Deisis (Novogorod)

Easter Pastoral Letter of the Ukrainian Catholic Hierarcy of the USA

TO OUR CLERGY, HIEROMONKS AND BROTHERS, RELIGIOUS SISTERS, SEMINARIANS AND BELOVED FAITHFUL

Xpuctoc Bockpec!   Christ is Risen!

We joyfully sing, “Christ is Risen from the dead, trampling death by death, and to those in the tombs giving life”.  Our joyful proclamation fills us with hope!

Grasp in awe the significance of the words spoken by the angel to the myrrh-bearing women who went to the tomb early on Easter morning to anoint Jesus’ body: “Why look for the living among the dead?  You won’t find Him here. He is Risen!” (Lk 24:5-6).  Love is the victor.  Death is not the end.  The end is life, His life and our lives through Him, in Him.  Our existence has depths of beauty, mystery, and blessings more than the wildest visionary had ever dared to dream.  Christ our Lord has Risen!

 

The Risen Christ told the two disciples on the road to Emmaus to have courage assuring them that Jesus Christ had overcome the world.  We should not be afraid of surpassing our barriers of seeking and living the Good News.  We are called to be life-giving.  We are called to live as Easter people – people of hope.  Hope calls us to go beyond ourselves, to go broke with our personalities as followers and believers in the Risen Christ!  Christ’s resurrection is mirrored in our life when we courageously work for our salvation and for the salvation of others because we desire everyone to be with God.  The peace of the Risen Christ will be with us.

The Risen Christ instructed the myrrh-bearing women to tell his apostles to gather at Galilee where He will see them (Mt 28:10).  The Risen Christ is with us as we gather in our churches to give praise, glory and thanksgiving to God, and where we receive the blessing, “Peace be with you” (Jn 20:19).

We, your hierarchs of our Ukrainian Catholic Church in USA, pray that you may enjoy a holy, hope-filled, joyful and blessed Easter.  May our Lord’s victory over sin and death, and His promise of peace and eternal life be yours!  May you know the peace extended to all by the Risen Christ.  May you grow in your love for the Risen Christ and your zealous service of Him.

God grant you much joy and contentment, abundance of good health, and the assurance of new life in Him as we together proclaim that Christ is Risen!

Christ is Risen!       Indeed He is Risen!


+Stefan Soroka  (author)
Archbishop of Philadelphia for Ukrainians
Metropolitan of Ukrainian Catholics in the United States

+Paul Chomnycky, OSBM
Eparch of Stamford

+ Bohdan J. Danylo
Eparch of St. Josaphat in Parma

+John Bura
Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia

Very Rev. Richard Janowicz, Apostolic Administrator
St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy in Chicago

Easter 2017


Teachings of Christ

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’" (Matthew 7:21-23 ESV)

Ascension

You ascended in glory, O Christ our God, * granting joy to Your disciples by the promise of the Holy Spirit; * through this blessing they were assured * that You are the Son of God * the Redeemer of the world! (Troparion, Tone 4)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

When You fulfilled the divine plan for us * and united things on earth with things in heaven, * you ascended in glory, O Christ our God, * in no way departing from us but remaining inseparable, * and crying out to those who love You: “I am with you, and no one is against you.” (Kontakion, Tone 6)

Random Proverb

"Hear, O sons, a father's instruction, and be attentive, that you may gain insight, for I give you good precepts; do not forsake my teaching." (Proverbs 4:1,2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Monasticism itself is a perpetual labor of conquering passions and uprooting them in order that, being in a pure and immaculate state, one may preserve oneself before the face of God. This, then, is your task! Give your attention to it, and direct all your powers towards it.

St. Theophan the Recluse