Monday, March 10, 2014

Divided Loyalties
We Only Think We Can
Be of Christ and of the World

"No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon" (Matthew 6:24). As you begin a new year, be mindful of where you place your priorities. Are you of Christ, or are you of the world? Do you serve God, or do you submit to this temporal world which shall one day come to an end?

Do you think you can divide your loyalties in this life, serving your spouse or boss during the week, while serving God only on weekends, or perhaps even just major holy days? Do you think of God only when in church or with religious people? When working at your job, do you think of God, or are you disconnected from your spiritual life because you've compartmentalized it? Jesus says this is impossible, because "No one can serve two masters".

The Apostle Paul taught in I Timothy 3:15, the Church is the pillar and ground of Truth, and it is to this Church that the Apostles entrusted the Faith, once and for all delivered to the saint as its guardian and protector (Jude v. 3). Thus, the Church's services, Liturgies, prayers and sacraments are all essential if we are to be authentic as people of faith.

"In accordance with the Apostolic faith delivered to us by tradition from the Fathers, I have delivered the tradition, without inventing anything extraneous to it. What I have learned, that I inscribed, comfortably with the Holy Scriptures (Saint Athanasios the Great)."

It is through this Tradition that we bind ourselves to Christ, serving only Him. All else must be secondary. When the Lord says "You cannot serve God and mammon," He is referring to things of a materialistic nature (mammon is the Aramaic word for "god of wealth"). He asks us all to declare whom we serve, God or mammon? And the way to determine who or what you love the most is to see where your loyalties lie.

When you are faced with choices between God, and anything else, what will be your choice? Do you choose to attend church on Sunday or do you chose to sleep in? Do you prioritize your life around your relationship with God, or do sporting events, vacations, family outings, entertainment, or friends take center stage? Does prayer, reading the bible, serving others, financially supporting the church and its mission, and giving alms serve as your central theme, or do you chose personal gain and pleasure as central to your life?

Are you more concerned about money, your popularity, or the home you own, or do these things take back seat to Jesus Christ? If God be your master, you will be able to honestly say that none of these worldly things are anywhere near as important to you as your relationship with Christ.

Christ said, "Be not therefore like them: for your Father knows what things you have need of, before you ask him (Matthew 6:8)." If we serve only God as our master, all else that we need will be provided.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Monday March 10, 2014 / February 25, 2014
Second Week of the Great Lent. Tone four.
Great Lent. By Monastic Charter: Strict Fast (Bread, Vegetables, Fruits)

St. Tarasius, archbishop of Constantinople (806).
New Hieromartyr Alexander, priest, Virgin-Martyr Mstislava (1938).
New Hieromartyr Priest Leo Korobczuk of Laskov (Chelm and Podlasie, Poland) (1944).
New Hieromartyr Nicholas priest (1945).
Hieromartyr Reginus, bishop of the isle of Skopelos (355).
Venerable Polycarp.
Martyr Anthony.
Venerables Erasmus and Paphnutius of Kephala, monks, contemporaries of St. Anthony the Great (4th c.).
Martyrs Alexander at Marcionopolis (305) and Hypatius.
St. Ethelbert, king of Kent (616) (Celtic & British).
Venerable Walburga, abbess of Heidenheim (779) (Celtic & British).
St. Maecellus, bishop of Apamea in Syria (Greek).
St. Theodore, fool-for-Chist (Greek).

You can read the life of the saint by clicking on the highlighted name.

All-Merciful Saviour Monastery is a non-profit, 501 C3 organization, under IRS regulations. All donations are therefore tax deductible. We support ourselves through the sales of Monastery Blend Coffee, our fine line of teas, and make Monastery Jams, all sold in little gift shop. We grow as many of our fruits and vegetables as we can, tend bee hives, and raise free range chickens for our eggs. With all we do to support ourselves, we still depend on the generosity of our friend and supporters.
All-Merciful Saviour Monastery  
PO Box 2420
Vashon Island, WA 98070-2420 USA

The Scripture Readings for the Day

Isaiah 4:2-5:7

The Renewal of Zion

In that day the Branch of the Lord shall be beautiful and glorious;
And the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and appealing
For those of Israel who have escaped.
And it shall come to pass that he who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy—everyone who is recorded among the living in Jerusalem. When the Lord has washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and purged the blood of Jerusalem from her midst, by the spirit of judgment and by the spirit of burning, then the Lord will create above every dwelling place of Mount Zion, and above her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day and the shining of a flaming fire by night. For over all the glory there will be a covering. And there will be a tabernacle for shade in the daytime from the heat, for a place of refuge, and for a shelter from storm and rain.

God’s Disappointing Vineyard

Now let me sing to my Well-beloved
A song of my Beloved regarding His vineyard:
My Well-beloved has a vineyard
On a very fruitful hill.
He dug it up and cleared out its stones,
And planted it with the choicest vine.
He built a tower in its midst,
And also made a winepress in it;
So He expected it to bring forth good grapes,
But it brought forth wild grapes.
“And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem and men of Judah,
Judge, please, between Me and My vineyard.
What more could have been done to My vineyard
That I have not done in it?
Why then, when I expected it to bring forth good grapes,
Did it bring forth wild grapes?
And now, please let Me tell you what I will do to My vineyard:
I will take away its hedge, and it shall be burned;
And break down its wall, and it shall be trampled down.
I will lay it waste;
It shall not be pruned or dug,
But there shall come up briers and thorns.
I will also command the clouds
That they rain no rain on it.”
For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel, And the men of Judah are His pleasant plant.
He looked for justice, but behold, oppression;
For righteousness, but behold, a cry for help.

Genesis 3:21-4:7

21 Also for Adam and his wife the Lord God made tunics of skin, and clothed them.
22 Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”— 23 therefore the Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. 24 So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.

Cain Murders Abel

Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, and said, “I have acquired a man from the Lord.” Then she bore again, this time his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord. Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell.
So the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.”

Proverbs 3:34-4:22

34 Surely He scorns the scornful,
But gives grace to the humble.
35 The wise shall inherit glory,
But shame shall be the legacy of fools.

Security in Wisdom

Hear, my children, the instruction of a father,
And give attention to know understanding;
For I give you good doctrine:
Do not forsake my law.
When I was my father’s son,
Tender and the only one in the sight of my mother,
He also taught me, and said to me:
“Let your heart retain my words;
Keep my commands, and live.
Get wisdom! Get understanding!
Do not forget, nor turn away from the words of my mouth.
Do not forsake her, and she will preserve you;
Love her, and she will keep you.
Wisdom is the principal thing;
Therefore get wisdom.
And in all your getting, get understanding.
Exalt her, and she will promote you;
She will bring you honor, when you embrace her.
She will place on your head an ornament of grace;
A crown of glory she will deliver to you.”

10 Hear, my son, and receive my sayings,
And the years of your life will be many.
11 I have taught you in the way of wisdom;
I have led you in right paths.
12 When you walk, your steps will not be hindered,
And when you run, you will not stumble.
13 Take firm hold of instruction, do not let go;
Keep her, for she is your life.

14 Do not enter the path of the wicked,
And do not walk in the way of evil.
15 Avoid it, do not travel on it;
Turn away from it and pass on.
16 For they do not sleep unless they have done evil;
And their sleep is taken away unless they make someone fall.
17 For they eat the bread of wickedness,
And drink the wine of violence.

18 But the path of the just is like the shining sun,
That shines ever brighter unto the perfect day.
19 The way of the wicked is like darkness;
They do not know what makes them stumble.
20 My son, give attention to my words;
Incline your ear to my sayings.
21 Do not let them depart from your eyes;
Keep them in the midst of your heart;
22 For they are life to those who find them,
And health to all their flesh.

 I invite my readers to listen to my
Ancient Faith Radio podcasts:

No comments:

Post a Comment