Global Navigation

Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church

Main Navigation

Sub-Navigation

Content

PASTORAL GREETINGS FOR PASCHA - 2007

His Eminence
METROPOLITAN MYKHAYIL
Archbishop of New York
Metropolitan of All America & the Diaspora
UKRAINIAN ATOCEPHALOUS ORTHODOX CHURCH


TO THE HIERARCHY, CLERGY, RELIGIOUS AND FAITHFUL OF THE UKRAINIAN AUTOCEPHALOUS ORTHODOX CHURCH OF NORTH & SOUTH AMERICA & THE DIASPORA; AND TO ALL WHO REGARDLESS OF RELIGIOUS AFFILIATION, WITH AN OPEN HEART AND MIND, WISH WELL TO OTHERS, ON THIS RADIANT DAY:


Dear Brothers & Sisters in Christ:

CHRIST IS RISEN! - KHRYSTOS VOSKRES! - CRISTO HA RESUCITADO! AL MASEEH KAM!

With these words, we greet all members of our church throughout the world at this most important and solemn "Great Day" of the Radiant Resurrection of Christ.

Surely, we have all been blessed by the reminder that Christ arose from the dead, and through this, offers unendless possibilities to the world and we who live in it.

For seven weeks, we have been preparing in our communities for the announcement that "Christ is risen." With reflection and remembrance, we have celebrated the historical events that led to the culmination of history, in the paschal mystery of Jesus. From Bethany, to Jerusalem, to the Supper, Betrayal and Trial, and ultimately to the Cross and Tomb, we have followed our Savior along the way. If we have been attentive, wise and faithful disciples, the events have been both spiritually and personally moving to us.

And then we find ourselves outside, at doors of the church on Easter morning, waiting for the news which we, unlike the first disciples, already know. We hear the Gospel proclaimed from St. Mark, as the faithful women arrived at the tomb: "He has been raised up! He is not here . . .” (Mk. 16:6). And finally, we hear the words of the paschal troparion that we have been anticipating for these past weeks, "Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death and upon those in the tombs, bestowing life." Entering the church, bathed in light, we continue the joyous hymns of the resurrection.

Described above is the liturgical climax of Pascha - proclaiming in community, that Christ arose from the dead. However, for the Christian person, it is only the beginning. Passion Week is for all us, a "time outside of time." The world around us seems to stand still, as the pageantry of the Master's saving work unfolds in the church services. For a short time in the year, the clock of the liturgy becomes stronger than the clock of secularism. And then we reach "the hour" of Jesus and we become enfolded in all that it means for us as believers. After all, it was for "this hour" that Jesus came into the world and from this same hour that we take our identity as Christians.

Today, dear people, that hour is completed and we enter the next segment of our spiritual lives - the time between Jesus' paschal work and the culmination of time, when he will bring all things together in their original beauty. Now is the time of possibility and of hope. We have God's pledge of joy, happiness and renewal in the resurrection of His Son Jesus. It is this spirit of hope that we must embrace every day of our earthly lives. Just as Jesus' disciples were able to carry on, with the belief that for "those who love God, all works for the good (Romans 8: 28). so we too use our trust in God - in the Risen Lord - to see us through life's journey and to take advantage of the gifts of hope and happiness, that God gave all those born of the earth on Easter day.

As we join together in celebrating this Great Day and the wonderful paschal season - the season of hope, joy and yes, endless possibilities, we greet especially, His Beatitude, our Father in Christ, Metropolitan MEFODIY, Visible Head of the UAOC Worldwide, and all of our bishops, clergy and faithful in Ukraine, with the knowledge and assurance that we throughout the Diaspora are united with them in faith and in prayer. Whenever we join together as members of the church, we are reminded of the faith and heritage which unites us, no matter which part of the world we call our home.

It was the love of God that created the happiness of Easter day. May that same love carry us through from year to year, month to month and day to day, rooted in our faith that Christ is risen and by the great potential and endless possibilities which it offers.

With the pledge of my special paschal remembrances in the Divine Liturgy and my personal best regards to all of you, I bestow upon each of you my sincere and prayerful blessing, asking in turn your own prayers and expressions of solidarity.

Faithfully in the Risen Christ,

+MYKHAYIL
Archbishop of New York
Metropolitan of All America & the Diaspora
Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church

Sidebar

Footer