Here is the Easter message of Ignatius Youssef III Younan, Patriarch of Antioch for Syriac Catholic Church.
To our brothers Archbishops and Bishops, Fathers of our Holy Synod of Antioch,
To the Priests, Deacons, religious and consecrated men and women,
To all the faithful people in Lebanon, the Middle East and the Church of Extension
CHRIST’S Resurrection from the dead is the basis of our faith, the pillar of our hope and the aim of loving God and the neighbor.
THE Twelve as well the first Christian community had such a deep living experience in the Paschal Mystery, proven by the New Testament, and enhanced through the apostolic Tradition, that neither human knowledge nor spiritual experience could surpass. What they did understand looking and meditating at the Empty Tomb, was that The Risen Savior gave us a firm reassurance and a strong reason for our own resurrection.
Saint Paul did repeatedly say that: “…But because of this great love for us, God who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even we were dead in sins, it is by grace you have been saved, and God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in heaven” (Ephesians 2: 4-6).
You well know, beloved brothers, sons and daughters, how much our Church is suffering because of the ongoing horrendous turmoil that hit Syria and Iraq for years. We, however, sons and daughters of the Syriac Catholic Church, are so proud to model ourselves to the One who suffered carrying his cross, died and was risen for our salvation. We mean it when we recall the very words of our Savior to the disciples of Emmaus: “Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” (Luke 24: 26).
During this blessed Easter season, I promise to keep you all in my prayers and “Qurbono” the Divine Liturgy of the Eucharist. To you, who live in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, The Holy Land, Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, as well to the beloved communities living in Europe the Americas and Australia, I want to send through the media my best prayerful wishes. May our Risen Lord grant you all His Peace and Joy. Halleluia! Holy and happy Easter!
“Christ is risen… and he raised us with him”
I remain spiritually united,
Ignatius Youssef III YOUNAN
Patriarch of Antioch for Syriac Catholic Church