Most Reverend Archbishops and Bishops, Very Reverend and Reverend Fathers, Venerable Brothers and Sisters, Dearly Beloved in Christ
of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church
Christ is Risen!
The first-born male from the virginal womb – Christ,
who, as a man, has been called Lamb
and unblemished, not having the stain of sin.
He is our Pasch and, as true God, is called perfect.
Paschal Canon, Ode 4, Second Hymn
Beloved in Christ!
Once again we gather in Ukraine and throughout the world to greet one another on the glorious feast of our Lord’s Resurrection: “Christ is risen!” This joyful greeting for us Christians is the beginning and end of our preaching, the core of our faith, the foundation of our hope, and fulfillment of our love. Although this is already the third time that we celebrate Christ’s Pasch in the context of a new way of the cross for the Ukrainian people—war and cruelty by the forces of evil—time and again this feast renews us in the joy and hope of God’s children, assured of God’s victory over diabolical treachery, mendacity, and malice.
The first-born male from the virginal womb – Christ, who, as a man, has been called Lamb
How mysterious is the depth of divine mercy to humankind! Our Lord “did not utterly turn away from His creature, which He made, nor did He forget the work of His hands” (see Anaphora of St. Basil the Great). At a critical moment in human history the Eternal God, Creator of the Universe, quietly, without great fanfare, entered into human history in an unheard of and unexpected manner. The Only-begotten Son of God became the first-born of the Virgin from Nazareth so that, as the only Holy and Pure One, without the stain of sin, He might offer Himself as a sacrifice for our salvation.
Does God truly require human sacrifice? Certainly not! It is we, created in the image and likeness of God, who need to offer our life to God, order our life according to His commandments, and acknowledge before God that everything we are belongs to Him. The only One who was capable of offering such a perfect sacrifice to God the Father was the God-man, Jesus Christ, the Immaculate Lamb, who, even though He was Innocent, offered Himself to God on behalf of all humankind, and thus opened for us the path to eternal life by His resurrection from the dead.
A few responses to the Joint Patriarchal/Papal Declaration.
Francis and Kirill: Who Played Whom? By Dr. Adam DeVille
PATRIARCH SVIATOSLAV ON THE JOINT DECLARATION on Opus Publicum
The Uniates’ right to be: More on the Pope’s and the Patriarch of Moscow’s meeting On a Conservative Blog for Peace
JOINT FRANCIS-KIRILL STATEMENT: UKRAINIANS WORLDWIDE WILL BE VERY DISAPONTIED by Rev. Fr. Peter Galadza