We are in the midst of the Dormition Fast and we are reminded by the Church, through today’s Gospel reading of the danger of spiritual hypocrisy. I hear it all the time. “Father, my yiayia always said it isn’t what goes into my mouth, but what comes out.” While this is true, it is never the whole story.
Think back to a time when you experienced a restaurant you really enjoyed, or a resort your family thought was just perfect. Chances are, when you returned, you called your friends your friends and told them all about it. If it was recently, you may even have gone on social media and recommended their page to your friends. When you love something, you tell everyone about it. That’s just life.
Join your brothers and sisters in support of Be Transfigured Ministries during the month of August in honor of the Feast of the Transfiguration of Our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ. Our ministry depends upon your financial support to grow our ministry and remain a quality experience online.
Yesterday, I mentioned I would discuss the different tasks that are required of a steward of God’s Church. It may seem self-explanatory, but maybe the most important job of a steward of God’s Church is being present. Let’s face, as with any job, if we don’t show up, we can’t and won’t do the work. The same is true for stewards of God’s Church. We must actually be present in His Church in order for us to serve as the masters of His House.
One day when Jesus was in His own town, a paralytic was brought to Him for healing, but instead of healing the man, Jesus forgave his sins. The people who were watching became angry and accused Jesus of blasphemy, rather than being glad the man’s sins were forgiven. The people were hyper-focused on physical health, but had forgot, that our body AND our soul need God. They were unable to see the grace and love of God, but God knew what they needed, so He also healed the man’s body from paralysis.
The Church often uses the word stewardship to explain our financial support of the Church, but it is about so much more than just money. The word stewardship comes from the Greek word οικοδεπόστης which more fully means the master of the house. It is interesting that this is not referring to actual master, since that would be the owner, but the one who has been put in charge of the house. Using this understanding, Christ is the owner of the Church, but we have been put in charge as “masters” of His House. What are the duties of the master?
One day our Lord was traveling to His own city and a paralytic was brought to Him. Instead of healing the man from his illness, Christ dared to say, “Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven.” (Matthew 9.2) In return for this great gift the crowd accused Christ of blasphemy. Can you imagine a group of people worrying more about physical health than the forgiveness of sin? Fortunately for the crowd, Christ loved them enough to provide what they needed to believe in Him.
The Feast of All Saints reminds us that we are all called to be saints and a life of holiness. We are called to love God more than anything else in the world, more than our family or friends or any single thing on earth. As fallen human beings we spend each day tempted to focus on ourselves rather than focus on God. Holiness isn’t easy, but Christ blesses our willingness to take up the cross of Christian life, which is embodied in the life of the Church.
The Feast of Pentecost celebrates the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the Holy Disciples and the Church, the day on which the Church was guided into all Truth. Christ said, “I am the Truth!” (John 14.6) and the Church has been given the great gift to live a life in unity with the Truth, Who is Christ. It was the Holy Spirit who open the eyes of the Holy Apostles into the fullness of the Truth, as promised by Christ before He ascended the Holy Cross. It is time we lived as if we believed the Truth of Christ, and live as if we are actually in unity with God.
In the story of the Healing of the Paralytic at the Pool of Bethesda, we encounter a man who had lost hope in being healed after 38 years of waiting. Meeting him at the pool, Christ asked Him if he wanted to be healed. “I have no man….” showing just how much he had lost hope. What the man didn’t know, but we know, is that Christ was the man he was waiting for to be healed. Christ has restored our hope, and we are called to be “the hope” for others as the Body of Christ.