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Heads of Ukrainian Churches offer Easter greetings
12 April 2017, 10:49 | Religious holidays and traditions | 0 | | Code for Blog | |
On the eve of the Resurrection, the leaders of Ukrainian churches appealed to the faithful and clergy with messages dedicated to this feast of light.
“In these joyful paschal days I’d like to extend my warmest greetings to you, Reverend Archpastors, loving shepherds, honorable monastics, dear brothers and sisters, on the feast of the Resurrection. I offer my paschal greetings to President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, Ukrainian Parliament and Ukrainian people, and especially our armed forces – the defenders of our Ukrainian state, which for the love of it would even give their lives. I offer greetings on this great Christian holiday to all Ukrainian people and those Ukrainians who are outside Ukraine on all continents, but love Ukraine and support it.
May the Merciful Lord, whose resurrection overcame death, give us victory over all our external and internal enemies and let him bring us all peace and unity so that our lives were consistent with the purpose for which the Son of God became man, suffered, died and rose again,” Patriarch Filaret (Denisenko) said in his greetings.
“Celebrating Christian Pascha means for us today to be capable of waking up and starting action though the force of the Resurrected Christ – to be capable of a personal Passover sacrifice for the good of our people, their freedom and a better life. Looking at the faces of our Ukrainian soldiers, the heroes who gave their lives as a sacrifice for their people, we can be sure that Heavenly Father accepts these sacrifices in the name of his Son. It is in them that we have victory over evil and spiritual and physical healing through the risen Christ.
Celebrating Christian Pascha means for us today to be carriers of the victory of life wherever death reigns. To sincerely recognize that Christ is “truly risen” means to believe that through our own decision and effort it is really possible to fight corruption and wickedness in our society, that it depends on us what our country will be like, whether it falls, given to the mercy of the powerful of this world, or awakens, rises, renews and gets back to a real life that is worthy of man as the image of God,” says Patriarch Sviatoslav (Shevchuk) of the UGCC.
“Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead was the completion of our salvation, performed through his incarnation, suffering and death on the cross for the sins of men. Therefore, in the doctrine and worship of the Church, the cross and resurrection are inextricably linked together. The Church together with her faithful sings: “We venerate your Cross, O Christ, and we praise and glorify your holy Resurrection.” Thus, the resurrection of Christ is not a simple fact of bringing a dead man back to life through the power of God, but a victory of God-man Jesus Christ over death and decay. According to Apostle Paul, death could not keep their bond over Jesus Christ, who by His death overcame death, who had the power over death, that is, the devil. As the Reverend John Damascene teaches, “Through sin death entered into the world, and ate man’s life a ravenous beast. To win it, a sinless man not subject to death should enter the fight with it.” And so the Creator and Lord, consubstantial Son, the Word of God takes away the sins and humiliates himself up to the death of the cross. Having endured the pain and suffered death for us, he gives himself in sacrifice to the Father in Heaven, not only overcoming sin through His death. As darkness is destroyed by the light, corruption is banished by life. Life comes for everyone, and death comes for destroyer. Thus, Christ in His resurrection is the winner of death. Belief in the resurrection of Christ the Savior affirms person in his belief in resurrection for all and the life of the world, the source of the Easter light, joy and peace in our earthly life, the peace sought by all conscious Ukrainians, especially in this time of war with the north-east occupier of our Ukrainian land,” Makariy Maletych, the Primate of UAOC, said in his greeting.
“A witness of the suffering and resurrection of Jesus was the Virgin Mary – she stood by the cross, she saw his death. But a flame of hope was always burning in her suffering mother's heart. Enduring faith in God's promise made her strong. We are pleading that the Blessed Virgin Mary helped us too to contemplate with hope any event in our lives, even the most negative. May she strengthen our faith and support the efforts of people of good will striving that peace and justice established in our country. Let life conquer death, mercy overcomes sin, and let love overcome hatred.
Beloved in Christ Brothers and Sisters!
On the occasion of the Resurrection I want to extend my wish of the blessed, profound and joyful experience of the Paschal Mysteries.
May the Risen Christ, through the power of his suffering and his fame, strengthen faith, strengthen hope, multiply love and send down abundant grace to the world,” RCC Metropolitan of Mieczyslaw Mokrzycki of Lviv wished.
“Easter means a transition from one state to another. As in ancient times, the people of Israel got out of Egyptian bondage to the promised land and our soul must make the transition from captivity to sin to piety and virtue” (Rev. Elder Dorotheus).
On these festive paschal days, we warmly greet the priesthood, diaconate and religious Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Diaspora, our youth and children, and especially our brothers and sisters in Ukraine - that face various kinds of difficulties and trials defending their homeland.
May the Risen Christ bring the long-awaited peace and unity to every Ukrainian family, strengthen our faith, fill our hearts so we were able to enjoy the joy of the bright days of Easter.
We pray and believe that God blesses our Ukrainian people and our Mother Ukraine become a strong European country. May the blessing of the Risen Christ be with you all,” the representatives of the Standing Conference of Ukrainian Orthodox Bishops outside Ukraine offered their wishes.
“Let us remember the infinite love and mercy of God to us and let us strive to augment in our hearts mutual filial love for God and each other. Love is the essence of life, and while there is love between there is life on earth.
Let us subdue under the mighty hand of God, even where we do not fully understand what the Divine is granting us, because God does us good and only good, and whoever subdues under the hand of God would get this benefit.
Let us be humble to each other as to the bearers of God's image, because humility makes us able to accommodate the strength and beauty of life that shone from the Life-Giving Tomb through the glorious Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, whom we glorify, honor and worship forever,” goes the greeting of Metropolitan Onufriy (Berezovsky) of the UOC.
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