“For the true Christian, every difficulty, every temptation or disease allowed by God, is not a hindrance, but a springboard in our spiritual struggle, if we face them in His own Name and under His watch,” Patriarch Theodore II of Alexandria and All Africa emphasized, among other things in his Easter message.
“True Easter is the experience of the Sacrifice of the Godman our Lord Jesus Christ, it is a sacrifice, it is an offering, especially of ourselves to man,” added the Patriarch of Alexandria.
Read below the Easter message of Patriarch Theodore II of Alexandria:
“The Easter of the Orthodox, the Holy Easter, this holiday which surpassed in power the Creation of the universe, comes again as a memory along the way of our lives. And I say remembrance because, at Easter, the passage from Death to Life is the permanent, the inalienable, the only true reality of every moment of Christians.
True Easter is the experience of the Sacrifice of the God-man our Lord Jesus Christ, it is a sacrifice, it is an offering, mainly of ourselves to man, the image of God, and to all Creation to the Uncreated and Incomprehensible Lord. Because Easter is not just a historic holiday, a reminder of a sacred event. Easter is the perfection of man.
Many, my children, these days will speak to you in theological words, with philosophical meanings about this great event of the Resurrection. But the Patriarch of the Great City of Alexandria, the city of afflicted philosophers and orators, speaks to you from the surplus of his heart and tells you unequivocally: Celebrate a true and genuine Easter this year too! Let neither the pandemic, nor the evil of the world, nor the individualism that tends to alter our human condition prevent us from doing so. In the celebration of Easter let no one stand in the way of our society with the Slaughtered Lamb, the Truth, the Light, the Way, and our Resurrection.
For the true Christian, my beloved children, every difficulty, every temptation, or sickness, which God permits, is not a hindrance, but a springboard in our spiritual struggle, if we face them in His Name and under His watch.
Only in His Name all these good natural moments are transformed into virtues and transform with the power of the Holy Spirit in our society. Otherwise, every virtue, every philology of good and human rights, without Christ, remains at most just a good deed but not a holy deed. Only Christ of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church creates saints through the perspective and at the same time of the event of the Resurrection.
Virtue in Christ means sacrifice, it means offering ourselves voluntarily and without expecting anything in return. Believing in Christ and His Resurrection means in practice offering myself without thinking of rewards.
I make my Cross and I throw myself into the struggle, I give to my fellow man, my heart burns for all Creation because I just adore the Creator Himself.
This unique and invaluable dimension, the true dimension of the Orthodox faith, we have been blessed by the Risen Lord to live every day here in the Continent of the future, in Africa, in the most precious Golgotha of the human race, in the skull place of vanity and the empty Tomb of Hope. Our Orthodox Church, founded by the Apostle Mark and following in his footsteps with enthusiasm and optimism, with a resurrected pulse, always willing to bandage the pain, to sprinkle with oil and wine the wounds, to flush the Nile marshes with the Jordan kennels, to turn the deserts into oases, to sprinkle with His Blood the doors of hearts, to give His Body as food, to quench the thirsts and hopes. Our Orthodox Church in Africa also preaches the Cross and preaches the Resurrection.
That is why we live and insist on sympathizing, sacrificing, being crucified, living through man with the Godman. We insist and strive to celebrate Easter, as a passage from despair to hope, from difficulty to freedom and light, next to the blessed people of the Lord.
From the City of Wisdom of this world, Alexandria, I send you the message of the supreme Wisdom of God and I exclaim to all:
Christ is Risen, brothers and children!
Christ is risen and none of our expectations can remain dead within us!
May the infinite glory, honor, and worship be in His Name!