Honorable State Authorities, Government Representatives, and Community Leaders,
Dearly Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Friends, Benefactors, and Supporters of our local Church,
Χριστός Ανέστη! – Christ is Risen!
At a time when daily reality across the globe is filled with events and occurrences that are causing fear, disappointment, uncertainty and anxiety over what the future holds, it is absolutely natural for each of us to waver and lose our courage.
Human nature inherently senses its powerlessness to fight against all those things that come about as a result of man’s actions, including wars, global economic events, hunger, pandemics like the coronavirus, or coarseness in our interpersonal relations and mistakes in our personal choices that make our daily lives a constant uphill struggle with seemingly no end in sight.
In this daily reality, the good news of the Gospel comes to remind and assure us of what we as Christians possess continuously at our disposal: the holiday of holidays and feast of feasts – the glorious Resurrection of the God-man Jesus Christ, which serves as the catalyst that revives and transforms our lives – gives meaning to our lives in a unique and timeless manner that is utterly unrepeatable.
The Lord’s Resurrection, which serves as a victory and conquest over humanity’s greatest enemy – death, and as the obliteration of the enemy’s final stronghold, Hades – thus enabling human nature to partake of immortality, gives hope to all those who believe.
Easter is not merely just another holiday or a tradition that the Greek Community is called to perpetuate here in Scandinavia, but rather, the passage from the uncertainty of our daily existence and our state of faintheartedness, to a condition of courage and spiritual certainty. Since Christ is Risen, then we too can also be resurrected; not only in the life of the ages to come, but in this present one as well!
The feast of the Resurrection stands as our only opportunity to go up against our fears and come out victorious. This is our one chance to prevail against the fears which are entrenched inside us due to a multitude of factors, which have affected us in the past or continue to affect us today, and which are imposed upon us externally and create an environment that is uncertain and full of panic.
We are facing precisely this sort of uncertainty and panic today, and it is testing our levels of tolerance, resistance, conscientiousness, belief, and certainty. The present circumstances are upending an everyday existence that provided us with a sense of security, through our routines and all that was familiar to us. It is up to us to decide if we will surrender without a fight, or if we will activate all the resources at our disposal – internally and externally – to stand up to the onslaught of fear that is trying to take over our lives.
Faith in Christ’s Resurrection is a conquest that transforms our lives – not only on the spiritual level, but in their entirety. It is a new outlook for the future and a unique mode of experiencing the present.
As we welcome the Resplendent Light of the Resurrection into our homes and hearts, let us open our doors to the hope that the Risen Lord brings to our lives, and let us follow the example of the courage and daring displayed by the Myrrh-bearing Women. Only with the Resurrection of the Lord shining as a glimmering beacon can we possess hope, without fear, for our destiny in life and our destination, which is Paradise!
With deep heartfelt Paschal wishes and love in the Risen Christ,
+ Metropolitan Cleopas of Sweden and All Scandinavia