Paschal Encyclical 2019
Diocese of Pallini and Western Europe
“Why seek ye the living among the dead?” (Luke 24:5)
This question of the two angels at the Most-Holy Tomb of Christ to the Myrrh-bearing women is the joyful announcement to them of the Resurrection of Christ.
Living this very Resurrection of Christ, nothing can diminish our joy. We must continuously hear in our hearts the words of the Book of Revelation which say, “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.” (Revelation 1:18). Our Christ is alive evermore!
Our mission is to stop seeking the living among the dead. In the atmosphere of the joy of the Resurrection, we must cease to seek the living God amidst conditions of the dead. Christ warns us that, “Yet a li\le while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.” We are living Christ, but it shouldn’t perplex us that the “world seeth Him no more”. Even if those who appear to see have stopped seeing. The “world” cannot see.
When the Jews marvelled at the wonders of the Temple, and some believed that only the Temple ma\ered, Christ assured them that, “As for these things which ye behold, the days will come, in the which there shall not be le` one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” (Luke 21:6). When we have with us the living and risen Christ then we need not look to edifices to give us hope. We need not look to those who have le` the truth, because then we will be searching the Living One, Christ our God, among the dead betrayers of the Faith. There is nothing more futile than the glorification of something that is truly dead. Whatever is dead will continue to decompose.
The Holy Resurrection is our only consolation in these difficult days. Job cries out, “For I know that my redeemer lives, and that he shall stand at the la\er day on the earth. And though a`er my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God. Whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.” (Job 19:25). Whatever sadness is caused by our times of apostasy, it is not true sadness because Christ is risen. For as Isaiah proclaims, “He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces” (Isaiah 25:8). Brethren, let us rejoice in this victory which has swallowed up death! Let us turn our gaze away from searching the living among the dead. We know that our Redeemer lives and to Him be the glory forever and in Him is our hope forever!
Christ is risen!
Praying for you before the Risen Christ,
Bishop of Pallini and Western Europe