“We need to be physically fit to support one another; not waste time on fears, terrifying fantasies. We must act: help someone each day, the families of our soldiers, cheer up someone. Let’s begin and end each day in prayer, for in God there is truth, justice and our strength.
God bless our defenders, our Ukraine, all of us: May we have peace in our hearts; may we be strong; may we move from fear—to God-given Dignity”.
Metropolitan Boris Gudziak
Last week’s parable assured us of God’s most tender parental understanding of our failures. The story leaves us in a warm loving hug. This Sunday, however, we face an image of Christ enthroned as an (old testament) King, rewarding the good and condemning the bad. The parable is scary. Humanity is reduced to 2 categories: am I a sheep or a goat? Don’t these creatures look the same? Don’t they graze together? Both groups in the parable were surprised by the Judge’s summation of their behaviour. Both could not recall encountering Christ, never mind helping him or not.
Just as the parable of the prodigal son gave us a snapshot of God’s immeasurable love, so too this parable distills the Gospel mandate to help those in need. Indeed, if every human being cared for others, as Christ did, wouldn’t we have the Kingdom of Heaven: “the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world”?
At this time of crisis, with Russia intent on destroying Ukraine, our people, history, and culture—our Faith sustains us. With the rhythms of our hearts we continue to pray. Our prayer gives us the strength and courage to act, to speak out for justice, truth, peace. The Ukrainian Maidan—Revolution of Dignity—illuminated a marvel of caring cooperation and creative resistance to systemic corruption and greed. The events of this week call every person to act, consciously responding to the needs of others, consciously recognizing Christ in others and ourselves.
Everyone we’ve spoken to in Ukraine this week have said that they feel the world’s prayers. They remain steadfast in gratitude and hope. Thank you to everyone for your unceasing prayers.