“Go quickly and tell his disciples
that Christ is risen from the dead”
To the Most Reverend Hierarchs, the Reverend Priests and Deacons, the Monks and Nuns, the Presidents and Members of the Parish Councils of the Greek Orthodox Communities, the Day and Afternoon Schools, the Philoptochos Sisterhoods, the Youth, the Hellenic Organizations, and the entire Greek Orthodox Family in America
Beloved Brothers and Sisters,
Christ is Risen!
As we offer to the Risen Lord the triumphant hymn of the victory over death, we vividly recall the superb resurrection scene from the Gospels: After the Sabbath, on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary (Matthew 28:1) visit the tomb of the crucified Jesus bringing with them spices and ointments (Luke 24:1). To their utter amazement, they find the heavy stone which had closed the entrance to the tomb removed, and the tomb empty. Instead of the body of the dead Christ they encounter a radiant angel of God announcing to them that Christ is not there because he is risen. The angel, moreover, says to them: “Go quickly and tell his disciples that He is risen from the dead” (Matthew 28:7).
“Go quickly and tell his disciples that Christ is risen from the dead!”
This commandment given to the women, the first witnesses of the resurrection, is repeated today to all of us who constitute the body of the Greek Orthodox believers here in America. For it is not sufficient to limit ourselves only to the joyous celebration of the Pascha. It is not enough to sing “Christos Anesti” and to fully enjoy the great day of the Resurrection which the Lord has made for us in order to rejoice and be glad in it (Psalm 111:24). We must “go quickly” to the people and declare that Christ is risen. We must become the messengers of His Resurrection.
As the women of the Gospel were entrusted with the transmission of the life-giving Pascha message, so, too, are we. We are the carriers of the abundant life, the unsetting light, and the invincible power of Christ’s resurrection.
People in pain and despair wait for us. People facing terminal illnesses wait for us. People rejected, tormented, oppressed and humiliated wait for us, as messengers of the good news of Christ’s resurrection.
Let us “go quickly” and meet them and tell them that pain, and guilt, and evil, and death are not the final reality. Resurrection and its invincible power is the ultimate reality. Life and forgiveness and healing are the ultimate reality from the moment that the crucified and buried Lord rose from the dead and established His Kingdom of Love and Life.
Beloved brothers and sisters,
This is the day that the Lord has made: The day of the Resurrection, the Great and Holy Pascha. Let us rejoice and be glad in it. But let us also “go quickly” and convey to the people who are far or near (Eph. 2:17) the most astonishing and joyous message ever heard on Earth:
Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!
With paternal love in the
Crucified and Risen Lord,