When a person hears God, he allows the Creator to enter into his life. This was emphasized by the Head and Father of the UGCC His Beatitude Sviatoslav on Sunday, July 14, 2019, during the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, which took place in the framework of this year’s National Pilgrimage to Zarvanytsia.
The liturgy was attended by faithful from different corners of Ukraine and abroad. Numerous pilgrimage groups from Italy, France, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Russia, Kazakhstan, Eastern Ukraine, and the Crimea and about 200 priests and government officials came to visit. Most of the faithful went to Zarvanytsia on foot. Traditionally, on the first day of pilgrimage, a meeting with the youth and a procession with candles from the parish church to a miraculous place took place.
“Today, the Gospel preaches to us the presence of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Healer, between us,” noted the Primate, adding that man is now incredibly in need of God, because it is important to live in integrity and unity with himself and the Almighty.
The Head of the Church drew attention to the episode from the Holy Scriptures which describes the dialogue between Jesus and the Roman centurion. He appealed to Jesus for help, but not for himself but for his suffering servant.
“God says to all of us: it’s not enough to listen, you need to obey. You must let the Word transform your life. Moreover, it is necessary to subject your decisions and actions to the life-giving force in the way soldiers execute the orders of their commander in the army, and the servant – the orders of his master,” said the preacher.
Faith comes from hearing. We have to ask ourselves: do we hear what we are listening to? And whom do we listen to? After all, it’s becoming more difficult for a modern person to understand who to listen to in such an intensive informational dimension.
“Today, Christ says to us: listen to the One who created you; Who is the master of your life; Who comes to you to restore all your strength. He is the source of your life and rebirth,” emphasized the Archbishop.
According to the preacher, the perfect example of listening and obedience is the figure of the Virgin Mary, who is our teacher of faith. It is worth noting that the spiritual leader of the Greek Catholics thanked Our Lady for 30 years of freedom for the UGCC.
“The people obeyed God, lived by their faith, even when it was necessary to suffer. And a miracle happened. Maybe they did not know exactly how it would happen, but we got liberation,” said the Head of the UGCC. – “Those people who now want to rebuild the empire of evil (USSR), won’t forget about this. We thank the Mother of God and all our teachers of the Christian faith that they taught us to listen to God and obey His Commandments, because then a miracle becomes possible.”
His Beatitude Sviatoslav also spoke of early parliamentary elections scheduled for July 21, 2019, as “this is another important battle for Ukraine’s freedom and its independence.” “When preparing for it, pay attention who you are listening to,” said His Beatitude Sviatoslav.
“The front line of the struggle between good and evil lies not somewhere in the East of Ukraine, but through my heart. I will have to defend the freedom that was given to us by the Lord 30 years ago as a miracle. Somebody defends it with weapons, and we must protect it by taking part in the parliamentary elections. Listen to the voice of your own conscience when you make your choice,” asked the Head of the UGCC.
At the end of the Divine Service, His Beatitude Sviatoslav and Archbishop and Metropolitan Ternopil-Zborivsky Vasyl (Semeniuk) thanked everyone for attending this magnificent event in Zarvanytsia.
The UGCC Department for Information