Every once in a while, there's a sermon that strikes me in a beautiful way. This morning, Fr. Zachary's joined that group. I want to share a couple things that struck me...
The gospel reading was the sorting of the sheep from the goats at the last judgement (Matthew 25:31-46). He opened his sermon with the statement, "You know what all the judgement scenes have in common? Everyone is surprised." Yes, everyone is surprised—both the "righteous" and the "unrighteous."
God cares more about whether you love and care for the poor than if you said the right prayers or prayed the "right way." He cares more about whether you can sit with the hurting than if you can read the ancient Greek or quote every doctrine out there. He cares more about if you live the Heart of Christ than if you brand yourself as "Christian" but never actually love.
A lack of love is why we do not see the poor, the suffering, those in need. If, for instance, it was our brother on the streets, would we not be tearing apart the town looking for him? Trying to find him so that we could offer aid? Or, if knowing aid was beyond us in our current state of life, would we not be on our knees regularly for him?
However, when we do not have the connection of love with our suffering brothers and sisters, we honestly do not see them. And when we don't see them, we lose the chance to love them. Why did Mary see the need and bring it to Christ at the Wedding of Cana? Because she cared, and she was watching for what people needed (John 2:1-11).
Fr. Zachary ended by talking about "Spiritual Gluttony"—a term I've never heard before but absolutely adore. Spiritual Gluttony is when we become like a dog with a bone regarding Christ. We worry at it furiously, trying to crack the bone to get to the marrow.
But in doing this, we become so fixated on getting everything out that we become vicious if someone comes near us, tries to touch or take our bone, or asks us to do anything else.
If "working" on our faith takes us so totally from reality, removes us from the world completely, we lose our chance and our ability to affect the world with Christ's love.
We are called to be in this world while knowing that this isn't our home (John 15:19; John 17:14-16). We may focus on Heaven, but if we are like a dog with a bone, not a cup overflowing, then we, too, may be surprised at the end of time.
Brianna is a manager at her favorite childhood bookstore. She is likely to be found curled up with a book and her black cat, Bear, talking to a stranger, dancing outside in a thunderstorm, singing Disney songs while making cookies, or snuggling her best friend's baby while drinking coffee. Her heart is fueled by the desire to help people find their unique wings and use them in whatever capacity God has created them for. She is passionate about seeing and finding Christ in the secular world wherever she can.