Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14: 27)
My dear sisters and brothers in Christ, this is an unprecedented time. As this new, sometimes frightening disease disrupts every aspect of our lives—personal, professional, religious, academic—I pray that we may all find peace remembering the Merciful One who created us and holds us in His loving care. Let us turn to Him in prayer with renewed fervor this Great Lent. Let us seek the intercessions of His Most Holy Mother, the God-Bearer, who is our Champion and Defender.
Especially in the midst of uncertainty and fear, let us remember that we serve the Almighty, and we are His own. Let us not succumb to fear but cling to our great hope, the Risen Christ, for His perfect love casts out fear. Let us seek in one another the image of the good God who made us. And let us serve Him by serving our neighbors, perhaps in new and creative ways, trusting that our God, who took on human flesh and gave Himself for us, is infinitely greater than the trial we now face.
May the peace of Christ be with us all!
Romanian Orthodox Metropolia of the Americas,
Liaison to IOCC from the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States