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The Holy Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ for the Year 2006

Written by His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV   
{mosimage} Our Beloved Brothers in the Lord, Pious Prelates; Spiritual Sons, the Priests; and chosen Deacons; and all the Sons and Daughters of the Holy Church and the Assyrian Nation, Fellow Christians

 Prayers and Blessings Receive: 

During this Holy Week, we are celebrating the Great Feast of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, raised from among the dead.  He broke the doors of Sheol through His raising again of His Holy Body; and, He seized and destroyed the power of death giving to us new life; renewing all of creation.  Through His Holy Resurrection He has brought to life those who had died raising the whole nature of mortal man.  He proclaimed renewal to all humankind, especially to those who believe in His Name: Jesus Christ; He has given to us joy in the knowledge in His resurrection.

Through His gifts of life, He has given or provided hope, destroying the awesome power of the human fear of death.   He has lifted the saddened countenance of humankind by the glorious and victorious resurrection filling the human heart (and soul) with great joy!!  Glory be to God who has given to sin weakened humankind His Son to be crucified in our behalf!!  The terror of the crucifixion brought the renewal and the redemption to the masses of humankind, leading them toward the gift of eternal life in Christ Jesus.

 His hidden Divine Power which is in The Cross; our Lord Jesus becomes for us, The source of our Great Salvation.  So, therefore, we extend joyful greeting to the Sons and Daughters of The Holy Church, and to all our fellow Christian brothers and sisters; beseeching the blessing to and for you all.

So now, let us all rejoice in the Holy Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ; the Chief and Good Shepherd of our souls.  We, very sincerely pray and desire that the new and unending life which we have in Christ has been richly bestowed upon us all. For “He is good and His mercies abide forever:” Amen

of the Resurrection He has shined forth the Sun of Righteousness, destroying darkness of human thought, thus, enlightening the whole world with That Holy Light which leads to eternal life.

Through the shedding of His Holy Blood, He has written the deed, signing the same, giving the freedom of salvation to the whole of humankind.  Jesus said, as it is written: “. . but, the Comforter, who is the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My Name, He will teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance whatsoever I have said to you, peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you . .” (John 14:26,27) Can you not, Beloved, see how much love Jesus Christ has shown toward us?  It is necessary, therefore, that we too must love Him.  As we are obedient to His commandments, we confirm that we love Him, for HE has confirmed His love toward us, by giving to us Divine Peace.

It is He who fills our hearts with peace and love, sanctifying us by His resurrection peace.  Peace dissolves all old animosity; we are invited to make peace because of His supreme sacrifice and His ultimate resurrection.  When we gather together commemorating this Holy Festival being made aware of our freedom from sin, and enjoying the instructions in humility, meekness, gentleness, kindness, loving one another from the depths of our heart; it is of this peace for which we have been called into the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ.

He commanded His Apostles saying: “ . . . and whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant; even as the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many. . .” (Matthew 20:27,28) Our Lord had spoken these hallowed words to His Apostles and even to this very day He addresses us, (who are the Prelates and Priests who have received the Holy Setting Aside), to minister to the Faithful in faith and in obedience with purity.

Our Lord has given to us His authority, through His Apostles, to bind and to set free, in order to enable for us to fulfill the priestly ministry, it is written: “ . . all Power is given unto Me in Heaven and on Earth, go, ye therefore, and teach all nations baptizing them in the Name The Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit . . teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you, and lo, I AM with you always: even unto the end of the World: Amen . .”  (Matthew 18:18-20) God bestows His grace upon the faithful and He purifies them; placing them into the state of abiding grace and holiness. 

We who are believing Christians have received by grace holiness from God, through the Sacrament of Holy Baptism; the Holy Spirit sanctifies the baptized souls to become The Children of God.  It is written: “ . . . but to as many as receive Him, to them gave He power to come the sons of God; even to them that believe on His Name.”  (John 1:12).  We, therefore, understand that the Holy Church is an assembly of believing souls, baptized into the Name of the Holy Trinity under or by the hands of a priest who has received the Apostolic Laying-on-of-Hands. 

Thus, we declare, that where there is a congregation of the Baptized; there is the true and Holy, Apostolic, Orthodox Church.  Whosoever wants to be identified with, and a member of, The Holy Church, it is a must that they are to receive The Sign of Holy Baptism, to be incorporated as a true member into The Church, the Body of Christ.  “ . . For by One Spirit are we all baptized into One Body . .” (I Corinthians 12:13a)

The Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East, whose apostolic  teachings and ordination have come to us from The Holy Apostles of our Lord Jesus.  The gift conveyed upon the Apostles of our Lord on the Day of Pentecost is the same gift bestowed upon those in Apostolic orders; and it is that which “is of tongues of fire.”  “ . . . And when the Day of Pentecost was fully come, they all with one accord, in one place; when suddenly there came a sound from Heaven as of a rushing mighty  wind, it filled all the house where they were sitting, and there appeared unto them cloven tongues like that of fire, and it sat upon each of them, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit.” (Act 2:1-4)

Any member of the Holy Church who believes, would appreciate  receiving the priestly rank, in order to minister within The Church; it is of importance to have good faith and to do good deeds, be humble, kind, and obedient, possessing a thorough knowledge of the Holy Dogma; for as an individual possess a true faith together with good deeds accompanying his life, will accept the gift of the  Grace from God, “ . . .for as the body without spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.” (James 2:21,16)

We have learned that we are to build our faith upon Jesus Christ.  It is HE who is the rock and the foundation-stone of our Holy Christian faith.  It is He who is the root of  our Salvation; He is the Bright Way which will lead us toward eternal life.  He is also The Door through which we will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.  We will, therefore, be bonded unto Him who is alive!  Death will no longer have power over Him.  We who are alive, at present, will die in the flesh and we will rise in a spiritual body; “ . . . for flesh and blood will not inherit the Kingdom of God . .” Jesus is the ultimate end/aim for all the Children of the Holy Church.  He is the Good Shepherd who diligently watches over His flock.

Again and again, as we speaking of The Church, we are speaking the faithful congregations, not of one person (individually), we are all members of The Church, bound unto HIM as One Body, the head and Lord of the Body is Jesus Christ who had given of Himself to be sacrificed as The redemptive offering. The importance is for us to be obedient to The Head of The Church by His keeping His commandments.  Without Jesus Christ we cannot produce acceptable fruits, nor do good deeds.  Let our “good deeds” be likened to that of our Lord Jesus.  It is written: “ . . .  A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another, by this shall all men know that you are My disciples if you have love one for another . . .” (John 13:34,35)

To His Apostles, Jesus said:  “ . . . go ye into all the world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature. . .” (Mark 16:15).  The act of evangelism and proclaiming the words of our God has been bestowed upon us as clergy, all who have been baptized by the Apostolic ministry have received spiritual gifts, being set aside, to take care,  and to keep his baptism pure and undefiled in this temporal life (taking care not to fall into the entrapment of the evil one).  In beginning God had created mankind with a free-will, showing to him a brighter way in Christ, leading to eternal life.  Mankind was taught not to the take darkened way of wickedness, which leads to death.  Humankind is free to choose either, as he chooses.

The evil-one is weak, he will utilize many disguised ways in order to deceive humankind.  The one who will follow evil is also weak and submits to it as his master; trying to deceive people through his deceitful tongue.  The man who will follow Jesus becomes like unto Him, kind, gentle, humble, sweet, being fully adorned with all good behavior.

The priest and the parish committee, therefore, must establish classes of catechetical instruction for the younger generation.  Sunday School, Youth Association, Choirs, and classes of instruction are of considerable importance.  It is a must for the priests and the various committees to diligently pursue these area in The Church.

All members of The Church are obligated, at the level of their capabilities to work and sacrifice (for The Church), in love and faith, in obedience to The Church, for no member is to think of his activities within The Church, are to be based upon certain members in The Church; for it is wrong to sacrifice or give to The Church anything because of certain influential individuals; each individual is called by our Lord Christ, the Lord of The Church to come to work together for the sake of obtaining  his own salvation, as each member must build his faith upon Christ Jesus, it is HE alone who is The Foundation Stone.  If our faith is built upon Jesus, it will not, nor will ever fail nor falter, however, if it is built upon various individuals it is a faith based upon a person; and since  persons are mortal; that faith built upon them will likewise die with them.

Sons and Daughters of our Beloved Church, be certain to deeply embed within the deepest recesses of your heart seeds of truth, and they in turn will spring forth to produce a good harvest/fruits.  Therefore, purify your hearts from sin, to become a temple clean and spotless for you are His temple.  Wherever the Sons and Daughters of our Holy Church abide, we encourage you not to forget your Holy Christian and Apostolic Faith, as the Sons and Daughters of the Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East; be faithful members, work for her in faith and harmony, keep the worship of the Church, the Synodical Canons, the Apostolic Tradition etc., by being faithfully obedient to the Synodical Decrees, signed by the Synod under the headship of the Catholicos Patriarch. 

To the Sons and Daughters of our beloved Holy Church, and of those of the Assyrian nationality, we beseech of you to be good citizens wherever you reside; diligently abide within the guidelines of the laws of the land.  You will be loved and honored and considered as a faithful law abiding citizens of your nation.  The nation wherein you abide is your home, with your neighbor be at peace, in love and respect, regardless of religion or nationality, for it is written: “ . . Love your neighbor as yourself . .” (Luke 10:27)

(Beloved Sons and Daughters of our Holy Church and those of Assyrian descent we believe from the past generations of our forefathers, as one national group, history binds us together with our Assyrian forefathers in Mesopotamia, this is 2000 years that our Christian forefathers of The Church of the East have maintained and kept the name, language, and literature of our Assyrian Nationality, together with our Christian Faith, thus as one Assyrian Nation, we are to have pride in our history and heritage.    We have two gifts given to us from God, which is our Christian Faith of the Church of the East, and of our Assyrian nationality.  It is important to healthily maintain both without any change.)

To conclude, once again we declare to you all that wherever you are, beloved Sons and Daughters of the Holy Church and fellow Christian brethren, A blessed Holy Day unto the Lord, and we pray for our Lord God the Father to keep you in peace and tranquility, we hope that you’ll celebrate this Holy Feast of the Resurrection with joy, in love and peace.  We pray for peace and tranquility in the World, with a particular concern for the Peace of Iraq.

The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all: Amen

+ Khanania Mardinkha IV

By Grace,

Catholicos Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East

 

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