• Read Gospel
  • In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.
    Christ is in our midst! He is and shall be!

    The following long quote is excerpted from Passions and Virtues According to St. Gregory Palamas, by Anestis Keselopoulos [bracketed material added by myself]
    “The rich man [in today’s parable] is striken with avarice [an unreasonably strong desire to obtain and keep money], which originates in the love of one’s own body, and the love of possessions. When we become greedy, the wisdom of God flees from us and we’re overcome by [true] folly. The objective of the avaricious man is not to satisfy his needs. In fact, what he does is simply foolish. He considers how to acquire more things in order to be completely dominated by them and to loose his very self, both as the image of God and as a human being. His spirit is drowned within his friendly disposition toward’s riches—which in the final analysis is the carnal mindset—while his nous [which is man’s ability to see God, so instead of trying to see God the greedy man’s nous] is debased to conquests and schemes which define his very being. [He is no longer defined by his relationship to God, he’s defined by his own preoccupation with worldly possessions.] He becomes a slave to the immoderation in which he exhausts himself and creates a multitude of so-called ‘needs’ that are nevertheless very far indeed from the limits of what is needful according to the Gospel. [In other words, he considers himself to need much more than a person actually needs—he confuses his irrational desires with need.] Although [the rich man in today’s parable] disclosed the profit brought by material goods [he didn’t try to hide his money or deceive others or God], he did not show himself to be a wise and prudent steward, since he was not interested in the necessary assets of being a fruitful husbandman and a profitable merchant, but was concerned only with building greater barns. This man is called a fool. He has denied God by his very actions, by his disposition to the things God has given him. And in denying God, we in fact deny our own selves. Once we exist outside of a constant reference to God, we really cease to exist. We become images that have rejected our subject.”

    As we enter this period of the Nativity Lent, keep this morning’s Gospel reading in mind.
    Constantly ask—am I giving myself to anything more than I’m giving myself to God? Am I losing myself to affairs of the world? Am I denying God by the life I’m living?
    As we struggle to focus more on Christ, more fully on repentance and following in the footsteps of our Saviour, let us never lose sight of the reality of the human condition—I am created in the image of the Incarnate God, Jesus Christ, and all I have and all I am and all I can ever be is because of Him.
    Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory forever!

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