31 December 2021
Dear friends,

The Lord gave us the conventional division of time into years, months, weeks and days for a good reason. This is primarily an opportunity to compare the quality of lived time intervals. On the New Year’s Eve, we mentally go through everything that we experienced over the past year, and draw conclusions whether the year was successful or not, whether we have become better, wiser, and cleaner, whether we have gained new experience and new knowledge. The New Year is also an occasion to reflect on the speed of life’s flow. Especially if you have lived on Earth long enough. Every year, time is accelerating, and you should feel whether you have managed to implement everything planned. New Year is the time to understand that nothing can be left “for later”: to ask forgiveness from those whom you hurt, to call your family, to do some good deed... New Year is not the time of miracles. It is the time to realize that miracles come to us every day, we just need to learn to see them. After all, the sunrise and sunset, the change of seasons, the breath of the wind – these are all miracles. The same as human life itself... We are just too used to them, and in pursuit of bright frippery and glamour we deny them the right to be considered a miracle.

New Year is not about waiting for gifts, not about the Christmas tree, and not about an Olivier salad or a bottle of champagne for celebration. This is the cleansing of the soul and thanksgiving to the Lord for the very possibility of our life and its extension in time, for its being filled with miracles.

As for those in power, for them this is the time to ask the question: has the quality of life of ordinary people changed? Has the restoration of peace become closer? Has the economy got better? Has the level of education and healthcare services improved? Has society become more spiritual? After all, the quality of the governing authorities is not measured by sociological data. And New Year is not about rating figures, is it?

And now, when the clock strikes the twelfth time at midnight, we all together – both the government and ordinary citizens – must answer one simple question: are we honest enough with ourselves to congratulate ourselves on the arrival of the New Year to our life? And have we done everything to be sure that the first page of the 2022 calendar is clean and spotless enough for us to really rejoice at new opportunities and new plans – whether we managed to leave the burden of the past, our failures, problems and mishaps in 2021?

If so, then we can rejoice and have fun carefree. If not, this is still a reason for joy. I am sure that if you approach the New Year’s holiday with precisely such attitudes, then the quality of the next year will be much higher, much brighter and much more effective.

I hug you all in my thoughts and wish each of you happiness, good health, love and augmenting joy in the New Year – joy for your near and dear ones, for your family, for your children, for success and good luck.

I wish long-awaited peace and prosperity to Ukraine.

And I wish our authorities wisdom and responsibility. All the rest will be rewarded to us according to our faith and our deeds.

Happy Holiday!

Happy New Year!
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