Rejoice! (Matt. 28: 9)
It was the first word of the Risen Christ to the Myrrh-bearing women, a joyous message addressed to humanity, troubled and afflicted by sin, a message that is then delivered by the Apostles to the faithful of all time.
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances;” (1 Thes. 5: 16-18)
Before the coming of Christ, humankind lived under sin which is a cause of sorrow.
Faith in Christ and His Resurrection is a source of eternal joy and gladness. The preaching of the Gospel is indicative of its worldwide scope and conveys a universal message to all the nations. Total salvation is acquired through the Sacrament of the Holy Baptism “in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church”, the Orthodox Church and which is rightly dividing the word of truth.
Our hearts overflow with wholehearted gratitude and thanksgiving to our Risen Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, in His divine commandment: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matt. 28:19). We have already celebrated the inauguration of the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity and the Saint Tabitha Orthodox Orphanage in Fiji. And now we are in the other territory of islands of Tonga making the necessary preparations for the foundation of the first Sacred Church there which will be dedicated to St. George the Great Martyr and Trophy-bearer.
Only a few months after the first visit of an Orthodox Missionary to this isolated island nation in the Pacific Ocean, the few Orthodox believers welcomed us back with love and thanksgiving to the Lord for the new church that His love gave them. We ensured legal transfer and full ownership of the plot, signed an agreement with the contractor and laid the foundation stone of the most remote church of this world.
May the Lord bless and strengthen all the Orthodox Missionaries who are struggling all over the world despite the numerous difficulties and deprivations they have to deal with.
May He bless and sanctify all the contributors and benefactors that often support the Missionaries and their work from their poverty, comforting not only the indigenous faithful and catechumens but also every fellow human, who is suffering and lives in poverty or in pain.
Lord Jesus Christ, the Light of the World, shine with the light of Thy Resurrection on the people of our planet. Deliver them from the darkness of idolatry and deception, greed, injustice and hatred. Grant, O Lord, peace on earth to all mankind and let your Kingdom come in the hearts of all people, a Kingdom of holiness, love, justice, peace and joy.
Christ is Risen!
† Metropolitan Amfilochios