In these grand days, suffused with the mystery of the victory of life over death, we, like the Myrrh-Bearing women who heralded the news of His Resurrection to the Lord’s disciples, congratulate “with great joy” (Matthew 28:8) all the faithful servants of our sacred Russian Orthodox Church Abroad with the Resurrection of Christ. Henceforth, “without fear” (Matthew 28:10) and “doubt” (Matthew 28:17), without “trembling and amazement” (Mark16:8), without “mourning and weeping” (Mark16:10), we rejoice and bow down to the Resurrected Christ (Matthew 28:9) and with deep faith and a “burning heart” (Luke 24:32) affirm that truly Christ is Risen!
Through His Resurrection, the Savior of the world commanded, “I am sending you (John 20:21). “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19).” For almost 100 years, the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad has testified to the people of many countries of this world of the Crucified and Resurrected Christ and has brought to them the redemptive message of the Gospel.
In these days, as an answer to contemporary globalism, the Church of Christ of “the end times” is taking shape before our eyes, and in many ways, it differs from the Church of the “Constantine era.” This development is already apparent to all religious people, and one aspect of it is the establishment of contacts and mutual understanding among Orthodox people on every continent and in every nation. To those Orthodox people, who are not susceptible to the forces of this world and who see Christ before them and live according to His teachings.
Christ blessed His disciples with the words, “Peace be unto you!” (John 20:21). This is not simply a blessing; it is the condition without which the Church is meaningless. We are called by God to truly and actually create the peace of Christ in our hearts, and then, unite others to this peace, those whose hearts are so inclined. There is no other possible way for us to gather the Church in our times.
Dear bishops, rectors, deacons, monastics and laypeople! In congratulating you with the Bright Resurrection of Christ, I wish that in this difficult time of the impoverishment of the faith in this changing secular world that no one “be scattered, each to his own home” (John 16:32), but remain in the oneness of the Church with our Savior!
Truly Christ is Risen!
Odessa, Pascha, 2010.