Kiev, March 28, 2022
His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine celebrated the Divine Liturgy for the Sunday of the Cross together with several other hierarchs at the Kiev Caves Lavra yesterday.
Following the reading of the holy Gospel, His Beatitude addressed the faithful with a sermon, emphasizing that God’s gift of the word can open the path to the peaceful resolution of all problems.
The Church places the Cross before us on the third Sunday of Lent as a sign of the victory of holiness over sin, to strengthen us to continue our Lent path, Met. Onuphry said, reports the Information-Education Department of the Ukrainian Church.
“The Cross is the sign of victory that the Lord has given us and by which He gives us the strength to overcome many things in our lives: what is called vice and sin. We wear a cross on our chest, we sign ourselves, body and soul, with the Cross, we decorate churches, chapels with the Cross, and in some famous places on earth we put crosses, decorating them with the Holy Cross,” the Ukrainian primate preached.
And every Orthodox Christian is called to accept their cross from the Lord. “To crucify oneself on the cross means to accept with gratitude all that God allows.”
“Today we have a common cross, the Lord has visited us all with a cross—they’ve raised a hand with a sword against us, but we mustn’t grumble; we must bear everything with patience,” Met. Onuphry said.
“The Church has always prayed, it prays, and will pray that people will remember that we are all God’s children and that the Lord doesn’t want us to raise the sword against each other,” he added. Unfortunately, however, “we ourselves don’t want to use this gift” of the word given to us by God.
“We pray today and always, we pray and we will pray that the Lord will stop what we are experiencing today, when people are dying, human blood is spilled, children are dying, helpless, old, young people are dying—people who are completely innocent in a human sense,” His Beatitude said.
In conclusion, the Metropolitan wished that the Lord might grant all to endure this present cross unto salvation, but that the Lord would also deliver us from this cross, with the help of words and reason.
Special petitions were also offered during the Liturgy for the granting of peace in Ukraine, for deliverance from the enemy, that the Lord would have mercy on the Ukrainian people and preserve those who are in despair or have lost their homes, and that the Lord would bless people of good will who help those in need.
In a special prayer being offered in all churches and monasteries of the UOC, Met. Onuphry asked God for mercy for the Ukrainian people, and that the Lord would bring the authorities to reason, strengthen the soldiers, free the prisoners, heal the sick, and give shelter to those who have lost of been forced to flee their homes.