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Homily for 12/14/08 - P26 - use what you have

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  • Fr David Moser
    Luke 12:16-21 In these difficult times as it seems that our financial situation becomes less and less stable and therefore our ability to provide for our own
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 14, 2008
      Luke 12:16-21

      In these difficult times as it seems that our financial situation
      becomes less and less stable and therefore our ability to provide for
      our own basic needs becomes less and less certain, it is tempting to
      become somewhat miserly, keeping that which we have for our own use. But
      we must also remember that what we have been given in this world,
      whether wealth or poverty or any other condition is given to us by God.
      God gives us what we have in order that we might use it to work out our
      salvation; that we might use our material resources and condition as a
      means by which we acquire the Holy Spirit and regenerate the soul. Call
      to mind the parable of the talents. Those servants who used what their
      master gave them as intended received the praise of their master and
      were rewarded. The servant who kept what the master gave and did not use
      it, or worse who misused it, by burying it was reprimanded and even what
      he thought that he had was taken from him. So with us, God gives us all
      that we have in this life and if we are to use it properly, we will seek
      to use it to acquire the grace of the Holy Spirit and to develop within
      the heart that which is of value to God – that is the virtues which are
      the characteristics of God’s likeness in us.

      Today’s parable reminds us again of this same truth. The wealthy man in
      this parable took what he had gained in this life and set it aside for
      his own earthly well being and pleasure. He did not consider why he had
      been given this abundance by God and instead kept everything to himself,
      to provide for his own worldly needs and desires. He misused the wealth
      that God had given him as surely as the servant in the other parable who
      buried his talent. God’s response to this misuse of those worldly gifts
      is clear and forceful, “Fool!” He says of the rich man for the man did
      not see the true purpose of what he had, but rather hid it away in new
      barns and silos, seeking to preserve what he had been given by hoarding it.

      We too are given great gifts by God, each one of us according to our
      need. Perhaps you have a great abundance – then use that abundance to
      acquire the Holy Spirit. How do you do this? By giving to the poor and
      to those in need, by using what God has given to you to further the work
      of Christ in this world. In this time of financial uncertainty, our
      natural reaction is hoard that which we have so that we ourselves might
      not become poor. In this we rely upon our own self preservation. But we
      did not acquire these things on our own; we did not gain such abundance
      by our own cleverness or power or even skill, rather it all was given us
      by God. Our God who loves each of us as a father loves a child has
      provided all this for us and thus will He not continue to do so?
      Whatever we need, whatever is necessary for our eternal well being,
      every good and useful thing will be provided to us by our loving God, we
      have no need to provide for ourselves for God will provide for us. Every
      day we are each given an opportunity by God to use our skill, our
      resources, our abilities, our lives to get that which we need. It is our
      responsibility before God to make use of those opportunities, to accept
      all that God gives and in turn to use all this for the glory of God. Do
      not be miserly, do not be concerned with saving up what you have today
      so that you will have enough for tomorrow for God will provide for you
      according to your needs. Neither should you waste the wealth that God
      has given in pursuit of careless pleasures and personal indulgences.
      Now, when so many are in need, more than any other time should we share
      the abundance of what God has given. If you give of what God has given
      to you, then He will not let you down, but will provide for you all that
      you need. Do not be found to be a fool like the servant who hid his
      talent or the wise man who misused the abundance that He was given by
      God, but rather joyfully and without any hesitation give of the wealth
      that God has given you so that you might find riches, not in this world,
      but in the Kingdom of God.

      Perhaps, on the other hand, you have been given poverty. If this is the
      case, then use your poverty as an opportunity to glorify God and to
      demonstrate God’s love and care for even the least of His children.
      Trust in God’s provision for you, setting aside anxiety and worry as a
      waste of time and energy. God will provide for you what you need. Like
      your brethren, God will give you an opportunity each day to use what you
      do have, your time, your energy, your skill and ability to work for His
      Kingdom. Pray for the world, the Church and all those with whom God
      brings you into contact each day. Look for ways to serve your fellow man
      seeking nothing in return so that by your actions you express the love
      of God to the whole world. Do not despair, do not complain, do not fall
      into useless anxiety, but with complete faith in God’s love and
      providence for you joyfully bring His love to the world and pray for all
      without ceasing for this is your calling and the path that God has
      opened for you for your salvation.

      Whatever God has given you, do not waste it, do not assume that it is
      nothing or worse yet a burden to be borne, do not misuse it but rather
      joyfully accept the bountiful gift of grace that God gives and in so
      doing work out your salvation in every place where you find yourself,
      trusting not in princes or the sons of men, nor even in the works of
      your own hands but rather relying solely upon the provision of God for
      you. In this time when the world is uncertain, let us rely wholly on
      God’s providence. He will provide all that we need; He will open the
      path for each of us into His heavenly Kingdom; He is our loving and
      compassionate Father and He will not let us lack for anything. Lay up
      for yourselves treasure in heaven that you might be rich in the Kingdom
      of God.

      --
      Archpriest David Moser
      St Seraphim of Sarov Orthodox Church (ROCOR)
      Homilies: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/propoved/
      Website: http://stseraphimboise.org
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