MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS KAREKIN II, THE SUPREME PATRIARCH AND CATHOLICOS OF ALL ARMENIANS ON THE OCCASION OF THE FEAST OF THE HOLY RESURRECTION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST
In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
"When the Son of man comes,
will he find faith on earth?"
Dear faithful people in Armenia, Artsakh and Diaspora,
Today, united under the auspices of our churches, we glorify the resurrected Savior and share the good tidings: "Christ is risen from the dead." We glorify the miraculous Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, who suffered, was crucified and rose from the dead in order to free us from the power of sin and death; who through infinite divine love, opened the way to eternity and the kingdom of heaven for humanity with His salvific mission.
Christ dispelled the darkness of hopelessness, granted people the grace of resurrection, and also strengthened them to rise from the sufferings in this earthly reality, from the disasters and destructions that are raging in the world influenced by evil. From the crucifixion of Christ to this day, the pharisee intrigues, the betrayals like the one of Judas, the trials like the one of Pilate; bring forth disasters in the world, and impoverish the image and essence of the God-created man. Indeed, in the face of such realities Christ's words resound with renewed power, "When the Son of man comes, will he find faith on earth?"
Dear people, the 21st century was supposed to be an enlightened new era with scientific accomplishments and great technological achievements, with the international norms and laws for the protection of human life, human rights and dignity. But how many innocent people, how many nations, are subjected to tribulations and sorrows along the calvary of wars; are nailed to the cross of suffering because of injustice, one’s obsession for power, discrimination, and fighting against existential threats. We too went through the disastrous realities of a 44-day war and attacks on the borders of Armenia. Our motherland is facing daily trials of ensuring a safe and peaceful life in the face of worrying internal and external challenges. Our precious Artsakh has been under siege for a long time, and is facing untold hardships and deprivations. In face of such alarming and dangerous realities, bearing in our hearts the unrelenting pain of our martyred, missing, and injured sons and daughters, we are also witnessing another deplorable situation - how manifestations of enmity and hatred are setting dividing barriers in the lives of our people all over the world, undermining national unity.
We are witnessing how centuries-old sanctified traditions and our value system, which is the pillar of our identity, are being neglected; and the national-spiritual security of our people, which is critical for overcoming the most serious challenges we are facing, is being undermined. Such processes in our lives, especially in the post-war period, aggravate the pain of grief and losses. And in such a situation, Christ's questioning and rebuke resounds more strongly for all of us, “When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” (Luke 18:8), “Where is your faith?” (Luke 8:25).
Indeed, when justice and truth cease to be the core of our undertakings and activities in state and public life, we will continue to face manifestations of pilatism. Pharisaic intrigues will continue as long as slander and wrongdoing are spread by the impulse of spitefulness and vindication. The Judas’ type treasons will continue until they stop denying God and sanctities, devaluing the cherished idea of the homeland. Meanwhile, the state, society and family are strong and powerful when they are anchored on God-ordained messageses and unfading values, which are a benchmark for well-being, and guide the efforts to achieve success with heavenly support for the sake of people's security, progress and prosperity.
Beloved ones, faith is victory over trials, which is not characterized by the spirit of fear, despair, decline, or disastrous condemnable complacency. However difficult and hopeless the current situation may seem, our faith should be stronger and firmer. Faith should be expressed in every step and action, in personal, collective and national realities. It is through faith and togetherness, that we overcame many disasters throughout our history, rebuilt our independent statehood, and re-launched a creative life on our native land. Today as well, it is faith in God and in our own strength that should fortify us to overcome crisis situations and build a bright future. Now, let us all as a nation renew our faith with the celebration of the miraculous Resurrection of our Savior; and with our lives, let us testify our loyalty to Christ through our every word and deed, testify our commitment to our Lord-bestowed faith and create a new resurrected reality with Christ.
With such wishes and the good tidings of "Christ is risen from the dead", we extend our fraternal greetings to the incumbents of the hierarchical sees of our Holy Church, H.H. Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, the Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem, His Beatitude, Archbishop Nurhan Manookian, the Armenian Patriarch of Constantinople, His Beatitude Archbishop Sahak Mashalyan. With all kind wishes, we bring the soul-stirring good news of the Holy Resurrection to the Heads of the sister Churches, asking for the support of the Almighty God in the fulfillment of the Christ-given mission. We send our pontifical love and blessing to all the clergymen of our Holy Church and to our faithful people in the homeland and in the diaspora.
On this bright day of the Holy Resurrection, we pray to God Most High and ask that the world be transformed and enhanced by the life-renewing graces of the Holy Resurrection of Christ; and that mankind, with heavenly support, be freed from sufferings and tribulations, and establish goodness and peace. We ask for the strengthening power of the Resurrection from the Savior, especially for our sons and daughters of Artsakh, so that they may be brave and unbreakable in spirit, and overcome all the trials they face with the strong and indomitable will, typical of Artsakh people. May the risen Savior spread His graces and mercy on our native land, Armenia and Artsakh, and keep all our worldwide people under the auspices of His Holy Right Hand in safety and prosperity today and always and forever. Amen.
Christ is risen from the dead.
Blessed is the Resurrection of Christ
(Yerevan, Saint Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral, April 9, 2023)