- "Today we live in a world of falsehoods and fakes. We ourselves often hide our own personality because we see that have nothing to show off. We are afraid to stand the moment of truth about ourselves. But today Christ is inviting us to wash with this Jordan water and overcome evil."

This was said by the Father and Head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church His Beatitude Sviatoslav in his homily to the faithful in the  Patriarchal Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ on the Feast of the Epiphany.

The Feast of Baptism of Our Lord Jesus Christ  – is one of the greatest Christian holidays. As the Primate said, this holiday is connected with the historic event, which has an extremely deep meaning for us. It's meaningful for us, those who are living at this non-simple, special moment in the history of Ukraine.

We are reading about this event in the Gospel: Jesus is coming from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. "John, doing this baptism in the Jordan," told the preacher, "seems to give the people hope for salvation, purification; hope that once the biggest hidden thing about everyone will not be sin and evil but something much better. For the Lord didn't create a man for sin and evil but made him in His own image, to belong to Him and participate in God's life.  And now to the Jordan River comes Christ. He comes to reveal His mystery. When John saw the Savior, he understood that this is the most honest and pure person, who does not need washing to become holy and clean. But Jesus insists: yes, we ought to fulfill all righteousness, because He wants to reveal to John and others Who He is, the hidden mystery of His Divine Person"

His Beatitude Sviatoslav explained that today we are celebrating our adoption. "Jesus Christ is revealed and announced by His Divine Father by the power of the Holy Spirit as His only Son, eternally begotten of the Father, according to His Divine nature. But today He enters the Jordan waves to give everyone a chance to become God's sons and daughters. He wants to share with us that Who He is, make us partakers of His truth. Therefore water today is like an instrument of God's adoption".

"Christ, entering the Jordan waves, blessing the water, touching the Universe by His presence, reveals to us the mystery of Baptism", said the Head of the Church.

Each of us, assures the theologian, at the moment of baptizing becomes a God's child. "And this becomes our biggest secret. Each of us must reveal in himself that we are not unfree, not slaves. We are not instruments of some policy or other earthly powers. The deepest truth about each of us is that we are sons and daughters of the Almighty, whom we became at the moment of baptizing, receiving the Holy Spirit in the Sacrament of Chrismation".

"And this water, which we are blessing today," went on His Beatitude Sviatoslav, "is a water of revival, a water of purification. Christ accepts Baptism for the sake of us, to make us partakers of His inheritance as God's Son, so that each of us could cognize God, be able to enter into God's presence. So today we sort of reveal the deepest truth about ourselves. We find our true dignity and identity in the Sacrament of Baptism."

According to his words, today we will solemnly go to the Ukrainian Jordan - the Dnieper, to baptize waters. "We want to commune today with this Jordan water so in our life we could fulfill all the righteousness.  We ask today that Christ may renew in us that  baptizing with water and the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit and fire, which we received when we became Christians. To realize our own dignity – is already a revolution. We need revival, purification so much in our Ukraine, but we understand, that the moment of truth is to be set not by a man but by God," emphasized the Head of the Church.

"We ask that by means of this Jordan water, which we commune, which we take to our homes, which we sprinkle on ourselves, the Lord our God may send His blessing on Ukraine, may reveal our truth, in which we are living and for which we are fighting and dying, - may He reveal our dignity, our power, which is in God.  May our Ukrainian Jordan carry this consecrated water to all the corners of our land. May this water drive out of Ukraine all the enemies and foes, may it show the truth, may it bring us victory of truth and good," wished the spiritual leader of the Greek Catholic Church.

After the Liturgy, His Beatitude Sviatoslav blessed the water in the Dnieper. 

The UGCC Department of Information

Teachings of Christ

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’" (Matthew 7:21-23 ESV)

Exaltation of the Cross

Save Your people, O Lord, and bless Your inheritance; * grant victory to Your Church over her enemies * and protect Your commonwealth by Your Cross. (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.

Willingly lifted up on the Cross, O Christ God, * bestow Your compassions upon the new commonwealth that bears Your name. * By your power grant joy to Your Church, * granting her victory over her enemies. * May she have your Cross as the weapon of peace * and the invincible ensign of victory. (Kontakion - Tone 4)

The Church celebrates the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross on September 14th.

Random Proverb

"Hear, O sons, a father's instruction, and be attentive, that you may gain insight, for I give you good precepts; do not forsake my teaching." (Proverbs 4:1,2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Why do you beat the air and run in vain? Every occupation has a purpose, obviously. Tell me then, what is the purpose of all the activity of the world? Answer, I challenge you! It is vanity of vanity: all is vanity. 

St. John Chrysostom