a)Το μήνυμα του Οικουμενικού Πατριάρχη Βαρθολομαίου για το Πάσχα
«Ἡ ζωή τῶν Ὀρθοδόξων πιστῶν, εἰς ὅλας τάς ἐκφάνσεις καί τάς διαστάσεις αὐτῆς, διαποτίζεται καί τρέφεται ἀπό τήν πίστιν εἰς τήν Ἀνάστασιν, ἀποτελεῖ καθημερινόν Πάσχα» τονίζει στο μήνυμά του για το Πάσχα ο Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης Βαρθολομαίος.
«Τό πασχάλιον αὐτό βίωμα δέν εἶναι ἁπλῶς ἀνάμνησις τῆς Ἀναστάσεως τοῦ Κυρίου, ἀλλά βίωσις καί τῆς ἰδικῆς μας ἀνακαινίσεως καί ἀκλόνητος βεβαιότης περί τῆς ἐσχατολογικῆς τελειώσεως τῶν πάντων» προσθέτει στο μήνυμά του.
Αναλυτικά το πασχαλινό μήνυμα του Οικουμενικού Πατριάρχη:
«† Β Α Ρ Θ Ο Λ Ο Μ Α Ι Ο Σ
ΕΛΕΩι ΘΕΟΥ ΑΡΧΙΕΠΙΣΚΟΠΟΣ
ΚΩΝΣΤΑΝΤΙΝΟΥΠΟΛΕΩΣ – ΝΕΑΣ ΡΩΜΗΣ
ΚΑΙ ΟΙΚΟΥΜΕΝΙΚΟΣ ΠΑΤΡΙΑΡΧΗΣ
ΠΑΝΤΙ Τῼ ΠΛΗΡΩΜΑΤΙ ΤΗΣ ΕΚΚΛΗΣΙΑΣ ΧΑΡΙΝ, ΕΙΡΗΝΗΝ ΚΑΙ EΛΕΟΣ
ΠΑΡΑ ΤΟΥ ΕΝΔΟΞΩΣ ΑΝΑΣΤΑΝΤΟΣ ΧΡΙΣΤΟΥ
Ἀδελφοί καί τέκνα ἐν Κυρίῳ ἀγαπητά,
Ἡ ἐμπειρία τῆς Ἀναστάσεως τοῦ Χριστοῦ, τῆς πανσωστικῆς νίκης τῆς Ζωῆς ἐπί τοῦ Θανάτου, εἶναι ὁ πυρήν τῆς πίστεως, τῆς θείας λατρείας, τοῦ ἤθους καί τοῦ πολιτισμοῦ τοῦ χριστεπωνύμου ὀρθοδόξου λαοῦ τοῦ Θεοῦ. Ἡ ζωή τῶν Ὀρθοδόξων πιστῶν, εἰς ὅλας τάς ἐκφάνσεις καί τάς διαστάσεις αὐτῆς, διαποτίζεται καί τρέφεται ἀπό τήν πίστιν εἰς τήν Ἀνάστασιν, ἀποτελεῖ καθημερινόν Πάσχα. Τό πασχάλιον αὐτό βίωμα δέν εἶναι ἁπλῶς ἀνάμνησις τῆς Ἀναστάσεως τοῦ Κυρίου, ἀλλά βίωσις καί τῆς ἰδικῆς μας ἀνακαινίσεως καί ἀκλόνητος βεβαιότης περί τῆς ἐσχατολογικῆς τελειώσεως τῶν πάντων.
Κατ᾿ ἐξοχήν εἰς τήν εὐχαριστιακήν Λειτουργίαν, ἡ ὁποία συνδέεται ἀρρήκτως μέ τήν «κλητήν καί ἁγίαν ἡμέραν» τῆς Κυριακῆς, ἡ Ὀρθόδοξος Ἐκκλησία ἑορτάζει αὐτήν τήν ὑπαρξιακήν μετοχήν εἰς τήν Ἀνάστασιν τοῦ Χριστοῦ καί τήν ἐμπειρικήν πρόγευσιν τῶν εὐλογιῶν τῆς Βασιλείας τοῦ Θεοῦ.
Ἐντυπωσιάζει ὁ ἀναστάσιμος καί εὐφρόσυνος χαρακτήρ τῆς Θείας Εὐχαριστίας, ἡ ὁποία τελεῖται πάντοτε ἐν ἀτμοσφαίρᾳ χαρᾶς καί ἀγαλλιάσεως καί εἰκονίζει τήν τελικήν καινοποίησιν τῶν ὄντων, τήν πεπληρωμένην χαράν, τήν πληρότητα τῆς ζωῆς, τήν μέλλουσαν ὑπέρχυσιν τῆς ἀγάπης καί τῆς γνώσεως.
Πρόκειται περί τῆς λυτρωτικῆς θεάσεως τοῦ παρόντος ὑπό τό φῶς τῶν Ἐσχάτων καί τῆς δυναμικῆς πορείας πρός τήν Βασιλείαν, περί τῆς ἀκαταλύτου σχέσεως καί συνυφάνσεως τῆς παρουσίας καί τοῦ ἐσχατολογικοῦ χαρακτῆρος τῆς ἐν Χριστῷ σωτηρίας τοῦ ἀνθρώπου καί τοῦ κόσμου, ἡ ὁποία δίδει εἰς τήν ἐκκλησιαστικήν ζωήν μοναδικόν δυναμισμόν καί λειτουργεῖ διά τούς πιστούς ὡς ἔναυσμα καλῆς μαρτυρίας ἐν τῷ κόσμῳ. Ὁ Ὀρθόδοξος πιστός ἔχει ἰδιαίτερον λόγον καί ἰσχυρόν κίνητρον διά νά ἀγωνίζεται κατά τοῦ κοινωνικοῦ κακοῦ, διότι ζῇ ἐντόνως τήν ἀντίθεσιν μεταξύ τῶν Ἐσχάτων καί τῶν ἑκάστοτε ἱστορικῶν δεδομένων. Ἐξ ἐπόψεως Ὀρθοδόξου, ἡ φιλάνθρωπος διακονία, ἡ βοήθεια πρός τόν ἐμπερίστατον ἀδελφόν, κατά τό Κυριακόν «ἐφ᾿ ὅσον ἐποιήσατε ἑνί τούτων τῶν ἀδελφῶν μου τῶν ἐλαχίστων, ἐμοί ἐποιήσατε» (Ματθ. κε’, 40), καί ἡ ἔμπρακτος ἀγάπη τοῦ Καλοῦ Σαμαρείτου (βλ. Λουκ. ι’, 30- 37), συμφώνως καί πρός τό Πατερικόν «Ἐκεῖνον μάλιστα ἡγοῦ εἶναι πλησίον, τόν δεόμενον, καί αὐτεπάγγελτος ἐπί τήν βοήθειαν βάδιζε» (Ἰσίδωρος ὁ Πηλουσιώτης), ἀποτελοῦν προέκτασιν καί ἔκφρασιν τοῦ εὐχαριστιακοῦ ἤθους τῆς Ἐκκλησίας, ἀποκάλυψιν ὅτι ἡ ἀγάπη εἶναι ἡ βιωματική πεμπτουσία τῆς ἐν Χριστῷ ζωῆς, ἔν τε τῷ παρόντι καί ἐν τῇ Βασιλείᾳ τῶν Ἐσχάτων.
Ἐν τῇ συναφείᾳ ταύτῃ κατανοεῖται καί τό γεγονός ὅτι ἡ λειτουργική ζωή εἰς τήν Ὀρθόδοξον Ἐκκλησίαν δονεῖται ἀπό τήν βίωσιν τῆς «κοινῆς σωτηρίας», τῆς δωρεᾶς τῆς «κοινῆς ἐλευθερίας» καί τῆς «κοινῆς βασιλείας», καί ἀπό τήν προσδοκίαν τῆς «κοινῆς ἀναστάσεως». Κυριαρχοῦν τό «ἡμεῖς», ἡ κοινότης τῆς ζωῆς, ἡ συμ-μετοχή καί τό σύν-εἶναι, ἡ ἁγιαστική ταύτισις τῆς ἐν Χριστῷ ἐλευθερίας μέ τήν θυσιαστικήν καί δοξολογικήν ἀγάπην. Αὐτό εἶναι καί τό συγκλονιστικόν μήνυμα τῆς ὁλολάμπρου εἰκόνος τῆς Ἀναστάσεως, τῆς Καθόδου τοῦ Χριστοῦ εἰς τόν Ἅδην. Ὁ Κύριος τῆς δόξης, κατελθών ἐν τοῖς κατωτάτοις τῆς γῆς καί συντρίψας τάς πύλας τοῦ Ἅδου, ἀναδύεται νικηφόρος καί ὁλόφωτος ἐκ τοῦ τάφου, ὄχι μόνος καί φέρων τό λάβαρον τῆς νίκης, ἀλλά ὁμοῦ μετά τοῦ Ἀδάμ καί τῆς Εὔας, συνανιστῶν, συγκρατῶν καί κρατύνων αὐτούς καί, ἐν τῷ προσώπῳ αὐτῶν, ἅπαν τό ἀνθρώπινον γένος καί ὁλόκληρον τήν κτίσιν.
Τό εὐαγγέλιον τῆς Ἀναστάσεως, τῆς «κοινῆς τῶν ὅλων πανηγύρεως», τῆς καταργησάσης τό κράτος τοῦ θανάτου πανσθενοῦς Ἀγάπης, ἠχεῖ σήμερον εἰς ἕνα κόσμον σοβούσης κοινωνικῆς ἀδικίας, φαλκιδεύσεως τοῦ ἀνθρωπίνου προσώπου, εἰς μίαν οἰκουμένην -Γολγοθᾶν προσφύγων καί μυριάδων ἀθώων παιδίων. Ἀναγγέλλει ἐκ βαθέων ὅτι, ἐνώπιον τοῦ Θεοῦ, ἡ ζωή τῶν ἀνθρώπων ἔχει ἀπόλυτον ἀξίαν. Διακηρύττει ὅτι τά παθήματα καί τά δεινά, ὁ σταυρός καί ὁ Γολγοθᾶς, δέν ἔχουν τόν τελευταῖον λόγον. Δέν εἶναι δυνατόν νά θριαμβεύσουν οἱ σταυρωταί ἐπί τῶν τραγικῶν θυμάτων των. Εἰς τήν Ὀρθόδοξον Ἐκκλησίαν, ὁ Σταυρός εὑρίσκεται εἰς τό κέντρον τῆς εὐσεβείας, δέν εἶναι ὅμως ἡ ἐσχάτη πραγματικότης, αὐτός πού ὁρίζει καί τό τελικόν σημεῖον προσανατολισμοῦ τῆς ἐκκλησιαστικῆς ζωῆς. Τό οὐσιῶδες νόημα τοῦ Σταυροῦ εἶναι ὅτι ἀποτελεῖ ὁδόν πρός τήν Ἀνάστασιν, πρός τό πλήρωμα τῆς πίστεως ἡμῶν. Ἐπί τῆς βάσεως αὐτῆς, οἱ Ὀρθόδοξοι ἀναφωνοῦμεν: «Ἰδού γάρ ἦλθε διά τοῦ Σταυροῦ χαρά ἐν ὅλῳ τῷ κόσμῳ». Εἶναι χαρακτηριστικόν, ὅτι εἰς τήν Ὀρθοδοξίαν, ἡ Ἀκολουθία τῶν Παθῶν δέν εἶναι καταθλιπτική, ἀλλά σταυροαναστάσιμος, ἀφοῦ τό Πάθος προσεγγίζεται καί βιοῦται διά μέσου τῆς Ἀναστάσεως, ἡ ὁποία εἶναι «λύτρον λύπης». Διά τό Ὀρθόδοξον αἰσθητήριον, ἡ ἀμετάθετος σύνδεσις Σταυροῦ καί Ἀναστάσεως εἶναι ἀσυβίβαστος μέ κάθε μορφῆς ἐσωτερικήν φυγήν εἰς μυστικισμούς ἤ εἰς ἕνα αὐτάρεσκον εὐσεβισμόν, οἱ ὁποῖοι συνήθως εἶναι ἀδιάφοροι διά τά παθήματα καί τάς περιπετείας τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐν τῇ ἱστορίᾳ.
Τό κήρυγμα τοῦ Σταυροῦ καί τῆς Ἀναστάσεως εὑρίσκεται, εἰς τήν ἐποχήν μας, ἐπίσης ἀντιμέτωπον τόσον μέ τήν ἀλαζονικήν αὐτοαποθέωσιν τοῦ συγχρόνου ἐκκοσμικευμένου, λογοκρατουμένου, πεπεισμένου διά τήν παντοδυναμίαν τῆς ἐπιστήμης, ἑαυτοκεντρικοῦ καί προσκεκολλημένου εἰς τά γεώδη καί πρόσκαιρα ἀνθρώπου, τοῦ ἀνθρώπου χωρίς πόθον τῆς αἰωνιότητος, ὅσον καί μέ τήν ἀπώθησιν συνόλου τῆς Ἐνσάρκου Θείας Οἰκονομίας καί τοῦ «σκανδάλου» τοῦ Σταυροῦ, ἐν ὀνόματι τῆς ἀπολύτου ὑπερβατικότητος τοῦ Θεοῦ καί τοῦ ἀγεφυρώτου χάσματος οὐρανοῦ καί γῆς.
Ἐπί πᾶσι τούτοις, ἡμεῖς οἱ Ὀρθόδοξοι πιστοί, τιμιώτατοι ἀδελφοί καί πεφιλημένα τέκνα ἐν Κυρίῳ, ἔμπλεοι τῆς πείρας τῆς λαμπροφόρου Ἀναστάσεως, λαβόντες φῶς ἐκ τοῦ ἀνεσπέρου φωτός, ἐν παντί εὐχαριστοῦντες, τά ἄνω φρονοῦντες, ἔχοντες δέ ἐντεῦθεν ἤδη τόν ἀρραβῶνα καί τά ἐνέχυρα τῆς ἐσχατολογικῆς πληρώσεως τῆς Θείας Οἰκονομίας, ἀναβοῶμεν, ἐν Ἐκκλησίᾳ, τό «Χριστός Ἀνέστη!», δεόμενοι ὅπως ὁ παθών, ταφείς καί ἀναστάς Κύριος καταυγάζῃ τάς διανοίας, τάς καρδίας καί πᾶσαν τήν ζωήν ἡμῶν, κατευθύνῃ δέ τά διαβήματα ἡμῶν πρός πᾶν ἔργον ἀγαθόν καί ἐνισχύῃ τόν λαόν
Αὐτοῦ πρός μαρτυρίαν τοῦ Εὐαγγελίου τῆς Ἀγάπης «ἕως ἐσχάτου τῆς γῆς» (Πράξ. α’, 8), εἰς δόξαν τοῦ «ὑπέρ πᾶν ὄνομα» ὀνόματος Αὐτοῦ.
Φανάριον, Ἅγιον Πάσχα ,βιή
† Ο Κωνσταντινουπόλεως διάπυρος προς Χριστόν Αναστάντα ευχέτης πάντων υμών»
URBI ET ORBI MESSAGE
OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS
Central loggia of the Vatican Basilica
Easter, 1 April 2018
Dear brothers and sisters, Happy Easter!
Jesus is risen from the dead!
This message resounds in the Church the world over, along with the singing of the Alleluia: Jesus is Lord; the Father has raised him and he lives forever in our midst.
Jesus had foretold his death and resurrection using the image of the grain of wheat. He said: “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” (Jn 12:24). And this is precisely what happened: Jesus, the grain of wheat sowed by God in the furrows of the earth, died, killed by the sin of the world. He remained two days in the tomb; but his death contained God’s love in all its power, released and made manifest on the third day, the day we celebrate today: the Easter of Christ the Lord.
We Christians believe and know that Christ’s resurrection is the true hope of the world, the hope that does not disappoint. It is the power of the grain of wheat, the power of that love which humbles itself and gives itself to the very end, and thus truly renews the world. This power continues to bear fruit today in the furrows of our history, marked by so many acts of injustice and violence. It bears fruits of hope and dignity where there are deprivation and exclusion, hunger and unemployment, where there are migrants and refugees (so often rejected by today’s culture of waste), and victims of the drug trade, human trafficking and contemporary forms of slavery.
Today we implore fruits of peace upon the entire world, beginning with the beloved and long-suffering land of Syria, whose people are worn down by an apparently endless war. This Easter, may the light of the risen Christ illumine the consciences of all political and military leaders, so that a swift end may be brought to the carnage in course, that humanitarian law may be respected and that provisions be made to facilitate access to the aid so urgently needed by our brothers and sisters, while also ensuring fitting conditions for the return of the displaced.
We beseech fruits of reconciliation for the Holy Land, also experiencing in these days the wounds of ongoing conflict that do not spare the defenceless, for Yemen and for the entire Middle East, so that dialogue and mutual respect may prevail over division and violence. May our brothers and sisters in Christ, who not infrequently put up with injustices and persecution, be radiant witnesses of the risen Lord and of the victory of good over evil.
We invoke on this day fruits of hope for those who yearn for a more dignified life, above all in those areas of the African continent deeply affected by hunger, endemic conflicts and terrorism. May the peace of the risen Lord heal wounds in South Sudan and open hearts to dialogue and mutual understanding. Let us not forget the victims of that conflict, especially the children! May there be no lack of solidarity with all those forced to abandon leave their native lands and lacking the bare essentials for living.
We implore fruits of dialogue for the Korean peninsula, that the discussions under way may advance harmony and peace within the region. May those who are directly responsible act with wisdom and discernment to promote the good of the Korean people and to build relationships of trust within the international community.
We also beseech fruits of peace for Ukraine, that the steps taken to favour harmony may be consolidated, and facilitated by the humanitarian initiatives needed by its people.
We also invoke fruits of consolation for the Venezuelan people, who, as their bishops have written, are living in a kind of “foreign land” within their own country. May that nation, by the power of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, find a just, peaceful and humane way to surmount quickly the political and humanitarian crises that grip it. May welcome and assistance not be wanting to its sons and daughters forced to abandon their homeland.
May the risen Christ bring fruits of new life to those children, who as a result of wars and hunger, grow up without hope, lacking education and health care; and to those elderly persons who are cast off by a selfish culture that ostracizes those who are not “productive”.
We also implore fruits of wisdom for those who have political responsibilities in our world, that they may always respect human dignity, devote themselves actively to the pursuit of the common good, and ensure the development and security of their own citizens.
Dear brothers and sisters,
The words heard by the women at the tomb are also addressed to us: “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen” (Lk 24:5-6). Death, solitude and fear are not the last word. There is a word that transcends them, a word that only God can speak: it is the word of the resurrection (cf. John Paul II, Conclusion of the Way of the Cross, 18 April 2003). By the power of God’s love, it “dispels wickedness, washes faults away, restores innocence to the fallen, and joy to mourners, drives out hatred, fosters concord and brings down the mighty” (Easter Proclamation).
Happy Easter to all!
Beloved spiritual brethren and children,
Christ is risen, truly He is risen.
Christ is risen and the East is bleeding. Christ is risen and our people of all faiths pay with their own lives the cost exacted from selfish interest. Christ is risen and the destiny of our brother-archbishops Paul and John is still unclear. Pascha falls this year close to the day of their abduction, the twenty-second of April. This fourth anniversary is perhaps the most appropriate time for us to raise our voice once more, and to put in the ears of our believers and of all the world the voice of our pain in the Church of Antioch, and the voice of all those who are afflicted in this East.
We are being crucified in this East, suffering this great ordeal. The world looks at the cross of our agony, and is satisfied merely by expressing grief over us. Nevertheless, the power of this world will not drive us out of our land, because we are the sons of the cross and the resurrection. We have been displaced throughout history, and we are still being displaced up to this day, but each of us is called to remember that the land of Christ will not be emptied of his beloved ones and of those who were named after him two thousand years ago. And if the act of kidnapping the two archbishops and priests aims at defying our Eastern Christian presence, and uprooting it from this land, our answer is clear. Even though it has been four years since the two archbishops were kidnapped and this crisis has lasted six years, we are staying here next to the tombs of our fathers, and their hallowed ground. We are deeply rooted in the womb of this East. We are determined not to leave our land, furthermore we will defend it with our own blood and lives.
In giving his peace, Christ said, “Fear not, for lo, I am with you until the end of the age.” We remind ourselves and our children and the whole world that the open-minded Christian presence in this East is more than a presence; it is an identity rather than a boast. Our summons today brings to the attention of the world, organizations, states, governments, associations and embassies, a cry of truth: We want to live in this East in harmony and peace with all faiths. We are not in need of sympathy for us or denunciation of others, but we are in need of serious and sincere good will from all parties to foster peace in our land. The lives of our people are not cheaper than anyone else’s life. Archbishops Paul Yazigi and John Ibrahim were kidnapped and no one troubled himself to issue more than a mere statement of denunciation or promise yielding no results up to this very moment. We value and appreciate the work and zeal of some who have worked with all their strength in behalf of this issue, but the truth must be said: We were, and are still awaiting more than that, especially from those who have the power of binding and loosing internationally and regionally. We do not leave this issue in the care of the civilized world, which has burdened us with its talk about democracies and reforms, while our eastern man is deprived of bread and of all means of livelihood. The ever-higher cost of living and the asphyxiating siege are affecting the livelihood of the poor. There is a war, unfortunately, imposed upon us as Syrians, and there are consequences that burden us as Lebanese. And there is a price which we pay as Easterners all over the Middle East stemming from the results of all wars, as though bets are waged on our land. Our summons today reflects upon events, as we cry “enough!” in the face of those who feed our land with terrorism, takifirism and blind extremism. Our summons today is a cry “enough!” in the face of those who finance the terrorist, but feign blindness of his existence, and later rush to fight him or to make a claim to fight him.
In the Holy Paschal season, we supplicate the risen Lord to remove the stone from our hearts and to break with his spear the war of this world. In these holy days, we pray again for our abducted archbishops, repeating our call for their release. We have knocked on the doors of embassies, omitting no international and regional forum, in our effort to present the crisis in Syria and to explain its repercussions, including kidnapping and displacement of our people to the world at large. We have raised the issue of the kidnapped archbishops. On this occasion, we call on everyone, here and abroad, to work hard toward the liberation of the Archbishops of Aleppo and toward closing this case, which has been suspended by international amnesia. However, this issue is always present in our souls and in the souls of all our children Christian and Muslim, as well as all those of good will.
On the day of the resurrection of Christ, we ask that the peace of his resurrection be upon you, and upon our sons at home and abroad. During Pascha, which means passing over, we raise our earnest prayers to the Lord of the angels to bring peace to our country and to the whole world. Our earnest prayer is for all the kidnapped, all the abductees. Our prayers are for every displaced, homeless, miserable, afflicted and poor person. Our heartfelt prayer to the risen Lord is that He may send his true spirit of peace to silence all the voices of strife and unrest in the Middle East and in the world at large.
In the Resurrection of Christ, those who are called by his name, the Christians of the Church of Antioch, always pledge to remember that the path of the resurrection began with the Cross, and was crowned with the light of the empty Tomb. As we imitate Christ, we do not fear death or adversity, but we pray in our weakness, as our Lord Jesus Christ Himself prayed, that the cup of suffering may pass.
We are in the days of remembering the resurrection of Christ, even though mingled with a heartache that has not been healed for four years. We pray today to the risen Lord to instill his hope in our hearts, granting to them His Holy Spirit, and bestowing upon us the gift of the release of all the kidnapped, so that we may always cry: Christ is risen and the angels are exulted. Jesus is risen and the bars of Hades are destroyed. Christ is risen and life is renewed; to whom is due all glory and dominion unto ages of ages. Amen.
Christ is risen, truly He is risen.
Damascus, April 14, 2017.
Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch
Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch