Metropolitan Hilarion: “The Lord Commands Us to Seek First the Kingdom of Heaven”

Source: DECR team | 29 June 2020

On June 28, 2020, third Sunday of Pentecost, Metropolitan Hilarion, Chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, officiated a Divine Liturgy at the Church of the “Joy of All Who Sorrow” Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos in Moscow.

At the end of the service, Metropolitan Hilarion delivered a sermon, saying in particular: “In today’s Gospel reading we hear the words of Our Lord Jesus Christ that a person cannot serve two masters. He will either hate the one, and love the other, or else he will please the one, and neglect the other. “You cannot,” says the Lord, “serve God and Mammon” (Matthew 6: 24). In other words, we cannot simultaneously serve both God and earthly material wealth.”

“The Lord addressed these words to His disciples, but they are addressed to each of us as well,” the metropolitan continued. “They do not mean that a person should renounce all earthly property and live in carelessness, laziness and idleness. The Lord Jesus Christ, urging us not to care about tomorrow, does not at all say that, for example, parents should not care about their children, should not think about their food or material well-being, or that grown children should not care about their elderly parents. The Lord calls neither for carelessness, nor for laziness, nor for passivity. He encourages us to put God and the Kingdom of Heaven in the first place. And everything else will already be built around this single core, on this single foundation, on which the Lord calls us to build up our earthly life.

“Our entire earthly life consists of spiritual and material values. We should inevitably take care of ourselves and our neighbors. We should think not only about today, but also about tomorrow. But the Lord calls us to ensure that this concern, this care for the earthly things, does not swallow our heart, so that we do not devote our whole lives to the achievement of earthly well-being and earthly wealth, and so that we do not put our whole heart into the acquisition of material wealth.

“The Lord calls us to take care of our neighbors. And first of all it includes our family members, our relatives and friends. But first of all, the Lord tells us to seek the Kingdom of God and says that the rest, that is, material well-being and material wealth, will be added to you if you seek the Kingdom of Heaven,” Metropolitan Hilarion pointed out.

He concluded, saying: “Let us learn from the Gospel the wisdom of life. Let us listen to the words of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, who teaches us how to live, what should be in the first place and how we should seek the Kingdom of Heaven. And let us remember that everything else according to His promise we will receive: bodily health, spiritual health, material wealth, and spiritual welfare. Amen.”

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