

Easter is an awakening; a time of revitalization and rejuvenation.

It is a spiritual rebirth, a journey towards a higher purpose that starts internally within ourselves when we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior with an open and pure heart, a journey whose significance cannot be overstated for in the words of our Savior, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:1-3).

The Easter message is for all mankind.  It is a transformative message that is needed now more than ever in a world that has become more despondent.  The Resurrection of our Lord is a miraculous gift that restores faith to the faithless and gives hope to the hopeless; it allows us to pass from death to a life, from despair to optimism, and invites us to be reborn to be worthy of His abundant blessings and promises.

Two thousand years ago Jesus brought His Light to the world. That light still shines brightly as a call to faith, love, and hope and it is just as, if not more, inspiring and meaningful today.

For centuries, our ancestors not only comprehended the mystery and awe of the Resurrection they lived it through their faith and deeds, thus renewing the life and spirit of the Armenian people and nation.

As His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, has proclaimed 2009 the “Year of the Youth”, let us heed this call to pay special attention to the needs of our youth. Let us impart to them the uplifting and life-giving message of the Resurrection and commit ourselves to their spiritual nourishment and development not just during this time but throughout the year. Let us bridge our youth to our religious and national heritage and through them, and for them, renew and reinvigorate our mission for the survival and prosperity of our Church and nation.

Let us reflect on the Easter tidings of love, hope, faith, and renewal, reaffirm our faith, and undergo spiritual rebirth and revival to live a richer and deeper quality of life.

Emboldened by the message of the Resurrection, let us “put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him” (Col. 3:10), and allow the good tidings of this glorious Feast to lift us to new life and new heights.

With these sentiments, let us pray for the Lord to “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Psalms 51:10).

We extend our best wishes to our Clergy, Executive Council, Delegates, parish representatives, educators, sister organizations, our faithful parishioners, and to all those who labor for the splendor of our Church and nation, and join you in proclaiming,

“Christ is risen from the dead.
Blessed be the Resurrection of Christ.”

Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian
Prelate, Western United States

Easter 2009





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