Whoever acknowledges Me before Me, I will acknowledge before my Father in Heaven. (Mt 11.32)
On the Sunday after Pentecost the Ukrainian Catholic Church celebrates all Saints Sunday.
The world knows that the Ukrainian Catholic church has many saints, almost more than all churches. Soviet persecution in Ukraine has sent millions to torture and death in the gulags.
The decent of the Holy Spirit on all of us reminds all of us that all people receive the same spirit. We recognize and acknowledge that all people are called to the same vocation of holiness.
God asks us to respect all people in the world, not only those who are like us. There is no room for racism in our religious beliefs.
God’s word tells us to be faithful to Christ in every circumstance, especially in hardships. We are to preach the Word of God in truth and love. Our Ukrainian martyrs require us to think about a number of questions. What price are we willing to pay to practise, witness and preach God’s Word in very difficult times?
When witnessing to God’s Word, we can not be lazy, cannot fear criticism, find it too costly, or be afraid of losing friends or favours
In the modern world, on a daily basis, there are always so many opportunities to present the Word of God. Many of these moments could make us uncomfortable, lose friends, or have us saying the opposite of what people want to hear. Some Saints and Martyrs refused to be silent even when their lives were in danger.
When witnessing to God’s Word, we can not be lazy, cannot fear criticism, find it too costly, or be afraid of losing friends or favours. We must, in truth and love speak what we know comes from God.
Today no one is asking us to leave our church. If we do, we do it on our own. It could be just because we do not care, or are just lazy. We will all live reasonably good lives, there is money and we have possibilities in life. We do not have to hide our faith.
The Holy scripture tells us how to be saints. How to gain eternal life. This is what God wants from us.
- To love God, first of all and above all else, even more than ourselves.
- We must acknowledge God in front of all people. Tell others about Him and what God has done for us.
- We must take up our cross and follow Jesus. The cross means that it will not always be easy or comfortable at all times.
No saint is silent. Saints and Martyrs are our heroes. We love them and respect them, but we must understand what it takes to be a saint.