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            Sts. Peter and Paul Ukrainian Orthodox Mission

   UOC of USA - Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople

Місійна Церква Свв. Апостолів Петра і Павла

Українська Православна Церква в США  Константинопольський Патріархат

 

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Therefore do not become anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘With what shall we clothe ourselves?“For all these things the nations seek after; for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye need all of these things. “But be seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. (Matthew 6:31-33)

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome all of you to the web site of Sts. Peter and Paul Ukrainian Orthodox Mission. In a time when we are all living in a fast pace society, great technological and scientific achievements, we easily forget that our lives on this earth are short lived. Often we are tempted to feel as if though we are in control of our own future
and life on this earth. In other words it's easy to get lost in the "now". We usually never give a second thought on how truly dependent we are on God for our daily sustenance. For example, each and every day God freely provides to us everything we need in order to function and live. He provides us with air so that we can breathe, through the sun He provides us with warmth which not only keeps us alive, but also allows the trees and plants to produce food which sustains us physically. In turn if we are sick these same plants are used to create medicine in order to treat our infirmities. Most importantly God provides us with water which without nothing can live. In a heartbeat our lives can sometimes change for the worse. We may become sick, unable to work or provide for ourselves and our loved ones. When this occurs, one realizes that one lives by the grace of God. That is why as Christians we should focus less about the"now" and concentrate more on living a committed and faithful life to Christ and His Gospel. "For what is a man profited, if he should gain the whole world, and lose his soul?" (Matt. 16:26). At some point all of us will face death and depending on how we lived our lives on this earth, some will attain the kingdom of God and others will not. That is why as Christians we must continually focus on our spiritual life with God in order that one day we may hear "Come, ye who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom which hath been prepared for you from the foundation of the world" (Mt. 25:34). Our chances of eternal life increases as each one of us strives to live a committed life to the teaching of Christ, by being a committed member of Christ's body which is His Holy Church here on earth and by participating in its full Liturgical and Sacramental life. This means that each Orthodox Christian is required to participate and attend the divine services such as the Divine Liturgy, Vespers and Vigil on a regular basis and that each one of us must also be a frequent participant to the Holy Sacraments of Holy Confession and Holy Communion. In conjunction to this, the Holy Orthodox Church also demands of us that we regularly pray, fast and perform charitable acts. By being participants to this, we are guided toward the true aim of our Christian life, which according to St. Seraphim of Sarov: “consists in the acquisition of the Holy Spirit of God” which ultimately will lead us to eternal life in Gods Kingdom. By being committed participants to the full Liturgical and Sacramental life of the Church and by praying, fasting and performing charitable acts regularly, one begins a life changing spiritual journey not only towards God, but with God. God's grace enables us to "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 3:18). As a result of this, one comes to the understanding of what is truly important in one’s life and that is too seek the Kingdom and righteousness of God and to live a holy, perfect or Christ-like life in union with Him here on earth. By doing so the concerns and troubles of this world become less important and instead our desire for eternal life in God's kingdom and life in union with Him here on earth is what becomes most important. Therefore, my brothers and sisters in Christ, let’s stop worrying about the “now” like Martha did in the Gospel of Luke “
 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one.[f] Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42). Let each of us take the example of Mary who was seeking something more than this present and short lived life. When we invest our time and efforts in our spiritual formation with Christ, it will lead us to attain what is most important for us as Orthodox Christians and that is to live in the everlasting presence of Christ in His Kingdom. In return, Christ will bless our lives and provide for all our needs in order to live and survive in this ever hectic and stressful life. “But be seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. (Matthew 6:31-33). Therefore, may God's grace continue to help guide you and your loved ones towards Him, His Church and ultimately to everlasting life in His Kingdom. Glory to God for all things!

May the blessing of our Lord Jesus Christ be upon all of you!

Fr. Victor Wronskyj

PASTORAL GREETING