In Zarvanytsia His Beatitude Sviatoslav called faithful to listen to the God’s life-giving word rather than human’s killing one

Tuesday, 19 July 2016, 16:22
Today let us ask ourselves who we listen to, what do we hear, what words we incline our ears to? The diversity of information and malicious gossips captivate our imagination, paralyze our freedom, faith, love and hope. This is what easily enters our ears.

We ought to be careful to what we listen to as it enters our ears, trying to capture our mind. Let us listen to the God’s life-giving word rather than human’s killing one. The Father and Head of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church, His Beatitude Sviatoslav said during his homily on the second day of the all-national pilgrimage to Zarvanytsia.

According to the recent data more than 140 thousand pilgrims took part in the pilgrimage July, 16-17, Vasyl Semeniuk, Archbishop and Metropolitan of Ternopil-Zboriv reported.

The preacher mentioned that in the daily reading from the Holy Gospel we heard a story from Mathew about Jesus meeting centurion. “Listening to this story, we think that Mathew seems to emphasize intentionally on the main behavior patterns of centurion. We see how he asks Jesus for healing his servant. The mercy showed on a servant was strange and unusual for that times. The evangelist also tries to outline another feature of the centurion. A man with an absolute power in Israel, suddenly realizes that he can take someone’s life, however neither he nor his emperor has a power to grant the life and heal somebody… That is why the centurion comes to Jesus Christ. He acknowledges the power of the living God, Creator of earth and heaven who keeps the future of the servant and the whole world in His own hands. Still, Mathew wants to underline how Jesus Christ puts centurion’s faith into example!”

“Faith comes from listening, - His Beatitude Sviatoslav pointed out, - what later on proceeds in humility”.

“Listen, o daughter and consider, and incline your ear”. These words of king David the Christ Church applies to the Virgin Mary long since. She was the first who heard the words of annunciation. She was the first who accepted a word the centurion was thirst of. Even more, she got pregnant with this Word, let it into her body and her life. Later this God’s Word being the Only Son of the Heavenly Father was born from the flesh. The Blessed Virgin Mary was the first who believed, thus she is the teacher of belief, one of the first faithful on earth. She spent her all life living in humility, being devoted to the Word accepted”, explained the spiritual leader of Greek-Catholics.

“Today Theotokos is listening us. She hears us, taking all our prayers into her heart. Today we have arrived to this pilgrimage during this Year of Mercy as it is a heart of this extraordinary holy Year. We came to Her to call God’s mercy upon our Ukrainian land. God’s mercy that turns into the variety of God’s gifts every time it touches all our needs”.

The greatest gift we bring in faith today, listening to the word of God, is a gift of peace to our Land, the Major Archbishop said. We ask for a life, not for death. We ask God to receive our prayers as the highest manifestation of God’s mercy and stop the war with His power.

“I guess, an example the centurion and the Blessed Virgin Mary shows us is a call for every faithful Christian of the third century. Today we are invited to not merely listen to the word of God but, what is more, to accept it”, His Beatitude Sviatoslav asked to think over it.

“This day let us ask altogether: Lord, only say the word so this bloodshed might come to the end… Then we need to transform this word into our life, adopt Ukrainian law according to the God’s law and His truth, truth about a man, family and justice within our social life”, the Head of the Church said.





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