“The most important moment in the life of the Church of Christ is not only being in the church, but, above all, listening to God’s Word” – Bishop Mykola Bychok during the Divine Liturgy in Wodonga

On Saturday, November 19, Bishop of Melbourne, Mykola Bychok, visited the parish of St. Olga in Wodonga. This parish is the oldest in the Eparchy of Melbourne – founded in 1961.

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Emphasizing the importance of community prayer, bishop of Melbourne addressed the faithful with the following words: “You know, today there are many reasons why we should unite in prayer in the church. The first is because there is a war in Ukraine now: people go to bed and do not know if they will wake up the next day. Yes, most of them don’t have electricity, gas, water, but they have God in their hearts. And very often all of us, especially the clergy, see that there are a lot of conversions.

People who did not believe in God when there were peaceful times in Ukraine saw the world and people in a completely different way than now, when the war began. Ukrainians understood that life passes by and sooner or later the moment of truth comes, when a person needs to show his good deeds and understand, in the end, that he does not just live in this world, but in order to be here with God, and later and to be with their Creator in Eternity.”

The bishop also reflected on what is the most important indicator of belonging to the Christian community: “You remember, in the Gospel they said to Christ: “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, desiring to see you.” And Christ responds to this, to a certain extent, cruelly, because says: “My mother and my brothers are those twho hear the word of God and do it.” The most important moment in the life of the Church of Christ – priests and faithful – is not only staying in the temple, but, above all, listening to God’s Word. And today’s Gospel shows us how important it is not only to listen, but to hear what the Lord tells us and to apply it in our life.”

“It has been scientifically proven,” the bishop continued, “that we perceive 60% of information through our sight, and 40% through our hearing. That is why it is not by chance that during the Holy Liturgy the deacon repeats the words “Let’s be attentive” several times, as if preparing us for something important. “Let’s be attentive”, because now the Word of God will sound, let’s listen so as not to miss what the Lord wants to tell us. Then we will be true Christians.”

At the end, the bishop assured all the parishioners of St. Olga’s Church in his prayer: “Today we bring prayers for each of you to St. Olga, so that through her intercession the Lord will send His graces to your community. We also remember in our prayers those who built this church and helped in his maintenance. Dear brothers and sisters, may the merciful Lord give you strength to grow in His grace.”