risu.org.ua - On 26th of March celebrating Divine Liturgy at the parish of Immaculate Conception of Blessed Virgin Mary in Obera, Misiones province, Head and Father of UGCC His Beatitude Sviatoslav finished his pastoral visit to Argentina and Paraguay.

Among those who co-served His Beatitude Sviatoslav were: bishop Danyil Kozlinskyi, eparch of Intercession of Blessed Virgin Mary, eparchy in Argentina, protohegumen of the province of Immaculate Conception of Blessed Virgin Mary in Argentina, fr Ignatius Slobodian, OSBM, the senior priest of the above mentioned parish, fr Andryi Koropetskyi, OSBM, fr Hektor Zimmer, fr.Nestor Harapchuk and fr Taras Havrushko.

As His Beatitude Sviatoslav said in his homily, during this Divine Liturgy God helps us through Gospel reveal our true selves. “Jesus Christ became a man so we could realize that we are all children of God. We were created by the image and likeness of Jesus Christ. Saint Irenaeus of Lyon teaches us: Jesus Christ is full of Holy Spirit, source of our life, our freedom, our happiness. But the integral part what is peculiar to everyone present here is our faith. We have faith, we believe in God – this is what marks and identify our people, who arrived to Argentina 120 years ago. Ukrainian people was formed as a nation through confessing Christian faith. And today we hear these words of Jesus Christ: “everything is possible to those who believe”, said Head of UGCC.

“What does it mean, to have faith? - asked the preacher. – Holy apostle Paul says that to believe means to be open to God totally, who comes to meet us on our ways, who wants to enter and become a part of our life. When a person believes in God, He does miracles because he finds His place on earth, finds a person He can abide in”.

As the preacher says, frequently we cannot see the presence of God among us, when we are suffering. But today’s Gospel, - His Beatitude Sviatoslav says, - tells that God will never leave us. So let us ask, repeating: “I believe, help my unbelief”.

“In today’s Gospel Jesus Christ gives us two tools to help us understand how we, people of little faith, can grow up in our relationship with God as Christians. Christ says: “this kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting. Prayer helps us to grow in personal relationship with God. Fast is a time when we say “no” to our desires, “no” to our weaknesses or bad habits”, the archbishop pointed out.

At the end, Head of UGCC reminded that next Sunday, April 2, the whole Ukraine and all churches in Ukraine are praying for peace. And next Monday, on 3rd of April all Ukrainians are fasting. Since Christ tells us that prayer is one of the tools to drive an aggressor who wants to make slaves of us away. For this reason, Head of UGCC asked all Ukrainian parishes in Argentina and Paraguay to pray and fast together this day.

After the Divine Liturgy, bishop Danyil thanked His Beatitude Sviatoslav for his pastoral visit and teaching addressed to them, what is to be implemented in life, for prayer and blessing, and assured in their prayers for Head of  UGCC and the whole Church.

Reported by fr Taras Havryshko

Link to original story with photos.


Teachings of Christ

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." (John 13:34-35 ESV)

Saint Nicholas of Myra

The truth of your deeds has revealed you to your flock, * as a rule of faith, an image of meekness, and a teacher of abstinence. * Therefore, you attained the heights through humility, * and riches through poverty. * O Father and Hierarch Nicholas, * pray to Christ God that our souls may be saved. (Troparion, Tone 4)

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

In Myra, You were shown to be a servant of the sacred things, O Holy Nicholas, * for, fulfilling the Gospel of Christ, you, O Venerable, laid down your life for your people, * and saved the innocent from death. * Therefore, you were sanctified as a great initiate of the grace of God. (Kontakion, Tone 3)

Random Proverb

Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine. (Proverbs 3:9,10 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

When despondency seizes us, let us not give in to it. Rather, fortified and protected by the light of faith, let us with great courage say to the spirit of evil: "What are you to us, you who are cut off from God, a fugitive for Heaven, and a slave of evil? You dare not do anything to us: Christ, the Son of God, has dominion over us and over all. Leave us, you thing of bane. We are made steadfast by the uprightness of His Cross. Serpent, we trample on your head." 

St. Seraphim of Sarov