The Copts of Egypt and the Christians of the East celebrate today the glorious Feast of Resurrection, so I extend felicitations to you all, pleading for God to bless Egypt and its people with His blessings, goodness and peace.
Celebrating the resurrection, we look at human life as a precious value that God has bestowed on each person to use for the good of humanity and the good of those around him and his own. Life was not given to man to be tampered with or wasted. Hence the resurrection comes to remind us that life is God’s gift; He will ask every person about it, and how he spent every moment in it. I like the saying: “A person who dares to waste even an hour of his life has never understood the value of life.” Whoever does not understand the value of life risks the matter of his eternity, for the clear announcement of the Resurrection to mankind is that life is an extended and endless road, which begins with the birth of a person and does not end with death, but rather moves to another world in which he will live forever.
Hence, we find that human life has become the path that he takes in this world on a journey, either long or short, to the kingdom, so what a person does on earth is what will determine his eternal destiny. The Wise says, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter. Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all. For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil”
Thus, our life on earth is our first step on the path towards eternity. In His teachings and commandments, Christ presented to us the features of a life pleasing to God, when someone came to Him asking, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” Love is the source of all virtues and blessings in human life, I remember a saying of the reposed Pope Shenouda III, in which he said: “Love is a fecund mother who gives birth to countless virtues, including tenderness and kindness, the word of encouragement, the word of consolation, concern and care, forgiveness and striving for self-salvation, and this is love.” He who knows love has known God, because “God is love.”
Happy feast to all of you
The General Bishop
Head of the Coptic Orthodox Cultural Center