A formal episcopal gathering called a SYNAXIS took place on Sept. 1-3 at the offices of the Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarchate in Istanbul. This consultative body of the leaders of the ancient Constantinopolitan Patriarchate had, as its main topic of discussion, the fate of Orthodoxy in Ukraine.
This Pascha we read our Patriarch’s encouragement to live as people of the Resurrection. So what does this mean? Do we know?
At Easter Liturgy we sing “We who have been baptized in Christ, have put on Christ”—literally—we wear Christ. Our Christian mission is to be Christ to the world.
We hear this and indeed we know this, but the actual lived meaning of this role simply defies any static description or prescription. We are called not to specific actions, but rather to profound being that demands a continuous consciousness of goodness and love.
Today in all of Ukraine and in our settlements abroad, Christians are filled with an inexpressible joy. From the moment we first hear our traditional Easter greeting “Christ is risen!” in each one of us, from the youngest to the oldest, our soul undergoes a profound change. We feel how all life’s problems and challenges disappear, how all cares and sorrows are washed away “as wax melts before the fire.”
This joy is the fruit of the Holy Spirit and a true sign, that the risen Lord is present in our hearts … To rejoice in God is to allow the victory of the risen Lord to penetrate my heart, to be fulfilled in my personal life. This is not merely some temporary feeling, but real participation and communion in Christ’s Resurrection.
Patriarchs Svyatoslav (UGCC, pictured on left) and Filaret (UOC-KP) issued a common appeal on September 25th for the citizens of Sambir in western Ukraine to support the establishment of a memorial at the former Jewish cemetery in the city.
“It is said that a war does not end until those who were sacrificed are honoured …
“On this site the Nazis murdered many Jews, but also among those who died here were Ukrainian Christians who tried to save the Jewish population …”