When you have sinned, without unnecessary excuses people should say, “Lord, I have sinned, forgive me!” This is the most correct way of repentance said His Beatitude Onuphry, Metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine, in his sermon during the Divine Liturgy at the Dormition Cathedral of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra on January 24, 2021, Sunday after Epiphany, reports the Information and Educational Department of the UOC.
As the Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church noted, the Lord began His ministry with the words: “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17).
“These words are the main call of the Lord, by which He announced that the Kingdom of Heaven has opened to mankind. But only the one who repents of one’s sins can enter there,” His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry explained.
The archpastor recalled how the Savior fought the devil, who tempted Him with riches, pride and popularity: “In this struggle, when the Savior fought with the devil, it is very instructive for us that the Lord did not speak a word from Himself, but quoted the Word of God. The Lord reflected the devil with the Word of God. And this is the most powerful weapon.”
The metropolitan added that in our time the devil fights against people too in different ways: “But one should start the day not with the remembrance of the devil, but with the remembrance of the name of God. In the name of God we must protect ourselves from the devil! There is no need to curse him, for he has long been cursed. We must remember the name of God. God is our Creator. We should humble ourselves before Him and entrust ourselves into the hands of God. Then the devil will not be able to defeat us.”
The archpastor believes that if a person states that he or she has no sins and therefore does not need to repent, lies. Because there is no one who has not sinned in their lives.
“There are different sins: mental, sensual, physical, vocal, sinful actions and behavior. They all prevent a person from entering the Kingdom of Heaven. They make a person wear unclean spiritual clothing. And one needs to wash oneself from this spiritual filth by repentance. Thus one will be able to enter the Kingdom of Heaven,” His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry noted.
He also said that one should not be ashamed to repent, one should be ashamed to sin: “When you have sinned, you should not be ashamed to repent, you should say: ‘Lord, I have sinned, forgive me.’ There is no need for many words, there is no need to explain the reason why it happened and how it happened. This is the most correct way of repentance.”
According to His Beatitude Onuphry, repentance not only cleanses a person from his sin, but also reveals the good that God put in him. “Repentance makes a person merciful, humble, and meek. And this is a natural property of the image of God in man. Repentance makes a person loving, that is, it reveals in him the most important characteristic, which is love. Love for God and love for one’s neighbor as a creation of God,” the metropolitan added.
Summing up, the Primate noted that if we want to be kind, humble, merciful and if we want to know how to love, we must repent of our sins.
“Without hesitation, without excuses, without philosophizing, but simply say: “Lord, I did it, I have no excuse.” Then the Lord forgives the sins, and His blessing will be over us, and we will be able to go through earthly life safely in peace, in hope, in boldness before God, and in the age to come reach the Kingdom, for which the Lord created man,” His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry concluded.
During the divine service, fervent prayers were offered for an end to the coronavirus pandemic, for the health of doctors and patients.