His Beatitude Sviatoslav consecrated a new church in Zhytomyr

Tuesday, 24 November 2015, 14:31
On 22nd of November, the Head and Father of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church, His Beatitude Sviatoslav consecrated a new-built temple of Holy Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Basilian woman’s monastery in Zhytomyr.

 “Today we have asked the Lord to make this temple a shelter to all afflicted and a dispensary for all infirm. Today, God, similar to that Samarian from today’s Gospel, has come here to us, hurt and wounded to grant us kindness and His mercy”, told His Beatitude during the homily.

“And it has always been happening along a history of our nation”, - proceeded the preacher. It happened exactly two years ago at the beginning of the Revolution of Dignity. Where did our youth run, rescuing from robbers? They ran to God’s temple, to the monastery, because there is a cell of God’s love and His mercy.

“We were asking God for this sanctified altar to become a source of a cure”, noticed His Beatitude Sviatoslav.

Pondering over the Gospel of Luke, the preacher pointed that one of the crucial questions having been embarrassed people since the beginning of the world is how God treats me? “How does God treat me and you, especially when we are offending Him, forget about Him, committing sins, and what is more, commit them grievously. We find an answer for this question in a deep way from today’s Gospel”, - thinks the Head of the UGCC.

“Responding to the scholar of the law, - continued he, what does it mean to love, Jesus Christ is telling a parable about the Good Samaritan. But when we read attentively, deepen into those images, depicted by Luke, we will see something very interesting that will answer the question we are putting ourselves today. A man who went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, I would say, is an appearance of a random secular man, distant from God. Especially today, when Ukrainians think that to be a European means to be away from God, live our self-sufficient life. And now, this man is leaving Jerusalem. We know Jerusalem in Scriptures is exactly that place, time and space where person lives with God. He is moving away from it. He starts going down, as Luke describes it, saying: he starts coming down from the height of Jerusalem to Jericho. From Scriptures we know Jericho a place of that utmost opposition to God. What happened to that man? He fell victim to robbers. Holy Gregory of Nyssa asks himself where those robbers have appeared from amongst the dessert? Then he responds:  when person moves away from God, sins appear to be that robbers. Personal sins-robbers throw a man to the roadsides of life, half- dead”.

“What is happening to such a person?”- asks His Beatitude Sviatoslav. “People start condemning him/her and turn away from. Every time we see our relative or neighbour doing something wrong, we start judging immediately, trying to isolate ourselves from such a person. Person judges another one to a death penalty, especially when the second has committed something what is not right. But only people are acting like this, what does God usually do? That Samarian is an image of a merciful God. The attitude we are asking about today is called God’s mercy”, - signified the Major Archbishop.

The preacher mentioned the next point: Luke, talking about mercy of Samarian, uses one interesting Greek word. “Treated with family” means that inside organs have moved. “it is not only a movement left to be only the feelings… Because we are moving but we usually do not leave our homes and do not approach our neighbours. …And this inside movement starts drawing him nearer to that man. What is more, that mercy is saving…” –considers His Beatitude Sviatoslav.

The preacher pointed out that real life is active and appears as a mercy. That is when love moves us as creatures and leads to God, consequently to our neighbour via Him. It draws us to those who are nearby us. “We cannot love God, Who we do not see, when we do not love, do not move, do not disturb our heart, our soul and our whole knowledge, exactly when we see people’s misfortunes. But the biggest problem and tragedy is an inside woe we call a sin. It kills both, soul and body”, - asks to think about the Head of the Church.

Appealing to Basilian nuns, His Beatitude Sviatoslav requested: “Let this temple be always open for the needy. Be the first teachers of that service we call today very plainly “social service”. We must show people of the XXI century God’s mercy”, - finishing up with a homily, stressed the Father and Head of the UGCC.

At the end of the Divine Liturgy, a decree has being read according to what father Ostap Dudak was appointed to be a prior in this temple. Afterwards, the charters were read with what persons who has contributed to the building of this temple in Zhytomyr were awarded.

The UGCC Department of Information





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