“Christ is risen from the dead…”! The hopeful message of the Lord’s Resurrection was heard resoundingly in the “heart” of Sydney at midnight on April 15, in the Greek Orthodox Church of the Resurrection of Christ in the suburb of Kogarah.
In a deeply reverent atmosphere, His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia officiated at the Service of the Resurrection and presided over the Festive Divine Liturgy,and was joined also by His Grace Bishop Christodoulos of Magnesia, Proistamenos of the Church of the Resurrection of Christ in Kogarah, and by other priests of the city of Sydney.
From the stage in front of the beautiful Church, His Eminence announced “Christ is Risen” to the thousands of Greek Orthodox who came reverently to celebrate the triumph of life over death. Among others present at the “Feast of Feasts” for Christianity were the Greek Australian Minister of State for Multiculturalism, Sport, Small Business and Property, Mr. Steve Kamper, as a representative of the Premier of New South Wales, Mr. Chris Minns, the Consul General of Greece in Sydney, Mr. Yannis Mallikourtis, with his wife, and Greek Australian businessman, Mr. Andrew Liveris.
His Eminence Archbishop Makarios, during the resurrection message he delivered, underlined the message of joy and hope that the Resurrection of the Lord signifies for the Orthodox. “Today the cry of humanity is heard that “the Lord is risen”, to save the world and give true joy”, he emphasised, while asking and urging everyone to keep the joy of the Resurrection in their lives, as well as to convince the people around them that they should rejoice. “Because where there is a lack of joy, there God is absent, there the experience of Resurrection is absent”, he concluded.
Read the Paschal Message of Archbishop of Australia Makarios
by God’s mercy, Archbishop of the Most Holy Archdiocese of Australia, Primate and Exarch of All Oceania, to the God-loving Bishops, the gracious clergy, the monastic communities, to the Presidents of the honourable Administrative Committees and Philoptochos Associations, to the teachers and students in the Schools, to those who work in the philanthropic institutions and to all the Christ-loving plenitude of the Orthodox Church in Australia, grace and peace from Christ our Saviour who gloriously rose.
Most honourable Fellow Bishops and my beloved children,
The great event of the Resurrection is recorded in the Gospels without triumphalist and exaggerated sentiments. Indeed, the Myrrh bearing women, who were first to mourn the death of Christ, were also first to witness His resurrection. Namely, they did that which constitutes the mission of every Christian from the very beginning: to share the joy of the good news.
The event of the Resurrection in itself comprises a challenge to logic. If we want to learn what the Resurrection of Christ means, we should ask our theologians and academics. However, if we want to know how the Resurrection of Christ is lived out, then we should turn to our faithful people.
I could say with certainty that I see the Resurrection of Christ in the faces of all of you who, tonight, flood our Churches. At the same time, however, I see the Resurrection of Christ in the mother who raises her children with effort and in the father who struggles to earn a living to secure the tuition fees for his children’s schools.
I see the Resurrection of Christ in the immigrants who arrived here to Australia; they worked hard and managed to make progress and succeed in many fields. I see the Resurrection of Christ in the wounds of our patients in the hospitals and in the faces of the elderly that we have at our St Basil’s Homes and in the other nursing homes of our country.
I see the Resurrection of Christ in our young people, in the pupils and students of our educational institutions, but also in our fellow human beings between the ages of 40 and 60, who are struggling to overcome depression and isolation.
I see the Resurrection of Christ, if I may be permitted to say, in those who have failed in this world, to the humble and invisible, to those who made wrong choices and who struggle to overcome their bad self and the mistakes of their past. I see the Resurrection of Christ even in those who have fallen asleep, who have left this life in anticipation of the common resurrection.
Our people, all of you who are here tonight are witnessing the Resurrection. And all together, united, we break the silence of logic. Today, the cry of humanity is heard that “the Lord is risen” to save the world and give true joy.
I ask and urge you all: uphold the joy of the Resurrection in your life; convince the people around you that they should rejoice. Because where there is a lack of joy, there God is absent, there the experience of the Resurrection is absent. Christ is Risen, sisters and brothers, and beloved children! May our risen Lord grant you many years!
In Sydney, on the Sunday of Pascha, the 16th of April 2023,
† Makarios of Australia