Sermon by St. John Chrysostom Read after the Liturgy's Gospel On Tuesday the second of Nineveh's fast
Sermon by St. John Chrysostom (The Golden Mouth)
Read after the Liturgy's Morning Gospel
On the Fast of Nineveh's Second Day
Includes an exhortation to repentance and inspired by the Bible's chapter where the fig tree parable is narrated [Luke 13:6-9]
Since our Lord may He be glorified gave us the parable of the fruitless fig tree and explained to us that when the lord of the vineyard saw it was fruitless, he ordered it to be cut down, so how shall we who have been negligent to His orders respond? Over and over we have heard His sayings and commandments for as long as we have been living. We remain however negligent and careless. In spite of His warnings and blame for our doings, we continue our wrong doings. He spoke to us Himself and revealed the secret of His resurrection to us. He promised us heavens and prepared Eternal Life for us while putting us ahead of the philosophers and wise men.
So why are we still careless, slacking and negligent? Why don’t we wake up and come to terms with the reality that on this earth we are strangers, living in this land as we cover ourselves with robes of humility. We shall soon leave our residence and go to our homes.
Those who intend to leave the foreign land and go to their homelands pay exorbitant travel expenses and suffer a lot before they place their money safely in their houses, away from misfortunes and robbers. Why do we then insult those who transfer our money for us without any exhaustion or effort in peaceful ways and without any fees or provisions? We turn them away from our houses as losers and failures?
If you ask me who are those who do this for us? I will tell you they are the orphans, widows, and the poor, distressed, rejected, miserable and imprisoned ones. They not only carry the loads there, but also create from the used robes they take from you, luxurious ones made of light and suits of glory. They turn also each one of your belongings in the same way as a reward that is doubled.
It is a wonder how some throw away their money in goods that are in the stores, seeking easy benefits and lousy gains. They travel long distances, endure lots of exhaustion and offer their money to others. Some of those who deal with them deny it and lie while swearing. Some lose their crops while others' goods get damaged. You still however see the unemployed despite all this rush to giving.
Christ may He be glorified has said: "“And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by unrighteous mammon, that when you fail,they may receive you into an everlasting home.” [Luke 16:9]. He also said: "Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” [Luke 6:38]," And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wifeor children or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life.” [Matthew 19:29].
Also about the tithes, He says: "Bring all the tithes into the storehouse,
That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this,” Says theLordof hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for yousuchblessing Thatthere willnotbe roomenoughto receive it.” [Malachi 3:10], and “So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten…” [Joel 2:25]. You still however hear but do not act on it.
We should then chose to be generous in our donations and send them ahead of us to our Creator by the hands of our brothers who are immersed in poverty, so that we may get the reward for our actions in the heavens, with the love and compassion of our Lord Jesus Christ, may He be glorified forever, Amen.