Eastertide message

At Easter, Orthodox Christians look forward to the redemptive message of the Resurrection. This is a message which, even though its metaphysical dimension has declined with the expansion of skepticism about things not of this world, still remains vital for all as a precept about the nature of life, as an impulse to understand life through the awareness of perishability and to live it more humanely – to make life a triumph over death. The liturgy of the day encapsulates the full meaning that Easter has for Greeks – its connection with the regeneration of nature, the pagan delights of a spit roast, and honoring the dead on the great day of Good Friday. This year Easter came in the aftermath of a war that has shocked and saddened us, amid general concern around the world about a murderous epidemic which is threatening to knock at our own door, and amid depressing confirmation of the lack of transparency in our public life. We did not approach Easter completely overshadowed by anxiety, however, but with the optimism of a people that has made great steps forward: with optimism about Cyprus and a peaceful future in the region, and with optimism about our own potential and what we can do to combat the failings that hold us back. The message of Easter calls us to a new life. It calls on us to take strength against the certainty of death and to live our lives, drawing hope and love from the awareness of our perishability. At moments of relaxation and comfort spent among the family – which all Greeks seek out and which most of them experience during Easter, those days of companionship and love, far away from the everyday bustle and the aggression it engenders – let us gird ourselves with the necessary patience and optimism. And let us keep the message of the Resurrection in mind after our return. Let us keep it in mind as another way of looking at things, as an impulse to greater calm and leniency, as a message of solidarity and cohesion, and as a reminder of our ability to move forward together to a stronger and better Greece.

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