St. Theophan the Recluse: Gaining Wealth Towards God
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Sunday, December 4 (November 21): 25th Sunday after Pentecost
Eph. 5:9-19; Lk. 12:16-21

Having said the parable of the rich man who, while planning to eat, drink and have fun, was struck by sudden death and did not live to enjoy his possessions, the Lord concludes it as follows: “So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God” [Lk. 12:21].

Such is the inevitable fate of those who forget God and seek material wealth for their own enjoyment.  Those who wish to avoid it should not “lay up treasures for themselves”, but gain wealth exclusively “towards God”.  Since any wealth comes from God, if it flows into your hands, dedicate it to the Lord, and it will become holy wealth.  Share it with the needy: that will be like returning to God what you have received from Him in the first place.  In other words, giving to the needy is giving to the Lord.

While seemingly wasting your wealth, in truth you will be ever gaining it through doing good.  You will be gaining wealth for God’s sake, meaning to please Him;  gaining with God’s help, attracting His benevolence;  gaining from God’s hand, for a servant faithful over a few things He makes a ruler over many things [Mt. 25:21]; gaining for God rather than for yourself, acting not as an owner, but as a steward or an accountant of your wealth, concerned with comforting all those who need your help, and wary of extra spending on your own needs, as if it were wasting funds entrusted to your care.

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