Glory to Jesus Christ!
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ!
Today is Saturday 27 August 2022 and in Ukraine, a brutal, bloody, full-scale war has been going on for 185 days. The enemy continues to kill peaceful Ukrainians. It continues to attack our peaceful towns and villages.
Throughout yesterday, in particular during the night, Ukraine was and is again on fire. The Russians shelled our Dnipropetrovsk region all night long. Powerful blows were inflicted on the Zaporizhzhia region and in the city of Zaporizhzhia itself. In the city of Kamianka, 5 people died, according to the information we have as of this morning. Our Kharkiv suffered especially last night. The Russians again hit the historic center of this large Ukrainian city with missiles. In the Kharkiv region, just think, the Russians killed a tractor driver who was working in the field, they killed a farmer who was working on Ukrainian land with a targeted strike. The Russians are constantly shelling the border areas in Sumy Oblast and Chernihiv Oblast.
But Ukraine stands. Ukraine is fighting. Ukraine is praying.
And we say again this morning: “O God, we thank You that we are alive. O God, we thank You that Ukraine has such an army, which gives us the opportunity to live today, protects our peaceful towns and villages, and restrains the murderous hand of the Russian aggressor. We thank the Lord God that we can live a new day and to do good in the name of God, to serve God and Ukraine!”
You and I began our journey with the pages of practical wisdom of the Church’s social teaching, in particular regarding the management of the household and economic life. Our righteous Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky is our guide through these pages of wisdom. And yesterday you and I mentioned the first fundamental principle of successful, economic responsibility, the fundamental basis of true well-being. Metropolitan Andrey said: “Look not for profit, but look for the truth! Truths about the real needs of people. And therefore try to be wise, be creative, and then there will be real prosperity for you and benefit for your neighbours.” Know the truth and the truth will bring you prosperity. This is how you can summarize this first step on this road.
Today, Metropolitan Andrey reveals to us another very important truth in household management and economic relations between people. He says: “Do not abuse the trust of others.” Everyone who is at least engaged in accounting knows that credit and debit are basic concepts of financial accounting. But if there is no trust between producers and buyers, if there is no trust between banks and their depositors, then the entire economic system of the country, and even the world, will collapse. It is experiencing a crisis, and indeed, a crisis of financial institutions, it is nothing more than a crisis of confidence that breaks economic ties and relationships. Therefore, you should not abuse the trust of others. Moreover, it must be built. It must be conquered precisely with the truth, precisely with openness, precisely with that authenticity in our relationship.
Then the Metropolitan says: “Be aware of your rights and your responsibilities.” This is very important, because when someone is aware of his rights, he understands this field of activity that opens before him. And when he understands his duties, he knows in which direction he should move. The Metropolitan tells us: “Develop what is beautiful and never make money from human flaws and weaknesses.” We see today that sometimes entire industries, entertainment, or even artificial needs fatten themselves off of human sins and vices. Some say that it is much easier to profit from human weaknesses than from human righteousness. But you should never succumb to such a temptation, because the one who makes money from human weaknesses destroys trust and abuses the trust of others.
Let us be inventive and creative in order to do good for people. And help them, satisfy their needs, help them build trust in each other, trust in financial institutions, the trust that is the key to Ukraine’s success today.
“Let’s buy our own!” is one of the slogans of modern economic activity in Ukraine. But in order to buy your own, you need to trust that what is produced in Ukraine is truly good. May the Lord God help us to build our economic activity on mutual trust and the search for the common good.
O God, bless Ukraine! O God bless her children! O God, stop the war! O God, send us real wise stewards of the earthly goods that you have given to Ukraine! O God bless our entrepreneurs! Bless our workers and peasants, all those who produce goods that are so necessary for the well-being of our people! O God, stop the war! And bless the Ukrainian land with Your peace!
May the blessing of the Lord be upon you through His grace and love of mankind, always, now and ever, and for ages of ages. Amen.
Glory to Jesus Christ!