Metropolitan Onuphry: Repentance unveils an ultimate thing in person – love
The Primate of the UOC recalled that there is no such person who would not sin in their life and spoke about the need for repentance.
Repentance not only sets a person free from sin, but also reveals all the God-invested good in them, said the Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kyiv and All Ukraine, in his Sunday sermon on January 24, 2021, the week after Epiphany, in the Assumption Cathedral of the Holy Dormition Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra. The video of the Primate’s homily was published by the Information and Education Department of the UOC.
The Archpastor reminded that the Lord began His ministry with the words of repentance: “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17).
“These words are the main appeal by which the Lord announced to mankind that the Kingdom of Heaven is accessible,” explained His Beatitude. "But only the person, who repents of his/her sins, enters there."
If someone says that he has no sins and does not need repentance, “it’s a lie, because there is no such person who has lived at least a little and has not sinned,” he added.
“There are various sins – mental, sensual, verbal, action, behavioral sins – yet, they all prevent a person from entering the Kingdom of Heaven, dress a person in a filthy spiritual garment. One needs to wash themselves from this spiritual filth by repentance to be able to enter the Kingdom of Heaven,” the Primate noted.
He emphasized that one should not be ashamed to repent – one should be ashamed to sin.
“And when you have sinned, you don’t need to be ashamed to repent, you need to say, ‘Lord, I have sinned, forgive me.’ There is no need to say a lot – it’s enough to say why and how it happened. This is the best way of repentance," explained His Beatitude Onuphry.
According to him, repentance is at the heart of all that is good in a person.
“Repentance purifies a person and reveals all the God-invested good in them. Repentance makes a person merciful, humble, meek – what is a natural property of the image of God in man. Repentance makes a person loving, i.e. it reveals the most important property in him – love: love for God and love for one's neighbor as a God’s creature.
Repentance is the foundation of all good. If we want to be kind, bright, and merciful, to have humility, love, then we must repent of our sins. Without hesitation, without justification, without any human philosophies, but simply: "Lord, I did it, forgive me, I have no justification." Then the Lord forgives a person's sins and sends His blessing over us, and we are able to go through earthly life safely in peace, in hope, in boldness to God, and in our eternal life to reach the Kingdom for which the Lord created man,” summed up His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry.
We will remind that earlier His Beatitude Onuphry explained what it means to truly enjoy life.