UGCC Head in Kovel: “The illness that today destroys a person from the inside, makes one an exile from society, is sin”

Wednesday, 03 April 2013, 20:44
On March 30th, Primate of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church, His Beatitude Sviatoslav (Shevchuk) continued his visit to the Lutsk Exarchate. This time the small community in the city of Kovel had the opportunity to host him. There UGCC Head celebrated the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom in the Church of Blessed Martyr Mykola Charnetsky.
On March 30th, Primate of the Ukrainian  Greek-Catholic  Church, His Beatitude Sviatoslav (Shevchuk) continued his visit to the Lutsk Exarchate. This time the small community in the city of Kovel had the opportunity to host him. There UGCC Head celebrated the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom                  in the Church of Blessed Martyr Mykola Charnetsky.   “I am grateful to God for the opportunity to visit here in Kovel this land which is known as the holy Volyn land, which gave our Church and our country  many holy people and devotees of Christian faith.  I could stand  on the spot where our great and holy predecessors served – those who gave their life for Christian faith, for God, for their people,” said the Major Archbishop.  UGCC Primate also thanked  the Order of the Most Holy Redeemer for their years of service in this area.  They arrived here in the most turbulent times – before and during World War II in order to be together with their people.   He especially welcomed “brotherly Orthodox Churches, revered clergy who arrived here  to pray together.”  “When Apostle Paul looked at the dead crucified Christ, he said that on the Cross our Savior destroyed the walls which separated  humankind.  Now there are no longer any Jews, Greek, men, women – all are one in Christ.  Today, I would like to continue the words of Apostle Paul concerning our Ukrainian church realities – before Christ, there are no Catholics, Orthodox – all are one in the Lord.  Therefore, your presence here, reverend fathers, testifies to the Word of God which is directed at us,” expressed his joy the  Father and Head of Greek-Catholics.   In his sermon to the faithful (   audio) His Beatitude Sviatoslav made a parallel between falling ill with a terrible sickness – leprosy, from which in the Gospel Jesus cures people, and “the leprosy of sin.”   “Through this curing of the leper, Jesus shows us today something deeper.  Although we are people of the 21st century, the third millennium, we can also easily become contaminated with such leprosy that often can  be much worse than the bodily leprosy.  Such an illness which destroys the person from the inside, makes one a social exile, is sin which cuts the relationship between people and God and separates people  among each other.  Sin is a big evil even for the contemporary person.  But we know well that  by our own efforts selves we cannot heal from sin. Among people, there is no such physician who can heal the leprosy of sin.  Such medicine comes only from God.  And the time when it can happen is during the Sacrament of Penance,” said the preacher.   Therefore, he argues, the time of Great Lent – is a time of penance , a time when the Church calls all of us, both me and you, to come to the physician of souls and bodies, who is willing to forgive us our sins, and even more, to renew our inclusion into the family of the children of God.”  “Cleanse yourself, stay pure – beckons the Lord,”  reminds His Beatitude Sviatoslav.   “I suppose that the history of Redemptorist Fathers in Kovel is the history of the cleansing of this land.  This is so,  because Redemptorists are known as confessors, who from morning until night are willing to listen to confessions by numberless people who come to them.  Without this sacrament of cure and cleansing, a person is not able to reenter the fullness of life in God.  Let us thank the Lord, that that  -- whom all search -- is here,  And the time of Great Lent  -- is a time closest to God and thereby – to your neighbor,” stated UGCC Head. At the end of the Liturgy, children greeted the Church Primate with poems.  The pastor of the church, Rev. Petro Mirchuk during the varied thanks of the UGCC Head, also thanked God for the possibility to pray together with him in Kovel. After dinner, His Beatitude Sviatoslav visited the Lesia Ukrainka Literary-Memorial Museum in the village of Kolodiazh.  After the tour UGCC Head met with the local branch of Soyuz Ukrainok [Ukrainian Women’s Association]. During his meeting with media, at the request of a reporter, His Beatitude Sviatoslav shared his impressions of visiting the parishes of  Lutsk Exarchate.  “In a few days, it will be five years since the creation  of the Lutsk Exarchate.  During these five years five new churches were built;  however, how many people’s souls , hearts, and communities were  built –  in the end, we do not really know! Yet all these communities which I visited: Lutsk, Rivne, Zdolbuniv, Volodymyr-Volynskyi, Novovolynsk, Dubno and here – are similar to a mustard seed.  It is possibly the smallest of all seeds, but contains in it such a strong energy of life and potential, that it grows into a giant tree.  Birds from the heavens descend on it in order to rest in the crown of its branches.  These are our communities, their potential and their future.  I hope that all confessions can rest in the nest of the branches of Our Church, which is flowering well in these lands and has its deep historical roots here as well as, obviously, a great future,”  ended  the Church Primate.  March 31th was the last day of the visit of UGCC Head to the Lutsk Exarchate. More photos: visitlutsk.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_30.html UGCC Department of Information
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