Paschal Letter of Father Robert M. Arida
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection in the world and for the world challenge the Church and therefore all the faithful to make, what Father Georges Florovsky called, a theological decision relative to our place and response to the world. The formation of our faith built upon the cross and empty tomb draws us into the world and places us within its challenges, surprises, tragedies and joys. Our faith draws us into the arena of life – the life of the world now confronted by the life of God’s Kingdom – where we stand with Christ and the communio sanctorum, the communion of the holy ones and holy things.
Questions arise: What battle is to be waged in the arena of life? Who is our opponent? Is our contest to supplant one set of values with another? Is the arena where the culture wars of the political right and political left vie for power so as to wield their respective agendas over the broader society?
If we take to heart the Paschal greeting and its response – Christ Is Risen! Indeed He Is Risen! - then we are obliged to see that we not only affirm our Lord’s victory over the dominion of death and the evil one but also affirm, regardless of how our lives vary socially, the recovery of our humanity sealed by the royal, priestly and prophetic ministries that we offer for the life of the world and its salvation. Through these ministries we remain in the arena. Through these ministries we affirm the equal dignity and value of all persons within a social and cultural arena that often distorts and devalues the glory and beauty of the created image and likeness of God. We bear the burdens and indignities of all who suffer due to the ignorance, fear, prejudice, exploitation and hatred of others. We proclaim humbly and with unwavering conviction that the joy of the cross and empty tomb is for all who seek after light and truth. We confess the super -rational truth that through the cross the dominion of sin and death is overcome by the suffering and death of the God Man Jesus Christ.
Through Christ’s cross and empty tomb all that has become ugly, old, and mortal due to sin is being made beautiful, new and immortal. With the angelic hosts and all the saints we concelebrate the new covenant singing with one voice, “ The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ and he shall reign for ever and ever.” (Rev. 11:15)