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Today we hear the Gospel from Saint Matthew Chapter 19:16-24, the story of the Rich Young Man, which is also told in two other Gospels, Mark 10:17-31 and Luke 18:18-30. It is the story of a young rich man who desires to know how he may inherit eternal life.

In this story, Jesus does not correct the man’s idea that he must do something good to receive eternal life. You see faith and good works are not opposed in the Gospels and in Orthodox teaching. The Kingdom of God is always a gift but it is given to those who do something beginning with a permanent commitment of faith and followed by ongoing obedience to Christ’s teachings.

You see, God always provides the saving grace, we cannot save ourselves. We can all receive salvation but must receive it actively and energetically in faith, prayer and loving deeds in a total Christian lifestyle. Money, power and pleasure are not bad in themselves, for a person needs those to survive. However, when one makes them as the center of everything, then it becomes a threat to faith, for it reduces the time to pray and to believe in the power of God.

It is essential that these worldly things do not cloud or misrepresent our trust in the grace of the Lord. Let us constantly strive to do even better and more meaningful things in our earthly lives.

May Almighty God bless you all.

Christ and the Rich Young Ruler