Whoever loves God, neighbor and homeland knows the reason to live and die: Head of the UGCC

February 11, 2024, 14:49 52

Today, we especially pray that the fruit of God’s love will abundantly capture the hearts of today’s youth. For in times of war, in particular, it is love that makes life meaningful, and it is the one who loves God, neighbor, and homeland and knows the reason to live and the reason to die. Today, our men and women at the front, our volunteers, and even those fathers and mothers who are ready to give themselves to their children and give birth to sons and daughters of Ukraine in marital love all speak to us about this.

Whoever loves God, neighbor and homeland knows the reason to live and die: Head of the UGCC

The Father and Head of the UGCC, His Beatitude Sviatoslav, said this in his sermon on February 11, the 36th Sunday after Pentecost, and on the occasion of the Youth Pastoral Care Forum held in Kyiv.

His Beatitude Sviatoslav noted that today’s Gospel reading calls on a person to love — to love God and his neighbor as himself. The Lord God calls man, the embodiment of God’s love, to relationship with each other and seeks to discover the traits of his love in man.

Sometimes we wonder how we can speak of love as a commandment, a prescription of the law. However, the Head of the Church emphasized that the commandment of God’s law is different from the prescription of human law.

“The Lord God in His law does not provide a person with some external prescriptions or coercions — the Lord calls a person to relationships. And in fact, the law of God and the law of relationships and communication are the rules of the relationship between God and people, as well as a certain light of people’s relationships with each other,” said His Beatitude Sviatoslav. “The peak of true, deep, human relationships is a person’s ability to love.”

Moreover, the Primate said that the great trouble of modern people is that they do not know how to love. However, according to the Hierarch, if we are able to love with our will, feelings, and mind, we will be truly persons of distinction.

“We are only ourselves when we know how to love the way God loves us. We are ourselves only when we recognize ourselves as sons and daughters of God, and thus nurture our relationship with God, when we learn to love God and our neighbor as ourselves,” His Beatitude Sviatoslav emphasized.

In his welcoming address to the Forum of Youth Pastoral Care of the UGCC at the Patriarchal Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ in Kyiv, the Father and Head of the UGCC emphasized that modern Ukrainian youth seek guidance from the Church to teach them to love God and neighbor.

His Beatitude Sviatoslav then addressed the youth priests, heads of the UGCC Commission on Youth Affairs, as well as girls and boys representing various youth organizations and communities: “There is no other relationship between the Church and youth than the relationship of love, the love of a mother for her children. Therefore, every youth community, every type of our youth pastoral care should be no other than a school of love.”

“May the Lord God bless your work! May the Lord God bless the Ukrainian youth! May He fill our hearts with His love!” wished the Father and Head of the UGCC, His Beatitude Sviatoslav.

The UGCC Department for Information

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