MUNICH: May 4, 2021
Paschal Epistle of Metropolitan Mark of Berlin and Germany
Christ is Risen!
Dear Brothers and Sisters:
We have concluded Great Lent together-a time of augmented repentance. Purified of our sins through tears of regret, the tears of heartfelt humility formed a river. This Lenten period once again passed during a worldwide endemic, visited upon us for our sins. Many limitations in our former daily freedoms are imposed upon us. We cannot stand in church as we are accustomed to and as we would wish. We cannot travel freely at our own discretion. Our liberty, so dear to us, especially to those who endured the totalitarian system of communism in the 20th century-is limited everywhere we turn.
In ancient times, the Jews were enslaved by the Babylonians, they sat at the banks of the River of Babylon and poured tears for their lost freedom (Psalm 136). We are prisoners of our sins by the spiritual Nabuchadnezzar-the devil. The River of Babylon represents our streams of passions and sinful pastimes, which distract us from the one safe haven-the Heavenly Jerusalem, the City of the Living God.
We are far from the true Heavenly Zion, and we tearfully remember our former proximity. Our God nourishes us not only with manna, He communes with us in His Body through His Most-Pure Body and Blood. Do we dare neglect this living communion with Him, do we dare through our neglect to break away from the unity with the God-Man, the unity which He established on the Cross and in His Resurrection?
If we acquire genuine, peaceful Paschal joy by living through the saving period of Great Lent, then we can continue to live with multifaceted self-control, and through this we can expose our souls to the streams of Christ’s grace-filled powers, fulfilling His commandments of love.
Then we can recall the actual Zion as a testament of love, which flows from no other source by the love of Christ for us, sealed with the Cross and the Resurrection. This commandment, by our acceptance of it, will grant us the wisdom taught by the Apostle: “The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light” (Romans 13:12). In the Paschal joy, after the recent Lent, let us ourselves be resurrected. Let us rise. Let us not be troubled by external limitations. Our freedom is in Christ.
May the Heavenly Zion be our one, sole treasure, let it be our very heart… now, and ever and unto the ages of ages!
Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!
Metropolitan of Berlin and Germany
Pascha of Christ 2021