Glory to Jesus Christ!
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ!
Today is Tuesday 9 August 2022 and the Ukrainian people have been in an unequal battle with the Russian unjust aggressor for 167 days.
Heavy bloody battles took place on the entire front line yesterday throughout the day and into the night. The enemy relentlessly attacks, but turns back empty-handed. Our army heroically defends Ukraine, does not allow the enemy to advance in any of the directions that he relentlessly attacks. The hottest place is in Donbas, around the city of Pisky. The enemy is terrorizing our peaceful towns and villages within range of his weapons, constantly shelling Kharkiv and Mykolayiv. Yesterday, Ukrainian weapons shot down a Russian missile over the city of Uman, in the Cherkasy region. Despite the rivers of blood, the mountain of corpses, the sea of tears, Ukraine is standing. Ukraine is fighting. Ukraine is praying.
And we thank the Lord God and the Armed Forces of Ukraine for this morning, for this sun, the singing of birds, for the fact that we are alive. And we can stand in prayer before the face of God.
Today I want to start our reflections, which will rather be our dreams about the future of Ukraine. Because in order for us to clearly understand what we are fighting for, we need to think about what Ukraine will be like after the war. Because no one even doubts our victory. And let’s draw from the treasury of Christian wisdom about the rules for building a successful state, where people are free and happy to live.
The two-thousand-year-old wisdom of the Church of Christ, which is laid out in the social teaching of the Church, gives us very deep elements of this divine wisdom, which our Prince Yaroslav the Wise settled on the ancient shores of the Dnipro. This wisdom that we pray for, that we contemplate in this foremother Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kyiv. And today, the Church’s social teaching normally says that there are four conditions for building a successful state. What are these four conditions? First of all, it is respect for the dignity of the human person and human life. The second is solidarity. Third is a common good. And fourth, it is subsidiarity or education, support for the private initiative of each person or individual communities. So, I invite all of you to dream and to build. We hope that God will bless our shared dreams. Ukraine will overcome. And the Ukrainian state will be the best, fairest in the world. Because it will be built on the unshakable cornerstone of God’s Law and Christ’s Commandments.
Today we celebrate the memory of the holy great martyr and healer Panteleimon. On this day, we especially pray for medical workers. Today, I want to express my special gratitude to you, our dear doctors, nurses, paramedics, our dear medics, who treat the wounded and sick. Because today, when we celebrate your Christian feast in the conditions of war, we see how the art of medicine is a special art of serving not only the suffering person, but Christ Himself, who is present in the person of every sick person. Today we give thanks for this call to serve and save human life, which each of the medical workers felt in his heart.
Especially today we pray and thank for the heroic service of our military medics, who, next to our soldiers on the battlefield, are the first to rush to help from those first minutes, the first hours, the life of a wounded soldier which depends on time. May Christ the Healer, through your hands, through your medical art, touch the wounds of our people. May the Lord God save the sons and daughters of Ukraine with you, through your service to life.
Today, according to a well-established tradition, the so-called “medical Oscar” is awarded to special and most worthy medical workers. This is a public award, with which the people of Ukraine recognize and thank the best medical workers, in particular, during the last year, who distinguished themselves by heroic service to their people. This is the order of the holy great martyr and healer Panteleimon. I want to congratulate our doctors, nurses, and volunteers, who this year will become laureates of this public award, as a small—by nationally acknowledged—sign of gratitude to you.
O God, bless our health workers. O God, bless the sons and daughters of Ukraine. O God, through the hands of our doctors, the sick, wounded, and infirm were healed. O God, bless the sons and daughters of Ukraine. O God, bless our land with 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!
Photo by AP