Every year when I hear today’s Gospel, I say “why didn’t someone help him?” And then I think about the many occasions where a homeless person asked me for help, an elderly person was in need, a family member called me or my Church could have used my Time and Talents. Then I thought – what was present back then is still our crutch today – greed, not having enough time, selfishness, a focus on one’s own needs, excuses… but what can change is how we approach these same situations. If we become good and faithful Stewards of what God has provided us with – we can make a difference and eliminate the passions that have a negative impact. For we, too, can be made whole!
During yesterday’s sermon, Father Serafim Baltic reflected on the Gift of the Magi and the Gift of the Myrrh Bearing Women – simple, not anything immense or different – just given from the heart and given because it is what they had and what they knew/understood.
Our Stewardship is the same way – we give from our heart. For some, it is a large sum of money and for others, it may be washing the Narthex floor. In God’s eyes, they are equally important.
Christ Is Risen!
Everyone shall be saved he says, whether a priest or a slave or free. For there is no male or female in Christ Jesus, neither slave nor free… but each appears according to his deeds!
Let us work towards our Salvation through the use of our Time, Talents and Treasures as Stewardship.
Do you not know that in the day of death how sins make the soul shrink? How they stir up the heart from beneath? At that time therefore, when such things are happening, the remembrance of good works stand by us, like a calm in the storm, and comforts the perturbed soul. St. John Chrysostom
Today is the third Sunday of Great Lent and the Orthodox Church commemorates the Precious and Life-Giving Cross of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The Divine Liturgy includes a special veneration of the Cross, which prepares the faithful for the commemoration of the Crucifixion during Holy Week.
Let’s reflect for a moment on the Crucifixion and its meaning. Jesus Christ died for our sins which was done because “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” John 3:16. God’s love for us – our opportunity for eternal life – our Salvation and the hope of living in God’s kingdom are all because Jesus died on the Cross. As we venerate the Cross this Sunday, let us especially think about the meaning of the Cross and ask …how much do we love God? …how much do we love our Church which represents Christ? …how much do we love God for all that he provides for us? Do we love him enough to sacrifice of our Time, Talents and Treasures?
Kontakion from the third Sunday of Great Lent
No longer does the flaming sword guard the gate of Eden, for a marvelous quenching is come upon it, even the Tree of the Cross. The sting has been taken from death, and the victory from Hades. And, You, my Savior, has appeared unto those in Hades saying: Enter again into Paradise.
16 “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you
19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.