Glory to Jesus Christ!
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ!
Today is 28 March 2022 and Ukraine is going through 33 days of this terrible, bloody war.
Today, as we go along our Lenten journey to the Lord’s Pascha in a special way, we contemplate the Cross of our Saviour. Somehow we feel that His suffering, His death, and also His Resurrection, reveal the meaning of our suffering, the suffering of Ukraine. This is the path of the Paschal procession in which the Ukrainian people are moving today.
We can say that this war brings forth terrible victims every day. Every day a hail of new bombs and Russian missiles pours down on Ukraine. People are being killed every day on Ukrainian land.
But beholding the Cross of the Lord, we know that for some it was the way to heaven, a signpost of the Resurrection, and for others it became a stumbling block, a rock of fall. We see the two thieves who were crucified with Christ. One slandered Him and mocked Him, and the other repented and received the way, the entrance into paradise and heaven.
In the same way today, everyone who beholds the suffering and torment of Ukraine is faced with a choice. Ukraine today is a symbol, a sign, a call that every inhabitant of the globe must choose which side to stand on. Everyone who respects human life, everyone who feels that the life of each person is sacred and who respects God’s Commandment “Thou shalt not kill” must stand by Ukraine today. Anyone who respects God’s commandment “Thou shalt not steal” but sees the Russian occupier looting today, robbing ordinary people, taking away the last and dooming people to starvation, must side with Ukraine. Anyone who respects God’s commandment “Do not covet your neighbour’s wife” but sees how this occupier humiliates and rapes Ukrainian women in front of their children cannot be neutral, but must side with Ukraine.
Today I want to renew my appeal to all those who hear me, to the heads of state in whose hands the fate of modern humanity lies today, to politicians, parliamentarians, religious figures, leaders of public opinion, and all people of good will: Make your choice. Stand on the side of the innocent victims of unjust aggression of someone who planned to dictate their new rules not only for Ukraine but also for the whole world and threatens to begin a third World War.
We can stop the war together, but standing before the Cross of the Lord, each one of us must make their own choice. Let us make our choice in favour of life, in favour of God’s blessing, in favour of a person who can and desires to live, to live in dignity and truth.
Today I would like to thank all those who have already made their choice and stand with Ukraine, who support our people as they can, each in their place, each according to the dictates of their own conscience.
If Ukraine is not alone in that struggle, if the conscience of the whole world stands with us, I think that then we will not just heartlessly watch how Ukrainian children are killed.
May the Lord God bless all of us! May the power of the Precious and Life-Giving Cross become a new power for humanity that can be victorious in the war. May the Lord God bless the Ukrainian army, the Ukrainian people who stand up for God’s truth in their just struggle. O God, bless all of us!
May the blessing of the Lord be upon you through His grace and love for humankind, always, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.
Glory to Jesus Christ!