Although in the midst of the turmoil of war, His Beatitude Patriarch Svyatoslav bring us words of joy and comfort. Here are a few excerpts from his Christmas pastoral letter:
(T)oday, we announce to each other a joy that no earthly ordeal or misfortune can deprive us of—the invincible joy of Christ’s Nativity. This is not some fleeting experience or form of distraction that allows us to escape for a while from some daily or even cruel reality. The joy of Christmas is an immersion into the reality of God himself. The Son of God enters into human life, human reality, and takes upon himself the fragility and drama of human existence in order to bring a heavenly perspective into human horizons: “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!’” (Lk 2:13-14).
Christmas invites us to an encounter with a God who comes as the Saviour of the world—an encounter that brings heavenly joy. . .
To celebrate Christmas means not to be afraid of heavenly joy while engulfed in a sea of tears and blood. Allowing the joy of Christmas to enter our hearts guarantees our perseverance and indomitability, our ability to overcome all life’s challenges, as St. Paul explains: “I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me” (Phil 4:12-13).
. . . Dear brothers and sisters! I warmly greet you all with the Birth of Christ: from East to West, from North to South—in Ukraine and abroad, on all the continents of the world.
. . . From the bottom of my heart, I wish all of you the authentic joy of the children of God, a tasty kutia, a cheerful celebration of Christ’s Nativity, and a happy, peaceful, and blessed New Year!
Christ is born! Glorify Him!
For the full text in Ukrainian and English: Pastoral letter