Sermon for the 8th Sunday after Pentecost – July 22, 2012 by Fr. Stephen Galambos

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen. 

Dearly Beloved,

We all need to give an account of how we use the time that God granted each one of us with all the talents and abilities that He has showered upon us, all His gifts for us, to merit eternal life which He desires to give us, to live with Him, with Himself. Now, Our Lord God lives in eternity. He is symbolized by the parable’s rich man. All of us are stewards in service of Him. He is above us, we depend on Him even for our breath of life. And because God is a spirit, he also created us as a spirit that lives forever, cannot die. And God granted us the opportunity to earn eternal life, each one of us, earn, merit eternal life. And for that purpose He gave us a body that lives in space and time with the opportunity of making choices, move ahead, stop or regress, and many other choices. Choices that lead to eternal life, like living according to our spirit, according to the spirit of God that has been given us in baptism, or as St. Paul points out, the other option is to live according to the flesh.

But he says, “We are not debtors to the flesh. We are servants of God”, with a vocation to live out our days, our time given to us, short as they may be or long as it is, that we may merit eternal life. Now because our ancestors, our first parents, lost the gift of eternal life, we have to toil for it. But even that is God’s mercy as God promised Adam and Even that He will send a Savior that will undo the damage, but then we will have to, by our sweat, by our acts of self-denial, regain what they have lost for us. So, we have a choice. Are we going to live according to our spirit that will lead to eternal life, or are we going to live according to the demands of the flesh.

Even married couples are called to be chaste, to be holy and pleasing to God. Singles, those who do not marry, they need to abstain and use their time wisely, unlike that crafty steward in the gospel. Jesus pointed out that the children of this age, this generation, the children of the world, the darkness, in their own ways they are consistent and they are crafty, and in their own philosophy and in their own orbit, even though it leads to death, they are consistent and even wise, whereas, the children of light are not. Most who are baptized will not obtain eternal life, because we are not following Our Lord Jesus. We give in to temptations, don’t cultivate a life of prayer and sacrifice. We do not strengthen ourselves by training our will, we succumb, we fail, we lie, we cover up and are horrible examples to our neighbor. That’s why the Church is in the state that it is. Jesus asked the question, Will there be faith left on earth when the Son of man returns?

The apostle said, “You are the light of the world.” But if the light loses its’ power, or the salt, it’s savor and power to preserve, what are they good for? But be thrown out, trampled underfoot. That’s why He said to Phillip, “Few find the way and few shall be saved.” Now, we Catholics are given the opportunity to seek God’s mercy every time in how frequently or infrequently we go to confession, how much we put up with sin day after day, live in sin. And even there to go to Holy Communion. Yes, we are told that even those who are in grave sin receive the Body of Our Lord, but it does not bring them to eternal life. Actually, they are getting condemned more and more if they prevail in the sacrilegious practice of receiving God’s Body sacrificed for the life of the world, not honored, the way we dress, the way we behave, the way we forget what Sunday is all about. We come to Church on Sunday for one thing. Catholics don’t even know often. We come to Church not to go in Church to be physically in the Church, but for the one purpose that is taking place on the altar, the reenactment of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, to take part in this sacrifice, reenacting it through means of the priest by the power of Jesus, and offer it to God, the Father, for our sins, for the sins of the world. And if we deserve and we are worthy after being cleansed in true confession, we may receive Himself into our soul, that God may reign in us.

Let us pray that we follow Our Lord, live according to the spirit, cultivate a prayer life daily, taking up our crosses daily, as Jesus said, “Take up your cross daily and follow Me”, and then we might be an example to others, serving God’s glory in the salvation of others and our own, making sure that we are good stewards, deserving the words of Jesus, “Come to me all you that labor and are burdened, and I will refresh you. Come into your Master’s joy.” That’s what He will say to those who will be on His right. And on His left, He says, “Depart from me you cursed, because I was hungry and you did not feed me, I was lonely and you did not visit me. Depart from me. I have never known you.” May each one of us be found on the right side of Our Lord and look toward what we deserve. Remember, the time is short that we are given, but we can, with God’s help and grace. But without Him, we cannot save our own soul, let alone others.

So let us heed the parable of Jesus, let us be good stewards, not those who cut short and are dismissed.

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.