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

“Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." (Matthew 6:33 ESV)

Pentecost

Blessed are You, O Christ our God, * Who has shown the fishermen to be all wise, * by sending down to them the Holy Spirit, * and through them You have caught the whole world in Your net. * O Lover of Mankind, glory to You. (Troparion - Tone 8)

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

When the Most High descended, confusing tongues, * He divided the nations; * but when He distributed the tongues of fire, * He called all to unity; * and, with one voice, * we glorify the Most Holy Spirit. (Kontakion - Tone 8)

Saints and Martyrs

Adorned with the blood of Your Martyrs throughout the world, * as with purple and fine linen, * Your Church cries out to You through them: * "Send down Your compassions upon Your people. * Grant peace to Your commonwealth and great mercy to our souls." (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.

As the first-fruits of nature to the Planter of Creation, * the whole world offers to You, O Lord, the God-bearing martyrs. * Through their prayers and the intercession of the Mother of God * preserve Your commonwealth, the Church, in profound peace, O Most Merciful One. (Kontakion - Tone 8)

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

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