UGCC Head Sviatoslav Shevchuk consecrated the unique three-section Sofia-Holy Wisdom of God Church, which is located on the territory of UCU’s campus. He wished the teachers and students to have this church the most important University audience, where you can obtain the greatest wisdom. LvBS community joined the celebration of the consecration of the church on the territory of a university campus and a festive meal later. For those who have not had the opportunity to visit the celebratory event, and for those wishing to remind again the words of His Beatitude Sviatoslav, Ukrainian Catholic University published a sermon, which he uttered during the Divine Liturgy on September 11th in the newly built church.
“The Word of God, by which God speaks to us, tells us about the meeting of a young successful rich wise young man with Jesus Christ. In this meeting the first starts to talk this wise and wealthy young man and said to Jesus, “Master good, what I should do to have the eternal life?” This question, apparently, was the fruit of a deep personal search. The search for the wisdom, holiness and perfection according to the Old Testament law of Moses. But Jesus Christ, listening to this question gives the following answer, which the young man did not expect, that exceeded what he asked.
Here in peculiar the question was what he has to do. What more does he need to do to be sure that he is already perfect? Can he live the eternal life? But only one God lives the eternal life. Eternal life can not be got as a reward for the own deeds. Eternal life is not a compensation for my personal, even good efforts. So Christ gives the answer that the only one God is good. This means that the eternal life is not compensation, but the gift of God. Jesus Christ came to this young man to give this gift.
Perhaps the words “leave everything that you have, give it to the poor and follow Me” meant some revolution for this boy in his world-view, in the awareness of all that he did until now. Jesus Christ said to him, well, let me now do everything that God wants to make you and with you. Are you looking for the eternal life? Lord God gave you this life as a great gift of God’s love and mercy. You want to deserve it, earn, and receive an award for your own righteousness and wisdom. With this road you will never come to the eternal life. The only thing you can do is to come and follow Me.
At the end of this conversation the young man comes surprised. Because he did not want to leave all that he has, everything what he knows, everything that was possibly the reason for his personal pride, the foundation of the respect for himself. Even the Apostles were surprised and said who should be saved, and Christ said to his pupils: “It is impossible for people, but it is possible for God who saves.” No one can save himself on its own, even with the biggest and the wisest efforts. Only All-merciful Lord may gift the eternal life. Come and follow Me.
It is the Word of God; with these heavenly beams today please our heart and our mind at this moment, when we officially sanctify this University Church of Sofia-Holy Wisdom of God. I think it is important to ask yourself, to whom this temple is dedicated; whose is this wisdom that we want to worship in this Holy Church. If someone thinks that this wisdom is our and your ability to be wise, you are wrong. If someone thinks that this wisdom is the accumulated knowledge of the people, he is wrong. If someone thinks that this wisdom is the ability of a person to be wise, great, successful, modern, significant, he is wrong. Since, to worship all these things means to be the idolaters. This wisdom, to which this church was built, is a divine wisdom. So we say emphasizing that this church is a temple of the Holy Wisdom of God.
And what is interesting? A man looks for this wisdom. But the wise ancient philosophers somewhere realized that this wisdom cannot be neither comprehended nor understand by a man, so they called themselves friends, seekers of wisdom. But in the Scriptures of the Old Testament we have the profound word that is the wisdom of God, which was in God and with God at the beginning of the world creation, on the one hand is a foundation, the basis of all things created by God. So we can see it, feel it, when we honestly and consistently study God’s creation. But the Holy Scriptures says us that the Lord in his wisdom comes to us himself. This wisdom itself is looking for someone who is willing to accept it. It comes to the man to build its throne among the man’s life, to prepare its banquet. It comes in and sits down in the square, and calls everyone closer and says, “Come, children, and listen to me. I will teach you the fear of the Lord. “
We can see that the first step to become closer, to answer the invitation, is the fear of the Lord. The first steps of this road are the fulfillment of God’s commandments. But the utmost wisdom that we want to worship, incarnated wisdom of God is Our Saviour Jesus Christ. Saint Augustine says to us today: “You say you are looking for wisdom, but it came to you on its own. You are looking for the truth, the truth and the life, and the truth, the truth and life itself come to you. This wisdom met the young man in the person of Jesus Christ on the roads of the Holy land.
It is this divine wisdom opened to a man in God’s Word, incarnated God’s wisdom of Jesus Christ that we want to worship in this Holy church. And our Slavic tradition claims that the throne of this wisdom is the Virgin Mary. The miraculous icon of Hodegetria shows us the way with her right hand pointing to her son Jesus Christ, to the road, where Jesus Christ invites us. We can say that today in the university Church we have opened the source of God’s wisdom for anyone who is looking for it.
Dear professors, lecturers, students, I invite you to draw upon from this source every day. Let this church will be the most important audience for this University. Folk wisdom says that there are a lot of scholars, and a few of wise people. We would really like to see among this great force of the certified specialists, even with a diploma of theology to have not the only these ones who gained the huge force of human knowledge, but it is important for the UCU to graduate the pupils of Christ, who go the way where the Savior himself invites. These who know the source of wisdom, who personally met Christ in this Holy Church, with incarnated God’s wisdom. And getting out of this school, they would know which way to go next.
Let me make today the heartfelt thanks to all those who worked, dreamed and built the Holy Church. Reading the thoughts of the Patriarch Joseph, who built the Santa Sofia a Via Boccea in the eternal city of Rome, we find the following words. The Patriarch saw the destroying of temples in the native lands and he wanted Santa Sofia a Via Boccea in Rome being like a temple-monument of all the destroyed churches, temple-the task of rebuilding of God’s knowledge and to rebuild the Christian faith in our people. The similar feelings move my heart today. Today on the native lands we built a church of St. Sofia in UCU, like fulfilling the covenant and the dream of our great predecessor.
Today we see how hundreds of thousands of churches throughout all Ukraine are erected. But I would like to see this church among the others like special one. How many souls are broken today in Ukraine, crippled by war, broken with all sorts of untrue, crippled with the old totalitarian system and new modern totalitarianism that wave after wave are rolled on our Christian conscience. In their honor, today we want to consecrate the church. It is like a great challenge for our University community to rebuild the church of the human soul in the dignity of man as a church of the Holy Spirit in our church or in our people. Not only the study is important, but the great mission of the proclaiming of the Word, preaching the Gospel throughout the creation. This mission is a vital task of the teacher and each student of UCU. May the Mother of God of Mercy, who today comes to us, will open the doors of Sofia-Holy Wisdom of God Church and daily leads us to Christ. Amen.