It had been my intent to use this opportunity to wish a joyous Happy Easter to all of my Orthodox brethren. Sadly, what ought to be a jubilant and ceremonious occasion this year has been overshadowed by the recent abduction and enduring hostage situation involving two beloved men of God, the Syrian Orthodox Archbishop Yohanna Ibrahim and the Greek Orthodox Archbishop Boulos Yazigi. I know it has been the hope of the Orthodox community, and in fact peace-loving and compassionate Christians worldwide, that the collective power of their continuous prayer would eventually prevail and win the release of these men by their captives. Reflecting back nearly two millennia, just us our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ found himself on the doorstep of certain defeat, may we find renewed hope that a miracle of God will save these brave and noble men. This tragic situation has persisted for far too long already, and is yet another example of the selfish and senseless acts of violence that are unfortunately all too prevalent in our world today. Therefore perhaps it is equally important that through our prayers, thoughts, and actions, we appeal to God to once again save all Mankind and – however unlikely it may sometimes seem – to one day bestow upon us a truly lasting peace.
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