OF E L I S E Y,
ARCHBISHOP OF SOUROZH
TO THE PASTORS AND FAITHFUL CHILDREN
OF THE RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH
IN GREAT BRITAIN AND IRELAND
Dearly beloved in the Lord,
honourable pastors, God-loving monastics and laypeople,
dear brothers and sisters!
Christ is Risen!
This Paschal proclamation is answered in our hearts with reverent exultation. He is risen indeed! - we exclaim with a tender joy which fills the soul with desire to express a prayerful response to God for His divine greeting.
“Rejoice!” – Our Lord Jesus Christ said to His closest followers and disciples, thereby testifying to His resurrection from the dead (Mt 28:9). This good news is passed on from mouth to mouth, from generation to generation, from heart to heart in the Church of Christ.
The Divine Word is addressed now to all of us. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (Jn. 1:1) – we hear these words of the Paschal Gospel in various languages. God speaks – and light shines forth in the darkness (Jn. 1:5). God speaks - and the world comes forth from non-being, nourished as by some life-bearing sap. God speaks – and God the Word is born in the flesh, Jesus Christ, Who destroys death by His death and by His Resurrection grants eternal life to us who are dying.
As we receive the paschal testimony to the Resurrection, to this triumph of life eternal, we contemplate the Word of God with the eyes of faith. We become capable of experiencing today that which was revealed in the past, and we look for the future fulfilment of that which is promised. By faith we become partakers of eternal life, and this mystical activity in us of the Risen Christ, the Word of God, renews us and unites us with Him, making us the adopted children of God.
Honourable pastors, dear brothers and sisters, with all my heart I congratulate you on this great feast of the Pascha of Christ! I call the blessing of the Risen Christ upon all the good desires of your hearts, so that we may live by faith and that we may always be able to give a living answer to the Divine Word that enters into us:
Christ is Risen Indeed!
ARCHBISHOP OF SOUROZH
The Pascha of Christ, 2012