Archbishop’s Message for Pascha 2014

Feast of the Resurrection of our Lord


Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen!
Christos Voskrese! Voistinnu Voskrese!

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be. What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1: 1-5)

We hear the words of the Gospel of Saint John read to us each Easter Sunday. This Gospel explains God’s plan since the beginning of time to the present. The Son of God came into the world darkened by sin to reveal to us the light of the Resurrection. It is proclaimed in many different languages reminding us that the news that “Christ is Risen!” continues to travel to the ends of the world.

After forty days of deeper fasting and prayer, we feel stronger. Our vision is clearer and we are more open to the presence of God’s love for us. Lent gives us the belief that we can face evil and live more closely to the teachings of Christ. For the apostles, experience of the death and resurrection of Jesus gave them hope that they would overcome the problems they faced and people who opposed them. It was a time of tremendous growth, but many opposed and persecuted the first Christians. Their faith in the resurrected Christ empowered them to give their lives for the Church.

In our world today the Good News is proclaimed, but as always there are many who do not listen. Persecution of Christians in Ukraine and the Middle East is growing. In the Western nations, the promoting of different ways to live and emphasis on material wealth discourage us and present an increasing challenge to us and to our youth today.

We are called to push back the darkness and to work to overcome the setbacks and challenges of our world and our personal lives. Saint John Chrysostom reminds us that “All creation, the admirable work of God, delights in the Resurrection of Christ, but humanity made ‘in the image and likeness of God’ and to whom all creation was entrusted so that it might be faithfully and properly administered, delights in it all the more.” (John Chrysostom On the Resurrection)

During this Paschal Season, we proclaim “Christ is Risen” and give witness throughout our lives. The light we bring to our world can overcome the darkness. We pray that we will receive the goodness and blessings in this life and the everlasting heavenly banquet to come.

Sincerely yours in the Risen Christ,

Most Reverend William C. Skurla, D.D.
Metropolitan Archbishop of Pittsburgh