Sunday, April 28, 2019

Met Ephrem (Kyriakos)'s Paschal Message for 2019

Arabic original here.

Bearing Witness in Today's World

"And you shall be witnesses to Me" (Acts 1:8).

For us to be witnesses to Christ today is for us to remind the secularized children of the world of Christ's resurrection from the dead. As for wretched me, I stand before the cross of Christ, before the misery of the world, holding a flame of sincere love.

Salvation does not lie in being freed of the toils of the world, but in the very salvation of the world itself.

Salvation lies first of all in embodying God's word, embodying the words of the Gospel lived out in this world. The meaning of this is serving man by inspiration from God. "The Word became flesh and dwelt among us" (John 1:14). "Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart" (Luke 2:19).

As for Christ, "He answered and said to them, 'My mother and My brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it'" (Luke 8:21).

The commandment of the Lord Jesus, after His resurrection and before departing from His disciples in the flesh, was as follows: "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age" (Matthew 28:19-20).

Today our path, our way of life, our prayer, are relationship with others are all much more important than our theoretical knowledge. They are more useful to us for the salvation of the world than abstract theological propositions.

This is what the Starets Sophrony of Essex tells us: our relationship with the community is more important than sociological details. The community is an expression of a family built upon our love for each other. The rule is based on bearing one another, on mutual love, on patience and sacrifice. This is the Paschal Church that is victorious over death, the passage from the suffering of this age to the joy of the Lord trampling down death.

Love in the Lord is effective. It is not authoritarian commands. Activity in secret to console and assist one's neighbor, not pretending, showing off and being puffed up. Your true banner is before God who sees in secret.

I advise you to avoid images and Facebook. They are a vice in many cases, because the devil exploits them for evil. Media kills the truth in many cases. It is only a means for sordid personal materialist and lustful use.

What do you think is the mystery of Christ's resurrection? Saint Symeon the New Theologian says, "Christ's resurrection is our resurrection from the tomb of humility and repentance. This is the mystery that we desire to be completed within us."

The Lord said, "I am the Truth." The Christian's life is saturated with constant inspiration in the Holy Spirit. It is a path from glory to glory. It is a new divine disclosure at every moment.

The life of the Church is replete with joy. It is true life.

It is more sublime than rules and canons. Here lies the profundity of Christianity taken as a unique way of life inspired by God.

It is a spring whose outpouring never repeats itself. A constant miracle, the miracle of creation, the kingdom that is to come the constantly-awaited resurrection.

Metropolitan of Tripoli, al-Koura and their Dependencies

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