“You give them something to eat.”

Hieromonk Arkady
Sunday, August 3, 2014 - 5:30pm

Sermon August 3, 2014

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

Today we again hear the Gospel story about the feeding of the five thousand with 5 loaves of bread.  This overt miracle performed by the Lord is on par with the theme of the miracles of aid to the people of Israel during the time of their forty years wandering in the desert.

But I would like to turn your attention to one important moment which all of us sometimes overlook.

When the disciples of the Lord asked Him to dismiss the people from the deserted place so that they could buy themselves bread, Jesus told the Apostles:  “They do not need to go away.  You give them something to eat.

This is a direct indication to us that, if we see that anyone  who is in need, then no one else but we ourselves should provide all possible assistance to the needy one.

The Lord helps people through His believing servants, that is, through all of us.

Yes, we know that it was the Lord who multiplied the bread, but He distributed it to His disciples.

The Lord gives us the necessary resources and talents for assistance to other people or the Church, but to give it or to save it for ourselves depends only on us.

I beg you to remember this.  Every time you are asked for help, the Lord tests your heart, if there is mercy there, if there is love…

A certain very devout layman went to the Abbot Pimen.  The old man and other brothers so desiring had occasion to listen to his discussions.

The Starets said to the pious man: - Tell us something  instructive.

The devout man declined but, compelled by the starets, he said:

-          I cannot speak from Scripture, but I will tell you a parable:

-          One man told his friend:  I wish to see the king.  Come with me.

-          The friend answered him:  I will go with you halfway.

-          He said to another:  Come, accompany me to the king.

-          This one answered:  I will bring you to the palace.

-          He said to yet a third one:  Come with me to the king.

-          Let’s go – replied the third friend, - I will take you to the palace, take you inside, tell the king about you and present you to him.

The brothers asked what this shining parable meant.  The layman answered:

 The first friend is spiritual aspiration which carries one along the true path; the second is purity, which attains heaven; the third is mercifulness which, with audacity, carries us to the King Himself – God.

In conclusion, still another parable:

-          The Holy Father,  - a novice went to see the Father Abbot, - my heart is full of love for the world, and it is cleansed of the temptations of the devil. What should be my next goal?  The Abbot asked the disciple to go with him to a sick man who needed confession.  Afterwards, as the priest was consoling the family, he turned his attention to a trunk in a corner of the room.

-          What is in that trunk? -  he asked.

-          Clothing that my uncle never wore, - answered his nephew. -   He always thought that he needed some special reason to wear these things, and, as a result, they are rotting in the trunk. 

-           Remember the trunk, - said the priest to his disciple when they were leaving. – If there are treasures in your heart, use them right now.  Otherwise, they will rot.

Use your talents, your mercy right now, otherwise it can be too late.

With the holiday!