“Remember that you are called to joy!” — His Beatitude Sviatoslav to Monastics

February 4, 2024, 16:20 104

Dear sisters and brothers, remember that you are called to joy! St. Francis de Sales said: “A sad saint is a sorry saint.” God’s people wish for a smiling nun, a joyful monk who would reflect in their life the happiness of eternity, reaching out, inviting, and serving humanity amidst our temporary existence. The Father and Head of the UGCC, His Beatitude Sviatoslav, stated in his homily on February 4, the 35th Sunday after the Descent of the Holy Spirit, during the All-Church Monastic Pilgrimage to the Patriarchal Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ in Kyiv.

“Remember that you are called to joy!” — His Beatitude Sviatoslav to Monastics

His Beatitude Sviatoslav remarked that in today’s Gospel parable, the Lord God calls a person to share in his eternal joy. As described by the evangelist Matthew, the parable tells of a wedding feast. It means that it is a unique, inimitable moment of joy. And anyone who refuses to partake in it misses out on this joy.

The Patriarch reminded us that this eternal joy is not a vague prospect. On the contrary, this eternity is manifested in our present!

“Christian vocation means being faithful to what you already possess. It means keeping the wedding garment that you already wear today, given to you in the Sacrament of Baptism, unstained. Discovering the true significance of that wedding garment is only possible at the wedding. And that banquet of the Lamb will be revealed to you all now,” the bishop said.

At the end of the Liturgy, His Beatitude Sviatoslav extended his gratitude to the bishops of the UGCC who, together with the monastics of their exarchates, came to the Patriarchal Cathedral, especially Bishop Mykhailo Bubniy, head of the Patriarchal Commission on Monasticism. The Primate noted that the numerous monastics in the cathedral bear witness to the greatness of our Church.

“I am especially pleased to welcome those fathers and sisters who understand the harsh reality of war not merely through television — the father-hegumen from the illustrious Basilian monastery in Kherson. We cannot fathom the strength of spirit with which you endured the occupation and the sacrificial service you render to our people today!” the bishop said. He also acknowledged the father hegumen from Pokotylivka in the Kharkiv region and the protogumen from Zakarpattia. “Dear fathers, esteemed sisters, thank you for choosing Kyiv as the destination for your pilgrimage this year!”

The UGCC Department for Information

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