Patriarch Gregorios III addresses the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Synod in Ukraine

Patriarch Gregorios III visits the Ukrainian Greek Catholic SynodLviv, Ukraine, 4 September 2016

The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Patriarchal Synod opened today with a celebration of the Divine Liturgy at the historic St. George's Sobor in Lviv. His Beatitude Sviatoslav, father and head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church was the main celebrant. Forty bishops of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church from Ukraine, Western and Central Europe, North and South America and Australia were joined by His Beatitude Gregory III, the Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, of Alexandria and of Jerusalem. The week-long Synod has as its main theme "Diakonia - service to others," particularly significant in a time of war and humanitarian crisis.

Patriarch Gregorios III brought fraternal greetings and emphasised that relations with the UGCC are most important for his Melkite Greek Catholic Church and for other Christian Churches besieged by war in the Middle East. Discussions with the Patriarch centred around the topic of armed conflict and its devastating effect in Syria and Ukraine. Addressing the synodal fathers Patriarch Gregory emphasised that the UGCC is the largest of the Eastern Catholic Churches and that closer cooperation between Greek Catholics in the Middle East and Eastern Europe should take the form of regular episcopal encounters. He also proposed the creation of a joint formation programme for future priests conducted in the Holy Land, the creation of joint theological and canonical commissions, and other initiatives.

The leaders of the two Churches expressed heartfelt solidarity with each other's suffering flocks and pledged to foster closer relations. His Beatitude Sviatoslav, on behalf of the bishops, thanked Patriarch Gregorios for his kind words of fraternity and solidarity. This was Patriarch Gregorios's third visit to Ukraine. His charismatic words and energetic manner have endeared him to the people of Ukraine.


Teachings of Christ

“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul?" (Mark 8:34-37 ESV)

Theophany

When You were baptized in the Jordan, O Lord, * worship of the Trinity was revealed, * for the Father's voice bore witness to You, calling You His “beloved Son”, * and the Spirit in the form of a dove confirmed the certainty of these words. * O Christ God, * Who appeared and enlightened the world, glory to You! (Troparion, Tone 1)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

You have appeared to the whole world today, * and Your light, O Lord, is signed upon us, * who with knowledge sing praise to You: * "You have come, and You have appeared, O Unapproachable Light." (Kontakion, Tone 4)

Random Proverb

"He who commits adultery lacks sense; he who does it destroys himself." (Proverbs 6:32 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

The soul that really loves God and Christ, though it may do ten thousand righteousnesses, esteems itself as having wrought nothing, by reason of its insatiable aspiration after God. Though it should exhaust the body with fastings, with watchings, its attitude towards the virtues is as if it had not yet even begun to labour for them.

St. Macarius the Great