Metropolitan Bishop of the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch for the Archdiocese of Beirut, Archbishop Elias Audi, presided Sunday over Easter Mass at St. George’s Cathedral in central Beirut.
In his religious sermon, Audi said: “The Resurrection of Christ is the greatest historical event, and it distinguishes Christianity from all other religions,” adding that “the head of the Church is the risen Christ…and the Church blossoms with joy on the holidays and the seasons, for Christ is truly risen, and we are saved from sin and its death.”
Referring to the country’s dire situation, Audi regretted what has become of beautiful Lebanon, “a small land that God endowed with all the graces and beauties, with its people embracing freedom, culture and creativity, and its land being the meeting place of civilizations and the interaction of religions.” He sadly pointed to Lebanon’s current status, “a desolate, besieged forest isolated from the world, with corruption nesting in it and ruled by despair and blocked horizons.”
“Our case is not the outcome of a day or a year. Mistakes accumulated and sins took root until Lebanon lost the elements of its existence. On October 17, the people exploded and expressed deep, muffled anger. Then came the Beirut port disaster, and the situation deteriorated in a mad way, as the problem was no longer financial and economic, but rather existential because those who take over the affairs of the country risk the little remaining of it in order to secure their interests, preserve their gains, and continue in their positions at the expense of the homeland and the citizens,” Audi added with remorse.
Audi hoped that Lebanon would rise from its current stalemate situation and restore its pioneering role and message in the region. “In order for that to be realized, we need first and foremost an effective government that carries out the necessary reforms, revives state institutions and administrations, activates monitoring bodies, enforces the law and regains the confidence of the international community. We need a government that is not controlled by warring parties, but whose members are specialists who are successful in their work, each in his field of competence, not aspiring to reach any gain or influence, but rather wanting to serve the country, stop its collapse and reform its administration,” he underscored.
“We ask God to enlighten everyone’s hearts and plant His love, so that all would work together with pure hearts, pure souls, and intertwined hands for the sake of the salvation of their homeland,” prayed the Archbishop. He asked the risen Lord to grant the Lebanese the resurrection of their beloved country from the rampant corruption and dead morals.
“Our prayers are for the Lord God to bless our country and its sons, heal the wounds of those suffering, comfort the hearts of the mourning, and release the kidnapped….and shine His resurrected light in the lives of the Lebanese,” Audi concluded.