Christ is Risen! 

          As we approach the celebration of the Feast of the Glorious Resurrection from the dead of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, be assured of my prayers, for all you who labor in merchant ships scattered over the world’s oceans and also for your families at home in Ukraine, who keenly feel your absence especially at Pascha.  We also pray for the safety and liberation of the Ukrainian seamen who were illegally taken captive by naval vessels of the Russian Federation while sailing the waters of the Kerch Strait last year and for those who are in prisons in Greece, Italy and around the world.

        My dear brothers and sisters!  One of the most beloved Gospel readings during the Paschal season is taken from the 24th chapter of St. Luke’s Gospel in which we read about two disciples of Christ, who were fleeing from Jerusalem following the crucifixion and burial of their teacher, Jesus.  They were discouraged and disappointed and wanted to forget everything that had happened to Jesus, so they decided to leave as quickly as possible.  They had no idea that Jesus had risen from the grave.  Every step they took led them further and further away from Jerusalem and the memory of the terrible events of the past several days.

        But they could not run away from Jesus!  The glorified and risen Jesus came to them as they were hurrying along the road, although they did not know who he was.  He spoke to them, encouraged them, taught them, and, when they stopped to eat in the village of Emaus, they finally recognized him when he blessed the bread at their meal and gave it to them.  Filled with joy, they immediately returned to Jerusalem to tell the news of Jesus’ Resurrection to the other disciples, saying to each as they walked: “Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way?” (Luke 24:32)

        Dear brothers!  My prayer for you at this joyous time of Pascha is that the Risen Lord Jesus would come to each of you as you journey over the world’s oceans, just as He came to the two disciples on the road to Emaus.  Jesus knows no boundaries to his love.  He knows where to find each and every one of us no matter where we are or how long we have been away from our beloved home and family!  May the Risen Jesus come to you with his healing touch to ease the pain of separation and loneliness.  May He fill your hearts with the joy of the Resurrection!

       

 Christ is Risen!  Indeed he is Risen!

 

 +Paul

  Maritime Bishop of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church

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