Easter appeal Head of the Orthodox Church of Kazakhstan Metropolitan of Astana and Kazakhstan Alexander
- 23.04.2022 12:49
- Новости на английском языке
honorable fathers, dear brothers and sisters, residents of the Kazakhstan land!
CHRIST IS RISEN!
With these sacred apostolic words, all-joyful hymn of the victory of life over death, I heartily greet you all and congratulate you on the Feast of Feasts, and the Triumph of Celebrations - the Bright Resurrection of Christ.
The Resurrection of the Savior is the most important day of the year for every person who believes in Christ, since Easter doors of the Lord open to us, our spiritual experience is renewing and enriching, faith is affirming and hope is strengthening. Before our mind's eye is a dumped stone and an empty tomb, and an angel shining with snow-white robes loudly proclaims: “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him.” (Mark 16:6). Not only do we hear the good news about the rise of the Lord from the dead, but also see with spiritual eyes “Christ is the Sun of Truth, enlightening everyone with life.” According to the words of St. Sophronius of Jerusalem: “he will swallow up death forever, the Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces, he will remove his people’s disgrace from all the earth.” (Is. 25:8), and grant everyone truly inalienable grace.
The victory of the Savior over death is the resurrection and eternal life of all the people who believe in Him, whom the Lord has gathered in His Unified, Catholic and Apostolic Church. “Just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father” (Rom. 6:4), so are we, according to the words of the apostle Paul, we are called to become “dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 6:11). Let no one despair of God's love, for each of us on the Cross, a pure and blameless Sacrifice was offered - "The Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29). To anyone crying out for the help, Lord will give a hand. O Lord, art a God of compassion, and merciful, patient, and of much mercy, and true (Ps. 85:15), will lead anyone who turns to Him with sincere prayer from the darkest depths of falling to purity, holiness and immortality. The words of the Lord addressed to the repentant thief on Golgotha became evidence of God’s great mercy for us, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise” (Lk. 23:43), “A new, holy Easter, a mysterious Easter,” which we glorify in festive hymns, should fill with its light all the days of our lives, strengthening and encouraging eager to do what is good. (Titus 2:14). The love of Christ, manifested to us with all obviousness and fullness in the death on the Cross and the Resurrection of the Savior, was active, and therefore our response to it should be the same - sincere, real and filled with good labors for the glory of God and for the benefit and joy of our neighbors. “If you love me,” says the Lord, “keep my commandments” (John 14:15). In the Gospel we read how the apostles, at the command of the Resurrected Christ, “Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it” (Mark 16:20). St. Gregory Palamas explains that we are talking not so much about miracles as about deeds of faith: “What are these signs? - Arising from deeds. It is of no use if someone says that he has divine faith, and at the same time does not have deeds in accordance with faith. Every good deed of ours, done for the glory of God, every work sanctified by prayer, every comforting word, every compassion for the unfortunate and patience for the erring - these are real gospel signs for the people around us. These are miracles of faith, these are the rays of the true light of Christ in the world, immersed in spiritual darkness, torn apart by contradictions and hostility, freezing from the impoverishment of love.
We are going through difficult times, full of anxieties and sorrows, but let us remember the words of the Savior: “Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name” (John 16:23). Christ Himself has given us the opportunity to turn to the Heavenly Father in prayer and by the grace received from Him, to change ourselves and reality around us for the better. “Everything is possible for one who believes” (Mark 9:23), the Lord encourages us, therefore let us not despair, but following the example of the saints, let us be strengthened in courageous patience and faith. And the joy of Christ’s Resurrection will be revealed to us as a great miracle, as the main meaning of our earthly life.
This year is a spiritually significant date for the Kazakh Metropolitan District - which is the 150th anniversary of the establishment of the Turkestan diocese on the territory of modern Kazakhstan. This event summed up the centuries-old existence of Christianity in our ancient land and at the same time laid a solid foundation for the life of Orthodoxy for all subsequent times. We remember and glorify the deeds of the first Kazakh hierarch, Archbishop Sofoniya (Sokolsky), named the Apostle of Central Asia and Enlightener of the Turkestan region, as well as all the archpastors, pastors, monastics and laity, who through their labors preached and affirmed in these parts faith in Christ, the Crucified and Resurrected. On bright Easter days, a significant event awaits you and me - with the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, the miraculous icon of the Most Holy Theotokos "Hodegetria-Polonskaya" will be brought to Kazakhstan to consecrate the expanses of our country with the grace of God, for spiritual comfort and strengthening us in life according to the gospel.
I heartily congratulate everyone on the triumph of the Resurrection of Christ, I pronounce the apostolic wish: “pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness” (Tim. 6:11) and proclaim the all-joyful hymn of the victory of life over death:
CHRIST IS RISEN! - TRULY IS RISEN!
Head of the Orthodox Church of Kazakhstan
Metropolitan of Astana and Kazakhstan