On The Feast of The Resurrection: Let Us Go to Emmaus And Beyond
It is Easter once again.
The good tidings and message of the Glorious Resurrection of our Lord–Jesus Christ–uplifts us all. With the defeat of evil and death–goodness and life inspire the world with new hope.
On the day of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ–He came across two men walking from Jerusalem to the village of Emmaus–and discussing the recent occurrences. As Jesus approached them–they did not recognize Him.
The Lord asked what they were referring to and why they seemed sad. One of the men–Cleopas–said "Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?" When Jesus asked "What things?" they told the story of Jesus of Nazareth–the prophet who has condemned to death and crucified by the chief priests and rulers. The men had hoped that He would be the redeemer of Israel. They continued–"Yes–and besides all this–it is now the third day since this happened. Moreover–some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early morning and did not find His body; and they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels–who said that He was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb–and found it just as the women had said; but Him they did not see."
Jesus replied–"Oh foolish men–and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken!" He began to explain all the Scriptures–beginning with Moses–that foretold of what would happen to Him. As they reached Emmaus–they asked Him to stay the night with them given that it was getting late. At the table–He took bread–blessed it–and offered it to them. Their eyes opened–they recognized Him–and He disappeared. They immediately returned to Jerusalem where they found the disciples and said–"The Lord is risen indeed!" And they told of how Jesus had been revealed to them and of the breaking of bread. (Luke 24:18-35)
Dearly Beloved–this appearance of our risen Savior is the greatest message of brotherhood and Divine attention directed to mankind. He appeared only to simple and modest individuals. The only thing that is known about them is that they were followers of Christ and they loved Him. For these reasons alone they became worthy of seeing Him–for they became spiritually renewed by His words and by the breaking of bread.
Indeed–the Holy Scriptures and the breaking of bread make up the spiritual foundation of the Armenian Apostolic Church–and are the source of Christian renewal for our faithful.
The Glorious Resurrection of our Lord–Jesus Christ is not only a historical fact but also a reality in our everyday lives. Through the Holy Scriptures and the breaking of bread–our Heavenly Father abides in us eternally–lives with us–and through us.
This Easter and Eastertide and throughout the upcoming year–let us join together and walk to and through Emmaus–as disciples and followers of Christ–so that we may also be worthy of seeing Him.
As travelers to Emmaus–let us go out to Jerusalem and to the four corners of the world to spread the hope and joy of the Resurrection of our Lord.
Filled with the mystery of the Resurrection–as we study the Scriptures and through the breaking of bread share the Holy Communion–let us collectively invite the Lord to abide within us and live with us.
May the joy of the Resurrection be the daily miracle in our individual lives–and also for Armenia–Artsakh–and the diaspora.
Together–let us renew the hope of the Resurrection in our lives–so that through us He may renew the lives of others.
The triumphant message of the Resurrection of Christ is an invitation for us all to follow in the path that the Church leads us–in accordance with the faith of our forefathers. Every morning and every evening–through the singing of psalms–prayer–and reading of the Holy Scriptures–let us praise His name and glorify Him.
With these Easter messages I invite the Armenian faithful–and especially the clergy and servants of our parishes–educational institutions–and organizations to travel with us to Emmaus and beyond–and may today and every day be an occasion for us to pray: "Lord Jesus Christ abide with us."
With these prayers and wishes let us proclaim:
Christ is risen from the dead.
Blessed is the Resurrection of Christ.
Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian–
Prelate Western United States