In any times and under any conditions, if a person wants, he or she can become a saint said His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine in his sermon during the Divine Liturgy on August 17, 2021, the commemoration day of the Seven Youths of Ephesus and the seventh anniversary of the metropolitan’s enthronement, reports the Information and Education Department of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
Recalling the life of the Seven Youths of Ephesus: Maximilian, Iamblicus, Martinian, John, Dionysius, Exacustodianus (Constantine) and Antoninus, the Primate of the UOC talked about the wonderful dream that God sent to them: the youths were walled up in a cave, but did not die of hunger and cold, but fell asleep and woke up incorruptible almost 200 years later.
As the Archpastor noted, this miracle shows that death after the suffering of Christ is only a dream for us, from which everyone will wake up and stand before the judgment of God. “This is a marvelous story of the grace of God, which makes a person holy,” said His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry.
According to the metropolitan, there are many ways to achieve holiness. And the lives of all the saints testify to the beauty of the Divine grace. “Despite the conditions under which a person lives, the grace of God raises a person to holiness, if he or she wishes so,” he said. That is why each of us should nurture a spirit of holiness in ourselves.
“Everyone must submit his soul, his body to the Law of God. God’s law is holy. Whoever fulfills the Holy Law becomes a saint himself. The Lord calls everyone to holiness: “Be holy, because I am holy” (1 Pet. 1:16). We must follow the path followed by the saints of God in order to achieve holiness,” said His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry.
The metropolitan noted that in order to achieve holiness and not deviate from this path, we must love God and our neighbor, humble ourselves before each other and before the Providence of God, by which the Lord miraculously leads us into the Kingdom of Heaven.
“When we do this, God’s blessing will be over us, and we, too, when the Lord calls us into Eternity, will be partakers of the life enjoyed by the seven youths of Ephesus, who today pray for us sinners before the Throne of God and ask God for His blessing”, concluded His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry.