Kiev, October 15, 2020
The Mother of God is the patroness of all people and prays for everyone, sometimes with joy, sometimes with sadness, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine preached on the feast of the Protection of the Mother of God yesterday.
“Blessed is the man who knows this and honors the Most Holy Virgin Mary as the Theotokos, as the Mother of all, as his Mother. But it is bad for the man who does not know this. He simply doesn’t know what he is depriving himself of, because the Mother of Go prays for us,” His Beatitude said, reports the Information-Education Department of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
According to the Ukrainian archpastor, when a man lives according to the commandments, the Mother of God prays for him with joy. “But if a man lives chaotically, violating the laws of conscience, then the Mother of God prays for him, but with sorrow,” he continued.
Met. Onuphry then cited the words of the Holy Fathers who compared the Mother of God to the tower of King David built near the Jaffa Gate as a powerful fortification.
“It’s because the Mother of God is the adornment of the human race, bearing within herself the weapon of prayer—that weapon by which we overcome sin, by which we overcome the devil, by which we overcome ourselves, our pride, and our intemperance,” His Beatitude said, explaining the comparison.
In addition to repentant and grateful prayer, life according to God’s commandments and human willpower are also weapons in the fight against sin.
“Free will is given to man not to do what is unreasonable or harmful, but the conscience is given for man to compel himself to avoid evil and do good,” His Beatitude preached.
He also stressed that the Mother of God is always concerned and prays for us, more than we pray for ourselves. Her help is much stronger if we turn to her with prayer and do not give up. “When we try to correct ourselves and the Mother of God prays for us, then there is great success,” he emphasized.
Concluding his homily, Met. Onuphry called on all to lead a pious life according to the commandments of God and a life in prayer.
“God’s Law is given for us to protect and perfect ourselves. Let us pray to the Mother of God to help us rid ourselves of our bad habits, infirmities, falls, and misdeeds, so we would be the type of children for her that cause her to rejoice. Then God’s blessing will be upon us,” the Ukrainian primate concluded.