Greetings in Christ Jesus,
Sunday June 18, 2017
Epistle: Romans 5: 1-10
Gospel: Matthew 6: 19-25
Psalm: Psalm 74/75
Justified by faith! What does this mean to us today? According to today’s epistle we will not be neglected in suffering, we will suffer. We are told to glory or boast in our suffering as well as in our hope of sharing the glory of God. We are told to store up treasure in heaven and not here on this earth. Our heart will be wherever our treasure is, according to the gospel. We have a warning here; 22 the light of your body is your eye. If your eye be single, your whole body shall be lightsome. 23 But if your eye be evil your whole body shall be darksome. If then the light that is in you, be darkness: the darkness itself how great shall it be!
So what is this “justified by faith” meaning? We simply believe and that is it? Regardless of what comes upon us and regardless of our reaction to it; we are justified simply because we believe? In another scripture we are told that even the demons believe and tremble, are they justified by their belief as well? What does it mean to store up treasure in heaven? Is this simply a matter of believing? I say that it is not.
We believe and have faith that Jesus is true to His word and that we have salvation through Him unto everlasting life in the light of Almighty God, we store up our treasures in heaven by being faithful to the commandments of Jesus; love God first with all of our heart, with all of our mind, with all of our soul, and with all of our strength. Secondly we love our neighbor as our self. It is by doing these two commandments that we begin to store up treasure in heaven by doing for others. Care for people, clothe them, feed them, give them water, pray for them, and comfort them. This is storing up treasure in heaven. By loving and acting out of true love.
It need not be difficult through many rituals, care for one another as our Lord Jesus cared for us. Carry each other’s burdens as best as we can. Of course we are limited often times in what we can actually do but we do what we can and never, ever, neglect prayer for others, this is free to all of us.
Remember that it is Almighty God who judges us; rejoice in His love and care of and for us and do not be so quick to judge, discern what is right and wrong and stay away from the wrong but it is not ours to judge, judgment and discernment are not the same and are often times confused with each other, by discernment we may keep our hearts and our souls pure, by judgment we cast judgment on ourselves as well. By this I mean that we do not determine who goes into eternal damnation and who does not, we discern one who is on the road to eternal damnation but we do not send that one there. That is God’s decision alone.
Remember; if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all iniquity.
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Autocephalous Orthodox Catholic
Church of the Americas
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