The feast of the Entrance of the Holy Theotokos into the Temple teaches us the correct prayer and how important it is to love a church said His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry, Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, in his sermon during the Divine Liturgy at the Dormition Cathedral of the Holy Dormition Kiev-Pechersk Lavra on December 4, 2020.
The Archpastor reminded those present that the Mother of God is the fruit of a great prayer: Her parents, righteous Joachim and Anna, had been asking God to grant them a child for over 50 years. During this time, they experienced many reproaches and insults, because the Jews considered childlessness a curse, but the parents did not stop hoping, praying, and were heard by God.
“From this story we learn how much God loves it when a person prays for a long time with patience and humility. We sometimes think that a powerful prayer is when I begin to say the words of a prayer and have not yet said “Amen!”, but God has already given me what I wanted. This is not a strong prayer. Strong prayer, which bears great and important fruit for a person, is of long duration, patient, and humble,” said His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry.
“It is also important that the Lord prepared a vessel for Himself in no other place, but in the temple. There, in the temple, the Holy Spirit pre-cleansed the Blessed Virgin Mary and made Her capable of containing the Uncontainable God. Therefore, a temple is very important for a person. It is both a school of piety, where a person learns how to live piously, and a hospital, where a person receives healing of his ulcers and wounds that he got from sin. It is the place where a person has a special communion with God, where Heaven opens for him. Therefore, it is very important to love a temple,” the Archpastor noted.
“A temple is not only a building, typical to the place we are now. A temple is any place where people gather for prayer. In the first centuries, these were the catacombs, where people prayed to God. These were the caves, where the saints led their ascetic lives and pleased God. Therefore, it is very important that people have church communion. It makes our prayer strong. If one person cries out to God, this is one voice, when many people gather in the Name of God and cry out to Heaven, this is another prayer, which is even stronger,” said the metropolitan.
“May the Lord God help us, dear brothers and sisters, to love the church, love prayer, and remember that great prayer is of long duration, patient, and humble. Great prayer bears great fruit,” the Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church concluded.