Glory to Jesus Christ!
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ!
Today is Sunday 28 August 2022 and in Ukraine, it is already the 186th day of the great, bloody war that the Russian aggressor unleashed against the Ukrainian people and our free state.
Again throughout yesterday and last night, Ukraine shuddered from the shelling of Russian missiles and Russian bombs.
According to the morning news, the enemy tried to attack the positions of the Ukrainian troops, especially in Donbas, in the Donetsk region, in three directions: Slovyansk, Bakhmut, and Avdiivka. But they were repelled with force. The enemy is relentlessly shelling peaceful cities and villages where he can reach with his murderous military power.
It’s a shame, and we pray for our Dnipropetrovsk region and Zaporizhzhia region. The city of Nikopol became the epicentre of heavy shelling. I am told that it is at night that the enemy fires the most at this city in the Dnipropetrovsk region. And imagine, people try to leave the city in cars every night and spend the night in the field in order to save their lives and the lives of their children, they return home for the day and go to work.
Our Sumy region, our Kharkiv region, and our Mykolayiv region shuddered.
But Ukraine is standing. Ukraine is fighting. Ukraine is praying.
Moreover, together with you, we not only believe in victory, we know that it is coming. Already today, we are thinking about what Ukraine, our Motherland, and our people will be like after the victory. And that’s why you and I are trying to travel the roads of the wisdom of stewardship. That wisdom where our guide is the righteous Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky.
And here is the third tip, the third basis for building a successful economy, for being a good steward. It says the following: especially in management, follow the laws of ethics and spirituality, and never do to others what you do not want others to do to you. Sometimes there is such a false opinion that the economy, trade, this is a business rule, that whoever deceives whom better will earn more. But naturally, we have already seen in previous reflections that this is a completely wrong path. It is the road that leads to destruction, to chaos, not to well-being.
And here, in those spiritual and moral rules, one should clearly distinguish the goal or end from the means. Because sin is only a means, it is not a goal. A means to grasp something bigger, something more important, something better. The goal of a person’s economic activity should be to preserve the gift of life, harmony with other people, harmony with oneself and with God. And funds, money, are only a tool to achieve this goal. When someone sets himself the goal of getting as much money as possible at the expense of human life, he will never be able to use those people, and even after receiving them, he will never be satisfied with them, he will always be unhappy, he will always have little, and money will turn into a tyrant, an idol devouring its victim.
Therefore, let us take care of each other, even in our economic relations. Let’s respect the dignity of another person, even when we are building economic relations with him. If in the modern world human life will be worth less than money or wealth, such humanity will face disaster and death. Sometimes this is the cause of social inequality, and therefore confrontations and wars between people, between peoples. This is a threat to peace and tranquility in the modern world.
Today we in Ukraine are celebrating a great holy day. The Feast of the Dormition of the Most-holy Theotokos, a feast that falls on a Sunday. And this is very symbolic, because it reveals the deep meaning and celebration of Sunday and the feast of the Dormition.
Every Sunday is the celebration of the Pascha of the Lord, it is a paschal day, because every Sunday we glorify the resurrected Christ. So, too, the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos is the Pascha of the Theotokos, when we celebrate the passing of the Mother of God from life to life, from earth to heaven. And today, we entrust our personal lives, the lives of our people, our Motherland, into her hands. Because today we sing to her, “for you deliver our souls from death.” And we pray, O Theotokos, save your children, save the children of Ukraine from death, premature and eternal.
O God, bless the Ukrainian army, which today protects the peaceful people from death. O God, bless all those who endure, all those who cry mourning the death, the killing of their relatives and loved ones. Mother of God, you who ascend from earth to heaven today, pray for Ukraine and save us from the unjust Russian aggressor. You who today enter the arms of your Son where peace, joy, and eternal bliss reign, send peace and divine grace to Ukraine according to your prayers from your Lord and Son.
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!