It is my pleasure to congratulate you on the Glorious Feast of the Resurrection of our Saviour and Redeemer, our Lord Jesus Christ. The Resurrection of Christ gives us the power to be a strong and dynamic Church calling on the world to believe in Christ.
Our Lord Jesus Christ prayed to the Father for His disciples and for us, that we may be one, so the world may believe in Christ and His redeeming act, “that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.” (John 17:21).
Our Lord Jesus Christ wants us to be one, taking as our pattern the unity of the Holy Trinity. The One Church is a strong and dynamic Church, and it is impossible for Christians to be one except through the power of the Resurrection.
Before the Resurrection, the disciples were scattered, as our Lord Jesus Christ told them, “Indeed the hour is coming, yes, has now come, that you will be scattered, each to his own, and will leave Me alone.” (John 16:32). Judas betrayed Christ and Peter denied Him; just as the Holy Bible says, "Then all the disciples forsook Him and fled.” (Matthew 26:56). Afterwards, when the disciples were gathered in the Upper Room, “the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews.” (John 20:19).
When Christ rose from the dead, the disciples were completely transformed. Their fear turned to joy; their scattering to unity; and their weakness to power. When our Lord Jesus Christ appeared to the disciples and told them, “Peace be with you” (John 20:19), He showed them His hands and His side. Then the Holy Bible says, ‘Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.”
May the Risen Lord bless our country Australia, its people and its Government.
With the Grace of God
Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of Sydney & its Affiliated Regions