16 Dec. PRAVMIR. “We are very attached to a particular priest, we are very tied to a particular reading, or we may like the style of a particular sermon. And our affection is quite obvious and clear, but nobody is good only God.” Sermon of Archpriest Alexander Abramov in week 29th after Pentecost.
- A bit of humor and irony in the gospel
- For this only is worth living for…
- The love of money is the main passion of the modern man
- Not only finding the cross, but his loss
- That is bad for the soul of the rich
And asked Him a certain ruler: good Master! what must I do to inherit eternal life? Jesus said unto him, why callest thou Me good? no one is good except one — God; you know the commandments: do not commit adultery, do not kill, do not steal, do not bear false witness, honour thy father and thy mother. He said, all these have I kept from my youth. On hearing this, Jesus said to him: one more lacks you: everything you have, sell and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven and come, follow Me. When he heard this, he was sorrowful, for he was very rich. And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, said: how hardly shall they that have riches enter into the Kingdom of God! for it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God. They that heard it said who then can be saved? But He said, things which are impossible with men are possible with God.
LK. 18: 18-27
Noteworthy is this: Christ is like this provokes a rich man. He begins to talk to him about even ten commandments; the commandments and reminds them: “You know the commandments: do not commit adultery, do not kill, do not steal, do not bear false witness, honour thy father and thy mother”. And when he says, Jesus says, “sell All and give to the poor. And you will have treasure in heaven. And then, come with Me.”
And that Christ did not know already at the time when the questioner came to Him that he is rich? Could not from the very beginning to say, “You’re rich. Leave all your treasure, and give it to the poor and follow Me”? Why He reminds him of the commandments in which he lived and His companion? And then, as if taunting him, the topic that most interested in this person.
He is sorrowful because he was very rich and didn’t want this wealth to leave. The Christ comforts him, and tells even more: how hardly shall they that have riches enter into the Kingdom of God! for it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God.
It is not wealth as such. Christ does not condemn wealth. He said: “it is Impossible for those who have riches to enter the Kingdom of God,” because that would be out of God’s justice which is merciful. He said: hardly shall they that have riches enter into the Kingdom of God. It is difficult having some sort of earthly affection, prevailing over affection of heaven, to enter the Kingdom of God. But what is impossible to man, possible with God – when man affection, love, warmth gives to Christ.
The Holy fathers unanimously interpreted this gospel passage in such a way that man comes to God, with all his thoughts, reflections, prejudices, biased attitude. The man himself decided for all, he knows everything and God does not need to rescue to get. He knows how to escape. And is responsible to Christ, rather arrogantly: all these have I kept from my youth.
And Christ says to him: stop! That’s what you think, rich, you have to leave. We must learn to live again, to think again, to walk again. To go “pile in a pile” – go to Me. And then the fact that it seems unattainable and impossible – we see our sinfulness, something that seems impossible suddenly becomes possible.
Not surprisingly, the conversation begins with the greeting: a certain ruler addresses Jesus with a question: good Master! what must I do to inherit eternal life? Jesus says, why callest thou Me good? no one is good except God alone.
Here we love to give each other a different sort of glorification, we love what the Scripture calls pricesabana on somesuch. Christ in absolute simplicity, all the talk stops: no one is good except God alone, and implies, no word about it said, “If thou call Me good Teacher, I am a God. But you decide: you think I’m a good Teacher, God? If not, then why do you call Me good? Only God can be good”.
For us, this contains a reminder of the need for spiritual care, spiritual sobriety: no one is good but God. No one should be treated with reverence which belongs only to God. We are very attached to a particular priest, we are very tied to a particular reading, or we may like the style of a particular sermon. And our affection is quite obvious and clear, but nobody is good only God. And so slahi in the heart of what we teach, and give gratitude to the one who teaches us, the people who taught us the teachings of Christ. But, remembering the words blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, we know always these people, if something can be done, if word reaches our hearts is Christ Himself, to Whom be glory and worship.
From the book “whosoever will may come. Conversations on Sundays and feast the gospel reading,” published in the publishing house “Nikea”