Faith makes a person capable of receiving the grace of salvation said His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine in his sermon during the Divine Liturgy at the Dormition Cathedral of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra on July 4, 2021, the 2nd Sunday after Pentecost, the day of remembrance of all the saints who shone in the Russian land, reports the Information and Educational Department of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
As the Primate of the UOC noted, the saints pleased God in the only way – by their faith, prayer, fasting, humility and love. The archpastor encouraged Christians to show their faith by doing good deeds and quoted the Apostle Peter: “Giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.” (2 Peter 1: 5-7).
As the metropolitan explained, the virtue of prudence is when a person consciously does only good deeds, the virtue of abstinence is when he restrains himself from evil and strives for good, the virtue of patience is when he does not grumble, does not blame God and people, but patiently “eschews evil, and does good”(1 Peter 3:11), and the virtue of unity is having love for one’s neighbor, for one’s brother or sister.
“If a person lives piously, he will surely begin to love his neighbor. How can you know that a person loves his neighbor? Through love for God, that is, if he loves God, then he also loves his neighbor. Therefore, the Apostle Peter says: love the brotherhood… This is the ascent of man from faith to love,” said His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry.
The archpastor noted that faith necessarily leads a person to love, and love shows us if our faith is correct.
“If we have love for God and neighbor, then we believe correctly, if we have no love, we still believe incorrectly, and have not yet fulfilled the rules of faith,” said His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry.
The Primate of the UOC added that the martyrs and confessors of the Russian land showed in their faith the virtues and love for God, which no one could take away from them even by torture.
At the end of his sermon, Metropolitan Onuphry encouraged everyone to follow the path of the saints – from faith to love – as much as possible.
“All of this is contained in one phrase: fulfill the Divine Law, or surrender yourself to God. When we surrender ourselves to God, we do not write plans to God, but say: “Lord, do what you think is useful for me.” And if we accept everything with gratitude to God, then this is the path of salvation that all the saints followed. If we follow this path, we will also have the blessing of God in earthly life. And the sorrows, difficulties, and the waves of the sea of life that rise up against us and often drown us, will be insignificant for us,” His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry concluded.