Eparch's Paschal Message 2000
His Grace Bishop JOHN (Elya), Eparch of Newton
DIOCESE OF NEWTON
Eparch's Paschal Message, 2000
(To be read from the pulpit and/or to be distributed with the weekly bulletin)
To the clergy, laity and friends of the Melkite Eparchy of Newton, grace to you and peace from God our Father and the risen Lord Jesus Christ.
Christ is risen! He is truly risen!
The Resurrection of the Lord takes on a deeper and more
powerful meaning in this Millennium year. The Jubilee 2000 is a celebration of
two thousand years of the presence of Christ in human history. What makes the
presence of Christ in history so important is not His birth or His death,
although both are very valuable. It's not even all the miracles, which He
performed in His three years of public ministry as recorded by the Gospel
writers. What makes our Lord Jesus Christ the unique and most important figure
in the history of the world is His glorious resurrection.
I remember hearing
this joyful verse some years ago, and being very touched by it.
And threw the key away.
Tomorrow holds no fear for me,
For Christ is risen today."
It is so wonderful to shut the door on yesterday in the sense
of letting go of our fears, our resentments, our anger, our guilt and our shame.
In this spirit of "new beginnings," we forgive all those who have hurt
us in any way. One of the most beautiful prayers in the Office of the
Resurrection includes the line, "Behold, today is the day of the
resurrection; let us glory in the feast. Let us embrace one another in joy and
say: 'O Brothers and enemies too, we forgive everything on resurrection
day.'" This is where our Eastern Tradition comes from, that we don't kneel
from the day of the Resurrection until Pentecost. All is forgiven because of the
In the risen Jesus, we find our pardon, our purpose, our power, and our peace.
In our risen Lord Jesus we find our pardon. Because of the
life-giving death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we are washed clean from our
sins. "Jesus our Lord was handed over for our transgressions and was raised
for our justification." (Romans 4:25) "Through our Lord Jesus Christ
we have received our reconciliation." (cf. Romans 5:11) There is no reason
anymore for any one of us to be enslaved to sin. The Sacramental Mystery of
Penance is always as near as the priest. I encourage all of us to allow the
mercy of God to bless us often through the Mystery of Confession.
From our reconciliation, our joyful hope and our power of
service to the needy brothers and sisters of Christ, flows peace, the peace that
the world cannot give, the peace that passes understanding. (cf. John 14:27;
16:33; & 20:21) I once saw a great and insightful statement about peace. NO
JESUS / NO PEACE, but KNOW JESUS / KNOW PEACE. I pray for that peace of the
risen Lord to reign in your hearts and in the hearts of all those dear to you,
as we celebrate with joy these 40 glorious days of resurrection. May this same
joy flood your lives every Sunday, as we celebrate again the Lord's
resurrection. To our risen Lord be glory forever. Amen
NB - The text of this 2000 Paschal Message in Arabic is available from our Melkite Chancery Office, 158 Pleasant St., Brookline, MA 02446 - Tel.(617) 566-4511
Use the "back" button on your browser or click here
to return to the main ByzCath News Page.
http://www.byzcath.org - The Byzantine Catholic Church in America Home Page