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

“If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’" (John 7:37-38 ESV)

Lenten Prayer of St. Ephrem

O Lord and Master of my life, drive away from me the spirit of despondency, carelessness, love of power, and idle chatter. (Prostration)

Rather grant to me, Your servant, the spirit of wholeness of being, humility, patience, and love. (Prostration)

Yes, O Lord and King, grant that I may see my own faults and not condemn my brother; for You are blessed to the ages of ages. Amen. (Prostration)

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

For Christians above all men are forbidden to correct the stumblings of sinners by force...it is necessary to make a man better not by force but by persuasion. We neither have autority granted us by law to restrain sinners, nor, if it were, should we know how to use it, since God gives the crown to those who are kept from evil, not by force, but by choice.

St. John Chrysostom