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“Through contemplation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we find beauty and fullness of personal life”: Bishop Maksym Ryabukha to the Catholic bishops of Ukraine

November 21, 2023, 15:10 45

On November 21, on the Feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Greek Catholic and Roman Catholic bishops of Ukraine, who are currently attending a joint retreat, celebrated the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy in Zarvanytsia in the Byzantine rite. The Father and Head of the UGCC, His Beatitude Sviatoslav, presided over the service. Bishop Maksym Ryabukha delivered the sermon.

“Through contemplation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we find beauty and fullness of personal life”: Bishop Maksym Ryabukha to the Catholic bishops of Ukraine

During the Divine Liturgy, His Beatitude Sviatoslav greeted all the participants in Zarvanytsia, noting that “this is a special place where hundreds of thousands of people come to encounter the Blessed Virgin Mary, who is present here in a miraculous way. Today, we are here together with you to begin our annual spiritual studies and retreats.”

In the first retreat lecture for the bishops of the UGCC and RCC, Bishop Maksym emphasized the Nativity Fast, focusing on the Holy Virgin and calling for prayer, study, and service.

“The time of the Nativity Fast for each of us is a remarkable period of spiritual concentration and silence. It’s a time when we cast aside everything that interferes with our ability to stop and set our eyes on the life-giving God,” the retreatant noted.

Bishop Maksym emphasizes that today, the Blessed Virgin guides us through three distinct stages: a period of prayer, study, and service

A prayerful life should permeate our Christian journey, leading to a life of complete service. Our whole we are invited to strive for learning and growing. “Each of us came to this world not just to dwell for some time, but to comprehend the fullness of life in eternity,” the bishop asserted.

Speaking of service, Bishop Maksym emphasized that our lives transform into a manifestation of the love we receive and experience.

“May the Lord help each of us to hold the hand of the Blessed Virgin Mary tightly as we pray. May He help us look in the same direction as Her. May He help us learn and grow in God’s love alongside Her,” Bishop Maksym wished the Ukrainian Catholic bishops.

At the end of the Liturgy, His Beatitude Sviatoslav thanked everyone who came to Zarvanytsia. He noted that every feast of the Virgin Mary in Zarvanytsia is special and unique. He also emphasized that the Presentation is a celebration of Christian education and assured special prayerful support for all those raising children in the Christian faith.

The UGCC Department for Information

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