November 2, 2014  Sermon

In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit!

More than once the Lord shows us in the parables both positive examples, that is, those that are necessary to follow, and negative examples, i.e., those that are necessary from which to flee.  This is precisely what we need to apply to ourselves in the example of the rich man in today’s parable.

The Savior definitely does not cite him as an example so that we would condemn him and would say to ourselves:  “no, I am not that way.”  Christ warns us about the consequences of the way of life and the interior condition of the rich man.  In general, the Gospel is, on the one hand, the blessed good news, and, on the other hand, a warning to us of the consequences of a sinful condition.  Scripture says that sin leads to death.  Unrepented sin, a passion controlling a man, leads to death, that is, to the torment of the soul after death.

Today we hear about such a punishment for the rich man in the parable.  And this punishment befell  this rich man because he brought it upon himself.  The rich man condemned himself by his own life.

The rich man can ease the life of this poor man.  He can give him a little food or take him to a doctor so that he could examine his wounds.  But the rich man simply passed by, as if Lazarus did not exist at all, as if this was not a man, but a part of the furniture.

Certainly, the rich man had some kind of good quality, as does every man.  But the passion of love of money completely controlled him and was inseparable from his ego.  He died in this condition, conquered by these passions.  He died having squandered his life on satisfying his passions.

The rich man repented in hell, but it was too late.

God grant that it not be too late for us also, that we do not exit this life conquered by passions.  Pride, love of profit, anger, despondency, debauchery, envy, gluttony – these are all chains that bind a man and render him incapable of life with God.

My dear ones, we are trying in our lives to be released from this path and by active, constant repentance are trying to vanquish our passions, so that the Lord can have mercy on us and bring us to Himself, where there is neither sickness nor sorrow, but where the Lord Himself and His love permeates and enlivens all and forever.  Amen.