Glory to Jesus Christ!
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ!
Today is Monday 27 June 2022 and our homeland is already experiencing 124 days of full-scale military invasion of Russia into the territory of our sovereign state. These are 124 days of bloodshed, great battles, patience, weeping, suffering of innocent children.
The last weekend, in particular yesterday, was marked by great tragedies in Ukraine. At the front, the most intense fighting is in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions, from what we learn from the reports of our military. But yesterday, Ukraine experienced perhaps the most massive missile strike in its history by Russia. Russian cruise missiles flew at Kyiv, Chernihiv region, Cherkasy region, Odesa region, Mykolayiv region, and the city of Kharkiv and our Sumy region all came under fire. In fact, there is probably no city, place, or region of Ukraine that has not been wounded by this ruthless war.
But Ukraine is standing! Ukraine is fighting! Ukraine is praying! And we thank the Lord God, and we thank the Armed Forces of Ukraine, that we have lived to this morning, and we can see the light of day.
Today I would like to reflect with you on another, very important, fruit of the action of the Holy Spirit in the human person. It is a certain sign that shows the spirituality of our Ukrainian people, of our holy Church, which today commemorates the memory of the Ukrainian New Martyrs, martyrs of communism, who were raised to the altars of the Universal Church by Pope John Paul II during his visit to Ukraine. And this special fruit of the Holy Spirit is faith. We often hear and speak of faith as a virtue, a theological virtue. Faith as a virtue is the beginning of every Christian life, because in order to communicate with God, one must believe in Him, that is, one must entrust oneself to Him, open one’s heart, one’s mind, one’s will, that is, one’s life. And the believer walks the paths of this earthly life no longer alone, or rather, he is not alone. They walk, holding the hand of their loving, merciful God.
But faith, as the fruit of the Holy Spirit, shows some special maturity of the believer. And this lies in the fact that the human person becomes a partaker of divine knowledge. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit Who reveals to man the divine mysteries. And so the fruit of the Holy Spirit, faith, gives a person the opportunity to feel that God no longer has secrets before him. But God introduces them into the majesty, incomprehensibility of His divinity. The Holy Apostle Paul describes this special fruit of the action of the Holy Spirit in the human person. In the First Epistle to the Corinthians the Apostle to the Gentiles writes: “For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For what person knows a man’s thoughts except the spirit of the man which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is from God, that we might understand the gifts bestowed on us by God” (1 Corinthians 2:10–12). Thus, the Holy Spirit, as the Comforter, makes us partakers of the knowledge that God has of Himself, and thus gives us a special ability. The believer, in the Holy Spirit, is able to see the world and other people through God’s eyes. That is, to look at ourselves, at our neighbours with such eyes, from such a height, from which our God, Lord, Creator, and Saviour looks and sees us.
This is a special gift that sometimes manifests itself as a gift of foresight in the Church. When it comes to spiritual fathers who, in trying to serve their spiritual children, receive from God the gift of the knowledge of the heart, even before a person opens his mouth, that spiritual father sees a person’s heart and knows everything about it. Such a gift, the gift of foresight, is received in the Church by a believer, and he can see all of today’s events through God’s eyes, and, therefore, even in hopeless circumstances, to see a ray of hope.
Today, during the dramatic circumstances in Ukraine, we ask the Lord God for this special gift, the special fruit of the Holy Spirit, which is faith. And the faith that shone in the New Martyrs of the Ukrainian Church, who carried the Word of God to the ends of the earth, to Siberia, to Kazakhstan and to the shores of the Pacific Ocean. Today, we ask that those martyrs who could see the future of the Church and the people in prison, live and fight for it, open the horizons for us today for our Ukrainian existence.
Today we ask the Lord God to see that gift, to see Ukraine after the war and to build it today in our consciousness and in our hearts.
The enemy comes to take away our future, to tell us, Ukrainians, that we should not exist, that we have no right to exist as a people and as a state. But through the fruit of the Holy Spirit, which is faith, we see that the Lord God does not just see Ukraine and has her in His original plan, but rather He has prepared for us a special mission, in the modern world, in the contemporary Church, a mission to the human person in third millennium.
Today we ask: O God, give us this fruit of the Holy Spirit. Give us the opportunity to believe, to believe in You, to believe in the victory of Ukraine, to believe in the person whom You see as good, to believe in our strength, which with the help of Your strength and grace, O Lord, we can direct to good. O God, bless all those who support Ukraine today and see the future of Ukraine through the prism of faith in You, our God, the Creator and Saviour.
O God, bless Ukraine!
May the blessing of the Lord be upon you through His grace and love of humankind, always, now and ever, and for ages of ages. Amen.
Glory to Jesus Christ!