Christ is Risen!
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ!
Today is Friday 29 April and Ukraine and the Ukrainian people are experiencing in this 2022 already the 65th day of Russian war and aggression against Ukraine. A day in which, once again, all our people are defending their homeland.
The last day was quite complicated and difficult. According to reports from the front, the enemy has intensified attacks in the south and east of our homeland. Bloody battles continue in Kharkiv, Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson regions. Last night the enemy launched a very massive missile strike on central Ukraine. Last night Kyiv was wounded by five missiles in the heart of the city.
We were very touched, but also disturbed, by a separate statement of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which explained the great danger of missile strikes on nuclear power plants in Ukraine which could be a major nuclear disaster, not only for Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus, but also for the whole of Europe.
But Ukraine is standing. Ukraine is fighting. Ukraine is protecting Europe and the world from this danger, from this evil.
Today, I would like to reflect with you on the next Gospel Beatitude which Jesus Christ proclaimed to his disciples in His Sermon on the Mount and which reveals its meaning to us in a special way at this time of Pascha, on this Bright Friday that we are experiencing today.
The Lord says, “Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” Obviously, thirst and hunger are some of the natural signs of human life. A person who is thirsty, who is hungry, really needs to provide the basic needs for this earthly life. But the Lord reveals an even deeper feature of the human being. Because everyone is called to eternity. Indeed, blessed is he who has hunger and thirst for that eternity, but not for just any eternity, but for the fullness of life in that eternity. To be hungry and thirsty for righteousness means to seek holiness. The Lord God says to His people, “Be holy, for I am holy.” And so, hunger and thirst, this inner need, the need for holiness are special features of those who carry in themselves the seed of the Resurrection, as the grace of the Holy Mystery of Baptism. And it is the Lord God who can feed, it is the Lord God who is the source that quenches the human person’s thirst, not only in her needs of this earthly life, but also for eternal life. Therefore, blessed are those who seek true righteousness. Blessed are those who know how to tell right from wrong. Blessed are those who are hungry and thirsty for holiness and for the eternity that the Lord God gives us.
Reflecting on that Gospel Beatitude, on that hunger and thirst for justice in the context of the war in Ukraine, today we see blatant injustice towards our nation. This is not just as a lack of certain circumstances of respect for the dignity of the human person, but we see something much worse. Recently, our enemies received a certain textbook on the genocide of the Ukrainian people where it says that Ukrainians as a people do not exist. Ukrainians are not a people, they are not a nation, they are an ideology, and even a Western ideology. And those who do not want to abandon this ideology, who want to preserve their national identity as a Ukrainian, they must either be killed—and hence the genocidal consequences of this militant ideology—or they need to be re-educated in concentration camps. We feel that this war against Ukraine has a clear ideological basis. Our people are thus doomed to be ruled by an unjust attacker. And that is why we today, regardless of which nation one belongs to in Ukraine, everyone who feels him or herself a citizen of Ukraine, has a special thirst for justice, because world peace in the modern world depends on how much we understand truth and untruth, justice and lawlessness today. Justice between nations depends on the truth of our coexistence.
Yesterday in Ukraine, the Secretary General of the United Nations was in Kyiv. He arrived as an envoy of peace, as he said in reference to himself. He was in Kyiv and in Moscow in order to stop the war with the help of international institutions. Precisely during his visit to Kyiv, five rockets were fired at the city centre. This is contempt for international institutions, contempt for international efforts to ensure justice and just peace in Ukraine.