In the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit One God Amen
Khristos Anesti; Alithos Anesti!
Pi-Ekhrestos Aftonf; Khen O Methmi Aftonf!
Christ is Risen; Truly He is Risen!
Beloved Fathers, Mothers, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters in our diocese,
I congratulate you my beloved for the Glorious Feast of Resurrection. On your behalf, I congratulate His Holiness Pope Tawadros II, as well as our fathers the Metropolitans and Bishops. I also congratulate our beloved priests, deacons, and boards of churches in addition to all the servants, youth, children and all families in our diocese. I congratulate all people all over the world.
Happy Glorious Feast of Resurrection!
The Resurrection of our Lord has great power which we can experience in our daily lives. Saint Paul in his epistle to the Philippians writes, “that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.” (Philippians 3:10-11)
The resurrection is more than just a historical event which took place once upon a time. It is the source of power you can experience in your own life, every day. Make use of that God-given power to help you overcome sin, and in all aspects of everyday life.
Instead of focusing on what God can do for you, focus on what God can do through you. The Power of the Resurrection will help you:
1- Set eternal priorities.
Ask God to help you see your life from His perspective. Look beyond the world’s values (which are only temporary) to what has eternal value. Base your decisions – for all aspects of your life – on what matters most in eternity. Make the most of your time here on earth, keeping in mind that it will soon be over and you will be accountable to God for how you used your time here.
2- Die to self.
Remember that death must always precede resurrection. Be willing to sacrifice whatever selfish desires and agendas you have that conflict with God’s purpose for your life. Decide to crucify your selfish attitudes and behaviors, so God will raise you up to new life by transforming your attitudes and behaviors into healthy ones that will help you grow more in the likeness of Christ.
Understand that, physically, you are born and live until you die, always progressing towards physical death. Spiritually, however, you are dead until you are made alive through a relationship with Christ, progressing towards eternal life.
3- Expect the impossible.
Just as the resurrection itself was impossible for anyone but God, the power of the resurrection will take you into situations that are impossible for you to deal with successfully on your own. But you can overcome through the power of God.
4- Experience the peace of the Resurrection.
You do not have to live with guilt and shame because through the power of the Resurrection, all confessed sins are forgiven. Ask God to flood your soul with the peace of knowing that you are His child and that He loves you; know that all your sins can be forgiven. Recognize that if you are deliberately sinning against God, you cannot be in a right relationship with Him unless you repent.
Therefore, repent so that you do not block the peace God wants you to experience. If you want to experience this peace which Jesus offers, you must come to Him on His terms, being willing to live the way He leads you to live – this way which happens to be best for you. Every day, repentance allows you to enjoy this peace, “which surpasses all understanding.” (Philippians 4:7)
May God grant us all to experience the power of His Resurrection in our daily lives.
May God bless you all,
Bishop of the Diocese of Mississauga, Vancouver and Western Canada
April 28th, 2019