Kiev, September 14, 2021
God is love and the source of all true love. Thus, love without God is more like commerce, where we expect something in return, says His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine.
The saints who renounced earthly things for the sake of serving God call us by their example to try to walk this path to Heaven in our own lives, even if with baby steps, the Ukrainian primate said in his Sunday homily on the Synaxis of the New Martyrs and Confessors of Ekaterinoslav, reports the Information-Education Department of the Ukrainian Church.
“This road to Heaven is described in the Holy Gospel,” His Beatitude emphasized. “If we are prudent and rely on the Gospel, if we read it and establish our life according to it, then we walk—some faster, some slower—to the Kingdom of God, where are all the saints are.”
As the Metropolitan noted, the Divine law according to which we should strive to live is expressed in the commandments of love: love for God—love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength (Mk. 12: 30)—and love for neighbor—love thy neighbour as thyself (Mk. 12: 31).
And the two commandments are necessarily intertwined: “Without the love of God, we cannot love our neighbor, because the source of love is God. If I sever my connection with this source, there is no power of love.”
And love without God is more like commerce, Met. Onuphry continued. When we do good for someone because we expect something in return, this isn’t really love, he said.
“But when someone loves God, he receives such power from Him that he can love God sacrificially, without expecting anything in return. This sacrificial love will save every man and the entire world,” the Ukrainian primate explained.
In conclusion, His Beatitude wished: “May the Lord help us, dear brothers and sisters, that we might become like our saints, and in particular the Confessors of Ekaterinoslav, that we might walk along the road of love, the road of humility, the road of prayer, which leads a man to Heaven, to salvation in Jesus Christ our Lord.”