First and foremost, the Word of God must be professed to the modern man, that is, what the Almighty wants to speak to a man at a certain moment. Therefore, believers should pray for their pastors so that they also feel love and support in their ministry.
This was emphasized by His Beatitude Sviatoslav, the Father and Head of the UGCC, in his speech to the clergy and pilgrims during the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at the Church of St. Volodymyr and the Blessed Hieromartyr Omelyan Kovch, on Wednesday, May 22, 2019. On this day, at the invitation of the Primate, the annual pilgrimage of the UGCC clergy to the town of Peremyshliany in Lviv region is being held to honor the blessed holy martyr Omelyan Kovch.
“The Word of God focuses the eyes of our hearts on the face of Jesus Christ, Who is in the temple of Jerusalem. He stands in the temple and teaches,” – says the Head of the Church. “The Temple was the only place where an Israeli could stand before God’s face, where it was possible to offer sacrifice to God, in particular, a sacrifice of reconciliation, an anointing for sins, but also a sacrifice of communion.”
“Jesus says: ‘My teaching is not mine, but of the One Who sent me.’” What does it mean? St. Ambrose says that this is not about some kind of science, doctrine, or set of facts, but about the fullness of the divinity that Jesus wears in his human body. The source of this deity is the Father,” said the Archbishop.
According to the spiritual leader of the Greek Catholics, the Savior does not just speak, but above all witnesses the Word of God. Moreover, He calls us to unite in the priesthood. “I encourage you, dear fathers, to cultivate the spirit of the priestly brotherhood, solidarity and mutual support… First of all, gather for the reading of God’s Word and meditating upon it. Live the Word you proclaim and adhere to it,” said the Primate about the recipe for wisdom and knowledge for pastors.
His Beatitude Sviatoslav noted that the blessed holy martyr Omelyan Kovch is an important figure in our Church and an example for imitation. After all, he showed in his ministry what it means to be with the people in different circumstances and to give himself fully. In his relics, we can see the icon of his life: all that he did was so mixed up with the lives of those whom the Lord God sent to him, that even his ashes were mingled with the ashes of those whom he served until his last breath,” said the Archbishop.
In addition, the Head of the UGCC urged to cultivate wisdom and to convey to the laity, above all, the Word of God, and not their own: “As you prepare for the sermon, remember that it is your task to proclaim the Word of God, which you must feel while listening and reading it daily. That’s when you hear what God wants to say to His people.”
“Pray for your priests. After all, this is the great grace of God, when He sends workers to His vineyards, – addressed the laity His Beatitude Sviatoslav. – For fathers it is important to feel the love and support of the laymen.”
This year, Ukraine and the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church solemnly commemorate the 75th anniversary of death of the Hieromartyr Omelyan Kovch, who is known throughout the world as the pastor of Majdanek. Ten years ago, His Beatitude Lubomyr proclaimed this hero of the pastoral ministry of our Church, as the patron saint of the UGCC pastors.
The UGCC Department for Information