June 28, 2020
The Lord said, "The lamp of the body is the eye. If your eye is sound, your whole body will be filled with light; but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be in darkness. And if the light in you is darkness, how great will the darkness be. "No one can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat (or drink), or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they? Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span? Why are you anxious about clothes? Learn from the way the wild flowers grow. They do not work or spin. But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was clothed like one of them. If God so clothes the grass of the field, which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith? So do not worry and say, 'What are we to eat?' or 'What are we to drink?' or 'What are we to wear?' All these things the pagans seek. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom (of God) and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides.
Homily by Father Nikanor Loyik
Translated from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uWR2QMalBFw&t=0s
My Dearest in Christ, those present, who regardless of the hazards have gathered here in front of God to honor Him, as well as those who are connecting via the internet:
First of all, allow me to welcome you on this Day of the Constitution - the day of [Ukraine's] foundational law which guides our relationships at the state level. Today's Gospel makes us aware of yet another law. The law guiding our relationship with God's Kingdom, our relationship with God. Today's Gospel - we can rightly call it the Constitution of God's Kingdom.
Actually, this is the first basic point which we find at the end of today's Gospel: to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and then all these things will be given to you. Both, God's law and the law of a country primarily focus on the value of the individual. The value of each one of us. Certainly, we feel that every law of any country has as its basis - God's law. Because every person, every individual is very valuable in God's providence. Every individual is an instrument in the hands of our Creator, who continues to guide our world; and actually, in this gift of guidance He instructs you and me. Each of us has some very personal and unique calling. And each of us brings this into this world something very special. This very Gospel tells us what we should care about the most because, as often happens, we begin to admire our own selves. Jesus says, "No one can serve two masters. ...You cannot serve God and mammon." Mammon is not something that is evil, bad. But actually, mammon is what allows us to perceive the gifts God give us. The Lord directs us on the priorities of our values. What has greater value? We can do this by analyzing what we think about and what we desire. How much time do we spend with God? We are not discussing how we should allocate some minimum amount of time - the ten or fifteen minutes in the morning and in the evening, or the two hours on Sundays and Holy Days. The time we spend could serve as an indicator of our personal commitment to God. We should make an assessment of how much our thoughts, overall, occupy our unity with God. God gave us this gift of life. We don't commit time to Him solely to ask him for something. Instead, to God we commit to improving, to learn to commit our whole lives. Many times during the Liturgy and during times of of our communal prayers and services we focus our attention on commending ourselves and one other, and our whole life to Christ Our God. That is why today's Gospel, again, reminds us and teaches us to be aware of our posture before God. As the Apostle Paul teaches us, "Anything that you may be doing - eating, drinking or anything else you may be doing, do everything for the glory of God" Actually, when we are aware of these gifts, or as Matthew the Evangelist highlights them, mammon will not become a god to us. These gifts that He sends us will become the way to God's Kingdom. They will help us to be in the Kingdom of God. Certainly today, like at no other time, we have a dilemma between God and mammon. We experience our need to have certainty. We want to guarantee a tomorrow. We want to guarantee a future for our children, our grandchildren. But, the circumstances of life very often are the teachers of about how much more, after all, we dedicate to the One whom we will never lose. Also, today's Gospel guarantees us a happy future but we are expected (I don't say "demanded") to have faith that we truly believe in our Lord who dearly values each one of us. Using the example of the birds in the sky and about the wildflowers which are also valuable in God's eyes: through them, the Lord shows even greater value of each of us. I pray that we may all experience closeness to the One who takes care of us. But, who also expects expects that we...I, as an individual, I, as a person, will also be worthy to project this value as a new and different person. And then we will experience, we will feel this value of our being as well as the value of the gifts which we, but temporarily, hold. Let today's Gospel serve to help us feel to be present in God's Kingdom and to gift this feeling to all those, who the Lord puts on our life's path.
Amen. Glory to Jesus Christ!