EASTER PASTORAL MESSAGE Eparchies of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church in Western Europe

Dear Brothers and sisters in Christ!

Christ’s Resurrection corrects a great historical injustice.
God created man in his image and likeness and gave him life.
Man did not appreciate the God’s gifts, rejected his benefactor
and, having listened to evil, turned against his Creator.
Mankind did a great injustice to the Lord.

Everything that man needs for happiness, God had given him in paradise.
Live, rule over creation and be man.
Be Man, not God.
The Lord permitted him to eat from every tree, but not from the tree of knowledge of good and evil,
because otherwise death awaits him.
The tree of knowledge of good and evil isn’t simply “knowing what’s good and what’s wrong.”
Rather, it’s the right to decide for yourself what’s good and what’s wrong.
And a person does not have the right to decide this alone,
they can only accept the circumstance and adapt themselves to it.
God decides what is good and what is evil. He is the Creator, we are His creation.

But man has taken over what doesn’t belong to them.
In paradise, he was in a perfect situation:
He talked to the Lord, as to a friend;
he lived in great harmony with another person;
he didn’t feel attracted to evil nor passion;
he lived in harmony with nature.
Just love God, trust Him, thank Him, recognise Him;
he gifted all this to you.

Suddenly, from nowhere a snake appears, which our ancestors did not know,
and which did not contribute to their happiness in any way,
and hence a strange dialogue begins:
“Is it true that the Lord forbade you to eat from all the trees of paradise?”(God forbade only to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.)
But Eve sincerely says: “No, only from that one. Because we’ll die. “
“No, you will not die!” The serpent twists God’s word!
God tells them one thing, giving proof of His love and care, and the serpent contradicts Him!
And man believes the creature that has not done it any good,
and didn’t believe in God who gave them everything.

Here lays the great historical injustice!
Here is the disrespect of God!

Through sin of Adam and Eve, mankind fell into darkness:
could no longer see God
could no longer live in harmony with its neighbours,
lost its inner peace
even nature turned has turned its back.
Mankind, not having listened to God, abandoned him.

But God did not abandon mankind!

Throughout the history of salvation, God sent angels, prophets, righteous men,
who called for people to change, to repent.

Finally, God sent His Son.
The son, who not only preached, only performed miracles and set a good example.
He shed his blood for the man who condemned him.
Through his death on the cross, Christ overcame death and, having risen from the dead,
gave us the life which man had refused, by listening to the serpent.
Jesus corrected that great injustice and contempt
which man – including ourselves! – caused to God.
Therefore, let us rejoice in the gift of salvation, which Christ gives to each of us
and in gratefulness let us live a new life, which Jesus gave us,
let us be virtuous towards our Lord
let us praise Him with our love for God and our neighbour.

Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen!

Given in Munich, London, Paris, Rome and Kyiv

7th April, 2019, on the Feast of the Annunciation

+ Petro Kryk, Apostolic Exarch for Ukrainian Catholics in Germany, Scandinavia, and Iceland

+ Hlib Lonchyna, Bishop of the Eparchy of the Holy Family in London, Apostolic Administrator of the Eparchy of St Volodymyr the Great in Paris, Apostolic Visitor for Ukrainian Catholics in Ireland

+ Dionisius Lachovicz, Apostolic Visitor for Ukrainians Catholics in Italy

+ Josyf Milyan, Head of the Pastoral-Missionary Department of the Patriarchal Curia of the UGCC in Kyiv, Major-Archbishopric Visitor for Ukrainian Greek Catholics in countries where there is no Hierarchy of the UGCC