Kiev, January 11, 2021
We must always be with Christ, both in days of prosperity, and in days of tribulation and persecution, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine preached yesterday, on the Sunday after the Nativity, following the Divine Liturgy in the Holy Dormition Cathedral of the Kiev Caves Lavra.
Video of the sermon was published by the Information-Education Department of the Ukrainian Church.
Speaking to his flock about the flight into Egypt of the Righteous Joseph with the Most Holy Theotokos and the Christ Child, Met. Onuphry called upon the faithful to dedicate their lives to ever being with Christ:
We must be with Christ, not only when people are shouting “Hosanna!”, when we are praised, when they applaud us for it, but also when they cry, “Crucify.” Being with Christ when Christ is under attack is the greatest gift man can offer to God. May the Lord help us, dear brothers and sisters, to ever be with Christ—both in days of blessedness, and in days of tribulation and persecution, because Christ is unchanging, the unchanging Truth. And whoever is with Him always prevails.
And speaking of the flight into Egypt, His Beatitude recalled his own pilgrimage to Egypt, where he clearly saw the difference between earthly religions and the true, Orthodox religion.
While Met. Onuphry and those with him were inundated with Muslims begging for money, he recalls that a priest of a church they stopped into refused to take money from them for commemoration lists.
“This is the spirit of Christianity, and the spirit of Islam,” His Beatitude said, “how they differ from one another. They don’t differ in clothing, in appearance, but psychologically, there is a great difference—Heaven and earth. Mundane religion seeks only earthly things, but true, godly religion seeks the Heavenly.”