With great words of congratulations we praise today a man, whose fate is so ordinary and so unusual, so simple and complex at the same time… We are talking about a genuine son of Ukraine, he who bears his cross from beginning to end, who serves God and Ukraine, who teaches us peace and love, faith and hope.
There is no such thing as summer without spring, and autumn without winter, fruit without blossom, and there's no old age without young days and maturity, there is no contingency in our life as such, because everything that happens, happens by the will of God and His Providence.
So by God's will in the distant 1933, a son was born to a mother and father. He was born, in order to bring love and peace into this world . They named the boy Lyubomyr.
And was it really a coincidence that he was born in 1933? Drawing a parallel between events of history and literature, between all events in Ukraine and the world of that time, which turned out to be fatal for human history, you realize, that, perhaps, it is no coincidence.
Number 33… at 33 the Son of God, Jesus, was crucified on the cross. Exactly after 11 centuries our full of suffering Ukraine was crucified on the cross of history. A tragic page of the 30s will never be torn out from the history book of our state. And the 30s were the turning point, when the flowers of the future Ukrainian nation were born, the best daughters and sons of our country, who did not repudiated the statehood, the language, the culture and, most importantly, their faith.
One of those honourable places among those dedicated and conscious Ukrainians rightfully belongs to Lyubomyr Husar.
At the time of the Soviet Union, when ideology undertook the place of religion, Lyubomyr Husar chose God, religion, faith. In the Post-Soviet Era, when people would find themselves in a situation of uncertainty, when conformism dominated, the fact that did not allow you to have your own opinion, when all lived under the majority principle, authoritarianism and in accordance with traditions, he did not cease to bear his cross, while preaching at that time in Ukraine, he was bringing the Word of God to his people, serving in church with love and peace. Because he was Lyubomyr, which meant “love and peace”.
Former head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, Cardinal, Retired Supreme Archbishop of Halych, Metropolitan of Kyiv, Bishop of Kamyanez. And for us he is also an honorary member of the Ukrainian association of Retired Persons.
This man's wisdom has no limits. His advice, instructions and teaching are very precious for us, and so we are especially lucky. The programs of our association aim at the fulfilment of the same assignments, the church does. Among those are family issues, preservation of the family, resumption of the dialogue between generations, taking care for others, respect for the elderly, respect to the old age, providing help in various situations. The main thing is not to be afraid of your faith, love your neighbour, hope for the best.
There is lots to adopt from his teaching for all generations living in Ukraine :
- "The Lord God gave us our Ukraine. We did not win it, we did not shed blood. No one of all the people granted it to us. That was God's will, the grace of God. Circumstances must be described by historians. But Ukraine appeared, it exists. I am convinced it could not have been otherwise";
- "Frustrated people are unable to build a free state. We should unite in order to think together how we are going to build the kind of country to which we aspire. And stop expecting someone who might build it for us. Because they will not";
- "The Ukrainians can be united by a noble idea, a beautiful purpose, a great battle";
- "Freedom is a circumstance to be a human. Freedom is just a right to do good. Freedom is a chance to serve people. The more people recognize this freedom as a natural need, the more good they are able to do for each other, thus for the whole country ... The complete freedom of the whole Ukraine should consist of fractions of freedom of each of us";
- "Our way to freedom was longer than that some people had being dreaming about, by the will of God. After all, every stop on that way was somehow a God's hint, we should learn to follow those hints. The Lord always tries those he loves";
- "I do not agree with the fact that indifference, passivity, individualism inherited from the previous generations have irreversibly spoiled the youth of today. It is not true, young people are wounded, but they are alive. They are tired of the artificial, deceptive, unreal, they lack sincerity and truthfulness";
- "The government, is afraid of freedom in our hearts much more than of starvelings' revolt. Because you can bribe a hungry man, but a free man is only to be killed".
We, Ukrainians, have a lot in common with God's people,who were wandering for 40 years across the desert in search of The Promised Land. Lyubomyr Huzar's fate has a lot in common with the prophet Moses' one, who being a guide and carrying his cross, saw a lot in his life.
We are not going to wander in the darkness for long any more. Because we have the strong in spirit and faith guide, the one, who leads, points out the goal, does not stop, does not allow us to go back, and does not allow us to fail or make mistakes. He teaches us to live according to our faith, to sanctify with love, to go into the future with the great hope.
Your Beatitude Lyubomyr!
Congratulations on your great 80th anniversary!
May your life be filled with care and prayers for us, your bright thoughts, that wish us good fate and peace, love and forgiveness, tolerance and faith, will be returned to you a hundredfold. Bright and sunny days for you on this earth, with God's help live to see those days of not miserable existence but prosperous life in Ukraine, when you could easily and quietly say: "Love and peace reign in my motherland".
We wish you good health, good memories, good words and thoughts for your faith, good and happy human feelings, to do well in everything!
The Council of Ukrainian Association of Retired Persons.