The Head of the UGCC led the Patriarchal pilgrimage to Hrushiv devoted to the 30th anniversary of appearance of the Most Holy Mother of God

On this paschal Sunday the Word of God brought us to the well. In the Gospel from John we see Jesus Christ Who, at midday when the sun reaches its zenith and everyone is so thirsty, comes up to the well. This well becomes "theatre of action": some people come to it and leave and then others come. But Jesus Christ is not leaving …He is sitting near the well.

With such words the Father and Head of the UGCC His Beatitude Sviatoslav began his homily during the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at the Patriarchal pilgrimage to Hrushiv in the Lviv region on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of  appearance there of the Most Holy Mother of God. In the pilgrimage also participated Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti,  Apostolic Nuncio in Ukraine and Bishops of the UGCC.

"This well is remarked by John very clearly, − went on the preacher. − He said that it was the well which Patriarch Jacob had built for his people. The well meant life because in that dry climate everything died without it. So the well was the center of life, of meetings among people and also the meeting between God and a man." Even more, for God's people from the Old Testament the well meant and was a sign, symbol and monument of communication with God. In the opinion of the Head of the Church, Jacob, probably, built it because in his own communication with the Living God he touched Him as the source of his own life. In memory of that meeting with God, he built the well which was inherited from generation to generation. 

In the books of the Old Testament, in particular in the Book of Numbers, we can read that the well is the symbol of God's law and water which we can draw from God's Commandments, that it is the wisdom of God: "In today's Gospel we see Christ  – Son of God near the well. He is a true well as a living embodied God. The well itself came to the person who is thirsty for the eternal life. Water, which the well carries in itself - Son of God, embodied God's wisdom, - is the Holy Spirit because He is the giver of life and the face of the earth."

So Christ is the true well which is being opened to the mankind today. A woman comes to that well in order to take some water, and Christ, the well of the living water, Himself begins speaking to her. Talking to her, He seems to begin digging a new well in her heart, for He longs to give her the living water so she would never be thirsty again.

"That man, who drinks the living water which is the Holy Spirit becomes Its temple and does not need to go far in order to reach the heaven. For the heaven comes itself and becomes vibrantly present  in such a person. A person, who partakes of the Holy Spirit , knows how to pray in truth and how to talk to God the Father in the way His Only Begotten Son talks to Him. This is what it means to be a partaker of the living water!" − explained the meaning of the Gospel His Beatitude Sviatoslav.

"I do not know if somewhere is a similar church as here, in Hrushiv, where in the middle of the temple there is a well, − he continued his preaching. − For everything we hear in the Gospel  – is really present here among us. Today we came to the well of the living and eternal water … Mother of God Herself gathered us here, who Herself became the first temple of the Holy Spirit. She helps us become partakers of the living water – eternal life."

He also recalled the event of  appearance of Our Lady in Hrushiv which took place thirty years ago: "The news that Mother of God is among us, began to spread across that prison of nations  - the Soviet Union. In the year after the Chornobyl tragedy Ukraine felt here that she isn't an orphan and she has Mother – Heavenly Mother of God. So I agree with the statement of the Bishop Yaroslav (Pryriz) that  Hrushiv appearance of Our Lady in  1987 was the annunciation of our freedom. It was also annunciation of the resurrection of our Church and its coming out from the catacombs. Everyone, who would come here, resurrected for the spiritual life because here they tried water which  flows into eternal life."

The preacher is convinced that when one saw the fruits of that appearance, he could say that in that place the Living God was present and there Mother of God brought hundreds of thousands of people: "I believe, it's not coincidence that today's holiday and pilgrimage take place on Mother's Day. We thank once again to Our Lady for her motherly care about our Church and people."

"Honoring today Mother of God, Her motherhood and care about us, I greet with the Mother's Day all Ukrainian women! Each of us lives because he/she had a mother. Especially let us pray for those mothers who are awaiting their children from the front, day and night standing before the God's face and asking for them life and not death, health and not mutilation, and praying for Ukraine's victory. We bow our heads before those mothers who put on the altar of God the most precious they had, – their sons. I wish you all to become the partakers of the living water and today drink the grace of the Holy Spirit from the well to which we all resort today," − greeted the Ukrainian mothers His Beatitude Sviatoslav.

We would like to remind you, that on April 26, 1987 AD in the village of Hrushiv, Lviv region on the balcony of the local church Mother of God appeared to 12-year old girl Maria Kizym. The news quickly spread among people. Tens of thousands of people from various corners of then-Soviet Union began arriving at Hrushiv.  The miracle in Hrushiv  manifested the UGCC coming out from the catacombs, collapse of the Soviet Union and independence of the Ukrainian State.

The UGCC Department of Information