Reverend Fathers, Venerable Monastics, and Pious Faithful of the Western American Diocese:
Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!
The days that our Savior Jesus Christ brings to us in this life are often filled with joy, but they are sometimes filled with sorrows. We are experiencing such sorrowful days today, of the sort which many of us thought, and hoped, we would not experience again in this lifetime. Memories of the revolution and the grave injustices that for so many decades followed it are renewed in our minds with unwelcome freshness. We recall anew the sufferings of our ancestors. We are drawn again to the testimony of the New Martyrs and all that they suffered in the previous generation for the sake of Christ. And driven by such memories, and by the Lord’s commandment, we pray for those who are suffering, everywhere, especially our closest brethren in the Holy Orthodox Faith, and for their salvation.
But God never leaves us in our sorrows. They always become means to draw us closer to Himself, if we will but permit Him to transform them, and us. Today, as we celebrate the Resurrection of God our Saviour, we recognize the need for the world - to be raised out of death and into life. It is too easy to see, today, the evil of the world; but on this resurrection morning Christ punctuates it with His presence. His resurrection brings us hope: the hope to sustain us, and to lift us up into His glory.
May the resurrected Christ, Who reigns in love over all peoples and is the true God of every man, lift up your hearts to the joy of salvation, the defeat of evil, and a life of everlasting joy.
KYRILL, Archbishop of San Francisco & Western America, the Ruling Hierarch of the Western American Diocese