Paschal epistle of Bishop John of Caracas and South America, 2024

Paschal Epistle, 2024

Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!

...when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came
Jesus and stood in their midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you (John 20 19).

    The first words that our Risen Lord speaks to His disciples, as well as to us, are Peace be unto you, therein laying the foundation of life in the Resurrected Christ. By these words our Lord not only imparts His peace, as he did on the eve of His Crucifixion, when He said Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you (John 14:27), but also, as it were, He now gives us a commandment of peace. Peace be unto you. This peace which He gives, we are not only to receive, but to keep, nurture and spread.

  Peace be unto you. These few words in their very brevity and simplicity take on an all-encompassing and absolute significance. Just as this peace cannot be limited to a mere absence of conflict, neither can it be limited just to an internalized, even spiritual, tranquility. Transcending this, it is indeed the peace which passeth all understanding (Phil. 4 7).

  Brothers and sisters, we know from Holy Scripture that murder and conflict have been part of this fallen world from the time of Cain, and will continue to do so until the glorious second coming of the Lord, but we as Christians are called to something else, to be partakers in the peace of Christ, both as individual believers, and as a Christian people. If we do not strive to acquire Christ’s peace, but rather acquiesce to conflict, even trying to justify or glorify it, we can never hope to see our Risen Lord, and the age-old paschal greeting will be merely empty words.

  Brothers and sisters, dear people of God, I wish you all the peace of the Risen Christ, the peace which passeth all understanding (Phil. 4 7), that, present tribulations notwithstanding, we all may truly partake in Christ’s glorious Resurrection, both here, and in the unwaning day of [His] Kingdom. For, as the Apostle says, neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom. 8 38-39).

Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!

John, Bishop of Caracas and South America,
The Passover of the LORD, 2024

Fri, 04/26/2024 - 17:48
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