Dearest Brothers and Sisters in the Lord,

The proclamation “Christ is Risen” is the most hopeful message ever heard by humanity. Furthermore, this proclamation carries a missionary dimension par excellence, because the Resurrection of Christ is the greatest proof for people to believe that Christ is the only true God, the One who can deliver us from death.

The Myrrh-bearing women, who were the first to be informed of the great miracle of the Lord’s Resurrection, quickly left the Tomb with fear as well as great joy, and ran to tell the news to the disciples (Mt. 28:8). Each one of them separately felt compelled to share their personal testimony with everyone: “I have seen the Lord” (Jn. 20:18). Thus, the Myrrh-bearers opened the way for the disciples to meet the Risen Lord.

Following the example of the Myrrh-bearers, the Disciples also began, at the command of the Risen Lord, to proclaim “to all the nations” (Mt. 28:19) everything they “had seen and heard” (Acts. 4:20), despite the threats, the persecutions, and the martyrdoms they suffered for the sake of the Gospel. Later, all the successors of the Apostles, from the beginning until today and until the end of the world, have proceeded in preaching, and will always be preaching “to all creation” (Mk. 16:15), the greatest miracle of all the ages, that is, the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. For Christ’s Resurrection is the cornerstone of our faith.

Our responsibility and duty to proclaim the Resurrection of Christ is a God-given command and not a choice. Those of us who, by the grace of God, believe that Christ is Risen, should proclaim it with our lives and our words to those who do not believe in the Resurrection of Christ and, for this reason, suffer existentially from the fear and agony of death. Only when our testimony about the Resurrection of Christ is the core of our personal experience, we can speak of the supersubstantial Word of God. Otherwise, it will only be an empty speech. According to Saint John Chrysostom, “He who is consistent in “word” and “life” is the greatest of all” (PG 61:265).

Let us, therefore, testify in every language, in every manner and by any means—with no intension to proselytize, but following the example of the Evangelist John—that “What we have seen and heard we declare to you, so that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our communion is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ… so that your joy may be complete” (1 Jn. 1:3). Amen.

My beloved, as we celebrate this year the twentieth anniversary of the establishment of the Orthodox Metropolis of Korea and Exarchate of Japan, under the Ecumenical Patriarchate, let it become an occasion for the further spreading of the message of the Resurrection of Christ, so that the lives of more and more of our neighbors become resurrected and conquer the grief, anxiety, fear, and death that oppresses those who do not yet know Christ.

On behalf of the Clergy and our co-workers in the Lord’s Vineyard, I pray that the light and joy of Christ’s Resurrection will flood all of our lives and radiate to others as witnesses of ultimate hope.

Christ is Risen!

With much love and honor in the Risen Lord,
+ Metropolitan Ambrosios of Korea and Exarch of Japan