My Beloved the Benevolent,
Xristos Anesti Alisos Anesti!
Christ is Risen Truly He is Risen!
It is my pleasure to congratulate you all on the Resurrection of our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ. The Resurrection of Christ is victory over death and the liberating of man from the enslavement of death and sin. The Resurrection of Christ is our resurrection, “And raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” [Eph. 2:6] The Resurrection of Christ reminds us always to look toward and focus on heaven, “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not things on the earth.” [Col. 3:1-2]
The Resurrection of Christ is the secret of our joy. The disciples were sorrowful, but their sadness changed to joy when Christ the Lord appeared to them after His Resurrection. “The disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.” [Jn. 20:20] The disciples of Emmaus were sad and helpless to the point that they did not recognize Christ the Lord who met them on the way and said to them, “What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?” [Lu. 24:17] But when they recognized Him, their sadness changed to joy, “Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him.” [Lu. 24:31]
The Resurrection of Christ our Lord grants us a life of joy in the Lord. The church prays with a joyful tune throughout the Holy Fifty days until the Feast of Pentecost to assure us that the basis of Christian life is joy in the Lord. St. Paul the apostle said, “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again, I will say, rejoice!” [Phil.3:1, 4:4] Christ the Lord said to His disciples, “I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you.” [Jn.16:22] The fruit of the spirit dwelling in us is: love, joy, peace… And the Book of Proverbs says, “A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance.” [Prov. 15:13]
Rejoicing in the Lord is a lasting joy, it does not change according to life’s circumstances thus says Christ, “and your joy no one will take from you.” [Jn.16:22] Truly we face many sad things in our lives, but our faith in God makes us say with St. Paul the apostle, “as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing and yet possessing all things.” [2 Cor.6:10] St. Paul explains this by saying, “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God and not of us. We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair, persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed. Always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our Body.” [2Cor. 4:7-10]
Let us rejoice in the Resurrection of our Good Lord and rejoice always in the Lord who supports us in our tribulations and manifests His power in our weakness. Joy in the Lord increases when we become a reason for others to rejoice. Our Good Lord in His incarnation, crucifixion, and resurrection exhilarated the whole world and turned human sorrow to joy and hope. The sinful woman came to Him crying and left joyful having been granted forgiveness of her sins, He said to her, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.” [Lu. 7:50]
Christ opened His arms to all who are weary and in pain saying, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give your rest.” [Matt. 11:28] Let us open our hearts to those who labor and are heavy laden and take the living Christ who is risen from the dead as an example and a comfort to those who are suffering. Many suffer from diseases, poverty, and disabilities and need people to help them and make their hearts joyful; to show them the love of Christ our Lord and the power of His Resurrection so their sorrow can turn to gladness… Can we do this?
May our Good Lord grant us to gladden the hearts of those who labor and are heavy laden through supporting good deeds that we may have full joy in the Lord. May the Lord bless your offerings in supporting the programs and projects of Santa Verena Charity to be a source of joy and gladness to the souls of those who are suffering and in pain.
With many happy returns.