Paschal Letter of His Beatitude Sviatoslav
The day of resurrection – let us rejoice, O peoples! Pascha of the Lord, Pascha, for Christ God brought us from death to life and from earth to heaven – as we sing the victorious song! (Paschal Canon, Resurrection Matins)
Today, on the day of the glorious feast of the Resurrection of Christ, with these words of the Paschal Canon the Holy Church celebrates her Saviour, who rose from the dead. Just as it was, on the first day of the world’s creation, now from the darkness of the tomb, which is usually the darkness of nothingness, despair and hopelessness, the world is illumined by the divine and uncreated light of life. The day of resurrection – let us rejoice, o peoples! This divine light shines from the torn and wounded but resurrected body of Jesus, which permeates us all today, breaking through our own darkness of sin, weakness, hopelessness, and loss of faith and illumines, livens, and resurrects – opens the doors to new life. Pascha of the Lord, which we celebrate today, is the invitation of the resurrected Christ following him from death to life.
Today He, like the new Moses, calls us to forsake the Egyptian captivity and the serving of all that which takes away from us our dignity as children of God. The Servant of God Pope John Paul II, who will solemnly be entering the ranks of the blessed – called beatification – on May 1st of this year, called this contemporary slavery the culture of death, that is, the laws of modern life, which propagate violence against the unborn and sick, are spreading contempt for the Christian family and morality, taking away our freedom as children of God, forcing us to creep various earthly idols and fetishes of our time.
This year, celebrating the tenth anniversary of the visit of this holy man to Ukraine, let us remember his motto: “Christ – the way, the truth and the life!” – and his fatherly words with which he instructed us in the way of life according to God’s commandments.
The Pascha of the Lord –this movement is in this direction, this is the beginning of the journey from earth to the heaven. This movement is actualized by the power of God, which today overcame the most powerful in this world – death itself. “For Christ God brought us from death to life and from earth to heaven.” Let us not stand apart from this divine progress, let us not discard ourselves at the roadside of life for false seduction, and then in this paschal process, as a united Godly people, we will go together with our Saviour from earth to heaven.
Beloved in Christ, sons and daughters of the Ukrainian Greco-Catholic Church! On this bright day, meeting the resurrected Christ, we do not go in silence – we go to meet Him “as we sing the victorious song”! It is so important for our nation, which lives on different continents and today sometimes is lost, dejected, having lost faith in their own self-worth and capability, let us sing solemnly this victorious paschal hymn! Let her great words burst forth from every Ukrainian heart, permeate body and soul and ascend to the heavens. For within the resurrected Saviour is the power, strength and victory of the Ukrainian spirit. “The LORD is my light and my salvation! Whom shall I fear?” – sings the Prophet David (Ps. 26:1).
Let this paschal song of victory sound today in every one of our homes, in every family! Together with the paschal coloured eggs and the blessed bread let us carry her today to the poor and the suffering, the imprisoned and those who toil in servile work, the sick and those who mourn and weep under the heavy burden of their everyday crosses in life. Let the strength of the resurrected Saviour, who today victoriously comes forth from the sealed tomb, be your light, your strength and your song!
Christ is Risen!