Easter greetings of the Head of the Greek-Catholic Church of Transcarpathia Bishop Milan
Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Believers of Mukachevo Greek Catholic Diocese and all the people of good will! Dear brothers in the priesthood, venerable brothers and sisters in religion, dear brothers and sisters of Christ!
The feast of the Christ Resurrection is always a good opportunity to think more deeply and realize that the foundation of our Christian faith is ‘the event, meeting with The Person that gives to our life a new perspective and defines his direction’, as says the Holy Father Benedict XVI in his encyclical Deus caritas est (God is love, 1). In the completeness of its beauty faith can be opened if it is based on the meeting with the risen Christ. At present time faith remains the gift which is needed to be opened, cherished and testified, so that Lord lets each of us to heal the beauty and joy of being a Christian.
Therefore, addressing to you at this festive time I invite all of you to the reflection of this great gift – faith. The Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI, seeing the importance of this virtue announced the Year of Faith for the Catholic Church which begins on October 11th 2012 and ends on November 24, 2013 by the Apostolic letter Porta Fidei (The Door of Faith). This year should be a time of efforts to learn more about teaching of Christ as it gives us the church in the light of the Second Vatican Council. In this letter the Pope addresses to every believer with the following words: ‘The Year of Faith is the invitation to authentic and new conversion to the Lord, the only Savior of the world. In the mystery of His death and resurrection God revealed the fullness of love which saves and encourages people to change their lives through the remission of sins. According to Apostle Paul love implements person in the new life: ‘We are buried with him through the baptism to death and then resurrect from the dead like Christ did by the glory of the Father and so that we also could live a new life’ (Rom. 6,4). Thanks to the faith this new life forms all human existence which is based on the radical news of resurrection. To such an extent in which person voluntarily expresses readiness, its thoughts, feelings, thinking and behavior which are gradually cleaned and changed in the process, which will never entirely stop in this life. ‘Faith which works through love’ (Gal. 5,6), becomes the new criterion of thinking and actions that change all human life.’ (Porta Fidei, 1).
Therefore while facing this great treasure, we are called again to make a certain choice, since our present the further the more brings us to the gap between the faith and everyday life, which through the various mass media factors is considered to be realized only when it is filled with welfare and different entertaining spectacles.
The Forty Days which we lived as a preparation for the Easter feast served us mainly for realistic vision of our lives. Because through prayers, fasting and alms everybody may open for himself the importance of service and love for neighbor, which can be realized only through the love for God. Therefore, we can heal the meeting with the Risen Christ while being purified through the fasting and the Easter feast is not only the holiday for us which is full of various folk customs, but the event that can form our lives in the faith.
Concluding his letter Porta Fidei, the Pope says: ‘St. Paul asks his disciple Tymotey ‘to look for the faith’ (2 Tym.2, 22) with the same constancy as in the youth (2 Tym. 3, 15). We hear that the call is directed to each one of us that no one has grew up lazy in the faith. Faith accompanies all our life that allows all the time to re-accept the miracles which God makes for us. Faith, with an attempt to recognize signs of the time in the present is entrusted to be alive to each of us with the signs of the Risen Lord presence in the world. Nowadays the world needs the reliable people testimony whose mind and heart is enlightened with the Word of God and can open minds and hearts to those who desire God and true life – eternal life.’ (Porta Fidei, 14).
Faith is a personal and at the same time the joint action – this Gift of God is living in a large community of the Church of Christ and seeks to be allocated to the entire world.
I wish all of you that each of our endeavors and initiatives were supported and added a new strength to each in the joyful opening of the faith and testimony about it.
Joyful Easter to all of you, dear brothers and sisters and all Christians of our region and all over Ukraine.
Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen!
With the blessing of the Bishops
Archbishop Milan, bishop of Mukachevo
In Uzhgorod, at the Bishop residency,
On the feats of Easter Resurrection of God in 2012
8 April 2018 19:06