‘We are in the Nativity Fast, a sacred time, during which the first Sunday gospel readings relate about the danger of wealth, about the fact that it is not enough to combine fasting with prayer,’ His Grace Bishop Justin of Maramures said during his homily last Sunday.
‘We need to do many good deeds, especially if God has given us sufficient material possibilities so that our material goods may abound and we be able to offer them to those who need our Christian mercy and love, our merciful love,’ he stressed Nov. 24.
During the sermon delivered at the Divine Liturgy officiated at the Orthodox Cathedral in Baia Mare, Bishop Justin said that “in love, mercy and forgiveness we are in the image and likeness of God.”
In a cathedral packed with young people, the Bishop of Maramures and Satmar spoke about the drama of the young ruler in the Sunday gospel passage who was unhappy, unfulfilled.
‘The ruler or dignitary in today’s gospel passage had a socially and morally impeccable life,’ His Grace said. ‘He observed the commandments, he honoured his parents, he did not wrong anyone, he was a man of particular principles, it is clear that he was raised in a special family and he kept these principles regarding relationships in society and community all his life. But he lacked something.’
‘He lacked mercy, love and compassion for his fellow people.’
‘Having special material possibilities, he should have turned to those who needed minimal material goods.’
‘That is why he was unhappy, he was unfulfilled and he came to the Saviour to receive a solution, knowing that the Saviour has solutions to all human problems, to all the troubles of the human being.’
‘And the Saviour gave him the solution: If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.’
Photography courtesy of the Diocese of Maramureș & Sătmar