Glory to Jesus Christ!
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ!
Today is Friday, August 26, 2022. And Ukraine is already living its 184th day of war. A large-scale unjust war that Russia is waging against our people, our state. Once again, these past twenty-four hours have been filled with the horrors of war, the pain, tears, suffering, injury and death of many peaceful people. The enemy is relentlessly attacking our towns and villages in the Donetsk region, he simply wants to wipe out entire regions from the face of the earth.
From what we learned this morning, yesterday the enemy concentrated its attacks on the towns of Bakhmut and Avdiivka in the Donetsk region. And almost all along the front line, the shelling remained very sustained. In the Kharkiv region, the city of Shuhouiv again suffered a massive rocket attack, as well as our towns and villages of Zaporizhia, the Dnipropetrovsk region, the Mykolaiv region. The enemy shells the peaceful border areas of the Sumy region and the Chernihiv region almost daily.
But the biggest concern remains the events surrounding the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant.
Although it is in occupied territory, this nuclear power plant is under daily enemy fire. For the past few days, the power supply has been cut off. Fires broke out in the immediate vicinity of the power plant. All this brings Ukraine, Europe and the world to the brink of a new global nuclear catastrophe.
But Ukraine holds firm. Ukraine is fighting. Ukraine prays.
And we thank God and the Ukrainian army for being alive this morning, for the fact that we can see the light of day again. And we can pray and work for the good of the suffering Ukrainian people, the people of God who are suffering because of the horrors of this war.
We continue our journey with you through the pages of the social doctrine of our Church. And now I would like to consider the very important moral rules of business and economic life of a person, a family, a society, a state or even international economic relations. Because we see that today for Ukraine, the capacity to win and to endure is also the capacity to manage honestly and correctly, to use the means and the resources that the Lord God gives to our people . To win, you have to survive; you have to manage and work wisely.
And here let’s dip into the treasury of the wise Metropolitan Andriy Sheptytsky. He himself was a shrewd and wise administrator, and in the conditions of our people’s existence abroad, he nevertheless founded a national micro-economy. He cared about the prosperity of his people during World War I and World War II. So let us choose him, this righteous man, as our guide in how we learn true and wise stewardship.
And so, the first commandment to which Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky refers, pronouncing these rules of wise management, is the following. He says, “Seek truth, not profit.” It may sound a little strange. Because some people think that economics and commerce are the art of deceiving the buyer as well as possible and selling him something that does not correspond to its intrinsic value. But the virtuous metropolitan tells us that true well-being comes when our work brings benefit and happiness to others. Today we call it corporate social responsibility.
The following principle is crucial and forms the cornerstone of responsible management and genuine and truthful business. He says, “Do not follow the principle of investment, business, profit, but the principle of wisdom, creativity, well-being.” Indeed, we find that all the calamities of modern humanity, the calamities due to social inequality, which cause wars in the modern world, which are the cause of all kinds of calamities and ecological catastrophes, are precisely caused by the selfish and barbaric attitude of a person to everything around him, even to another person and the economic benefits that can be obtained from him. People want to make investments, businesses, to get big profits quickly with the least responsibility. But true well-being comes when wisdom, that is, divine wisdom, which the Lord God gives to man, and the wisdom of a skillful administrator is transformed into creativity. This creativity that finds new means, ways to serve others, to develop its business. And all this creates real well-being. And all this creates real prosperity, creates a good economic situation.
And finally, Metropolitan Andrey says, “To achieve even financial success, recognize the truth and it will set you free and bring you proper profit.” Because really, when someone seeks the truth, he gets to know the real needs of others. He knows the moment and the hour, what, when and to whom it is necessary to serve, prepare, even sell something, which is of quality, satisfies the basic needs of this or that person, and also arouses the respect of the one who produces or sells these high quality goods. “Seek truth, not profit!” »
Today I want to address everyone who is currently engaged in economic activity in Ukraine. The Ukrainian economy is going through a specific hardship due to the conditions of the war. Therefore, today I want to address the directors of factories, factories, enterprises in Ukraine, the owners of various enterprises, all those that create jobs for Ukrainians today. To our agronomists and farmers who, engaged in agriculture, seek every opportunity to feed their fellow citizens, to provide for the needs of Ukraine and the world. First of all, I want to thank you for your work. Thank you for the fact that you work and contribute to the victory of Ukraine with your economic activity. I want to assure you of our prayer: may the Lord God grant you wisdom, creativity and all of us with just and true well-being in Ukraine. And then, all those who were forced to leave Ukraine will come back, because they want to live decently and work at home. Let’s create the conditions for this together.
O God, bless Ukraine. O God, bless the people of Ukraine, may Your heavenly graces descend upon them, and all those types of earthly prosperity that a person needs to live a worthy life. O God, give us the strength to persevere in this unequal battle. Give us the strength to overcome this enemy who is coming to steal our land. O God, bless Ukraine with Your peace.
May the blessing of the Lord be upon you through His grace and love for humankind, always, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.