04 December 2022
Dear sisters and brothers,

Today we are celebrating a great feast – the Entry of Our Most Holy Lady Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary into the Temple (Presentation of the Virgin Mary).

As its main chant says, “Today the Virgin Mary came to God’s temple and people learned that God’s mercy would soon appear and that God would save people soon.” Purity of faith, joy and hope are the main motives of this day.

This feast teaches us boundless trust in the Providence of God.

If a person voluntarily opens his or her heart to God, then God will certainly come and settle in it. Thus, a person becomes a bearer of Heaven on earth, a conductor of light in the midst of sinful darkness. He or she constantly transforms the world, expanding the grounds of goodness in it.
The Most Holy Theotokos became a crown of humankind – the one whom the Church of Christ reveres above all the Angels. We are also called to become such bright people, to our modest extent. On the contrary, if someone goes against God and fights with Him, they find only the bitterness of losses and disappointments on their way. This is the cause of all troubles at all times.
On many occasions, the Orthodox faith, the Holy Church of Christ, our churches and monasteries were subject to persecution. We remember well the attempts to seize and destroy our main shrine – the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra – the abode of the Most Holy Theotokos. However, God cannot be profaned and desecrated. Those persecutors are long gone, while the Lavra has blossomed again in all its splendour.

We must become the support of the Church at this time of temptations and trials our faith is faced with. Let us secure the main miraculous temple in which God wants to live – our heart! Today the main battle is for it. For our holy Orthodox faith, which fills it. And if we turn for help to the Most Holy Virgin Mary, who became the Mother of God and the entire long-suffering humankind, then She will always strengthen and protect us with Her mercy and grace-filled help. Because for Her, each of us is a neighbour. The understanding of this and our deep faith help Ukrainians endure these harsh and challenging days of suffering and survive.

Happy feast, dear sisters and brothers!
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