The other evening, the Winnipeg Orthodox Clergy Association served a Moliben of intercession for the peoples of Ukraine. And as the last verses of Ps. 50 was being read, I was struck that the events in Ukraine, and in Syria, Egypt and the Middle east, for that matter, are the broken hearts we offer to God, as spoken by the prophet David.
“were I to give a burnt offering, thou wouldst not be pleased.The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit;a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. Do good to Zion in thy good pleasure; rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, then wilt thou delight in right sacrifices, in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings;then bulls will be offered on thy altar.”
It was the realization that the Kingdom of Heaven is revealed in the struggle for peace and truth, and not the status quo, or even democracy. And that the Lord of Glory is recognized not in the proud and powerful, but in the wounded, the lost, and the abused, on all sides (Mt. 25:40).
Those serving this service, and all those present at this service, identified themselves with the suffering peoples of Ukraine, and not some nationality, or political party or system. And as we identified with their suffering, we also more importantly identified with their hope. That by the prayers of the most holy Mother of God, the Lord would bring His eternal peace to this country, and its faithful. Rebuilding a new Ukraine, stone by stone, like the walls of Jerusalem.
What was truly wonderful about this event, was how we came together as Orthodox Christians. And regardless of our history or context, we sought the intersession of the Mother of God for a suffering people. This service was at a Greek parish, served by two priests of the Archdiocese of Canada OCA (myself and Fr. Roman Pavlov -Holy Trinity Sobor) and a UOCC priest (Fr. Evan Maximiuk), and many other clergy and people praying with us including his Eminence Metropolitan Yuri. Truly a privilege to offer God such supplications together.
May the Lord bless the people of Ukraine.