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

“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)

Joachiam and Anna Rejoice

Today the bonds of childlessness are loosed, * for God has heard Joachim and Anna * and He promises manifestly that they, against all hope, would give birth to the Maiden of God * from whom the Uncircumscribed One Himself would be born, becoming man, * and he commanded the Angels to cry out to her: * “Rejoice, O Full of Grace, the Lord is with you!” (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.

Today the whole world celebrates * the conception of Anne which was brought about by God, * for she gave birth to the one who, beyond understanding, * gave birth to the Word. (Kontakion - Tone 4)

Holy Forefathers

Through faith, O Christ, you justified the Forefathers, * betrothing through them in advance the Church of the gentiles. * The Saints exult in glory, * for from their seed came forth a glorious fruit: * she who gave birth to You without seed. * Through their prayers, O Christ God, have mercy on us. (Troparion, Tone 2)

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

You did not honor a hand-depicted image, O thrice-blessed ones, * but defended by the undepicted Being you were glorified in a trial by fire. * And, standing in the midst of unbearable flame, you called upon God: * “Hasten, O Compassionate One, and speed to our help, * for You are merciful and You can do whatever you will.” (Kontakion, Tone 6)

(Second Sunday Before Christmas)

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

For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. (Proverbs 2:6 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

While the Bridegroom tarried, they slumbered and slept: Give ear, ye prudent, to our Lord's parable, for it is all light. All of them slept, both the foolish and the wise -- Which signifies that the good and the wicked die until the resurrection. The same sleep comes upon the ten of them, which is as much as to say, That death is the same for all creation without distinction. One was the sleep of the wise and of the foolish, For one is death, both of the righteous and of sinners. The good die, as the wise virgins slept; And the bad die, as the foolish also slept. Behold, all creation looketh for the coming of the Bridegroom, Christ, Who cometh at the end with His angels. But since He hath tarried, all generations slumber and sleep with the sleep of death, while looking for when He cometh.

A Homily on the Ten Virgins by Mar Jacob, Bishop of Serugh