Christmas Message the Ukraine Catholic Church's Archbishop Sviatoslav "God envelops the darkness of this world, and fills a person who has fallen into the throes of death with heaven..."

His Beatitude Sviatoslav on Christmas: "Let us thank God that He was born today in Ukraine"
January 7, 2023, (Many Eastern Rite Catholics and Orthodox celebrate Christmas on January 7th according to the Julian Calendar)
May the Lord God generously bless us all on Christmas Day. Let him take away our sadness and anxiety. Let him be our light, our hope. Today, together with the prophet Isaiah, we want to say to the whole world: listen, even to the ends of the earth, because God is with us! Christ was born! This was emphasized by the Father and Head of the UGCC His Beatitude Sviatoslav on Christmas Day. The Primate led the solemn services in the Patriarchal Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ: the Christmas Matins and the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy.
His Beatitude Sviatoslav on Christmas: "Let us thank God that He was born today in Ukraine"
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Together with the Head of the Church, the Apostolic Nuncio in Ukraine Archbishop Visvaldas Kulbokas, Assistant Bishop of the Kyiv-Zhytomyr Diocese Oleksandr Yazlovetskyi, Assistant Bishop of the Kyiv Archdiocese Yosif Milyan, Curial Bishop of the Supreme Archbishop of Kyiv-Halytskyi Stepan Sus and the clergy of the Kyiv Archdiocese served together.
In his Christmas sermon, the Primate of the UGCC directed his attention to God's word, which, according to him, today announces that a poor stable becomes the center of the universe, and God, having become incarnate, is the strength, hope and blessing of people of all times and nations. The Head of the Church emphasized the difficult road to Bethlehem of the Ukrainian people during the tragic times of the war, recalled the secret of the stability of the Ukrainian people, called on Ukrainians not to be afraid to accept the joy of Christmas, which, in his opinion, is a great gift from God, and also enveloped with words of joy and warmth all those who today is difficult.
"God does not want to be feared. He wants to be loved. Today, the Son of God wraps a person with childlike arms, wraps everyone who cries or grieves. "God envelops the darkness of this world, and fills a person who has fallen into the throes of death with heaven, with divine light," said the Head of the UGCC.
The preacher noted that today we see Bethlehem as a place of pilgrimage where wise men from the East came to worship the Child. "What does it mean to worship the newborn Savior? To worship this Divine Child means to receive Him, as Mary takes Him in her arms, to watch over life and receive heavenly joy," explained the Patriarch.
Therefore, His Beatitude Svyatoslav emphasized that the road to Bethlehem was not easy for the Ukrainian people during these tragic, terrible times of war. The preacher recalled how, approaching Christmas, Ukrainians doubted whether it was even possible to celebrate and rejoice amidst the sadness of war. Today God's word tells us: do not be afraid to rejoice! Because this joy, which is now announced to us by an angel and given to us by our Lord, is not the joy of earthly peace, prosperity, harmony or anything else that comes from man. This joy is a great gift from God!" he assured.
The preacher recalled how, during the communist regime, the Ukrainian carol was a certain form of socio-political protest, a spiritual weapon that the communists feared. "Our followers caroled in hiding places, Stalin's prisoners caroled in the cold expanses of Siberia, the underground Church caroled. Growing in that joy, we strengthened our strength, received the necessary means of spiritual struggle in order to win. And so it happened, because today where are all those who covered the mouths of the Ukrainian caroling? Gone like dew in the sun!" - said the bishop.
At the end of the Divine Liturgy, the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Visvaldas Kulbokas, delivered a Christmas greeting. He emphasized that it is courage and God's inheritance that explain and illuminate our great dignity. "I wish you and yourself to fully live the gift of Jesus born to us and to have a heart full of courage. When the devil sees that we are not afraid of his temptations or the wars he invents, it will be his defeat," the archbishop said.
At the end, His Beatitude Sviatoslav asked everyone to carol together in order to share Christmas joy with those who will hear it.