From His Beatitude Sviatoslav on Palm Sunday: It is a holiday of victory, stronghold and immortality

Tuesday, 19 April 2022, 12:17
Today we greet Christ the Conqueror with our green branches and ask: with Your victory over sin and death, fill with Easter joy all of us. To You we open our lives today, we stretch the clothes with which we cover our plans and which symbolize our human confidence at an indefinite time. Because we know that You will cover us with Your power and glory. Today Ukraine greets its King and sings to him: Hosanna in the highest heaven!” His Beatitude Sviatoslav, the Father and Head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church said during a homily to the faithful on Palm Sunday in the Patriarchal Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ.

In his homily, the Father and Head of the UGCC explained the greatness of today's holiday - the solemn, triumphant entry of Christ into Jerusalem.

"This holiday is the door that opens Holy Week to us, and then opens the entrance to the Passover" - he noted and drew attention to the fact that, with the beginning of this holiday, day after day, the Lord will reveal to us the deepest mysteries of the relationship between God and man.

“The deepest thought that the Lord wants to reveal to us is the thought that God, whom we call "Holy God, Holy and Mighty, Holy and Immortal," seeks to give each of us an Easter gift. He wants to share his holiness, his fortress, and most importantly, his immortality with each of us. That is why he comes, knocks at a person's heart, at the gates of cities and villages”, the Primate convinces.

The preacher drew attention to the gestures and symbols of this event and singled out three of them, which, in his opinion, are vital and life-giving for our country today.

The first gesture - Christ enters Jerusalem, sitting on a donkey.

“Why doesn't Christ enter in a chariot like the pharaohs or other kings of those days? Why is he not on a Basque horse to show the strength and power of his army, but on a young, subjugated donkey? – the Archbishop asks and explains: - He thus carries on himself the Old Testament image of King David, which showed that the success of his victories, his weapons was not the success of man, but the strength of God's power, which is manifested in weapons, in the art of warfare of the same successful commander of King David”.

The second gesture is that people take off their clothes and lie down in front of His donkey.

“This symbol, says the Head of the Church, is very eloquent. Because it is not enough for Christ to simply enter the city. It is necessary for His divine power to enter a person, enter into his heart and life. To take off one's clothes and lay them before Christ means to open a personal spiritual space before God, who comes to give Himself to man, to strengthen his weakness, to heal his weakness, to make him a partaker of God's victory”.

The third gesture - the first who felt the presence of the living God in His holiness, strength and immortality among people were children and youth.

“Children come out to meet Christ with green branches, palm branches. What do they mean by that? They greet Him as the victor over death, remembering the resurrection of Lazarus yesterday. Seeking the fullness of life, young people come to greet Him as their king, as someone they are ready to follow to the end, even in a mortal battle, because they know that He will lead them to life”, says the Head of the UGCC.

“This day is a holiday of victory, stronghold and immortality. We feel this especially in Ukraine during the war. In the midst of darkness and despair of war, our Lord Jesus Christ triumphantly enters Kyiv, Ukraine, as He once did to Jerusalem”, the Primate emphasizes.

We feel, he says, that Ukraine will win not only through human efforts, although it is needed. We feel that there is a God with us in our struggle. He supports us, and our enemy is already afraid of us.

“We saw the harbinger of victory here, in our Patriarchal Cathedral, in the early days of the war, when our territorial guards caught the first saboteurs, powerful Russian paratroopers, and told me: Your Beatitude, we will win, because we saw fear in their eyes”, told His Beatitude Sviatoslav.

“Today Christ comes to eliminate our fear of the enemy, his various armies and weapons. We feel that we stop being afraid. We feel the foretaste of victory in Easter procession of Christ himself”, he says.

The Primate recalled the closed cities, which are impossible to pass to bring the long-awaited victory to the people: “Today we are especially praying for our Mariupol. We plead: Lord, where we, people, cannot enter to reach out to our brothers and sisters in the occupied territories, where we cannot open green humanitarian corridors, You enter and with Your strength, victory, stronghold -   strengthen the heroic defenders of Mariupol! Comfort our people in Kherson and other territories, which need Your presence and Your strength so much today!”

“May God's blessing descend on each of us! May the power of God enter the hearts of everyone who fights for the victory of Ukraine! May God's holiness become the way of life and existence of every Ukrainian, because this holiness will overcome evil and sin that the enemy brings to our land! May the power of the Resurrection, to which we are heading, defeat the deadly enemy who came to sow death, so that in just a few days we may greet, here in our Patriarchal Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ, the Risen Christ, who will finally show everyone victory over life and death”, the Father and Head of the UGCC wished Ukrainians.

At the end of the Divine Liturgy His Beatitude Sviatoslav, on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of Fr. Lubomyr Yavorsky patriarchal economist of the UGCC, made him eligible to wear a gold pectoral cross with jewelry.

The UGCC Department for Information



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