Ukraine Archbishop says "Today I express my heartfelt gratitude to all those who show solidarity and support for our Church and the Ukrainian people."

Christ is Risen!
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ!
Today is Tuesday, May 17, 2022, and Ukraine is experiencing the 83rd day of full-scale Russian aggression. Heavy, bloody fighting is taking place in eastern Ukraine tonight and during the past day. The whole Donetsk and Luhansk regions are on fire. The so-called missile terrorism continues. Russian missiles hit the wounded Chernihiv region again. The Lviv region suffered the most missile fire during the war. Odesa region, in particular the Black Sea, is also suffering from missile strikes.
But Ukraine stands. Ukraine is struggling, even when it is facing difficult circumstances. The war is always devastating, and according to official UN figures, if the war continues, nine out of ten Ukrainians will be below the poverty line. Ukraine has already lost most of its economic potential. We have serious fuel problems. The amount of humanitarian aid coming from abroad has fallen sharply since the beginning of the war. Therefore, solidarity, mutual assistance and efforts to support those who are in the greatest difficulty, today is the key to strength, stability of the Ukrainian people who are struggling.
Today I would like to reflect on another work of charity that helps a person to endure difficult times, to endure difficult circumstances - to comfort the sad. Sadness is a reflection of a certain state of a person, not just a feeling. Sadness shows that a person is in pain, that he is suffering, that he is in trouble.
 When we take an interest in a person who is sad, we pay attention to him, we stop and stand by him - we support him.
To amuse a sad person does not mean to help him survive a sensual state or fall into some illusion, no. To amuse is to take an interest in him, if possible, to partially take on his difficulties and problems, to empathize with this person. We know that the sadness shared with someone is getting smaller. Together it is always easier to experience the sorrows and difficult moments of our lives.
However, from the Christian point of view, to comfort means something deeper and greater, because the true Comforter is the Holy Spirit. This is how we call Him, "Comforter, Spirit of Truth." Real fun is not just a temporary forgetfulness of trouble, but the elimination of the cause of sorrow. That is why even a part of the book of the prophet Isaiah is called the book of comfort of the people. It begins with the words, "Comfort, comfort my people, for the captivity is over."
Her victory will be a real pleasure for Ukraine. The moment when the Lord will wipe away the tears of children, mothers, fathers of Ukraine will come when the last enemy will be expelled from our Motherland. That is why today we call on the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, to give us the strength to endure and bring peace to Ukraine.
Experiencing the presence of the Spirit of Comforter, true Christian joy is revealed in church unity, church communion. After all, then we share with all who we are - we share with the Spirit who rests in us, and we unite with those who mourn and weep. The communion of a single Church Body, the unity of a large family of Christians around the world, is what can lift our spirits and comfort us in sorrow. We look forward to the coming of the Holy Spirit, and the mutual exchange not only of thoughts but also of the gifts we have as Christians in the context of international communication, the international community of the Catholic Church, is invaluable to us. We feel that we are not alone in our misery, that we are not fighting alone, but that behind us stands the great Church of Christ and the great family of the Christian nations of the world.
Today I express my heartfelt gratitude to all those who show solidarity and support for our Church and the Ukrainian people. Literally yesterday we received a letter of solidarity from the Australian Episcopal Conference. The bishops of Australia clearly indicate who the criminal is. They speak unequivocally about how for many years, decades and centuries Ukraine has been offended, destroyed by the imperial ambitions of the mood of our northern neighbor. I thank the brothers and sisters of Australia, the bishops, in particular Bishop Mykola Bychkov, the Ukrainian bishop in this country, who together with our Ukrainian community speaks the truth to the world and thus creates this wider ecclesial communion and support, comforts us in Ukraine in our sorrow.
Thank you to the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, which is part of the Roman Curia, which during these two months of war has become a center of communion, help and comfort for our Church and Ukraine. I would especially like to thank Cardinal Leonard Sandra, who has organized extensive assistance to all of us. He was the first to call me at the beginning of the war when we were in the bomb shelter under the Patriarchal Cathedral, and expressed words of solidarity, support and consolation.
God, comfort the upset! God, be our consolation! God, eliminate the cause of our sorrow and grief! Holy Spirit, Comforter, comfort, comfort the Ukrainian people and bless their children, the Ukrainian army, those who fight evil.
The blessing of the Lord be upon you, with His grace and love of man, always, now, and forever and ever. Amen.
Christ is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!