HIDDEN VALLEY SERMONS: THE TWENTY SECOND SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST
The Twenty Second Sunday after Pentecost
There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedest thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead. (KJV)
Believers are blessed to hear the Holy Gospel throughout the year in the Divine Liturgy. The Church exists for believers to live the fullness of life in Christ.
The final goal for all believers is the Kingdom of God and eternal life.
During the course of the Church year, believers are exposed to lessons arising from the lives of Moses and the Holy Prophets. Attentive believers are nourished by Moses and the Prophets.
The present Gospel makes clear the value of the wisdom in Moses and the Prophets. The wisdom is great and has lasting benefits. Abraham told the suffering rich man that his brothers would benefit from hearing Moses and the Prophets.
Believers each day choose to what they listen to and what they hear, Blessed teachings exist in God’s Holy Church. The teachings when taken to heart will nourish the soul and transform the believer.
Guidance for daily life is located in the Holy Scriptures and teachings of the Church. Wise believers invest in reading and studying the Scriptures, the lives of the saints and the teachings of the Church.
The time of life comes only once. Wise use of time will lead a believer to God’s Kingdom and eternal life. The rich man in the current Gospel did not make good use of his time or his life.
The rich man ignored poor Lazarus who was suffering nearby. The rich man did not avail himself of the wisdom of Moses and the Prophets. In the end, the rich man suffered eternal torment.
Poor Lazarus was taken into Abraham’s bosom. Lazarus was comforted. The rich man could have changed the outcome of his life if he was merciful to Lazarus and shared some of his wealth.
Poor persons are suffering in neighborhoods of every parish. Within every parish, there are families and individuals who could benefit from loving outreach.
Reaching out to help the needy benefits those reaching out and those being helped.
Moses, Elijah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Amos, Daniel, Micah and the other prophets offer lasting lessons to be taken to heart. Believers baptized into Christ benefit when actively learning about the Lord God through the Holy Prophets.
The soul needs nourishment throughout life. Heeding the content and teachings in the Holy Scriptures is an investment in the Kingdom of God. Believers exercise wisdom when actively planning not only for retirement but also for eternity.
The rich man in the current Gospel was consumed by his life in luxury. He did not give thought to where he would spend eternity. Too many people today focus on worldly goods and cares and fail to prepare for live everlasting.
God’s Holy Church is where to learn about the Kingdom of God and eternal life. God’s Church is where to embrace the wisdom of Moses and the Holy Prophets.
The lessons of the Resurrected Christ are constantly available in God’s Holy Church. The Church teaches the lessons that lead to eternity. Hunger in the soul will motivate the believer to study and benefit from the lessons available.
The rich man in the present Gospel learned too late that he had wasted the time of his life. The Church encourages believers throughout life to prepare for the Kingdom of God and eternal life.
Wise individuals seek to hear the Church’s message of the Kingdom of God and the road to eternal life. Life in God’s Holy Church calls for continuous action from believers.
Being a passive spectator in the Church and not actively seeking the Kingdom of God deprives the person of the full life in Christ. Faithful believers benefit from today’s Gospel by actively seeking the Kingdom of God.
The Gospel encourages believers to heed the suffering of individuals nearby. Be charitable in loving outreach by offering help. Sacrifice and share to help the needy. Let love abound in the heart, mind and soul.
Today is the day to be grateful for the presence of God’s Holy Church. Now is the time to thank God for life’s lessons. Joy exists and is available in the Church for heeders of the Gospel and seekers of God’s Kingdom.
The Twenty Second Sunday after Pentecost. Holy Apostles: Stachys, Amplias, Urban, Aristobulus and other with them. October 31/November 13, 2022. Hidden Valley, Pennsylvania.
Father Rodney Torbic