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Message of Resurrection 2019 of His Beatitude Patriarch Mar Ignatius Youssef III YOUNAN


    Following you can read the Message of Resurrection of His Beatitude Mar Ignatius Youssef III YOUNAN, Patriarch of Antioch for Syriac Catholic Church:


    Nr. Prot.: 80/2019

    Date: 17/4/2019


The Message of Resurrection 2019


To our brothers Archbishops and Bishops,

Fathers of our Holy Synod of Antioch,

To the Priests, Deacons, religious consecrated men and women,

To all the faithful people in Lebanon,

In the Middle East and the Church of Extension


Peace and love in our Lord Jesus Christ

«ܩܳܡ ܡܶܛܽܠ ܕܰܢܙܰܕܩܰܢ»

 “He was raised for our justification” (Rom 4/25)


  • Introduction

    On the upcoming solemnity of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, we are pleased to extend as usual our warm salutations and prayerful wishes, to our beloved clergy and faithful of the Syriac Church of Antioch, in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Holy Land, Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Europe, America, and Australia. We implore our Risen Redeemer to grant them all his abundant graces, a season full of joy, love, and peace.


  • Christ’s Death and Resurrection: The foundation of our Faith and cause of our Hope

   The mystery of our redemption: The passion, death and burial of Christ, the empty tomb and the apparitions of the Savior after his Resurrection are the fulfillment of God the Father’s plan confirming His indescribable love to mankind. With his full will and knowledge Jesus, God-Incarnate went up to Jerusalem, knowing that it will be his last journey to the holy city. “He who was delivered up because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification” (Rom 4/ 25) granting us new life, the life of the sons and daughters of God.

    As Pope Francis said, “The redemption and salvation have been fulfilled as the Father wanted and all the Scriptures find their completion in the love of Christ, the slaughtered lamb. By offering Himself as sacrifice, He turned the greatest injustice into the greatest love” (General Audience, Wednesday 1/4/2015).

    Jesus died as a sacrifice for all of us and rose from death to sanctify us humans as Isaiah prophesied: “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way, and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth” (Is. 53/ 6-7). The death and resurrection of Christ are the foundation of the Christian faith. Thus the Risen Christ lives in the hearts of those who

    believe in him and draws them to his divine life so: “that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again” (2Cor.5/ 15).


  • Christ’s Resurrection: The cause of our hope

    Christ's death and resurrection changed the face of the world. Jesus, who did not commit a sin, came down only for human redemption because He “loved his own and He loved them to the full extent of his love” (Jn 13/1). By his suffering, his humiliating death on the cross and his glorious Resurrection he became our Hope in this life and beyond. He died so we could rise to a new life, just as “… a wheat grain falls into the earth... if it dies it yields a rich harvest” (Jn.12/ 24). Thus Christ's death and resurrection became life for every believer.

    Saint Paul keeps reminding usof the fundamental content of all Christian preaching based on Christ Resurrection, source of our faith and hope: “If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless... But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead…” (1Cor.15/ 14, 17). Jesus is always with us, does not let us down or leaves us doubtful and hopeless, but illuminates our life’s darkness, and turns our grief into joy, by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us (cf.Rom.5/5).

    The Syriac prayer celebrates our Redeemer victory over death:

    «ܩܳܡ ܡܳܪܳܐ ܕܫܽܘܒܚܳܐ ܒܰܫܪܳܪܳܐ ܘܰܥܛܺܝܦ ܬܳܓܳܐ ܕܙܳܟ̣ܽܘܬܳܐ܆ ܘܰܥܛܳܐ ܠܥܰܒܕ̈ܰܘܗ̱ܝ̱ ܟܽܠ ܐܶܣܳܪܳܐ ܕܰܟܕܺܝܢܳܐ ܒܗܽܘܢ ܐ̱ܢܳܫܽܘܬܳܐ».

    “The Lord of glory has risen, wearing the crown of victory and he gave freedom to the captives”.


  • Christ’s Death and Resurrection: The fountain of unconditional love

    The resurrection of Christ our Lord, is a sweet reminding of the inscrutable love that God extends to His faithful creatures. Pope Benedict XVI rightly teaches us: “There is a strong connection between the cross and the resurrection that the Christian cannot ignore. If the Cross is the price of our sins then the resurrection is a sign of accepting the sacrifice. It is the participation in the unconditional love that God has for man, so that the resurrection becomes the supreme expression of this love, and the believer becomes the true apostle of the Risen Christ” (from homilies on Resurrection).

    Jesus' resurrection proves that the cross is not the end, the failure, or the humiliation, it is the new beginning. Jesus gives us himself as a gift of God and invites us to love generously, because He did not only roll back the tombstone, butJesus demolished all the barriers that separate us from God, by our tendency to pessimism, apathy, aversion and hardness of heart. Let us always remember that we “are justified freelyby his grace through the redemption in Christ Jesus”(Rom.3/ 24).

    Our faith in Christ’s resurrection is an absolute assurance and an unconditional confidence that Jesus did redeem us, reconciling us with the Father that we may live in him as He lives in us. He promised not to leave us orphans, but to keep making the journey of life along with us. This is Easter, the paschal mystery that the Eucharist keeps reminding us of and revives us with, His new alliance with His beloved ones. In this
marvelous sacrament, we owe to remember His death and Resurrection, as we implore the Holy Spirit to descend and make us worthy to partake in the Divine Body and Blood of Christ and pray with joy: “Come, Lord Jesus” (Rev. 22/ 20).


  • The Resurrection: Full Salvation accomplishment

    We rejoice in this spiritual season and thank Jesus our Redeemer for the salvation accomplished for us by His resurrection on the third day. “We die and rise with Christ in baptism” (Col 2/ 12), so that we may wear the righteousness of Christ, and become real disciples. He promised us by saying: “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die” (Jn 11/ 25-26).

    The discipleship to Jesus is to live the courageous testimony, in words and acts, that Jesus is the Savior of the world, as Saint Paul wrote: “If you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord", and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Rom. 10/ 9). Thus, we love Christ with all our heart, mind, and spirit, and enter into a unique intimate encounter with Him and contribute in building, with our brethren faithful, a society free from the sins of bullying, exploitation, and selfishness, a language of true and transparent dialogue.

    Here is the Syriac meditation of Saint Ephrem, on the greatness of the resurrection:

    «ܒܓܰܘ ܚܶܫܽܘܟ̣ܳܐ ܢܽܘܗܪܳܐ ܕܢܰܚ܆ ܘܙܰܗܪܶܗ ܪܰܒܳܐ ܠܡܰܘܬܳܐ ܥܩܰܪ. ܥܓܺܝ̈ܢܶܝܗ̇ ܕܰܫܝܽܘܠ ܟܰܦܳܐ ܢܩܰܫܘ܆ ܠܩܳܠ ܢܽܘܚܳܡܳܐ ܕܰܠܗܽܘܢ ܩܪܳܐ. ܣܶܕܪ̈ܰܝ ܡܰܘܬܳܐ ܐܰܝܠܶܠܘ ܥܪܰܩܘ܆ ܘܫܰܠܺܝܛ ܚܶܫܟܳܐ ܒܢܽܘܪܳܐ ܢܦܰܠ. ܡܕܺܝܢ̱ܬܳܐ ܕܡܰܘܬܳܐ ܐܶܫܬܰܝܢܰܬ݀܆ ܒܚܰܝܰܬ ܡܺܝ̈ܬܶܐ ܕܒܳܗ̇ ܐܰܨܡܚܰܬ݀»(ܡܳܪܝ ܐܰܦܪܶܝܡ܆ ܣܽܘܓܺܝܬܳܐ ܕܥܰܠ ܡܰܘܬܳܐ ܘܣܳܛܳܢܳܐ).

    “The light shone in the darkness and its dazzling brilliance uprooted death. Those seated in the abyss applauded the voice of the Risen One who called them. The company of death cried so loudly and fled, the prince of darkness fell into the fire and peace reigned in the city of death, which became the living abode of the Resurrection”.


  • The Impact of Resurrection on our World Today

    In this holy season of the Resurrection, we renew our commitment to Christian values in all its dimensions, because our Redeemer Jesus is the source of love and the prince of peace. He alone is able to bring persons and societies into the culture of love and mutual respect. In our Syriac rite, which is among the very ancient Christian traditions, we sing peace as the first gift of the resurrection. How much we do need today peace and reconciliation among the peoples of the Middle East! We have to recognize and repeat that stability and civilized laws in this tormented region are the most urgent need for the survival of Christians and other minorities.

    In Lebanon, the beloved homeland, we continue to follow the official steps in the fight against everything that is harming the path of reforms in the country, especially in the socio-political sector. We call on all ministers and members of Parliament to lead an effective and transparent process. We regrettably note the decline in moral values, the spread of thefts, drug addiction among young people and pollution of the environment.

    What worries us more is that one year has elapsed since the Paris Conference, called CEDRE, and still no horizon for approval of the budget of 2019, preventing the actualization of many pending laws that affect the citizens in their everyday life.

    We thank Lebanon for hosting hundreds of thousands of displaced persons and refugees, despite the economic difficulties and hardships. We rather urge the necessity of a return to their home country of for the majority of Syrian refugees, with the aim to preserving their human dignity, their civil rights, their civilization and their culture. It is time to stop linking these returns to the political solution in Syria.

    While in Lebanon there is a glimmer of hope for all Christians in the East, we are disappointed to classify six Christian communities, including our Syriac Catholic community, in the category of minorities, marginalizing their presence and their political representation, either in parliament, or in the government, the public institutions, the judicial and military posts as well. Our community has always offered great sacrifices for the defense of Lebanon and has distinguished itself diligently and honestly, in the private sector as well as in cultural and legal institutions, for the development of their country.

    With regard to the dear nation of Syria, we thank God for the calm and stability in the great majority of its provinces and cities. But we cannot ignore the hardship of living for the majority of innocent common people in this long war torn country. While appreciating the efforts of official authorities, public and private institutions to restore Syria, we urge our sons and daughters with all the brave people of the nation to work hand in hand to continue the work of building their land. We encourage those who were forced to leave and being exiled to make a prompt return to the home land, in order to contribute effectively to its growth and helping it regain its status among the countries of the region.

    In Iraq, we thank our Lord who facilitated our sons and daughters on their way back to their villages and towns in the Nineveh Plain, thus after the liberation of their ancestral lands from the hands of the terrorists. We remind the leaders of the Iraq to realize their grave responsibility to ensure the safety and protection of all citizens who courageously fulfill their duties, in the hope of living in a reconciled, just and fair national society, without discrimination or oppression. We also urge our children, those who have been uprooted from their lands, to return home and continue to witness to the gospel of love and peace.

    As far as Jordan is concerned, we are continuing the process of request of officially recognizing our community as an autonomous religious entity in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. This is a way to strengthen the role of our Church in the Kingdom at all socio and educational levels. We thank the Kingdom’s authorities for the welcome and help they reserved to our refugees who were forced to leave their countries of Syria and Iraq.

    We turn our thoughts to Jerusalem and the Holy Land and pray that the resurrection of the Lord will be a sign of victory for the path toward peace, tolerance mercy and dialogue among all components, since the logic of war, hate and abolition do not solve any conflict. We urge those responsible to preserve the rights of all religious communities and safeguard sanctuaries belonging to the three monotheistic religions.

    With regard to Egypt, we express our support for our brothers and our Christian children in this country, in solidarity with them in the face of the violence, threats and terrorism they are subjects to. We greatly appreciate the provisions and actions taken by the Egyptian President and his Government in order to protect their country of the intrusion of religious radicalism, while they urge for moderation in religious discourse and promote tolerance and mutual respect among religious communities of the nation.

    To our sons and daughters of the Church of the Diaspora in Europe, America and Australia: we urge you to remain faithful to the Lord Jesus and his holy Church. Be proud and cherish your old Syriac heritage. We also recommend that you raise your children in the love of God, the fidelity to the faith, the Church and the homeland. Your faithfulness to preserve the heritage your ancestors in your home countries gave you, is well appreciated and we congratulate for your outstanding endeavor. Be proud to be called Christians of the first communities of the East.

    As in all our previous messages, we kept reiterating our call for the release of all those kidnapped in Syria, in particular, the two archbishops of Aleppo, Boulos Yazigi and Gregorius Youhanna Ibrahim, as well as for the priests and laity whose traces are lost . May our Savior Jesus grant the martyrs eternal rest, the wounded healing and those affected by the loss of a dear person, hope and consolation.

    We also want to express our affection to all our children who are still suffering from the tragic uprooting from their homes and countries and being still unable to make a safe return home. For all those who have endured exile, we ask the Lord to be their consolation and strength.



    O Christ Resurrected, give us a sincere repentance on our sins and  falls of the past and a look into the future, so we can announce the good news of your Resurrection, with the women who had come at dawn to the empty tomb. Grant us the joy of the apostles who have been comforted by your apparitions to carry the evangelization to the whole world.

    By Your Redemptive Passion You have glorified the Father, who glorified you with your triumphant resurrection, and welcomed you on his right hand. Give us to participate in the gifts of your resurrection so that we may live Faith, Hope and Charity to perfection.

    Fill our souls and our hearts with the gifts of the Holy Spirit, to remain faithful to your message of salvation, proclaiming it to our brothers and sisters with joy and courage.

    To you who live in the unity of the Father and the Holy Spirit we raise the glory for eternity.


    As a sign of our paternal affection, we grant you all our apostolic blessing: May God One and Almighty bless you, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen.





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