Thursday, April 9, 2020
The Orthodox Academy of Crete has been working for the wellbeing of human beings from the day of its foundation until today, for a society without the diseases of prejudice and hate, the wounds of violence and war as well as the manmade threat of the extinction of our whole planet.
The Orthodox Academy of Crete has been working for the wellbeing of human beings from the day of its foundation until today, for a society without the diseases of prejudice and hate, the wounds of violence and war as well as the manmade threat of the extinction of our whole planet. Today, all of us, everywhere on this planet, are facing the situation and the implications of a pandemic. Our societies are led towards deconstruction and, as a result, so are many values that we had held high! Impacts of all these challenges are fear and social distancing, a fact that is worsening the human relations and whatever hardship we need to endure.
However, such challenges can lead us to a closer connection among us, through compassion, kindness, empathy and the feeling of social responsibility, through the love of our neighbor. In a few days, the whole of Christianity is going to celebrate the big event of hope, the Resurrection. Hope that is based on the joyful news that death, the ruthless enemy of human beings, has been defeated. Christ trampled on him: “O death, where is thy sting? O Hades, where is thy victory? Christ is risen, and you are overthrown!” (Paschal Homily of St John Chrysostom. This Homily is read aloud on Easter morning, called “the Great and Holy Pascha of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ” in the Eastern Orthodox Church.) With this limitless hope, the Church moves on, singing out loud this hymn of resurrection: “Christ is risen from the dead, by death he hath overcome death, and to them in the graves hath he given life.”
Such, we pray for all those who are suffering from the corona virus (Covid-19), for their families and all those who are standing by their side, especially the doctors and the hospital staff of our country. We pray that Crete, Greece and the whole world may be strong, and that we will overcome these “darkness” with prudence. That this, which began as a disaster, may end as a blessing of hope and compassion.
Despite the ongoing cancellations of its conference activities, the Orthodox Academy of Crete will keep being a place for the dialogue for all people of all beliefs, while attending to a life in dignity, also during this difficult time. While our work may pause for the next months, the Foundation/s staff will keep working as a force for reconciliation for people/s tribulations and be a therapeutic “balm” in this period of uncertainty and fear.
What is happening to humankind does not concern only the “others”, but all of us. This is an unprecedented situation. At dawn, the world will be a different one, and the time until then is a chance to reconsider how this period should be for humankind. Let us hold the hand of our neighbor and walk forth to this new world that is arriving.
The President, the members of the Board, the General Director and all the Staff of the Orthodox Academy of Crete wish you courage, strength and hope; in the joy of the Resurrection we proclaim:
ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΑΝΕΣΤΗ! ΑΛΗΘΩΣ ΑΝΕΣΤΗ!
CHRIST IS RISEN! HE IS RISEN INDEED!
CHRISTUS IST AUFERSTANDEN! ER IST WAHRHAFTIG AUFERSTANDEN!