Rabbi of Messianic Jewish community preaches in Roman Catholic Cathedral in Kyiv
The rabbi of the Kyiv Messianic Jewish community, Borys Hrysenko, on the invitation of Bishop Stanislav Shyrokorodiuk, preached at an evening service at St. Alexander’s Cathedral of the Roman Catholic Church in Kyiv on March 20, 2011. The unique service was held during Lent and coincided with the first day of the Biblical Jewish feast of Purim. Approximately 1,000 people were present at the service, reports our RISU correspondent, Yulia Dolmatova.
The dialogue between the Roman Catholics and Messianic Jews was started recently, when representatives of the Kyiv Messianic Jewish community participated in the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in St. Alexander’s Cathedral on January 25, 2011. The decision to cooperate was made by both parties.
The rabbi stated: “We accept the invitation of the bishop and the senior priest as God's blessing. We see the work of the Lord in our Catholic brethren who pray and try to make God’s prophecies about the renewal of the Body of Christ come to life not in the distant future but now.”
The sermon of Borys Hrysenko was based on Jeremiah 31:31, which says that God will make the New Testament with the House of Israel and the House of Judah and will never reject the people of Israel. According to the rabbi, “the Christian world is preparing to remember the suffering of Jesus Christ on the cross, and we must pray for His saving grace to be opened to the perishing sheep of the House of Israel as well.”
The rabbi also told about the feast of Purim and compared Queen Esther, through whom God saved His people, with today's church. At the end of his sermon, the rabbi blessed all those present.
The moderator of the movement “Home Church” of the Kyiv and Zhytomyr Diocese of the Roman Catholic Church, Fr. Oleh Sartakov, shared his impressions of the sermon: “It is very important that this event took place: Christians were able to communicate without prejudice, face to face. Rabbi Hrysenko shared his feelings, his faith, the faith of the Jews who accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Starting with the first converted Jews and up until today, many representatives of the Jewish community as well as representatives of other nations have joined the Christian Church. We must reject the stereotype that the Jewish nation carries a greater guilt than that of other people.”