04/16/2014, 00.00
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Mar Sako at Easter, the power of Christ's broken and risen body pushes Iraq to new life

by Mar Louis Raphael I Sako
The Chaldean Patriarch reminds faithful that "Jesus is the heart " of Easter, "the center of our faith," his resurrection "makes the sun rise" on Iraq and the whole of humanity . His Beatitude exhorts the faithful to come together and pray. Ahead of the upcoming general election, he appeals for a leader who embodies the values of freedom , dignity and social justice .

Baghdad ( AsiaNews) - In spite of the "alarming situation" throughout Iraq, the Christian community is preparing to celebrate Holy Week ; the challenges and difficulties experienced by the religious minority, "enliven" our memory and are a cause for "renewed hope" . With these words, Mar Louis Raphael I Sako, Chaldean Patriarch of Iraq, will greet the faithful in his Easter message. AsiaNews receives and publishes the text , in which His Beatitude reminds us that "Jesus is the heart of these events , his broken and resurrected body is the power that leads us toward new life".

Below we publish the text of the Chaldean Patriarch's message for Easter 2014:

Dear Brothers and Sisters ,
We are now in Holy Week, despite the worrying situation that are currently experiencing in Iraq and the challenges facing our brothers and sisters in the Diaspora; however, these events, which are deeply rooted in the history of salvation, render our Christian memory a living one and give us a living hope .

Jesus is the heart of these events , his broken and resurrected body is the power that leads us toward new life. He is the "center of our faith" , both in meaning and action. Even in the darkest hours, his resurrection makes the sun rise upon us, the people of Iraq, and all humanity .

Faith is a new encounter, a new covenant, a new hope and a new mission, that we live in a radical way in the "here and now", to become a sanctuary in which our brothers can discover with an open heart, the paternal presence of God, who is Love and Liberator. And so they can find freedom and human dignity in us.

So that the Feast of Easter may have its full and all-encompassing meaning and fully disclose its value, we must seek to:

  • Examine our lives and ponder what (Christ) is asking of us, with openness and commitment; renew our faith and live it with enthusiasm and joy in everyday life. Faith invites us to always go beyond what we do in everyday life, with dedication, respect and personal service.
  • Gather in our churches and homes to celebrate, pray, give thanks, rejoice together and help one another. We must tenaciously grow our friendship to achieve our internal unity, because there is no salvation without it . Through solidarity, we will be stronger than our divisions and migrations.
  • Wherever we are, we must be a living example in community life through our behavior, fidelity, our renunciation and our love; We must also build bridges with everyone, to spread a culture of peace and dialogue, reinforcing our belonging to this our homeland and eliminating discord, courageously sowing hope! With this in mind, our existence will not be threatened, despite the fact our number has declined in recent years, because today we have a vocation and a commitment to achieve with renewed vigor.
  • Finally, we must participate in large numbers in the forthcoming elections in a spirit of responsibility, voting for capable and loyal people, committed to the good of their country, its progress, focusing on the true values ​​of freedom, dignity and social justice.

Therefore this holiday season, I hope that all of you can put an end to the suffering of our people and that this be an Easter of resurrection and new life for you all.


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