e-Tsayn e-Voice is a publication of
The Diocese of the Armenian Church (Eastern) Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate Department of Mission Parishes Rev. Fr. Tateos R. Abdalian, Director www.armenianchurch.net Diocesan Office: 212.686.0710
Email: dertateos@ armeniandiocese.org
The Easter Message of The Primate
ARCHBISHOP KHAJAG BARSAMIAN Primate of the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of America
Light of the World
THE ROMAN EMPIRE OF THE FIRST CENTURY was an entity of many glories: arguably mankind’s greatest political achievement to that time. Yet when we remember it today, we are transfixed by its cruelty and disregard for life; its mask of civility hiding a darker truth. Ordinarily, this truth would have been left in the shadows of history. But something exposed it, illuminated it. What could have shined this light of truth? The unexpected answer is this: The sufferings of an innocent person—and the miraculous event that followed. But most important of all, the source of both the miracle and the light was love: God’s love, embodied in the person of Jesus Christ. Such thoughts seem deeply present among us this Easter. For this year we are reminded again of how another empire meted out suffering to innocent souls. As in our Lord’s case, for those innocents—our own parents and grandparents—their suffering was not an end, but rather a passage to something else: for the departed, enduring memory in our community; for the survivors, continued lives of goodness, kindness and, miraculously, love. Now, ninety-‐five years after the Genocide, nearly all who endured it have been gathered to our Lord; the last precious survivors are those who witnessed the cataclysm as children or infants. But this is another point of contact with our Lord Jesus. For we cannot forget that he, too, was marked for extinction in his infancy. He too began life as the survivor of an attempt to wipe out an entire class of human beings. Such memories must have left their impression on him. Was our Lord’s tenderness towards children—so rare for that day—a reflection of the burdensome knowledge he carried, that infants in Bethlehem had died, while he had lived? Throughout his ministry our Lord showed the greatest love for those who most acutely felt man’s essential neediness: our vulnerability to the abuses of the world; our incompleteness without God. “Blessed are the poor in
spirit,” he preached in the Sermon on the Mount (Mt 5:1-‐16). “Blessed are the mourners, the meek, the pure in heart.” His blessings flowed to those who had felt the sting of persecution, and the absence of mercy; who craved peace, and hungered for the world to be set aright. A portrait emerges of those who are touched by God: not the powerful, but those aware of the illusion of human power; its tendency to turn against others, to reduce and dehumanize them. Jesus did not utter these things out of some romantic idealization of defeat; nor out of commiseration, or pity. To the contrary, he taught that it is in the forge of such bitter experience that one could see the reality of the human condition, and the reality of God, with the greatest clarity. The experience of suffering and loss, bravely and faithfully endured, would be a beacon of truth, to illuminate mankind. “You are the light of the world,” he told his careworn friends. “A city set on a hill cannot be hid; neither do men light a candle to cover it, but they put it on a candlestick—to give light to all in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father in heaven.” In such words, Christ subtly anticipated the meaning of Easter: the uncanny miracle that drew life out of death, victory out of defeat, truth out of a deceitful world. Above all, it was a miracle of love: God’s love for mankind, his willingness to sacrifice his only Son on our behalf. When, in the hours prior to his own suffering, our Lord said, “I am the light of the world” (Jn 8:12), he was assuring us that he would always stand with those who testified to the truth through their affliction. And so Christ stood with our elders who endured the Genocide: for they too have testified to the truth—against the powerful, the persecutors, the deniers of our own age. Their victory—the lives of love, grace, and dignity the survivors went on to lead—was of a piece with the Resurrection: not entirely a supernatural miracle, to be sure, but an affirmation of the meaning of Christ’s sacrifice. In the deepest sense, each of their million-‐and-‐more stories was a recapitulation, a memory, a revelation, of the story of Easter. As we say farewell to that generation—both in public as a community, and in the most personal ways, as through the loss of a father—we should hail them in the loving manner of our Lord: “You were the light of the world: In life, you would not be hidden; and you brought light to everyone in our house.” And we pray that from their rest in God’s kingdom, the souls of our heroic generation may reply to us: “Now you must be that light. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works—our good works—and glorify our Father in heaven.” Let that thought be in our hearts, as on our lips we pronounce the Easter greeting that has always held such depth of meaning for our people: Krisdos haryav ee merelotz! Orhnyal eh harootiunun Krisdosee! Christ is risen from the dead! Blessed is the resurrection of Christ! Easter 2010
a few words from der tateos . . . Christ is Risen! Filled with joy were the mouths of the Myrrh-Bearing women as they brought the good news from the empty tomb to the disciples, "Christ is Risen!" With this same great joy, we have repeated over and over again this proclamation of the most important event in the history of mankind and in the life of every person: "Christ is Risen." This event has become for us as the faithful children of the Church, a form of salutation, for the pronouncement is a matter of deepest joy. It is not, like most salutations, a mere wish. It is an actual event; it is a reality. Christ is risen and death is abolished. Death is abolished, for Christ resurrects with Himself all the faithful who, inasmuch as they believe in Him, do not taste death, but pass from death unto life. We, as part of today's society, being unable by our own power to face the inevitable reality of death, has repressed this fact into the depths of our subconscious. We do everything we can to prolong the natural life of our bodies; and when the inescapable end arrives, we make cosmetic improvements to the situation to conceal the manifestations of death. We hide what has happened so that those who are left may continue with their natural life as if the specter of death did not threaten it. But the natural cessation of the bodily existence of humanity is unavoidable, and futile is the effort of modern man to ignore this reality. We, those who believe and accept Jesus Christ as the Savior, face the fear of death, not by refusing to think about or deal with it, but rather through our faith in the Resurrection of Christ, which entails also the expectation of our own resurrection. Having risen from the dead, Christ became the First-born of the dead, and He is ready to bestow resurrection - the passage from death to life, unto every person who entrusts his life to Him. These are the gladsome tidings that we proclaim to the whole world, crying out, "Christ is Risen!" The joy of the resurrection and of the abolition of death inundates our hearts. We do not deem it sufficient simply to wish for life for our fellow human beings. Christ came to earth, Christ became incarnate, Christ was crucified and resurrected so that we might have life, and have it more abundantly. Therefore, we do not wish simply for resurrection. The Church reassures all that Christ is Risen and death is abolished. We invite all to the joy of eternal life, which begins in the present life. For our anticipation of the resurrection is not merely a hope: it is a reality inherent in the Resurrection of Christ. In this sense, our wish is also a reality, and this reality replaces the wish. Christ is Risen! And every person is called to rise together with Him. Christ is Risen! And every person has the potential to rise together with Him. Christ is Risen! And in effect every person has already risen together with Him. Two preconditions are required for our participation in Christ's Resurrection: faith and love for Him, and all that these entail. But today we celebrate the Resurrection, we proclaim the fact, and we rejoice in saying "Christ is Risen." This is not a fiction, it is not a lie. It is a truth confessed by the myriads of Saints who loved Christ and fully trusted Him, and who are now alive with Him and appear unto many. The Resurrection, thanks to Christ, is a reality, and it is offered unto all. Christ is risen from the dead! He trampled down death by death. And by his resurrection he granted life unto us. Glory unto him for all ages. Amen
Through His grace and mercy may we all participate in His Resurrection and His life.
Good Christian faithful rejoice. Kreesdos Haryav ee Merelotz! Christ is Risen from the Dead! Easter 2010
A.C.Y.O.A. News The ACYOA Central Council is proud to announce the 2011 publication of... The First-Ever Commemorative Memory Book! The Memory Book Committee's regional liaisons are looking for photos, stories, and other A.C.Y.O.A. memories. We encourage all Mission Parishes and generations to share! If you would like to contribute, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org You can also call: Megan Karanfil 443. 622. 4742 Ara Janigian 401. 486. 8495
SUMMER INTERNSHIP PROGRAM AT THE EASTERN DIOCESE This summer the Eastern Diocese will once again partner with the AGBU Summer Intern Program to offer an eight-week internship at the Diocesan Center from June 13 to August 7. The program is open to young adults between the ages of 20 and 26. According to individual career goals, interns may choose to work in areas such as accounting, development, public relations, education, music ministry, or in the Krikor and Clara Zohrab Information Center. Diocesan interns will be housed with other AGBU interns in New York University dormitories, and will engage in various AGBU-sponsored educational, cultural, and social activities. There is no cost to participate in the program. The application deadline is May 1, 2010. For information or to receive an application, contact Nancy Basmajian at email@example.com, or (212) 686-0710, ext. 143.
SUMMER CAMP REGISTRATION IS UNDERWAY Hye Camp applications are online. Visit www.armenianchurch.net/hyecamp to download the application packet for campers, CITs, staff, and volunteers. CIT and staff training begins on August 4; the Hye Camp session will take place August 7–14. Register for St. Vartan Camp at www.armenianchurch.net/stvartancamp. The deadline for CIT applications was March 15, and staff applications are due April 1. All staff will gather at the Ararat Center prior to camper arrival for staff training, beginning June 23. St. Vartan Camp offers three two-week sessions: Session A, June 27–July 10; Session B, July 11–24; and Session C, July 25–August 7. Contact Jennifer Morris, Diocesan Youth Outreach coordinator, for questions about either camp program at firstname.lastname@example.org.
received in der hayr's email box . . . Two Stories for our Catholic Cousins THREE NUNS WERE ATTENDING A YANKEE BASEBALL GAME. THREE MEN WERE SITTING DIRECTLY BEHIND. BECAUSE THEIR HABITS WERE PARTIALLY BLOCKING THE VIEW, THE MEN DECIDED TO BADGER THE NUNS HOPING THAT THEY'D GET ANNOYED ENOUGH TO MOVE TO ANOTHER AREA. (N.B. Red Sox fans would never do such a thing!) IN A VERY LOUD VOICE, THE FIRST GUY SAID, "I THINK I'M GOING TO MOVE TO UTAH. THERE ARE ONLY 100 NUNS LIVING THERE." THEN THE SECOND GUY SPOKE UP AND SAID, "I WANT TO GO TO MONTANA. THERE ARE ONLY 5O NUNS LIVING THERE." THE THIRD GUY SAID, "I WANT TO GO TO IDAHO. THERE ARE ONLY 25 NUNS LIVING THERE." THE MOTHER SUPERIOR TURNED AROUND, LOOKED AT THE MEN, AND IN A VERY SWEET AND CALM VOICE SAID, "WHY DON'T YOU GO TO HELL... THERE AREN'T ANY NUNS THERE
The IRISH Confessional An Irishman goes into the confessional box after years of being away from the Church. There's a fully equipped bar with Guinness on tap. On the other wall is a dazzling array of the finest cigars and chocolates. Then the priest comes in. "Father, forgive me, for it's been a very long time since I've been to confession, but I must first admit that the confessional box is much more inviting than it used to be."
The priest replies: "Get out. You're on my side."
Seen on a Church Sign
eTsayn April 4, 2010