Archive for the ‘Commentary:Gospel:Luke’ Category

The Gospel in context, always! Reading the scripture with purpose.

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

The Gospel in context, always!

Reading the scripture with purpose.

The Wordly NEVER understand Holy Things!

Luke 9:7-11. 21st Tuesday of Luke and/or the 4th Tuesday of Luke

 

Today’s gospel, like most Gospel selections, must be read in context in order to be understood.

 

Luke 9:7-11 7 Now Herod the tetrarch heard of all that was done by him: and he was perplexed, because that it was said of some, that John was risen from the dead; 8 And of some, that Elias had appeared; and of others, that one of the old prophets was risen again. 9 And Herod said, John have I beheaded: but who is this, of whom I hear such things? And he desired to see him. 10 And the apostles, when they were returned, told him all that they had done. And he took them, and went aside privately into a desert place belonging to the city called Bethsaida. 11 And the people, when they knew it, followed him: and he received them, and spake unto them of the kingdom of God, and healed them that had need of healing.

 

When we hear this selection in church, we are not reading the surrounding verses which often help elucidate the passage, but if we are students of the scripture, we will remember the context. We should know the scripture better than any book. It should be intimately familiar to us.

There is only one way for that to happen! We must read the scripture often, with purpose!

Actually, there are two more ways to make this happen. The Scripture is particularly “understandable” when it is read in the services (all of them, and not just liturgy). I have experienced this countless times myself. Somehow, the Holy Spirit especially enlightens us concerning the Holy Scriptures when we are standing in prayer in the temple.

These may be particular passages which are read verbatim, or paraphrases and allusions to scriptures passages and themes which abound in our services. If we want to truly understand the Holy Scriptures, we must hear them used in worship, and participate in this worship with inner effort. When we are worshipping with the Scriptures, we are training ourselves how to think concerning them. This activity is more profitable to our souls than the reading of a thousand biblical commentaries by the Fathers; without it we will never understand those commentaries!

Of course, enlightenment is not possible in anything pertaining to God without our personal effort. This is the “third way” to understand the scriptures.  

What does reading the scripture “with purpose” entail? We are reading the word of God, and at that moment, God is speaking directly to us. There is something that we are to learn, at the very moment we are reading (or listening). What is it? We must be a seeker after “goodly pearls”[1] when we read or hear the scriptures. There is something precious that God wishes to communicate with us. Being aware of this, and eager is what “reading (listening/praying) with purpose” entails.

 

In this passage, Herod epitomizes the typical person in the world, which in another place, the scripture calls the “wayside” or sometimes, the “shallow, rocky ground”[2]. He is a little bit interested in spiritual things, much as he might be interested in the latest news at 10 or what his favorite sports team did the previous night, but because he is not really seriously trying to amend his life, he does not understand these things. Herod had spoken with John many times – the scripture says he “heard him gladly”[3], and yet he still is confused about who Jesus is. This is because understanding about holy things only comes to those “who have ears to hear”.

Most of the world is like this. Many who are Orthodox are like this! We cannot understand holy things unless we strive to live with holiness. This is a lesson we had better learn.

The subsequent verses from the Evangelist Luke (and also John) help elucidate this passage and provide an important lesson.

 

Immediately after his passage is the “Feeding of the Five Thousand”. This miracle is recounted in all the Gospels, but is particularly striking in the Gospel of John, where it precedes Jesus’ teaching: “… I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” [4], and “Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.  (55)  For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.  (56)  He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. [5]

 

Many people, after they heard Jesus teaching concerning His body and blood, the Holy Eucharist, left Him and never came back. They were like Herod – worldly and fleshly and not attuned to spiritual things.

 

The Christian should tremble when he reads: “From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him”[6], because the same passions that operated in these people’s souls and rendered them incapable of understanding holy things operate in us to a greater or lesser degree.

 

May reading about Herod and the Lord’s former disciples who left him, and the people of the Gergesenes, and all the rest who had God in their midst and did not understand Him or follow Him humble us so that we pursue the way of humility and do not repeat their errors.

 

God gives grace to the humble, but resists the proud[7]. If we are proud, there is nothing that protects us from becoming just like Herod. May God preserve us from this fate!

 

After the Feeding of the Five Thousand. Luke relates the Lord asking the disciples the question that Herod had in today’s selection:

 

“And it came to pass, as he was alone praying, his disciples were with him: and he asked them, saying, Whom say the people that I am?  (19)  They answering said, John the Baptist; but some say, Elias; and others say, that one of the old prophets is risen again.  (20)  He said unto them, But whom say ye that I am? Peter answering said, The Christ of God.” (Luke 9:18-20)

 

Herod should have known this. The reason he did not know it is warning to us.

 

“Having become God-bearing heralds, the Magi returned to Babylon, having fulfilled Thy prophecy; and having preached Thee to all as the Christ, they left Herod as a babbler who knew not how to sing: Alleluia!”

(Akathist to the Theotokos, Kontakion 6)

 

Priest Seraphim Holland 2010.     St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas

 

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[1] Matthew 13:45-46  “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls:  (46)  Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.”

[2] The parable of the Sower, Matthew 13:3-9, and its explanation Matthew 13:18-23 (Also in Mark and Luke)

[3] Mark 6:20  “For Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just man and an holy, and observed him; and when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly.”

[4] John 6:35  “And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.”

[5] John 6:54-56 

[6] John 6:66 

[7] 1Peter 5:5  “Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.”

 

 

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Commentary on Luke 20:9-18, read on the 28th Thursday after Pentecost. Parable of the Vineyard. The Corner Stone

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

Commentary on Luke 20:9-18, read on the 28th Thursday after Pentecost.

Parable of the Vineyard

The Corner Stone

 

The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner? Whosoever shall fall upon that stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. (Luke 20:17-18)

 

cornerstone.gifWhen we read the Holy Scriptures, if we are to benefit, we must consider them to be words directed to us, with our eyes fixed on our Lord’s eyes as we sit at His feet. As we look into those eyes, how do we feel? Are we comforted, encouraged, ashamed? Are we aware of our incompleteness, our brokenness, as we are taught about things that we barely do? What is our Lord saying to us, as his eyes shine with wisdom and love, and yet also with such perfection and brightness that we feel the sharp sting of self condemnation and shiver in the cold of our own darkness?

 

He tells us of a stone, and we know He is speaking of Himself.

 

The corner stone is a heavy and perfectly formed stone, and upon it the whole edifice rises. It is the foundation of all other stones, and for the edifice to be strong, all these stones must also be perfectly formed, and fitted to the corner stone. We know that we are to be these stones, as He has told us "God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham." (Mat 3:9).

 

We are "these stones" – common, rough stones, which in being raised up to be children of Abraham (that is, sons of God), will become smooth and perfected. In our Lord’s words we are comforted, as we see in His eyes His promise.

 

Even though we are poor and sinful, we are called to be the elect, to be fitted to the corner stone, as the Apostle proclaims:

 

"And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; {21} In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:" (Eph 2:20-21)

 

And the Apostle Peter agrees:

 

"Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. {7} Unto you therefore which believe he is precious" (1 Pet 2:6-8)

 

However, what is this that we then hear?

 

"Whosoever shall fall upon that stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder."

 

We see in His eyes that He is beckoning us to make a choice, because this stone will do two things, depending on our response to it. We can be broken, or ground to powder. Neither of these sounds “precious” to our ears.

 

When the Jews were stoned, a large stone was thrown on them from a great height [1]. O, the agony! To be ground to powder and blown away to the winds, forgotten and blotted out of the book of life!

 

We are faced with another choice – to fall upon the stone of our own volition. And yet, to fall upon this stone means we will be broken – it will hurt! But is this not a contradiction? If we are the stones to be raised up to be sons of Abraham, and to be fitted to the corner stone, how can we be of use to the building if our stone is broken?

 

As we look into His eyes, it is clear that He understands our perplexity, and His expression tells us that there are no other choices. We, and all of mankind are faced with only two ways, each of which we may freely take. We can reject the corner stone, or embrace it. Either we will be ground to powder, or broken; the choice is ours.

 

What does this mean – to be broken? In our soul, we hear, a still small voice:

 

"The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise." (Psa 50:17).

 

We remember when the Good Samaritan dressed the wounds of the man by the road. Sometimes a wound must be lanced – broken, in order for the pus to be drained, so that a healing balm may be added. So now we understand! We must be broken in order for us to heal.

 

However, just as the body dreads being hurt, so does our pride resist being broken.

 

O Lord, help us to throw ourselves upon Thee, and be broken, that we would become whole! Our pride restrains us, so with trembling we beg Thee, as Thou didst do to those out in the highways and lanes, COMPEL us to fall upon Thee! We are too weak to always make this choice, but we desire to! With St John the Damascene we cry: "But whether I will it or not, save me! [2]"

 

 

Luke 20:9-18  Then began he to speak to the people this parable; A certain man planted a vineyard, and let it forth to husbandmen, and went into a far country for a long time. And at the season he sent a servant to the husbandmen, that they should give him of the fruit of the vineyard: but the husbandmen beat him, and sent him away empty. And again he sent another servant: and they beat him also, and entreated him shamefully, and sent him away empty. And again he sent a third: and they wounded him also, and cast him out. Then said the lord of the vineyard, What shall I do? I will send my beloved son: it may be they will reverence him when they see him. But when the husbandmen saw him, they reasoned among themselves, saying, This is the heir: come, let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours. So they cast him out of the vineyard, and killed him. What therefore shall the lord of the vineyard do unto them? He shall come and destroy these husbandmen, and shall give the vineyard to others. And when they heard it, they said, God forbid. And he beheld them, and said, What is this then that is written, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner? Whosoever shall fall upon that stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.

 

Priest Seraphim Holland 2009.     St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas

 

http://www.orthodox.net/scripture/pentecost-thursday-28_2008_titus1;5-21+luke20;9-18.html

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[1] "On whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. That is, in the original, will reduce him to dust, so that it may be scattered by the winds. There is an allusion here, doubtless, to the custom of stoning as a punishment among the Jews. A scaffold was erected, twice the height of the man to be stoned. Standing on its edge, he was violently struck off by one of the witnesses; if he died by the blow and the fall, nothing farther was done; if not, a heavy stone was thrown down on him, which at once killed him." http://www.ccel.org/ccel/barnes/ntnotes.ii.xxi.xliv.html

[2]But whether I will it or not, save me!" from the Evening prayers, Prayer of St John Damascene which is to be said while pointing to the bed.

 

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For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together. Two important principles of Scriptural exegesis.

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.

Two important principles of Scriptural exegesis

Commentary on Luke 17:20-25 & Luke 17:26-37

27th Monday after Pentecost, 27th Tuesday after Pentecost

 

Who said to them: Wheresoever the body shall be, thither will the eagles also be gathered together. (Luke 17:37)

 

For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together. (Matthew 24:28)

 

 To understand this thought, one must read the scripture in context. This is a fundamental principle of Scriptural interpretation, which is the SECOND most important principle.

 

The FIRST PRINCIPLE is that we must be in the church AND live according to the mind of the church. Only those in the church have the grace to fully understand, but those who do not live according to this grace are like the man who buried the talent in the ground:

 

“Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.” (Mat 25:28)

 

“Arm chair” Christians will not understand the Scriptures no matter how many “study bibles” they possess. Neither will Christians who have very little interest in Holy things, and, without honorable reasons attend church rarely (perhaps on Sunday), fast very little if at all, and live distracted lives, with little effort to learn the commandments and do them.

 

A critical and much neglected part of the ascetical Christian life which leads to understanding of the scriptures is to pray as much as possible (and when we value something we make it possible!)  at services such as Vespers, Matins and Compline, where the theology is all on display, for those with feet to stand, and ears to hear.

 

From the “first principle” flows the second, since the mind of the church, expressed by its services and the Holy Fathers, constantly uses scripture to interpret scripture.

 

The context of these difficult verses is:

 

“And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:  (21)   Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.  (22)   And he said unto the disciples, The days will come, when ye shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, and ye shall not see it.  (23)   And they shall say to you, See here; or, see there: go not after them, nor follow them.  (24)   For as the lightning, that lighteneth out of the one part under heaven, shineth unto the other part under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in his day.  (25)   But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation.” 

 

(26)  And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.  (27 )  They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.  (28)   Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded;  (29)   But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.  (30)   Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.  (31)   In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back.  (32)   Remember Lot’s wife.  (33)   Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.  (34)   I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left.  (35)   Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left.  (36)   Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.  (37)   And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord? And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together.” (Luke 17:20-37)

 

Perhaps this is too much “context” for some, but quoting pertinent scripture is a lot like eating potato chips! This entire selection is read the 27th Monday and Tuesday after Pentecost.  

 

Jesus is talking about the His final coming, and comparing it with the general sleepiness and torpid dullness regarding spiritual things of mankind throughout the ages. This dullness will make His coming very surprising to most.

 

 He gives two historical examples – “Noah” and “Sodom and Gomorrah”.

 

These examples show that people were living their lives “just as any other day”, when cataclysmic things happened suddenly and unexpectedly under their very noses. They missed these things because they were spiritually sleepy, not serious, and unaware.  This describes the overwhelming majority of how the world will meet the Second Coming and the Final Judgment, and we had best not be too arrogant to consider ourselves to not share in any similarity with this group walking on the “broad way [1]

 

These references also describe the moral state of mankind at the end:

 

“… He indicates that when the Antichrist comes shameful pleasures will be commonplace among the people, and they will become lewd sensualists, abandoning themselves to unlawful pleasures” [2]

 

In our day, when shameful sexual immorality is being codified into law, abortion is widespread, and many other aspects of society show little or no respect for the dignity, holiness and purpose of human life, these words appear to be being fulfilled. We must have eyes to see, and be able to discern the times. We are in dark times, because there are now Christians in name who practice wanton immorality and justify it (abortion, homosexuality and more). If we are honest with ourselves (and a Christian must be!) we must even acknowledge that there is a breakdown and immorality among our Orthodox clergy, including some bishops, even if, it appears, that our beloved church is a bit “behind the curve” in innovative immorality among Christian leaders.

 

Christian! We must be able to see the sky in the morning and determine that it is red! [3] We must do something about this sky, and no matter what we do, we must start with personal morality and holiness. We do not need to have endless questions about

 

when the kingdom of God should come” (Luke 17:20),

 

because the Lord teaches that

 

“The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: 21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:20-21)

 

 

Let us not think of the Kingdom of God “coming” to us, as we are to become such that the kingdom is in us. This means that the Kingdom of God is personal holiness and knowledge of God because of experience; this will not come about “by observation”, but by “violence” [4] and effort.

 

Our Lord goes on to give several hypothetical examples:

 

“(34)   I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left.  (35)   Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left.  (36)   Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.)”

 

All of these examples serve to show us how most people do not have “ears to hear and eyes to see [5]”, because they are not spiritual. They live earthly lives, and are unable to see spiritual things. Does this describe anything in us?

 

The disciples are confused by our Lord’s examples and ask Him:

 

“(37)   … Where, Lord? “

 

And our difficult verse is His answer:

 

(37) …And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together.

 

 

In order to understand the Lord’s answer, we must reason that it must have something to do with the spiritual condition of men at the Second Coming, since this is the context of the question.

 

Our Lord’s answer to “where”, as are so many of his answers, has multiple levels. One the most immediate level; He is describing the event of the Second Coming.

 

The Fathers understand the “carcase” (body) to represent our Lord Jesus Christ and the eagles to be the Saints, who naturally would be “gathered together” near Christ.

 

At the Second Coming, Jesus will come in power and glory, escorted by the whole angelic host, and the Saints:

 

“Another sign He adds of His coming, "Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together." The eagles denote the company of the Angels, Martyrs, and Saints”. [6]

 

On a deeper level, referring our Lord referring to Himself as a carcase (dead body) alludes to His passion and death. It must be that in order to be present at His second coming, when He is very much alive, we must also participate in His death.

 

We can also look at this place where the Eagles are gathered, to denote a condition, which is the participation in Christ’s death and resurrection by faith, that is by living as he taught us to live. Eagles are majestic creatures who soar high in the air; this denotes their spiritual condition; they are not encumbered by things below, but focus on high, spiritual things.

 

The preceding examples are in couplets, where one is saved and the other is not. The external circumstances were the same – two are grinding, and in a field but the internal life of each was different. Therefore, nothing external in our life will save us, but only what we become internally.  

 

So this gathering will occur at a point in time (or, rather at the end of time), but it also must be occurring now, in each of our lives. St Paul is describing the same idea when he exclaims that

 

“For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” (1Corintians 2:2)

 

The image of the carcase reminds us that we also must die:

 

“Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.” (Rom 6:6)

 

In this whole conversation about the judgment, our Lord directs his disciples away from idle questions as to where and when, and gets to the heart of the matter.

 

For each one of us, what we do now is all that matters regarding the judgment. Anything else is idle speculation. If we are to be gathered with the Eagles when our Lord comes again, we must live according to His death and resurrection.

 

Please note, that a fanciful and very false idea has been formed by those outside the church regarding these verses – the so-called “rapture”. The idea is this – there will actually be a time when people are suddenly, inexplicably raptured into heaven, no matter what they are doing at the time, then a great tribulation on earth will endure, with the earth populated exclusively with “unbelievers”. There is nothing in Holy Tradition that supports this idea, which has been the basis of many profitable books and movies. The grievous error that these commentators have made is that they did not understand that the Lord was primarily describing the attributes of the soul that would be saved, and not actual events with  His references to women grinding, two men in a field, etc.

 

 

Priest Seraphim Holland 2009.     St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas

 

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[1] “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:  (14)  Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Mat 7:13-14)

[2] Blessed Theofylact, Commentary on St Luke (Luke 17:26-30), Chrysostom Press

[3] Mathew 16:2-3 KJV  He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red.  (3)  And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?

[4] Mat 11:12 KJV  “And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.” This is the Christian meaning of this verse.

[5] “And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:  (15)  For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.  (16)  But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.” (Mat 13:14-16)

[6] St John Chrysostom, quoted in the Catena Aura, commentary on Matthew 24:28

 

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Parable of the unrighteous steward. Mammon of unrighteousness

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

Parable of the unrighteous steward

Mammon of unrighteousness

Commentary on Luke 16:1-9

26th Thursday after Pentecost

 

Part of the indescribable delicacy of Scriptures is when unrighteous people, actions or things are used to describe righteousness or teach how to become righteous. This always reminds me of man’s complex nature.

 

The simple meaning of the parable is that we must not be stingy, and must distribute our wealth to the poor, and as is always the case I our Lord’s discourse, there is also something deeper here, which should make our zeal to be generous even greater.

 

We are capable of  stupendous acts of holiness and also fiendish evil. Both possibilities exist and even flourish in the same man! God is simple – He is only good, but we are complex – we are good and bad. Salvation is to become simple – only good –  but as we grow to this perfection, we must use imperfect and even evil things to achieve our goal. We must turn our evil into good. I think this is why there are so many examples of the “mammon of unrighteousness” being used to holy purpose.

 

Dostoevsky, especially, among Christian authors seems to have understood this dichotomy, how man is good and evil, but even the evil can be turned into good. His crowning achievement in this regard is Sophia, the prostitute, in “Crime and Punishment”.  

 

Today we have before us a lazy indolent man, the unjust steward. He had wasted his Lord’s goods, and was soon to be cast out. Being a lazy man, he had not learned any other trade, and he was too soft to dig (work hard) and too proud to beg.

 

Does not this describe our condition?

 

We are lazy and indolent – if we say this in our prayers we had best believe it, because it is true. We have wasted our Lord’s goods, the oil of the holy Spirit given to the 10 virgins, the talents given to the servants, the vineyard given to the husbandmen.

 

What are we to do? We must be like the steward, and act as he put it, “quickly”. This is an urgent matter! We must find every opportunity to turn our evil into good.

 

The Lord praised the steward, not because of his indolence, or incompetence, but because of his repentance, which is symbolized by his crafty use of his Lord’s money. There is not only delicious irony in his actions, but also a lesson.

 

We have no excuses. So we are sinners; this does not excuse us from doing everything we can to do good, to become good. We are stewards of all that God has given us. We own nothing.

 

 

 

 

 

     1 And he said also unto his disciples, There was a certain rich man, which had a steward; and the same was accused unto him that he had wasted his goods. 2 And he called him, and said unto him, How is it that I hear this of thee? give an account of thy stewardship; for thou mayest be no longer steward. 3 Then the steward said within himself, What shall I do? for my lord taketh away from me the stewardship: I cannot dig; to beg I am ashamed. 4 I am resolved what to do, that, when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses. 5 So he called every one of his lord’s debtors unto him, and said unto the first, How much owest thou unto my lord? 6 And he said, An hundred measures of oil. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and sit down quickly, and write fifty. 7 Then said he to another, And how much owest thou? And he said, An hundred measures of wheat. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and write fourscore. 8 And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light. 9 And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations. (Luke 16:1-9)

 

 

Priest Seraphim Holland 2009[U1] .     St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas

 

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