Metropolitan Borys during the Chrism Mass at Saint Patrick’s cathedral: Let Us be Confirmed in God’s Gifts
On Tuesday, April 12 Cardinal Timothy Dolan celebrated a Mass during which he blessed the Holy Oils at a table in the sanctuary. Cardinal Dolan blessed the oils of the sick, the catechumens, and consecrated the holy chrism oil. Each parish of the Archdiocese of New York will receive these three oils to be used for the sacraments throughout the year. Metropolitan Borys Gudziak, Ukrainian Catholic Archbishop of Philadelphia was invited to preach.
Metropolitan Borys addressed the present bishops, priests, religious, and faithful with words of gratitude and encouragement. “How good it is to be together! How good it is to hear the Lord’s encouragement and encourage each other in this eucharistic sacramental fellowship”.
He drew parallels between Adam’s sin, the passions of Christ, and the wars and evil in the world, in particular the unprovoked invasion in Ukraine and the massacre of simple citizens. “In this [holy] week, we have it all — the best and the worst, the highest and the lowest, exalted and the base, intimate friendship and betrayal. We have the episodes that lead to the brutal killing of the Innocent Lamb, the Suffering Servant, and exactly there, in that killing, God transforms it through an act of love into our liberation”.
The Chrism mass is also a celebration of the institution of the priesthood, therefore Archbishop Borys separately addressed bishops, priests, and deacons: “Dear brothers in the sacerdotal ministry, it is not easy to be a priest, a bishop, or a deacon in North America in the XXI century. There are many occasions and reasons to get discouraged. But let us count our blessings, let us listen to the words and feel the chrism, the ointment, the gifts of the Holy Spirit healing our wounds, offering clarity where there is confusion, and giving us that silent, gentle strength of Christ who called us to serve”.
He also thanked Cardinal Dolan, priests, religious, and faithful of the New York Archdiocese for their solidarity and generosity with the Church and people in Ukraine in its passion and crucifixion and expressed hope that the people of New York will open their arms and homes once there will be an announcement on the provisions on how the displaced Ukrainians can be welcomed in America.
“In this passion week, the holiest of times, as we celebrate these mysteries, let us be confirmed in these gifts—the healing, the sacraments, the fellowship, the service, the humility. Therein is our power; therein is our life. In Christ is our peace and our joy”, concluded the Archbishop.