With these eternally lively words I cordially congratulate all of you, God-loving hierarchs and priests, pious monks and nuns, dear brothers and sisters, with our greatest Christian Feast of the Resurrection of the Lord our God and Savior Jesus Christ.
This year, the Lord visited us with a special test and sorrow. The forces of evil have thickened over us. But we do not murmur or lose heart, for with his Resurrection Christ the Savior conquered the evil.
The glorious Resurrection of Christ is celebration of the triumphing victory of the good over the evil, of truth over untruth, of light over darkness. The Resurrection of Christ is an eternal Passover in which Christ, our Savior and Lord, has taken us from death to life, from hell to Paradise.
God, our Almighty Creator, created a human being from the earth, blew the breath of life into his face and decorated him with his Divine image. Sadly, human being stripped himself of this lofty honour when he turned his back on Divine Love. The human voluntarily became a victim of death. The death that the Lord brought on to the fallen human being was not the revenge of God, but manifestation of a new Divine Love to the fallen human being: by the death the Lord suppressed human sin and did not allow evil to become immortal. But when the Lord destroyed human sin on the Cross, then He took away power from the death. After Resurrection of Christ, death from eternally reigning being became a short-term sleep, which quality depends on the moral quality of our earthly life.
The Son of God, our Savior, by his incarnation, free suffering and death on the Cross, returned to us the lost Paradise, and by His Glorious Resurrection, He made Paradise accessible to every human being. The Paradise doors can now be opened not from the inside, but from the outside, and every human being has received a key with which he or she can and should open Paradise. The key that opens the gates of holy Paradise is repentance. By repentance, the discreet robber opened Paradise’ doors to himself and heard the joyful words of Christ the Savior: “Today you will be with me in the Paradise” (Luke 23:43).
How blessed were those people who were granted the great honor of seeing the incarnated God, hearing His holy words and seeing His marvelous miracles. Even more blessed were the holy Myrrh-bearing women when they saw an Angel who was sitting on the stone near the empty Tomb of the Savior and who told them: “Do not fear, for I know that you are looking for the Crucified Jesus. He is not here – He is risen!” (Math. 28:5–6). But even more blessed were those who did not see the Savior with bodily eyes, but believed in Him as the Son of God, as the Savior of the world.
The news on the Resurrection of Christ comforted not only the holy Myrrh-bearing women and Apostles, but became a joy for the whole world. The human hearts having received by faith the truth of Christ’s Resurrection were filled with a new favorable force that gave people the bright hope of returning to Paradise and strengthened people in the fight against the evil that existed in the world.
Many people believed in the Risen Christ so sincerely that they completely gave themselves for serving God. They cleansed themselves of sin through repentance and united with their Creator, they humbled themselves under the will of the strong God, and they themselves became strong, they became spiritual heroes. The Holy Church calls such people earthly Angels. And today in the world there are earthly Angels, strong spiritual warriors who, by faith in the Risen Christ, conquer the evil – for their sake the Lord favors all of us sinners. Such holy ascetics are often near us, but if we are not interested in them, we do not see them.
Many consider that the world lives for the sake of our economic, political, scientific and other achievements, but in reality the world lives for the sake of those righteous who have accommodated in their hearts the Risen Christ, the Strong and Powerful God who made them strong and powerful. Such people love the whole world with sacrifice, they pray for us, and for their sake the Lord sends us, unworthy people, His mercies and generosity.
Today, we humbly thank our Holy Creator for reaching our earth with the word on the Crucified and Risen Christ. This saving good news was brought to our land by the holy Apostle Andrew the First-Called. He taught us to believe in the Risen Christ, the Son of God, the Savior of the world, taught us to live according to the holy Divine precepts and through such a life to testify to his love for God, who “loved the world so much that he gave His only-begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in Him would not die, but has eternal life” (John 3:16).
May each of us, dear brothers and sisters, reasonably force ourselves to build our lives on the sacred covenants of the Risen Christ, our Savior and God. Those who live according to God’s precepts protect from destruction and this not only for oneself, but also for the world that surrounds him. Therefore, let us try to live so that we are the guardians of the world, and do not destroy it.
Once again I congratulate all of you, dear brothers and sisters, on the Feast of the Glorious Resurrection of Christ, on the great triumph of the victory of life over death. I wish everyone health, peace, happiness and salvation. May the light of life that shone from the Life-giving Sepulchre illuminate our minds and give us the power to love God and to love each other, so that today, celebrating the Resurrection of Christ, we bow humbly to the Lord Jesus and sing together the victorious song of Holy Easter: “Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and on those in the tombs bestowing life” (troparion of Pascha). Amen.
Christ is risen indeed!
Metropolitan of Kyiv and all Ukraine
Easter of Christ, 2022