UOC Chancellor: Believers of UOC are now similar to Martyrs of Sebastia
Metropolitan Anthony of Boryspil and Brovary reminded the faithful of the UOC that when caring for earthly possessions, one should not compromise with faith.
On the day of remembrance of the Holy Forty Martyrs of Sebastia, Metropolitan Anthony (Pakanich) of Boryspil and Brovary noted that Christians, both in the fourth century and today, make a choice: whether to endure suffering in the name of Christ or renounce Him in favor of earthly blessings.
“The Church celebrates the memory of the 40 Martyrs of Sebastia. Forty warriors were driven into an icy lake and made to renounce Christ; at that time a bathhouse was heated on the shore. One can only imagine what a painful torture it was. These two places – an icy lake and a hot bath – symbolize the choice that every Christian faces: is he ready to suffer with the Savior, or will he choose earthly possessions in exchange for a deal with his conscience?” said Vladyka Anthony.
“The Sebastian martyrs lived in the 4th century, we live in the 21st, but little has changed for Christians since then. As before, we are offered the same choice – a cold lake or a warm bath. And we choose whether we suffer for Christ or enjoy warmth and comfort. Tragic events are taking place now. There is an ongoing war, our people are dying. Our priests are kidnapped, monks are expelled from monasteries, churches are taken away from communities. There are those who cannot stand it and they can be understood. It is very difficult to stand in ice-cold water and look at a warm bath at the same time,” said the Chancellor of the UOC.
Metropolitan Anthony reminded the believers that out of 40 soldiers, only one surrendered, his name was Meletios. However, he did not achieve the warmth he had anticipated: as soon as he entered the hot bath, he fell and died. His place was taken up by one of the soldiers, who received the fortieth crown.
“A hot bath is an illusion. It will not be possible to keep warm in it, but you can only make a deal with your conscience and die spiritually. And vice versa, the crowns go to those who remain faithful to the end, who do not strive for a quick solution to their earthly problems, who do not renounce their faith and do not compromise when it comes to treason,” summarized Metropolitan Anthony.
Earlier, the UOJ reported that Metropolitan Anthony of Boryspil and Brovary called on believers to remain faithful to Christ even in the most difficult trials.