31 December 2022
Dear friends,

The most challenging year in the lives of most of us is receding into the past. It has been a year of trials and turmoil, persecution and disappointment. It seems that it is in such years when the Lord tests us for our firmness and commitment to faith. In such years, we gauge our neighbours – their sincerity, honesty, and their love for neighbours. In such years, it becomes clear what our real values are, and what is the vanity of vanities.

As one wise man said, the most valuable thing in life is time. You can buy everything with it. At the same time, not any amount of money will help you buy time, even a little of it.

Do we accept this gift appropriately?

This year’s results are by no means joyful and most of us are in anxiety. The unknown is looming ahead. In the year that is now ending, someone lost their homes and was forced to leave their home land. Others lost their families and friends. Someone’s families broke up. Someone lost their job or business. We all became hostages of the war and destruction that shook the foundations of the old world. Nevertheless, our life goes on, and only the true faith helps us endure this all and find some strength for optimism and willingness to create.

The Church has faced some new trials. This is not for the first time in the two thousand years of its history. But where are those who dared to challenge the Church, which is the creation of Christ himself? Where is their former glory? And can any earthly temptations really cause harm to what is the prologue to the Kingdom of Heaven?

The wise biblical King Solomon wore a ring on his finger with an engraving saying, “Everything passes, this too shall pass.”

A positive moment that marked year 2022 was real national unity when ordinary people helped each other, showed sacrifice and readiness to defend their homeland, and bore the burden of military trials on their shoulders. They are the ones who deserve real respect and glory.

The New Year is not only about summing up previous year’s results. It is also the time for making wishes. That is why I want to wish all of you, my dear friends, peace – real peace that begins with peace in our hearts and develops to a universal scale, guaranteeing peace and confidence to all people on Earth. I wish you strength in faith and the realization that the Lord’s mercy and grace will not leave you out. I wish you good health, happiness, love, and optimism.

In addition, I want to wish you the most important thing in the coming new year, which is to remain human no matter what happens to you. To keep the faith of Christ and faithfulness to our Mother Church. Not to be afraid of threats and oppression, and not to succumb to any temptations. “Without Me you can do nothing,” the Lord says. And if we remember that our strength is in our unity with God and with each other, if we preserve humanness, human attitude in ourselves, if we turn our hearts to the light, to goodness, to mutual help, we will have a chance to hold everything out on the edge and revive everything.

Let us cherish every moment of the new year! Let us use the time allotted to us for the good!

I am confident that we will persevere and everything will work out for us!

Together we will overcome all challenges and problems, and our glorious and beautiful Ukraine will become a prosperous, strong and successful country again!

Happy New Year, dear friends!
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