His Beatitude Sviatoslav in Drohobych: “The Lord God resurrected our Church to become the core and strength of Ukraine”

June 5, 2023, 20:37 36

Before the outbreak of the war last year, when everyone was fleeing Kyiv, a question arose in the holy Kyivan mountains that we should always ask the Lord God in prayer: God why did You raise us from the dead? Why did You bring us out of the underground? Why did You rebuild the lives of our Church in Ukraine by Your Holy Spirit? Was it done to destroy us again? To let us be surrendered again to the deadly Russian aggressor (we know that well, where the boot of the Russian occupier comes, our Church is the first to be killed)?

His Beatitude Sviatoslav in Drohobych: “The Lord God resurrected our Church to become the core and strength of Ukraine”

His Beatitude Sviatoslav, the Father and Head of the UGCC, said this during a sermon on Pentecost Monday, June 5, in Drohobych on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Sambir-Drohobych Eparchy of the UGCC.

“Celebrating the coming of the Holy Spirit, feeling His life-giving breath among us in these days of Pentecost, we sense the great plan of God for the world and man especially,” said the Head of the Church at the beginning of the sermon.

The preacher emphasized that by celebrating the Feast of Pentecost, we, the Church of Christ, celebrate our birth as a community of soul-bearing people. The descent of the Holy Spirit reveals to man not only the mystery of the Trinity but God’s plan for man himself.

Recalling the establishment of the Sambir-Drohobych Eparchy 30 years ago, the Patriarch reflected on the words that opened the text of the patriarchal decree establishing the new eparchy: “It pleased the Holy Spirit and us.”

“Today, we are grateful for the first three decades of the fruits of the Holy Spirit, which the Lord God poured out on our people through this eparchy,” said the Head of the UGCC and recalling the devoted service of the first bishop of the Sambir-Drohobych Eparchy, Bishop Julian Voronovsky.

Celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Sambir-Drohobych Eparchy, His Beatitude Sviatoslav urged everyone to ask themselves: “What does this anniversary mean? What does this celebration mean for us today? For us, Ukraine, which is bleeding and fighting for the right to exist? What mission, what task did the Holy Spirit have to give us, the modern generation of Christian Ukrainians and us, the bishops who have come here in such large numbers?”

According to the Primate, the mission of the UGCC is to be the core and strength of Ukraine, to catch the universe and all the children of Ukraine in the apostolic nets of the Church, to save them from death and bring them to the knowledge of the Truth of Christ.

“Today, Ukraine has become the central focus worldwide. Today we must learn to cast our nets wide. Because through us today, the Lord God wants to catch the entire universe around us, where the sons and daughters of Ukraine are scattered around the world. How often have we said in recent months that the world has never been as Ukrainian as it is today? It has never commiserated with Ukraine. We are expected to answer a difficult question: what does it mean to be a Christian in time of war?” the Patriarch stated.

At the end of the sermon, His Beatitude Sviatoslav congratulated Bishop Yaroslav on his 60th anniversary.

At the end of the service, Bishop Yaroslav thanked His Beatitude Sviatoslav, the bishops, clergy, monastics, and all those present for the joint prayer of thanksgiving.

The UGCC Department for Information

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