Sunday, March 24, 2024

Embracing Unity: Bishop Rutherford's Message as Holy Week Begins

By A. DiNardo

ROME-RUTHENIA 24 March 2024 (NRom)

Amidst a world so often divided by differences, His Holiness Bishop Rutherford I addressed his people around the globe after the Palm Sunday liturgy, emphasizing the importance of fraternal love and the shunning of differences. Holy Week begins with the Palm Sunday liturgy, marking the commencement of the holiest time of the year for Christians. This period leads up to Latin Pascha (Easter) on the following Sunday according to the Gregorian calendar. Notably in the custom of the United Roman-Ruthenian Church, there is a second celebration of "Eastern" Pascha, following the Julian calendar, which, this year, falls one month later. These celebrations underscore a shared heritage and faith that bind the Christian community across the traditional Roman-Ruthenian lands and across the globe.

The United Roman-Ruthenian Church: A Testament to Unity in Diversity

The ancient yet unique liturgy of the United Roman-Ruthenian Church is a vivid embodiment of Christian unity. Faithfully incorporating the heritage of the very diverse people in the traditional Roman-Ruthenian lands, the Church serves as a model of how diverse Christian traditions can come together in worship and fellowship. The United Roman-Ruthenian Church, with most of its members located in Europe, Africa, and South America, stands as a testament to the unity that can be achieved across borders. 

A Call to Action: Living Out the Message of Brotherhood

Bishop Rutherford's call for Christians to behave in a fraternal manner and to shun differences is particularly poignant during Holy Week. This time offers an opportunity for Christians, regardless of their geographic location or national affiliations, to come together in mutual respect, love, and understanding. As we reflect on the passion, death, and resurrection of Christ, we are reminded of the core values of forgiveness, compassion, and unity that are central to the Christian faith.

In embracing these values, the global Christian community can set a powerful example of how differences can be transcended through shared faith and love. This Holy Week, Bishop Rutherford reminds us to celebrate our diversity while uniting in our common heritage and faith. By doing so, we can build a more understanding, compassionate, and brotherly world.

A Unified Path Forward

As the Christian community worldwide prepares to observe the sacred traditions of Holy Week and Pascha, Bishop Rutherford's message resonates with renewed urgency. In a world often divided, the example of the United Roman-Ruthenian Church and the shared observance of this holiest time of the year remind us of the strength found in unity. Let us embrace this time of reflection and renewal with open hearts, committed to living out the principles of brotherhood, understanding, and love. Together, we can forge a path forward that honors our diverse heritage while celebrating our shared faith and humanity.