Christ is Risen!
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ!
Today is Sunday 22 May 2022 and the Ukrainian people have been going through a heroic struggle for 88 days against the Russian aggressor, who is killing our people, burning our cities and villages, and is waging a full-scale aggressive war against our people and our state.
The front line stretches from Kharkiv in the north to Kherson in the south, about 3,000 kilometres. About half a million combatants on both sides, and their numbers are growing. That is, the scale and number of the war is unparalleled in the modern world since the end of World War II.
Unfortunately, the enemy is conducting active assaults and combat operations, in particular in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions. The Ukrainian army is defending itself, but the enemy continues to fire on peaceful territories in the north of our state, even from its own territory, on the other side of the Ukrainian-Russian border, setting up its fighting positions.
Yesterday, the city of Mykolayiv was fired upon by cluster shells. There is an active shelling of the territory of Ukraine with the help of cruise missiles. In fact, there is no safe and quiet city or place in all of Ukraine.
But Ukraine is standing. Ukraine is fighting. Ukraine is praying. Ukraine is conquering. But Ukraine is also witnessing to the truth. Not only before God, not only before her brothers and sisters in Ukraine, but Ukraine witnesses to the whole world the truth that there are some values for which it is worth living and dying.
Today I would like to reflect with you on another sin, which we call a sin committed by others. That is, I may not be committing this sin personally, but I am encouraging another person to commit such a sin. And I personally become responsible for that evil. This sin is called “incitement to sin.”
In today’s culture, in particular with its modern technologies of communication between people, there are many ways to transmit criminal ways of behaviour, how to tell a lie, and encourage evil. We know that even in that war against Ukraine, Russia uses all the power of its ideological machine. It destroys human hearts and the souls of their own citizens, not only by sending them to murder in Ukraine, but also by projecting evil on the whole world.
This ideology, which today not only incites to sin, but is part of military aggression, is known in the world today as the ideology of the “Russian world.” It justifies evil and, in fact, is trying to envelop the criminal activities of the Russian army in Ukraine today in a Christian way. And we are so sorry that even Christian leaders not only produce such an ideology, not only do they incite to evil, but they try to turn that evil into one of the kinds of sermons of their church.
Today we must all stand together against evil. We must realize that those who preach hatred, encourage murder, and justify the war in Ukraine, they themselves become responsible for those crimes. He who today justifies war and encourages sin becomes a murderer, just like the one who directly kills civilians in Ukraine.
Today, all humanity must do everything possible to prevent the latest misanthropic ideologies from spreading in our educational institutions, in our societies, in our means of communication. We must all serve the good today. We must do everything to ensure that modern man learns to do good and to encourage ways of relationships between people that might bring goodness, peace, and love.
O God, bless Ukraine! O God, bless the Ukrainian army, which protects the life and health of Ukrainians! O God, bless the Ukrainian army, which shields Europe and the world with its bodies from the ideology of the “Russian world” and all that destroys the souls and hearts of people around the world! O God, bless all those who oppose evil, who follow the dictates of their own conscience, and have the courage to bear witness to the Truth.
May the blessing of the Lord be upon you through His grace and love of humankind, always, now and ever, and for ages of ages. Amen.
Christ is risen! Truly He is risen!