My dear Brothers and Sisters in the Lord,
The year 2020, to which we just said goodbye, was a year of deep crisis that judged our love, patience and humanity. The crisis has tested people’s resilience in terms of health, economics, education, unemployment and social as well as psychological problems.
However, as it turns out, this ongoing multi-level crisis has also served as an opportunity to correct attitudes and behaviors on an interpersonal level. In other words, it has also brought positive changes in human relations, which would not have been possible without the “tsunami” caused by COVID -19. Fortunately, many people have now realized that the God-man Christ is the center of the world, not us. We have understood better that human beings are not omnipotent and that the words of Christ, “Without me you can do nothing” (John 15: 5), have timeless power and value. Many people have stopped believing and thinking egocentrically and have confessed with humility and self-criticism their human weakness and limits. They have communicated better with their relatives and neighbors. They have worked together to offer help and solidarity to the sick, the poor and the needy. They themselves became “the neighbor” to their fellow human beings and stopped asking with a sense of self-justification “and who is my neighbor?” (Luke 10:29).
Consequently, the year 2021, which the love and philanthropy of God has given us, can be transformative if we use it properly; it can become an opportunity to overcome not only the current health crisis, but also humanity’s perennial spiritual crisis. With a firm hope that what God allows is always beneficial for our salvation, we can move forward with our heads held high and with inner strength to defeat the various evils that are within us and around us. If we rely fully on divine help and protection, we will not be overcome by frustration, melancholy, despair, fear or anxiety, and we will not give up the struggle toward the Kingdom of God until we reach our destination.
Being at the beginning of a new year, let us ask “the eternal Son and Logos, Who came from the Father, and recently rose from the Virgin” to give us “unwavering faith, absolute hope and genuine love.” In addition, let us beg Him extensively to bless the “year’s entrances and exits,” as well as our “deeds, works, words and thoughts,” so that with unwavering trust in God’s Providence we may “commit ourselves and one another and our whole life to Christ our God.”
Along with Metropolitan Soterios of Pisidia, our Clergy, and our Associates in the Lord, we extend our warmest and most heartfelt wishes for a blessed and spiritually fruitful New Year to You, your Families, our Homeland and the World Community.
With much love and honor in our Lord Jesus Christ,
† Metropolitan Ambrosios of Korea