Dead to sin and alive to God, we will be able to say: beware, this is not a game

“The gospel that the wealthy don’t consider bad. It is said that he lived luxuriously, but does not say that he was evil or criminal. But unselfish movement of the heart shows him as a man, the unwanted Christ.” – sermon of Archpriest Alexander Abramov per week 23rd after Pentecost, the celebration of the Kazan icon of the Mother of God.

Photo: Hadzi Miodrag Miladinovic / Flickr

  • For every call of the Lord we must answer: “Yes, I’m ready”
  • Giving us the talents, the Lord says: “Do”
  • “Suffer? It’s a cross!” – easy to dissociate these words from someone else’s misfortune
  • “Called for me, Lord – I’m sick with the flu” – so why lie?
  • We paved his soul and put it over the barbed wire

A certain man was rich, was clothed in purple and fine linen, and every day feasted brilliantly. There was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, and desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table, and the dogs came and licked his sores. The poor man died and was carried by the Angels into Abraham’s bosom. Died and the rich man, and buried him. And in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom, and cried, and said, father Abraham! have mercy on me and send Lazarus to moist end of his finger in water and prohadil my tongue, for I am tormented in the flame this. But Abraham said, son! remember that you received your good things in your life, and Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. and besides all this, between us and you a great chasm, so wanting to pass from here to you cannot, and also from there to us not to go. He said, ‘ then I beg you, father, send him to my father’s house for I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. Abraham said to him: they have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. He said, no, father Abraham, but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent. Then Abraham said to him: if Moses and the prophets do not listen even if someone rises from the dead, they will not believe.

LK. 16: 19-31

Archpriest Alexander Abramov

Today’s gospel reading is about grieving, and about joy. I for many years was very hard gospel to hear and even more to read in the temple. All right, but not the feeling of burden from the finality of the decision.

There lived a rich man. He was all. Lived a poor man on earth, dogs his wounds licked. And one goes to hell, and the other angels bring to the bosom of Abraham. And the rich man in hell asks that the poor man Lazarus and passed at least the edge of the finger language of him wet, because it was unbearably hot. And Abraham, father of Nations, manifests then the severity. “No transition,” he says. Neither one nor the other. It is impossible from us to you or from you to us. Nothing will come of it.

And then it sounds something that I, for example, for many years did not pay attention. Only recently, it touched the heart of the gospel that the wealthy don’t consider bad. It is said that he lived luxuriously, but does not say that he was evil or criminal. And the next movement of his soul, when Abraham tells him that his suffering is deserved and inescapable, a good, unselfish move. He cares for those who do not yet understand here on earth. “Then, he asks, if you can, send Lazarus, send someone from the dead, to my five brothers said.”

Then we can easily continue the conversation about themselves. We have lots to do, work, home care. And everything that the Lord tells us through the prophets and directly remains for us vchuzhe. And so on.

But please focus on the gospel rich man: he cares for his own, knowing that his own fate does not change.

And becomes clearly clear that he is not bad. And his life, the wrong and the sinner, acquires a new meaning: repentance in the last hour. An hour, maybe not on earth, but we don’t know God’s time. The unselfish movement of the heart shows him as a person, not displeasing to Christ.

Scripture hides from us, then what happened to that rich and Lazarus. But we understand that the rigidity and finality of this passage — even the old Testament. Not yet were the Christ, descended into hell, not risen. It is yet to be. Yet to begin a new story of human relationships with God. History, where our heart beats a question of the PDP. Silouan: it would be good for you in Paradise, if you know that someone is in hell? How are you gonna be in a similar situation rest?[1]

Then why read this gospel? What does it need? To configure strict way? But the Church already does that quite often. To remind us that we have the right to dispose of earthly time? But, in General, is so clear. Without such scary stories as the story of the rich man and Lazarus. What does it say? And they say that’s what I think.

We often forget about what we were baptized. And the Apostle Paul says: “If you’re into Jesus Christ were baptized, you were baptized unto His death. So be dead to sin and alive to God”[2]. These words are recited during the sacrament of Baptism.

And we, if we observe at least partially the commandments of Baptism, should try to live up to such a state where sin will become physically disgusting, like all uncleanness. Then we, being dead to sin and alive to God, then so can his brothers to warn about something.

Based on their experienced knowledge of how vile sin is and what a joy to be with God, we can say: beware, be careful, it’s not a joke, not a game.

It may well be that the gap will be great. And then there is neither there nor here… But I hope on the great mercy of God, hope that Christ will make us dead to sin and, therefore, invulnerable. In such as the living person can be immune to the devil’s attacks. To be like the rich man in the gospel of his good care for those who need it. And not to be like him in the earth making. And worthy to be with Christ.

From the book “whosoever will may come. Conversations on Sundays and feast the gospel reading,” published in the publishing house “Nikea”

[1] “There are people who want their enemies or the enemies of the Church of perdition and torment in the fires of hell. So they think because they have not learned the love of God by the Holy spirit, for he who has learned to shed tears for the whole world. You say he’s a villain, and let it burn in the fires of hell. But I ask you: if God will give you a good place in heaven, but you’re going to see in flames one whom you wished the fire of suffering, surely then you will not be sorry for him, whoever he was, at least, the enemy of the Church? Or you have a heart of iron? But in heaven the iron is not necessary. There is need of humility and love of Christ, which all the pity” (Archimandrite. Sophronius (Sakharov). Elder Silouan Of Athos. The writings of starets Silouan).

[2] know ye not, that all we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized unto His death? Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection, knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that had abolished the body of sin, that we might no longer be slaves to sin; for he that is dead is freed from sin. If we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ being raised from the dead, he cannot die: death no longer has power over Him. For in that He died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord (ROM. 6: 3-11).

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