Christ is Risen

Christ is Risen!
! المسيح قام
Χριστὸς ἀνέστη!

As the head of the Holy Orthodox Order of Saint George the Great Martyr, I extend warm wishes to all for a happy and blessed Pascha.

Amidst our celebration of the Resurrection of Christ, we cannot overlook the challenges Christians face in the Holy Land.

On Holy Saturday, Orthodox Christian worshippers were tragically prevented by Israeli security forces from reaching the Church of the Holy Sepulcher to partake in the sacred rituals of the Holy Fire. Disturbingly, many individuals were subjected to violence and arbitrary arrests, including the guard of the Greek Consul.

Furthermore, the Order has undertaken the translation of an interview given today by His Eminence Archbishop Alexios of Gaza on Jordanian TV.

His Eminence said: “Every year, we celebrate the Holy Light’s ceremony in Gaza (as he cries) this year there is no light, this year only death, you see light celebrations on TV but outside here all you see is rubble and bombing for the Resurrection. Hopefully, next year there will be no more war but goodness and peace on this land.”

His Eminence continues over the interviewer: “And may they all spend Easter next year back in their homes, this is very important. The orthodox church stands with our sons and daughters and their presence on this holy soil.”

Interviewer: “Amen, Your Eminence. We love you so much because we see how close you are to the parish and how much, with your precious tears, you weep with all the people of Gaza – Muslims and Christians – that are hurting in Gaza, as their lives are taken and destroyed. But at the same time, we hear hope in your plea we hope the Holy Light shines through from the Holy Grave for next year’s Resurrection, that this year and next year everything goes back to being good.”

His Eminence: “In God’s will, may you be well, Christ has risen!”

Interviewer: “Indeed He has risen!”

Despite the ongoing war in Gaza and the heartbreaking toll it has taken on human lives, causing immense suffering and pain, let us hold on to hope in the promise of the resurrection: “CHRIST IS RISEN FROM THE DEAD, TRAMPLING DOWN DEATH BY DEATH, AND UPON THOSE IN THE TOMBS BESTOWING LIFE!” (Orthodox Paschal Troparion). As the Apostle Paul reminds us, “For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:21–22). May the mercy and compassion of Christ be upon all those who have lost their lives in this war.

I pray fervently that the holy light of Christ will illuminate our path and guide us toward lasting peace in the Holy Land. Additionally, I extend heartfelt wishes for a blessed Pascha to Archbishop Alexios and to all those in Gaza. Your resilience and faithfulness amidst adversity have been a beacon of light to the world, and you remain in our thoughts and prayers. We have not forgotten you!

Happy Easter to all! Christ is Risen!

Konstantine Pandolfi, E.M.

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