Moscow, January 20, 2023
His Holiness Patriarch Kirill celebrated the feast of Theophany in the Epiphany Cathedral in Moscow on Thursday, where he offered a rather stark warning in his homily: “Any desire to destroy Russia will mean the end of the world.”
Beginning his homily for the feast, the Russian primate emphasized that the meaning of the feast is that the grace of God appeared not just for the Jews, not just for the Apostles, but for all men, as St. Paul says (cf. Tit. 2:11),” reports Patriarchia.ru.
The words of God are immortal, he continued, as evidenced by the fact that the Orthodox faithful continue to celebrate the same feasts and offer the same prayers, year after year, century after century. “His preaching has no end; the power of grace will never be cut off,” Pat. Kirill preached.
When we celebrate the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Jordan during the Lord’s Baptism, we remember that the Lord is always with us through His grace, without which the world would have ceased to exist long ago, he continued.
And turning to current events, His Holiness continued:
Today we know that there are very big threats to the world, to our country, and to the entire human race, because some crazy people had the idea that a great Russian power with powerful weapons, populated by very strong people who from generation to generation have always been motivated to win, who have never surrendered to any enemy, who always emerged victorious—that they can either be defeated in the current conditions, or, as they say now, be reformatted, that is, impose certain “values” on them, which can’t be called values, so they would be like everyone else and obey those who have the power to control most of the world.
This desire to defeat Russia today has acquired, as we know, very dangerous forms. We pray to the Lord that He will bring those madmen to reason and help them understand that any desire to destroy Russia will mean the end of the world. But it’s not only this that we pray about, but that instead of such madness, the human race would find some new consciousness—the consciousness of our interdependence, the consciousness of the fragility of the world in which we all live, and the need to be all together and work for the sake of common values and goals that would be aimed primarily at preserving life and, I would add, as an Orthodox Christian, at preserving faith in God, without which all other values are either deformed or simply reformatted into their opposite and become not values, but factors contributing to the destruction of human life.
But despite the difficult times, the Patriarch maintains hope:
This is such an anxious time today. But we believe that the Lord will not leave the Russian land, will not leave our authorities, our Orthodox president, our army, that Russia will have enough forces, if necessary, to protect its land and its people. But God grant that it not come to such a showdown, that the Lord would reconcile everyone…
Thus, the Church prayers for world peace, but also “for the welfare of the holy churches of God, for the union of all,” and that “every untruth, every lie would be banished from human relations.”