The Philip’s Fast message from the US Ukrainian Bishops 2020

The story of salvation does not end with the coming of Christ over 2,000 years ago, but it continues to this very day. We are all awaiting His second coming, which He Himself prophesied, and it will be very different from the first. When Christ comes a second time, everyone will recognize Him. During His first coming, He was not loved but was rejected. When He comes a second time, all the tribes will acknowledge Him as Lord. During His second coming, He will also be accompanied by the angels. During His first coming, He entered the world as a helpless baby in the manger. When He comes a second time, He will come as the King of kings and Lord of lords. That is why the expectation of the coming of Christ is not and cannot be symbolic, but is a completely genuine event – He will come a second time.

During the Christmas fast, let us prepare spiritually for His coming. Create a prayer corner in your home and display an icon of the Nativity of Christ, meditating daily on the mystery of the coming of the Messiah. Let us receive the Mysteries of Holy Confession and Holy Communion during these days, especially if we did not have the opportunity to do so during Great Lent. Let us abstain from meat on Fridays, overeating and excessive use of the Internet. Let us be generous with our time and talents and serve the poor and disadvantaged as much as we can. Let us reconcile with those whom we have offended and those who have offended us. Let us always be aware that Jesus Christ will come a second time as our Lord and Judge, though “of that day and hour no one knows.” (Matt. 24:36).

May you and your family be blessed by Our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ, whose joyful Nativity in the manger of Bethlehem we patiently await!

+Borys Gudziak
Archbishop of Philadelphia for Ukrainians
Metropolitan of Ukrainian Catholics in the United States

+Paul Chomnycky, OSBM
Eparch of Stamford

+Benedict Aleksiychuk
Eparch of St. Nicholas in Chicago

+ Bohdan J. Danylo
Eparch of St. Josaphat in Parma

+Andriy Rabiy (author)
Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia

November, 2020