Beloved Brothers and Sisters in the Lord,
Christ is Risen!  Χριστός Ἀνέστη!
Throughout human history there are periods marked by the lesser angels of our human nature. One of these is the Greek genocide, including the Pontic genocide—the systematic killing of the Christian Ottoman Greek population carried out in Anatolia during World War I and its aftermath. Some three quarters of a million people lost their lives needlessly.

May 19 marks the 100th anniversary of the Pontic Greek genocide. The Greek Parliament has designated this as a day of remembrance. For all of us, it is more than a day of remembrance. It is a day of prayer. It is a day of reflection. It is a day of affirmation of what we have just celebrated—the Resurrection of our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ. It is a day of standing for life, and for the rights of all human beings to live in freedom, to determine their own destiny, and to maintain their faith and their culture.

Please remember our Pontic brothers and sisters in prayer this Sunday, by offering a Trisagion service at the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy. By remembering them, we honor not only them, but also ourselves, who are heirs to their faith, their determination, and their courage. This Sunday we commemorate the paralytic, that individual who had no one to place him in the pool, where healing took place. Christ came and told him to take up his pallet and walk.

May the Risen Christ come into the hearts and minds of all people, and especially those who govern, that the paralysis of human prejudice and fear of those who are different from us may give way to acceptance and, ultimately, to the love of one another.

With Love in the Risen Lord,
+ G E R A S I M O S
Metropolitan of San Francisco