LEICESTER, United Kingdom – Ukraine marks the two-year anniversary of the full-scale invasion by Russia on Feb. 24.

Bishop Kenneth Nowakowski of the Eparchy of the Holy Family of London, spoke of the plight of Ukraine’s people at the beginning of Lent.

“We can’t help everybody throughout the world with our limited means, but surely we can pray. Pray for peace, pray for justice, pray for those who are alone. Pray for those who are suffering – especially for those who are suffering separation,” the bishop said.

“We think of the families that have been torn apart because of the war in Ukraine, the tens of thousands of young women who have fled to the United Kingdom with their children while their husbands have had to remain behind to defend Ukraine,” he added.

Nowakowski said the reflection from the second anniversary of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine by Russia gives people an opportunity to pause and reflect on the last two years of the killings, the destruction, and the devastation that has been waged against Ukraine by its neighbor Russia.

Delays in weapons deliveries from Western allies to Ukraine are opening a door for Russian battlefield advances, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says, making the fight “very difficult” along parts of the front line where the Kremlin’s forces captured a strategic city last weekend ahead of the war’s second anniversary.

Zelenskyy and other officials have often expressed frustration at the slowness of promised aid deliveries, especially since signs of war fatigue have emerged. European countries are struggling to find enough stocks to send to Kyiv, and U.S. help worth $60 billion is stalled over political differences. That appears to be playing into the hands of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In his Lenten remarks, Nowakowski also spoke about the refugees from Ukraine that have fled harm’s way and have found their way here to Great Britain, who number over 260,000.

“For me, as the Bishop for Ukrainian Catholics here in Great Britain, I also think of how we can be supporting, in prayer, His Majesty The King, who has been so supportive of Ukrainian people both here and abroad,” the bishop said.

“We have an opportunity to make little differences that altogether make big differences. And my prayer, and my wish, for all of us during this time of Lent is that we can become that community of God that we are all called to,” he continued.

“Here in the United Kingdom, we have the image of cloudy skies and rainy weather. But when the sun comes out and shines on the British countryside, there’s nothing more glorious than that. And certainly we, people of faith, our job, in many ways, our vocation, is to encourage each other along our journeys and to provide hope, hope that we are not alone, hope that we have not been abandoned,” Nowakowski said.

He said that while the war in Ukraine has not been on the headlines of the daily news lately, “it is still very much part of our mind, our understanding and our thoughts.”

“And I think as we’re approaching already in Lent, or as we call it in the Eastern Church, the Great Fast, it’s a time for us to pray more for peace in Ukraine, but peace throughout the world,” the bishop said.

“We see the horrific news coming out of the Holy Land, the suffering that’s happening there, both for the Israelis and Palestinians. We see the suffering of the Ukrainian people. So during this time of Lent, this journey towards the Resurrection of Christ, we’re asked three things. We’re asked to intensify our prayer. We’re asked to abstain or fast. We’re also asked to give alms to remember those who are in need,” he said.

“And so I think that we are meant, as Christians, to be those signs of hope for those who feel they have no hope. When we think of the place of candles in our liturgical celebration, when we light a candle, it brings light, it brings warmth, it brings joy where there was darkness before. When we are journeying towards the Resurrection, to Jesus who is the light Himself, we are also meant to be those candles, or at least reflect that eternal flame that gives us all hope,” Nowakowski said.

This article uses material from the Associated Press.