As many of you are no doubt aware, our Palm Sunday celebrations were sadly shaken by bombs exploding at the Orthodox churches in Tanta and in Alexandria, causing many casualties. The Egyptian nation, and the Christian community specifically,have been deeply shocked by what has happened. However, as we recall in Holy Week all the sufferings and humiliation Jesus Christ endured for our sakes, the voice of the Egyptian Church in return is clearly heard through such incidents: â€śWho shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall divouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: â€?For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.â€™ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved usâ€ť (Rom 8:35-37).
We thank God that death was not the last word, and evil did not prevail. We are an Easter people and rejoice in the fact that Jesus rose from the tomb, conquering death and opening up the way to everlasting life.
As an Easter people, we will not give in to terrorism and those who wish the Church harm; we will continue to engage with society, ever seeking its good: and we will live out Christâ€™s message of peace and love and justice.
I wish you all a blessed and meaningful Easter and encourage you to keep the Egyptian Church in your prayers, remembering especially the families of those who died in the explosions and all who were injured.