Pastoral Letter for Great and Holy Pascha 2012

By the grace of God, NICHOLAS, the Bishop of Newton for the Melkite Church in the United States, peace and apostolic blessings to the priests, deacons, religious, and faithful of this beloved Eparchy!

My dear brothers and sisters,

Christ is risen! He is truly risen!

We shout out life eternal, victory, triumph – all this and more joy when we proclaim the Resurrection. Sorrow, sadness, fears and even death are obliterated for Christ is with us alive for all ages!

As Adam sinned we too have sinned, but Christ makes us a new people pulling us from our weak sinful nature to his divine immortal life. The brokenness of Adam and Eve is repaired, and we are truly united to Christ who tramples upon death and gives life to those in the tombs. We cannot live in the tombs of our sins – He has broken the bonds that attempt to hold us. He forgives as St. Paul says, “He rescued us from the power of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of his beloved Son. Through him we have redemption, the forgiveness of our sins” (Col 1: 13-14). So we too must forgive!

We can never destroy God’s love – Christ is risen and lives in us! No darkness can ever extinguish the light “from the Light that never fades.” We are the living, brilliant icons of the risen Christ!

As He cares for us, we care for each other…

As He loves us, we love each other…

As He touches us with divinity, we touch others with the same…

As He forgives us, we forgive each other.

We sing today and for forty full days: “Today is the day of the Resurrection: let us glory in this feast and embrace one another. Let us call even those who hate us our brothers and sisters. Let us forgive everything for the sake of the Resurrection, and so let us sing together: ‘Christ is risen from the dead and by his death He has trampled upon death, and to those in the tombs He has given life.’”

My love, best wishes, prayers and blessings for all of you, and may you always be the risen Christ to everyone you encounter!

Eparchial Bishop of Newton