of His Eminence, Metropolitan Silouan
of Byblos, Botrys and dependencies
The Ministry of Our Crossing to the Resurrection
The Lord rises from the tomb inviting us to cross from the shore of the old man, well rooted in us, to the shore of our liberation from it, thanks to our constant effort of renewal and regeneration of ourselves. It is a reality that He has sown in the body, of which we are members, a seed that is called to grow in all humanity, as the leaven within the dough (Mt 16:33).
The Lord wants us to be ministers, collaborators and servants of this "Passover" among our brothers and peers. Hopefully, when the body of the Lord, full of sores, is transfigured in the faces of those whose testimonies reflect the light of the resurrection, then, we might receive the reward of the "faithful servants" (Lk 19:11-27). Such a light shines upon us when, in witnessing the members of His body, prevails union (Jn 17:22), fraternal love (Lk 6:35), synergy (Acts 20:35), forgiveness (Mt 6:14), repentance (Lk 15:10) and service according to His commandment: “Freely you have received; freely give” (Mt 10:8).
In this paschal "adventure," the joy of the servant manifests itself when his brothers and peers receive their reward from the Lord, such as the reward that the publican received, when He justified and exalted him (Lk 18:10-14), or the reward that the prodigal son received, when He gave him the best robe, the ring and the sandals, giving him back the dignity of a son (Lk 15:11-32), or the reward that the sheep who served "the least of them" received when He gathered them on His right hand (Mt 25:31-46), or, finally, the reward of those who forgave others, prayed in secret, and fasted happily, when He gave them that "treasure" that does not perish (Mt 6:14-21), that is, the fatherhood of God towards them and their acceptance of the grace of sonship with Him.
Undoubtedly, the joy of this servant -- for the sake of others and not so much for himself and for his own achievements -- is magnified when he remembers the humility of Him who said, "For I have not spoken of Myself; but the Father who sent Me, He gave Me a commandment, what I should say and what I should speak" (Jn 12:49), as well as His commandment, "You also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty’"(Lk 17:10). Certainly, this servant has only to follow the steps of his Master, crucified and then resurrected. In this regard, he will live some of His experiences without departing from Him, whatever the circumstance is, while having in view His promise, "Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me" (Jn 12:26).
Every servant, whatever may be the level of his responsibility or the degree of his effort and dedication, can make mistakes, as well as achieve successes while trying to incarnate the will of God in his service and ministry, investing his talents in the real context of his life. Such a servant is preserved in his service thanks to the prayer of the struggling and victorious Church; thanks to the love of his small and of his greater family, the patience of its members, the demonstration of their solidarity and the exercise of forgiveness among them; and, finally, thanks to his own effort so that his service may be carried out with faith, trust in God and discernment of His will. In this atmosphere, the resurrection may grow among the members of the body of Christ, so that it may overcome in each one every weakness they suffered, heal all boasting, arrogance, haughtiness or despair into which they may have fallen, and keep away any division or evil that may have affected their communion.
In the resurrection, let us keep the ardent hope that the Lord will not stop inspiring the members of His body which serve Him in ministering to our crossing to the resurrection. Such a hope nourishes the faith in Him who produces "the willingness and the doing" (Phil 2:13) in those who thrive to do any work of justice, goodness, good, edification, consolation, education and salvation. No doubt, such a witness is a candle lit in the path of our resurrection, as well as in that of our peers in the countries and societies where we serve and give our testimony.
Christ is risen! Indeed He is risen!