From the Head of the UGCC on the Feast of the Ascension: Our task is to destroy the spirit of war and protect Europe from the Asian horde

Friday, 03 June 2022, 23:08
We are strong in our current struggle, because today we pray more than ever for Ukraine, for the victory of our army, for the victory over the aggressor. His Beatitude Sviatoslav, the Father and Head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church said in his homily to the faithful on the Feast of the Ascension. The Liturgy was attended by a delegation of the German Bishops' Conference, led by the Bishop of Augsburg, who co-served in the Liturgy.

The Ascension of the Lord is one of the biggest twelve Christian holidays of the year, the Feast of the Ascension of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. According to the Primate this holiday is a fulfillment of God’s plan, where by uniting the heavenly with the earthly, Christ ascends to heaven.

The preacher explained that on the feast of the Ascension of the Lord, the apostles receive an individual task from Jesus Christ. First He tells them not to leave Jerusalem until they are clothed in power from above. The power that the apostles must expect for ten days. The power which will give them the courage to witness all that they have seen and experienced: the tragedy of the crucifixion of death and the joy of the Resurrection, to witness God’s love and preaching forgiveness of sins in that power, they will carry to the ends of the earth.

So today we are starting a ten-day intensive waiting time. The church is waiting for the coming of the Holy Spirit.

“This year, the Missionary Decade is about God's word of the mission and vocation of each of us we will experience in war conditions. And, perhaps more than ever, now, during these tragic moments, we ask the Lord: God, why did all this happen to us? What are you calling us to do? What mission did You prepare for Ukraine, Ukrainians and the Ukrainian Church? What is the fullness of your plan for the fate of our people? – said the Head of the Church.

The spiritual leader emphasizes that we have a very deep answer to these questions today. “First of all, you and I have witnessed the Resurrection in the recent history of our state, our Church. Since this is the Lord who ruined the Soviet Union and resurrected a free Independent Ukraine. It was the Lord who gave the Church and the people freedom. And today He instructs us to witness his Resurrection in the light of that mission, to witness the resurrection of the Church and our people”, he added.

“We say,” the Head of the Church said, “that the war in Ukraine is war between good and evil”. Perhaps this is our historic mission to protect Europe again from the Asian horde with our bodies, as it was here in Kyiv during the reign of Batu Khan and other hordes who came to our land. To pray for victory means to pray for the fulfillment of the historical mission, the task of our people in the family of European nations. Today we pray for each of us so that each of us can fulfill our life's mission in a Christian way”.

His Beatitude Sviatoslav emphasizes that the Lord gives each of us the tasks that no one will do instead of us:

“If we run away from it, have no wish to fulfill it, emptiness and desolation will remain. Each of us being in our place today prays and defends our homeland, witnesses to faith in God and His saving plan for our people. That is why we say and pray even on the graves of our fallen heroes that heroes do not die.

It is the Lord who revives them, makes them partakers of his Paschal sacrament. He is the key to their life and resurrection even after death”.

The UGCC Department for Information


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