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Martha said to Him, “I know that he [Lazarus] will
rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes
in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever
 lives and believes in me shall never die.”
John 11:24-26 (NKJV)

HOLY PASCHA 2012

To the Reverend Clergy and Faithful of the Diocese of the West

Dearly beloved:

Christ is risen! Indeed He is risen!

We exchange those joyous words so easily and with great hope and faith every year as we celebrate the Lord’s resurrection. But as we celebrate, it is good for all of us to remember the words of the Lord Himself as quoted above in the remarkable conversation with Martha, the sister of Lazarus.

Jesus is on His way to Bethany where He is to raise His friend, Lazarus, from the dead in a foreshadowing of His own resurrection and, by extension, the resurrection of each and every one of us. When confronted with the belief of Martha in the general resurrection of the dead, Jesus reminds her (and us) that resurrection and life is not a “what.” Resurrection and Life is a “Who.”

Only by our faithful and complete communion with the One who IS resurrection and life will we know resurrection and life ourselves. If we believe in Him, unite with Him, enter a communion of love with Him, we cannot die. His Pascha becomes our Pascha. Each of us can make this Resurrection and Life present in our daily lives and thereby share it with the world around us. God grant this reality to each of us!

May the risen Son of God shine brightly in the heart of each one of you, my diocesan family! And I say to you all again:

Christ is risen! Indeed He is risen!

Yours in the risen Christ,

†Benjamin
Bishop of San Francisco and the Diocese of the West
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