From the Head of the UGCC on Day 103 of the war: Today we ask -- Lord, purify your vineyard in Ukraine!

Tuesday, 07 June 2022, 23:09
We also pray for our enemies, that their souls not wither from crimes against the Ukrainian people. We pray for the grace of the Holy Spirit for all people. These were comments made by His Beatitude Sviatoslav, the Father and Head of the UGCC, in his daily address on the 103rd day of Russia's war against Ukraine.

“In recent days, Ukraine was shocked by the fact that the Sviatohorsk Lavra of the Moscow Patriarchate was once again shelled and partially destroyed; monks, civilians and refugees escaping from the Russian bombing of this monastery were killed. Apparently, there is nothing sacred for the Russian occupier. Yesterday, once again our city of Kharkiv was heavily shelled as it attempts to slowly return to a peaceful life. The entire territory of Ukraine is vulnerable to Russian missiles, which continue to strike various regions of our country. Therefore, there is no city, no part of Ukraine that can be considered completely safe,” stated the Head of the UGCC.

“Unfortunately, more than six million Ukrainians have already been forced to leave their homeland. About eight million people are considered internally displaced, and we are trying to receive, assist, and serve them as much as we can. Ukraine is standing and fighting because it relies on the only unshakeable cornerstone which is our Lord Jesus Christ,” he added.

His Beatitude Sviatoslav noted that today is the fourth day of the Missionary Decade.

“According to the Julian calendar, we are beginning a new week which anticipates the encounter with the Holy Spirit, the messenger of God, the dear guest of our soul, who makes our piety fruitful, and gives us the depth of spiritual life,” said the Head of the Church.

“Today’s Gospel,” he recalled, “tells us about Christ as the true vine. Christ says, ‘I am the true vine, my Father is the vine-grower, and you are the branches.’”

“We pray that Christ’s grapevine, -- which was planted in the land of Ukraine more than a thousand years ago by Prince Volodymyr, -- continue to grow, develop, and issue new sprouts. We all want this grapevine to bear good fruit,” the Father and Head of the Church stated.

According to him, our actions are the fruits. And it is the Holy Spirit who is the vital, inner force that binds the branches to the vine. The Holy Spirit is the juice that circulates in the grape and enables us to bear good fruit in the spiritual Christian life. That is why Christ says that without Him we can do nothing.

But then, adds the Head of the UGCC, the Lord warns that every branch that does not bear good fruit will be cut off. For, he explains, when we reject the Holy Spirit and Divine grace, we dry up like the unfruitful branch, which unfortunately, can wither even on a good vine. Every sin withers our soul and makes it infertile.

“Today we see that in Ukraine some are bearing fruit, and others have come to show themselves as dry branches on this grapevine, although they call themselves Christians. It is a great scandal for the whole world that in Ukraine some Christians who are trying to take over the tradition of the Kyivan Church, have come from Moscovy to kill other Christians in the lands of Kyiv,” the Archbishop emphasized.

“O God, make us fruitful branches in Your vineyard! May our Heavenly Father purify us, even when that cleansing is a painful experience. The vintner must prune the vine so that it becomes more fruitful and does not grow wild. It happens that in times of such a pruning the vine weeps, as Ukraine weeps today. But let this pain turn into a maturation and fertility. O God, make the mission of preaching the Word of God to our Church fruitful! Sustain the new growth on Your ancient vine! Bless Ukraine! Bless the Ukrainian army! Bless all those who believe in You and anticipate the coming of Your Holy and Life-giving Spirit!” – pleaded the Ukrainian spiritual leader. 

The UGCC Department of Information



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