“Three Steps on the Journey with Christ,” Bishop Mykola Bychok in Iceland
September 19, 2023
On Sunday, September 17th, in the city of Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland, a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy was celebrated at the parish of Mother of God Perpetual Help. This Liturgy was presided over by Bishop Mykola Bychok, the Eparch of Melbourne, in conjunction with Father Mykhailo Ivaniak, a Redemptorist responsible for ministering to the Ukrainian faithful in Iceland.
It’s worth noting that this Ukrainian community in Reykjavik is one of the youngest, as more than 3,000 people have arrived here during the conflict in Ukraine.
During his sermon, Bishop Mykola Bychok spoke about the importance of directing one’s life toward the Cross, symbolizing the Christian faith. He also emphasized three steps that one must take on the journey toward Christ: renouncing oneself, taking up one’s cross, and following Christ. Denying oneself means turning away from temptations, sin, and evil, and instead embracing the virtues bestowed by Christ. Taking up one’s cross signifies being patient and accepting life with dignity. Following Christ means adhering to God’s commandments and gaining wisdom from Christ on the path of spirituality.
At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, Bishop Mykola Bychok expressed words of support for Father Mykhailo Ivaniak, who is the sole spiritual caretaker of the Ukrainian faithful in Iceland. In turn, Father Mykhailo thanked Bishop Mykola for his fraternal visit of support, which united Ukrainians and the faithful in Iceland, making them feel valued and necessary to the Church.
Bishop Mykola also extended his gratitude to Bishop Bohdan Dziurakh, the German Exarch, responsible for providing spiritual support to the Ukrainian faithful in Scandinavian countries, including Iceland, where Father Mykhailo Ivaniak serves.
Following the Liturgy, all attendees gathered in the parish hall, where they shared moments of joy and sorrow while enjoying coffee, tea, and sweets. The faithful also sang spiritual songs together, bringing Ukraine, a nation currently enduring and fighting for its independence, closer to their hearts.
This day bore witness to the strength of unity and support within the Ukrainian community in Iceland, which, despite being in a distant land, does not feel forgotten but instead feels the support and unity in faith and spirituality.