From the bottom of my heart, I greet you on the occasion of Easter, the holiday of the Resurrection of Christ. Once again the Lord has graced us to pass through Lent with its wonderful divine services, with the inner composure and self-restraint they bring. Now we partake of the greatest joy of victory over evil, sin and death, given to us by Christ. But we not only need to rejoice in Christ’s victory; we also need to overcome all sin and evil in our hearts with Him in order to inherit resurrection and life in the kingdom of God.
However, as we celebrate and rejoice in the days of holy Easter, it would be sinful and strange to forget the suffering and grievous sorrows that have befallen many Orthodox people as a result of the hostilities in the Donbas and the Ukraine, and in other parts of our planet. And not only Orthodox people. Recently, a pandemic has also shaken the world, claiming the lives of millions. Now a dark, evil force is inexorably dragging entire countries into a hostile confrontation. This is because unbelief in God, abominable sins and crimes are spreading throughout the world with increasing force, killing off love, and bringing forth Satanic hatred against one another. Many people call themselves Christians, but only a “small remnant” are living the Christian life. If we do not turn to Christ with all our hearts and do not purify and change our lives and the life of our nation, then new calamities and sorrows will not be long in coming.
May the Bright Resurrection of Christ revive our souls, filling them with fervent faith, prayer, love for God and neighbour, compassion for the suffering, mercy for the destitute, the sick, the homeless and the hungry, for the orphaned and the wounded. May repentance cleanse our hearts from all sin, callousness, rudeness, profanity, deceit, and licentiousness. May the idols of wealth and comfort not replace our spiritual life in the Church, in prayer and in the deeds of Evangelical love. Let us proclaim to the world around us the victory of good over evil, of divine love and beauty over Satan’s evil and filth, because Christ is risen indeed!