Belaya Tserkov, October 29, 2018
His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine, the primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, offered a word on the parable of the sower (Mt. 13:3-23) in his Sunday homily given at St. Mary Magdalene Monastery in the city of Belaya Tserkov (White Church) in which he emphasized that man’s main task in life is to “work on his spiritual development.”
The Ukrainian primate also added that it is prayer, fasting, and living according to the Divine commandments that help a man attain spiritual perfection, “in cleansing the heart of sin and cruelty,” reports the site of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
“Some say that the greatest work is to be a politician, to direct the world to the right and to the left. Some say that the greatest work is to be a king and rule over people. But the greatest work is to learn to rule over yourself, to control your passions and vices, and your own heart,” Met. Onuphry emphasized.
“To purify the heart, one must entrust his life to God, that is, to build it on the principles of Holy Scripture. Perhaps it will be unfashionable. Perhaps someone will call us cowardly, weak—do not pay attention to that. We must build our lives on the Divine commandments… Then a man will bring forth good fruits,” His Beatitude exhorted.
He also noted that few are those who strive to live according to God’s Word, and thus few are those who bring forth good fruits. Such are atheists and those who do not renounce God but constantly complain and accuse Him of injustice.
“We must not say that we deserve a better fate, because we thereby blaspheme God, we insult God. We must always thank Him and say, ‘Lord, I know that I have received more than I deserve, because I am worthy of nothing.’ When God sees such humility, then … He sends man everything he needs for life,” the Ukrainian archpastor explained.
This also includes those who believe in God but not trust Him with their lives and constantly put off correcting their lives: “These people accept the Word of God when they are praised for it, but when their faith is not praised, but persecuted, then they fall away.”
Met. Onuphry concluded by offering advice to those who find themselves relating to such people with hearts of stone, advising “not to despair, but to work on yourselves.”
“We must read the Holy Gospel, read our prayers, and begin to build our lives on the basis of Divine Law. Then, gradually, this hardness of soul will soften, the soul will be filled with kindness and purity, and we will also bring forth salvific good works,” His Beatitude affirmed.
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