Every Christian should ask himself: Who is a Christian today? We are living in a complex world, full of challenges practically in every institution. That is why we must unite among ourselves and, first of all, with God! For He is much closer than we think. His Beatitude Sviatoslav spoke about this on Thursday, October 19, during the Divine Service in the Cathedral of the Holy Family in London. He was assisted by Bishops Hlib (Lonchyna) and Volodymyr (Grutsa).

"In today's Gospel we hear a conversation between Jesus Christ and the disciples of John the Baptist. This is a talk about the main questions which John's pupils ask Jesus: 'Are you the one who is to come or shall we look for another?' Actually, this question means: Who are You? This is a consolidation of the question about identity," with such words the Primate of the UGCC began his homily.

According to him, the Old Testament people were awaiting the Messiah by certain signs. Jesus Christ answers this question. "Coming of Jesus Christ means closeness of God to a man. It's not a man who came to God but the Lord came to a man. It's not a man who touched God, but He touched a man," emphasized the Head of the Church.

In His Beatitude Sviatoslav's opinion, in the person of Jesus Christ we can see the advent of God's Kingdom to us ‒ a real, visible one, - and feel God's presence among people. "Jesus says: 'Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me ...' What did he mean? People got used so much that God is far away; that one must shout so He could hear him; one must almost apply force to knock the doors of Heavenly Kingdom so that the Lord would open them for us... So when the Gospel says that He is close, people would not believe it," said the preacher.

His Beatitude Sviatoslav believes that a man does not always want to accept everything that Jesus wants to give him. He must believe and be with God Who is part of his life. "I think that this uneasy question 'Who are you?' every Christian should ask himself. What is a true Christian today?" ponders the Primate and adds: "A Christian is the one who is baptized in the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. And this is the one who by his own life is preaching the good news that God is close. Christians live with God and He lives in them. This is who the Christians are," stressed the Head of the Church.

 

The Primate assured that God is close to us but we, too, must be close to Him. Every day we must try in our soul and heart to be true Christians. "We are living in a not simple world now. We are living in the world which the Pope Francis called the third world war, which is going on by parts in various corners of the world. We are at the threshold of a new technical revolution, which will challenge all the institutions of this world," summed up His Beatitude Sviatoslav.

He added that we must unite and never forget that in God is our strength, faith and victory! "We must not look for other messiahs. We in Ukraine often wait for a new messiah who will come and put everything in order. In the times of Maidan people were closely looking into those leaders, who went on the stage, and asked: 'Is this him? Or should we wait for another?'" recalls the Primate of the UGCC the events of the Revolution of Dignity.

"I wish you here, in England, were all true Christians! Should people ask, who are those Ukrainians, Greek Catholics, ‒ so you may answer freely that we are faithful to God and through us the living resurrected Christ is being shown to the world," emphasized the Head of the UGCC.

We would like to remind you that from October 19 - October 31 His Beatitude Sviatoslav makes an Official Visitation to Great Britain at the invitation of the Right Reverend Hlib (Lonchyna), Eparch of the Eparchy of the Holy Family of London. This event is especially important for the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in Great Britain because 2017 marks the 60-th Jubilee of its establishment.

The UGCC Department for Information


Teachings of Christ

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40 ESV)

Encounter

Rejoice, O Mother of God, Virgin full of grace. * From you has risen the Sun of Righteousness, Christ our God, * shining upon those who are in darkness. * Rejoice also, you righteous Elder; * for you received in your arms the Deliverer of our souls, * Who has given us resurrection. (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.

O Christ God, through Your birth You sanctified the Virgin's womb; * and blessed, as it was proper, the hands of Simeon. * Now, having come, you saved us. * Give peace to Your commonwealth in times of war * and strengthen our civil authorities, whom You have loved, O You who alone loves mankind. (Kontakion, Tone 1)

(The Feast of the Encounter is February 2nd - the 40th Day of Christmas)

Random Proverb

"The wage of the righteous leads to life, the gain of the wicked to sin." (Proverbs 10:10 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

It was said about John the Little that one day he said to his older brother: "I want to be free from care and not to work but to worship God without interruption." And he took his robe off, and went into the desert. After staying there one week, he returned to his brother. And when he knocked at the door, his brother asked without opening it: "Who is it?" He replied: "It's John, your brother." The brother said: "John has become an angel and is not among people anymore." Then he begged and said: "It's me!" But his brother did not open the door and left him there in distress until the next morning. And he finally opened the door and said: "If you are a human being, you have to work again in order to live." Then John repented, saying: "Forgive me, brother, for I was wrong."

Sayings of the Desert Fathers