Eastern Reflections on the Resurrection
The hearts and eyes of Eastern Christians in Iraq and Syria are directed to the resurrection (Easter) not as a celebration or ritual station, but as also to renew the hope and confidence of victory over the suffers of the suffering Church, as the Lord of the Church had victory in HIS resurrection over the suffers of Golgotha.
Resurrection Sunday is not just one individual Sunday of the year, or one of the normal days of the year.
It is a renewed victory over suffering for the painful church. It is the renewed strength that the Lord granted to HIS church and its congregation so than not to be afraid for I have triumphed over death.
As human beings, we feel pain and suffering and we also feel frustrated, but we are not only human beings but human beings who are believers in a risen Lord from the dead.
From here, we celebrate the resurrection to win over the frustrations and difficulties that surround us.
Oriental Churches in Syria and Iraq live a continuous week of suffers for ages. They carried and are carrying their cross in the driveway of Golgotha.
But when was Calvary the last point in the life of the Lord of the church, so that to be the last point in the lives of the children of the church!
Calvary is the bridge of passing from pain to hope, from sadness to joy, and from death to life.
Resurrection is the enlightening candle that dissipates the darkness of pain.
In the east, where the darkness of evil and terror is spread almost everywhere, so how big is our need to the light of the Resurrection?!
In the east, where the church is persecuted and in pain, so how big is our need to be inspired and live in the era of the early church.
“You will be my witnesses,” this is what we were requested by our Lord and Master, and this is what the fathers of the Oriental Churches wanted from us.
To be witnesses to Christ means not to run away from suffering HIS pains so that we may rise in HIS resurrection.
There is no real resurrection unless preceded by a real pain and suffering.
This is the fullness of Eastern Christianity that it does not end with pains and does not begin with the resurrection, but it is going with Christ in HIS pains, death, and resurrection.
Alleluia.. He is truly risen..
In this manner HIS church in Syria and Iraq stands up from under the dust of war, displacement, and persecution..
Then it stands entitled with the crown of victory..
In the same manner as the Calvary is not geographically confined by Jerusalem, where Jesus was crucified, but is everywhere and in every village in pain where the church in Mosul, in the Nineveh Plain, in Aleppo, in Khabur and other places, so is Resurrection also not confined by its geography. Rather, it is an action that is achieved in every believer and every parish and every church.
This way we celebrated the resurrection of Christ in displacement camps in the previous year, and so we will celebrate it in this year.
As we prayed in the resurrection of the previous year for peace, in this year we will also be praying to the king of peace, who granted the peace of HIS resurrection to the sinners, so that to instruct the decision-makers in HIS wisdom to make peace.
We pray for the displaced, homeless and immigrated people to return to their homes and towns.
We pray for the captives and missing persons to return safely to their families.
We pray for the children to live their childhood innocence.
We pray for the youth to produce their blessings to their people and their homelands.
We pray for the old people to live a blessing senescence.
We pray in the resurrection of Christ with everyone and for all in order that everyone conquers their pain.
Archimandrite Emanuel Youkhana
Nohadra (Duhok) – 24.03.2016