Once again, it is time to celebrate the glorious Resurrection of Jesus our Saviour.. The joy of His triumph over death remains forever unchanged … Prayer and praise have risen unchanged … The veil of the temple has been torn (Matt 27: 51) … and The Holy Light has emerged from the tomb of Christ in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. All that remained unchanged as it always will until Christ comes on the clouds of heaven at the end of times.
This year however, our Heavenly Father willed for us to live a different experience, an experience unprecedented in our generation, but surely not the first in the modern history of humanity. The outbreak of coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic has dictated cautionary measures of social distancing and the banning of large gatherings, forcing the closure of church doors in the face of congregations. But our gentle, loving God comforted us with allowing a small church to spring in every home; the mother Church reached every family and every heart with her prayers, rituals and rites through modern technology. Thus it was that souls which had initially grieved at the closure of churches in Holy Week and the Resurrection Feast were comforted by the beautiful experience of hosting the Church in their living rooms. This great experience is sure to be related with wonder from one generation to another: that just when it appeared we were banned from the house of God, He generously came to our homes and hearts. This was the happy answer to the question that tormented many as Holy Week approached: in which state would the Feast of the Resurrection come this year?
I thus wholeheartedly extend my best wishes, as always, to my Coptic Church and her patriotic wise pastor his Holiness Pope Tawadros II, also to all Coptic metropolitans, bishops, members of the clergy and the congregation. I also extend sincere greetings to the heads, pastors and congregations of the Catholic and Evangelical Churches in Egypt, all of whom are especially dear to us. I pray that our Heavenly Father would lift the dark menace of this pandemic, have mercy on all His children the world over, and bless the land and people of Egypt, protecting everyone from every harm.
19 April 2020