His Beatitude Theophilos III
Patriarch of Jerusalem
19 April 2017
Beloved Members of our respective Brotherhoods,
Christ is risen!
We welcome you, Your Beatitude, and your brethren to our Patriarchate in these bright days of the Easter Feast, and we thank you for your words of greeting. As we welcome you, we recall the moving words of the Easter liturgy:
It is the day of Resurrection;
Let us be radiant for the festival,
And let us embrace one another.
Let us say, o brethren, even those who hate us:
Let us forgive all thins in the Resurrection;
And thus let us cry:
Christ is risen from the dead,
By death he has trampled down death,
And on those in the tombs he has bestowed life.
(Doxastikon of the Praises)
We celebrate this great Feast this year in the happy remembrance of the renovation and re-dedication of the Sacred Edicule just a few weeks ago – a renovation and re-dedication that were made possible by an unprecedented co-operation between our three Communities.
This co-operation has been a profound encouragement to Christians and people of good will throughout the world, and we hope and pray that we may build on this foundation for fresh work in the years ahead.
In this project we have seen reconciliation in action, and we are only too aware of the urgent necessity of reconciliation in our region and in our world. We know that it is only by the patient coming together in dialogue and common endeavor that we grow in unity of purpose, and we also know how closely the eyes of the world watch what we do here in this Holy City.
This feast of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ is the sign to us that nothing – not even death itself – can stand in the way of God’s purposes for humankind and for his creation. We who are called to the spiritual mission of the Holy Places know the power of these Places to encourage and sustain the faithful in their Christian lives of service. May we continue in our God-given diakonia of the Holy Places in faithfulness and love, so that all who come to worship at them may know the true and eternal Light that enlightens every heart.
May God bless you, Your Beatitude, in your ministry, and may God bless the members of your Brotherhood and all your communities in the Holy Land.
Christ is risen!