Letter of His Beatitude Sviatoslav to the Youth on Palm Sunday

Saturday, 08 April 2017, 01:00
Dear young people in Christ!

Every year on Palm Sunday I have an opportunity to speak to you with a pastoral word and experience together with you Entrance of Christ into Jerusalem – a time when we celebrate God’s triumph that brings us to the paschal mystery of suffering, death and resurrection of Christ, so to be close to God in His eternal victory. I must admit that I am filled with joy and inspiration after meeting you either in Ukraine or settlements.

These meetings grant us hope and faith in the future of our Church, country and world. Thank you for your openness, frankness in communication, love to your Church and people. I hope there will be more opportunities for me to see you! Especially, I rejoice meeting young people at the settlements, as you, with your active life, bear witness to the global dimension of our Church and deep roots in its spiritual, liturgical and cultural traditions. It is known that youth at different continents go through various challenges, however, at the same time they find some true guidelines in the Person of Jesus Christ, and His Holy Church wishes to be near and guide young people in their searches.

Describing an event occurring on Palm Sunday we are experiencing today, evangelicals provide with many details that allow us to depict the atmosphere of those days, feel the context, imagine the main heroes. For three years Christ has taught in different parts of Palestine, proclaiming the Kingdom of God and performing miracles. He healed the sick, drove out demons, finally, raised the dead and became very popular. It’s no longer possible for Him to stay unnoticed. Jesus Christ is not any more an unknown carpenter for his people and invaders. People recognize a Messiah in Him – their Savior and Redeemer. People feel His power and follow Him. Some are intimidated by this power, some are inspired, as He himself doesn’t simply retell the rules of the Old Testaments, but supremely teach it as a Son of God with the power of Holy Spirit. Christ’s teaching is always actual and fresh, exceeding all the time the latest trends and tempers. The one who was anointed by God enters Jerusalem for Jewish Pasch, where an enormous amount of people are gathered from the different places of Roman Empire. Christ is recognized and accepted, first of all, by young people, who laying down palm branches and clothes before Him, meet Him, exclaiming: “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord”. However, next to those who recognize and meet, there are also the ones who complain and stay aside a new forthcoming reality. They are complaining about Jesus himself, saying: “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!” An elite of that time learned to live in conditions of roman government, in conditions of internal divisions, already getting used to making deals, twisting and receiving some dividends. And, suddenly, something unusual is happening here, what the lawmakers teach and expect themselves, but what they cannot understand and control. Christ responds: “I tell you, if they remain silent the rocks will cry out”. On the contrary, He closes mouths of those who are complaining, who are dissatisfied with Him and young people, but He supports those who accept a new reality, those who don’t want to play by the old rules, pouring new wine into old wineskins (cf. Mt 9, 17).

Young people feel some novelty and power in Christ. They long for Him and accept. Accept new, just represented Messiah, who enters Jerusalem seated upon an ass’s colt as Prince of Peace but not as a triumphal conquer, who, maybe, was awaited by the representatives of a former elite. Young people don’t complain but act – meet Christ sincerely and loudly, brightly and openly. Young people are not afraid, the power of slavery and fear has not possessed them yet.

Let us have a look at ourselves today. We often complain, especially about what is new, unknown, grab old schemes, hide in the frames of our lives what are convenient, being afraid of changing something. Carrying for our own comfort zones, become obstacles on the way of our life and renewal. Being young by age we often regret our past and behave as “old by age”, separating ourselves from the environment instead of changing it. We are afraid of what is new, and complain about everything what make us living in prosperity and grow up.

Last year in Krakow on World Youth Day Pope Francis called such girls and boys “couch youth” who being young are already “retired”. So today I’m encouraging all of you: don’t complain!

Let’s not complain about our misfortunes, for we can overcome them. Let’s not complain but work, listening to the words of metropolitan Andrey Sheptytskyi:

“Not with the sudden gusts but with the sustained efforts and blood sacrifices people move on. And sometimes it is easier to shed blood in a moment of enthusiasm than to undertake responsibilities for long years, and undergo the heat of day, and glow of sun, malice of people and hatred of enemies, lack of trust from neighbors and small support from relatives, and amidst such work till the very end to perform ones’ duties, without expecting credit long before the victory, not the reward before the merits” (Letter to the Youth, 1932).

By force of circumstances we meet people who tempt to complain, propose us cheap populism – to get something what is profitable and comfortable without significant efforts. Something what is pleasant to hear, yet is an empty promise left of any responsibility, similarly what is music to ears but doesn’t give life and strength for a positive construction. Politicians often manipulates our feelings, think within the limits, poles, upcoming elections instead of caring truly about the future of their nation and common wealth. I don’t support those who speculate on difficulties and challenges! Let’s not lose our hands but follow Christ and build a new future ourselves. Let’s be those who create new, who is a pledge of new, restored and live Ukraine.

Dear young people! I assure you that Church is with you, with those who don’t complain, who move, see the future and work for the sake of it. Church proclaims Christ who enters Jerusalem and being empowered by Holy Spirit brings a considerable change and support those who accept it. Thank you for your openness and courage to preach Christ and live in accordance with this testimony. In fact, preaching always presupposes its performance. Appealing to the youth this year, Pope Francis encourages them to activities: “Church and society need you. Thanks to your plans and courage, dreams and ideals, the walls of deadlock are falling down and new ways that lead us to the better, fairer and more benevolent world are opening”. Roman Archbishop assumes considers the youth question so important that the next Synod of Bishops of Catholic Church will be dedicated to youth, faith and vocation. Together with our Pope I am calling you to activity, efficient use the gift of youth, its constructive voice what Church supports.

Palm Sunday is a special time – today’s atmosphere is neatly transmitted with the words of Oleksandr Oles, our poet: “Joy embraces sorrow…” We rejoice in a glorious entry into Jerusalem, simultaneously realizing that we stand at the threshold of suffering together with Christ. Holy Week that starts tomorrow tells us so much about a person – treachery, suffering, fear, doubts and death. But in the same time tells us about great and generous God, Who by the death conquered death.

I call you, dear young friends to live next week in faith and personal trust to the great God, Who, for our sake, becomes small and for us as well He dies on the cross so to grant us an eternEvery year on Palm Sunday I have an opportunity to speak to you with a pastoral word and experience together with you Entrance of Christ into Jerusalem – a time when we celebrate God’s triumph that brings us to the paschal mystery of suffering, death and resurrection of Christ, so to be close to God in His eternal victory. I must admit that I am filled with joy and inspiration after meeting you either in Ukraine or settlements.

These meetings grant us hope and faith in the future of our Church, country and world. Thank you for your openness, frankness in communication, love to your Church and people. I hope there will be more opportunities for me to see you! Especially, I rejoice meeting young people at the settlements, as you, with your active life, bear witness to the global dimension of our Church and deep roots in its spiritual, liturgical and cultural traditions. It is known that youth at different continents go through various challenges, however, at the same time they find some true guidelines in the Person of Jesus Christ, and His Holy Church wishes to be near and guide young people in their searches.

Describing an event occurring on Palm Sunday we are experiencing today, evangelicals provide with many details that allow us to depict the atmosphere of those days, feel the context, imagine the main heroes. For three years Christ has taught in different parts of Palestine, proclaiming the Kingdom of God and performing miracles. He healed the sick, drove out demons, finally, raised the dead and became very popular. It’s no longer possible for Him to stay unnoticed. Jesus Christ is not any more an unknown carpenter for his people and invaders. People recognize a Messiah in Him – their Savior and Redeemer. People feel His power and follow Him. Some are intimidated by this power, some are inspired, as He himself doesn’t simply retell the rules of the Old Testaments, but supremely teach it as a Son of God with the power of Holy Spirit. Christ’s teaching is always actual and fresh, exceeding all the time the latest trends and tempers. The one who was anointed by God enters Jerusalem for Jewish Pasch, where an enormous amount of people are gathered from the different places of Roman Empire. Christ is recognized and accepted, first of all, by young people, who laying down palm branches and clothes before Him, meet Him, exclaiming: “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord”. However, next to those who recognize and meet, there are also the ones who complain and stay aside a new forthcoming reality. They are complaining about Jesus himself, saying: “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!” An elite of that time learned to live in conditions of roman government, in conditions of internal divisions, already getting used to making deals, twisting and receiving some dividends. And, suddenly, something unusual is happening here, what the lawmakers teach and expect themselves, but what they cannot understand and control. Christ responds: “I tell you, if they remain silent the rocks will cry out”. On the contrary, He closes mouths of those who are complaining, who are dissatisfied with Him and young people, but He supports those who accept a new reality, those who don’t want to play by the old rules, pouring new wine into old wineskins (cf. Mt 9, 17).

Young people feel some novelty and power in Christ. They long for Him and accept. Accept new, just represented Messiah, who enters Jerusalem seated upon an ass’s colt as Prince of Peace but not as a triumphal conquer, who, maybe, was awaited by the representatives of a former elite. Young people don’t complain but act – meet Christ sincerely and loudly, brightly and openly. Young people are not afraid, the power of slavery and fear has not possessed them yet.

Let us have a look at ourselves today. We often complain, especially about what is new, unknown, grab old schemes, hide in the frames of our lives what are convenient, being afraid of changing something. Carrying for our own comfort zones, become obstacles on the way of our life and renewal. Being young by age we often regret our past and behave as “old by age”, separating ourselves from the environment instead of changing it. We are afraid of what is new, and complain about everything what make us living in prosperity and grow up.

Last year in Krakow on World Youth Day Pope Francis called such girls and boys “couch youth” who being young are already “retired”. So today I’m encouraging all of you: don’t complain!

Let’s not complain about our misfortunes, for we can overcome them. Let’s not complain but work, listening to the words of metropolitan Andrey Sheptytskyi:

“Not with the sudden gusts but with the sustained efforts and blood sacrifices people move on. And sometimes it is easier to shed blood in a moment of enthusiasm than to undertake responsibilities for long years, and undergo the heat of day, and glow of sun, malice of people and hatred of enemies, lack of trust from neighbors and small support from relatives, and amidst such work till the very end to perform ones’ duties, without expecting credit long before the victory, not the reward before the merits” (Letter to the Youth, 1932).

By force of circumstances we meet people who tempt to complain, propose us cheap populism – to get something what is profitable and comfortable without significant efforts. Something what is pleasant to hear, yet is an empty promise left of any responsibility, similarly what is music to ears but doesn’t give life and strength for a positive construction. Politicians often manipulates our feelings, think within the limits, poles, upcoming elections instead of caring truly about the future of their nation and common wealth. I don’t support those who speculate on difficulties and challenges! Let’s not lose our hands but follow Christ and build a new future ourselves. Let’s be those who create new, who is a pledge of new, restored and live Ukraine.

Dear young people! I assure you that Church is with you, with those who don’t complain, who move, see the future and work for the sake of it. Church proclaims Christ who enters Jerusalem and being empowered by Holy Spirit brings a considerable change and support those who accept it. Thank you for your openness and courage to preach Christ and live in accordance with this testimony. In fact, preaching always presupposes its performance. Appealing to the youth this year, Pope Francis encourages them to activities: “Church and society need you. Thanks to your plans and courage, dreams and ideals, the walls of deadlock are falling down and new ways that lead us to the better, fairer and more benevolent world are opening”. Roman Archbishop assumes considers the youth question so important that the next Synod of Bishops of Catholic Church will be dedicated to youth, faith and vocation. Together with our Pope I am calling you to activity, efficient use the gift of youth, its constructive voice what Church supports.

Palm Sunday is a special time – today’s atmosphere is neatly transmitted with the words of Oleksandr Oles, our poet: “Joy embraces sorrow…” We rejoice in a glorious entry into Jerusalem, simultaneously realizing that we stand at the threshold of suffering together with Christ. Holy Week that starts tomorrow tells us so much about a person – treachery, suffering, fear, doubts and death. But in the same time tells us about great and generous God, Who by the death conquered death.

I call you, dear young friends to live next week in faith and personal trust to the great God, Who, for our sake, becomes small and for us as well He dies on the cross so to grant us an eternal life. May your faith become your strength that will help you to overcome different obstacles and tests, occurring on your ways. May the Blessed Virgin Mary, who is an example of an active respond to God’s call, guide you all.

May the blessing of the Lord be upon you!

 

+ SVIATOSLAV

 

Issued in Kyiv,

At the Patriarchal Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ

on Akafist Saturday, 1 April, 2017 AD

 

We instruct the Reverend Clergy to read this pastoral letter to the Faithful following each Divine Liturgy on Palm Sunday, al life. May your faith become your strength that will help you to overcome different obstacles and tests, occurring on your ways. May the Blessed Virgin Mary, who is an example of an active respond to God’s call, guide you all.

May the blessing of the Lord be upon you!

 

+ SVIATOSLAV

 

Issued in Kyiv,

At the Patriarchal Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ

on Akafist Saturday, 1 April, 2017 AD

 

We instruct the Reverend Clergy to read this pastoral letter to the Faithful following each Divine Liturgy on Palm Sunday, 9 April of this year.9

 

 

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