“Today, God saves you and me through His movement towards each of us”: His Beatitude Sviatoslav on Zacchaeus  Sunday

February 18, 2024, 17:38 43

Lord, as You once entered Jericho, so come to our Ukrainian home, find and save us, bring us to You! Revive us as the God of our fathers in repentance before You! For if our Ukrainian home, our family, community, Church, Your dwelling place, and Your people stand on this land, then everything that is being destroyed before our eyes today will be rebuilt and restored.

 “Today, God saves you and me through His movement towards each of us”: His Beatitude Sviatoslav on Zacchaeus  Sunday

This was stated by the Father and Head of the UGCC, His Beatitude Sviatoslav, during a sermon on Zacchaeus Sunday at the Patriarchal Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ. With the Head of the Church presiding, the Auxiliary Bishop of the Kyiv Archeparchy, Bishop Andriy Khimyak, and the priests of the cathedral concelebrated.

Commenting on the story of Zacchaeus, in which God approaches man, the Head of the UGCC drew attention to the meeting of two viewpoints: Zacchaeus, who was lost, and God, who wants to find him, the one who thought he possessed everything in this world, but was actually lost, and God, who saves.

His Beatitude Sviatoslav pointed out that Christ is moving precisely to the house of Zacchaeus. In this parable, he explained, the word “house” in the eyes of Jesus Christ means something much deeper than a dwelling.

“Christ comes to Zacchaeus’ house and helps him to find God’s blessing, which is more than earthly wealth. Zacchaeus finds the God of his fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, his greatest ancestral wealth. Therefore, having found the most precious thing, the presence of God in his story, Zacchaeus gives away everything he has accumulated through his tax collection. He repents! He said: ‘And if I have offended anyone, I will repay them four times over.’ He found God the Savior, and in Christ, he saw himself. He who has God has everything. He who repents loses nothing, but, on the contrary, finds his God — the life-giving Source that revived his ancestors and built their ancestral home,” the Patriarch affirmed.

The Father and Head of the UGCC emphasized that today, God’s Word is addressed to each of us personally, “to me and you.”

His Beatitude Sviatoslav stressed that the idea of God looking out for me, actively searching for me, brings life-giving comfort to the afflicted and wounded in Ukraine.

“It is we who see our homes, cities, and villages destroyed every day. Today, we see how the war has struck the very heart of Ukraine — the Ukrainian family, crying, feeling wounded and lost; the family that lost its dearest ones, the family of those who are in captivity or missing, the family of the wounded, which has become the only space of life and salvation in this world for them. Sometimes, we suffer and think that no one sees it. But the Lord sees everything!” the Patriarch assured.

“May God’s blessing be upon each of us today. May God call each of us by name to meet Him. May He fill with the power of life all those who are now looking into the eyes of death. O God, let us meet You today with our eyes, enter our home, and bless our long-suffering Ukraine with Your just peace,” concluded the Primate.

The UGCC Department for Information

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