On 5-6 July, at the Vatican, took place a meeting of the Holy Father Francis, leaders of the competent dicasteries of the Roman Curia, with His Beatitude Sviatoslav, Head and Father of the UGCC, Metropolitans and Bishops of the Permanent Synod of the UGCC. At the end of the working visit to the Apostolic capital, the bishops prayed a thanksgiving Divine Liturgy at the Procathedral of St. Sophia in Rome.
Commenting on the Sunday Gospel and St. John the Baptist’s Birthday, His Beatitude Sviatoslav said in his homily: “The words of Christ we hear today describe God as the source of our lives. We live because He loves us. Man is like a breath coming from God’s mouth. I can live, because God breathes life in me. He loves me and never ceases to give me life; our whole being is a manifestation of God’s love for us.”
The Head of the UGCC emphasized that God created man in order to become similar to Him. “To explain this, Christ speaks of an eye that may be light or dark. The dark eye is looking at everything with the thought of possessing. Such a person lives in the dark, becomes barren, as if losing life that God gave him. If, on the other hand, the eye is light, then a person looks for an opportunity to share. And when a person gives something, he becomes like God Who gives life.”
His Beatitude Sviatoslav gave an example of a well, “from which we draw water, but it continues to be filled.” The same is true in man’s actions: “The more he gives, the more he fills his life with God’s gifts.”
The Head of the UGCC mentioned in his sermon also about communicating with Pope Francis in the framework of the meeting at the Vatican. “The Holy Father emphasized the meaning of the prophetic gestures of modern Christians who can not only talk about love, but also be able to reveal it. It is very important for young people to understand this because sometimes we evaluate another person by what we can take from her. Such a view is dark, and therefore our whole life becomes dark.”
“Today we are living in a world of dark eyes. Modern wars in the world and Ukraine are provoked by people with dark eyes and dark souls. These dark eyes look at us, Ukrainians, with the thought what they can take away from us: our land, our life, our future. In such circumstances, – said His Beatitude Sviatoslav, – it is better to light one candle than to grumble about darkness.”
At the end of the Divine Liturgy, His Beatitude Sviatoslav thanked the Bishops for their participation in the intercasterial meeting at the Vatican and all its organizers. The Head of the UGCC admitted that “when we were preparing for this meeting, we looked a little with dark eyes, hoping to receive something from the Holy Father, but after this meeting, we realized that the Holy Father had summoned us to give us much more – ourselves, his support for us, and his time in order to be able to hear the voice of our own people.”
Press service of the “Saint Sophia” Society