FROM THE EASTER MESSAGE
of Patriarch KIRILL of Moscow and All Russia
to archpastors, pastors, deacons, monastics and all faithful children
Russian Orthodox Church
Eminent archpastors, venerable fathers,
all-honorable monks and nuns, dear brothers and sisters!
CHRIST IS RISEN!
Addressing you with this life-affirming greeting, I cordially congratulate you all on the great and world-saving Easter holiday. On this appointed and holy day, we are filled with such spiritual joy and great gratitude to God, we so clearly feel the power and depth of the Creator’s love for man, that it is sometimes difficult to find other words to express our feelings, except for those with which the myrrh-bearing women rushed to the apostles, to tell them about the wonderful event that they saw the Lord.
One can only imagine how difficult it was for the disciples of the Savior to believe in the reality of the Resurrection. After all, not long ago they saw with their own eyes how they tortured and crucified their beloved Teacher. The memories are still fresh, how His dead and lifeless Body was placed in a coffin and the cold cave was sealed with a heavy stone. And now sorrow is replaced by the affirmation of faith and the triumph of life, and tears of sadness are transformed into tears of joy.
The lived experience of real communion with the Resurrected Christ and the unfading Paschal joy inspired and inspired the apostles who went to the ends of the earth to preach the forgiveness of sins and the salvation that we received through the Lord Jesus Risen from the tomb. Not afraid of adversity and cruel persecution, enduring disasters and misadventures, the apostles incessantly and boldly testified of Christ, the Conqueror of death.
And for two millennia the Church has been living by this message of the Resurrection and is striving to join every person coming into the world to it (John 1:9). In the light of Easter, everything is really seen differently: fear and a sense of hopelessness, generated by sorrows, sadness and worldly troubles, disappear. And even the difficult circumstances of the present troubled time, in the perspective of the eternity granted to us, lose their ominous sharpness.
To testify of the Resurrected Savior, it is not at all necessary to go or go somewhere far away, like the apostles who spread the Easter message all over the world. There are many people around us who need a living example of the Christian
faith, which works by love (Gal. 5, 6). God does not require unbearable feats from us. He only asks us to show love to each other, to remember that in this way we show love to Him too. A kind smile, attention and sensitivity to those who are nearby, words of comfort and support spoken in time can sometimes become the most important things that we have the opportunity to do for the sake of the Risen Christ.
And today, when the world is torn apart by conflicts and contradictions, and hatred, fear and enmity have settled in the hearts of many people, it is especially important not to forget about your Christian calling and show true love for your neighbor, which only heals wounds inflicted by evil and untruth. We must not give in to the temptation of the enemy of the human race, who seeks to destroy the blessed unity among Orthodox Christians. I fervently pray to the Conqueror of death, the Lord Jesus, and I ask you also to offer up to Him the most intense prayers, so that all mediastinums are overcome, lasting peace triumphs, and the wounds of divisions are healed by divine grace.
Congratulating everyone on the feast of Easter, I call upon you the blessing of the Risen Christ and wish you, my dears, unfailing bright Easter joy that strengthens us in faith, hope and love. God grant that this light never fades away in our hearts, that it always shines on the world (Matt. 5, 14). And we, sanctified tirelessly by the word of God — by reading the Gospel, and partaking of Divine grace through participation in the Sacraments of the Church, steadily increased in the knowledge of the Lord and were strengthened in the fulfillment of His commandments, so that people, seeing the light of our good deeds, would glorify our Father in Heaven (Matt. 5 , 16) and together with us joyfully testified that
CHRIST IS VERY RISEN!