Today for us as Christians to be the witnesses of Christ’s truth and find a way to the eternal life means to love our Motherland, our people and be ready to give up a life for our friends in the name of God. It was said by the Father and Head of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church His Beatitude Sviatoslav during his sermon to the laity at the Patriarchal Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ on the State Flag Day in Ukraine.

“Those who do not love their Motherland will always be strangers and exiles in this land. Who do not want to build their own state and assert its independence, he is doomed to be a slave in a different countries”, - signified the Head.

Contemplating over a human’s behaviour, a preacher mentioned, Lord created us in such a way, that we want to surpass ourselves. Human is a creature, saying he, who is never satisfied with own restrictions: always wants something more, something better and more complete. “Probably those who bring up youth, especially teens, know a juvenile period to be marked with two interesting phenomena… A young person in time of getting mature is experiencing a crisis of values. Everything what was certain and clear yesterday, gets another meaning today. Parents call it a “difficult age”. On the other hand – to become mature, a young person must go through his own loneliness. He must face something new, find his love, must fall in love with somebody, go out of himself, in order to meet a living God. Only then he can find his life, the sense of what is worth devoting himself to in this terrestrial life. Even more – find what gives an opportunity to live an eternal life that will not pass away”, - said His Beatitude Sviatoslav.

“For this Christ, - proceeded the Head of the UGCC, - calls us over and over again to follow Him. Really, it is only in Him we can give and find our life, living for a neighbour, again giving up life in love for God and for a neigbour. That is the sense of Christ’s Gospel, the cell of a Christian belief, the way to a real maturity, becoming a man with a big letter”.

“Whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and for the Gospel will find it”. Up to the Head of Church, this God’s word, sounding to us as an example of meeting a young man with Christ, revels especially in holidays we are celebrating. Tomorrow we will celebrate an anniversary of our Motherland Independence. Today Ukrainian society is celebrating a State Flag Day which is the symbol, sign and a cell of our sovereign life.

“It is possible to say that Ukrainian society is experiencing today the same crisis of maturity. There is a crisis of overestimating the values, crisis of searching a sense… Why it is so important for us to preserve our independent state today? Is it worth giving up our lives for our freedom and independence? For the faithful Christians these questions sound even deeper. What does it mean for us today, in this rebellious time to follow Christ and be His disciples? A good answer for this question has a prophet of Ukrainian people, our Taras. He considers love to the Motherland and to the own mother to be the same thing. I think, exactly this kind of outlook that flows out of Christ’s Gospel is a basement and foundation of a state development that we want to rest on along a way of our going further. Because our freedom, our future, our personal well-being are impossible without an assertion and existence of an independent Ukrainian State”, - said the Head.

His Beatitude Sviatoslav called for celebrating these holidays without being sad as that rich young man did, who didn’t want to give away that little one for receiving something more and eternal. “Let us be mature and those who are building today, who develop their country with the state conscience, being Christians-patriots. Let us not be afraid to grant our lives into God’s hands, for everything what do we have now we will preserve and enrich, giving it up for our brothers and sisters”, - wished the Head of the UGCC.

The UGCC department of Information

http://news.ugcc.ua/en/news/the_head_of_the_ugcc_those_who_do_not_love_their_motherland_will_always_be_strangers_and_exiles_in_this_land_74578.html


Teachings of Christ

“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account." (Matthew 5:11 ESV)

Theophany

At Your baptism in the Jordan, O Lord, * worship of the Trinity was revealed, * for the Father's voice bore witness to You, calling You His “beloved Son”, * and the Spirit in the form of a dove confirmed the truth of these words. * O Christ God, * Who appeared and enlightened the world, glory to You! (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.

You have appeared to the whole world today, * and Your light, O Lord, is signed upon us, * who with knowledge sing praise to You: * “You have come, and You have appeared , O Unapproachable Light." (Kontakion, Tone 4)

Christ is Born!

Your Nativity, O Christ our God, * has dawned upon the world the light of knowledge. * for through it, those who served the stars * were taught by a star to worship You, the Sun of Righteousness * and to know You, the Dawn from on high. * Glory to You, O Lord! (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 Virgin gives birth to the Transcendent One, * and the earth offers a cave to the Unapproachable One. * Angels and shepherds sing His glory; * Wise Men journey with a star * for there is born for us an infant Child, the God Who is before all ages. (Kontakion, Tone 3)

Random Proverb

"My son, be attentive to my wisdom; incline your ear to my understanding, that you may keep discretion, and your lips may guard knowledge." (Proverbs 5:1,2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

But if a person is constantly mindful of God, he will rejoice: as the psalmist says, "I remembered God, and I rejoiced" (Psalms 77:3). For when the intellect is gladdened by the remembrance of God, then it forgets the afflictions of this world, places its hope in Him, and is no longer troubled or anxious.

St. Peter of Damaskos, "JOY" (from "The 24 Discourses), "The Philokalia vol. III," - pp. 260 - 263.