november 2, 2014
THE FIFTH SUNDAY OF ST. LUKE
ST. AKINDYNOS AND HIS COMPANIONS
THE RICH MAN AND LAZARUS
Early in his second sermon on the Parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man, St. John chrysostom discusses how the parable teaches everyone neither to call the rich fortunate nor the poor unfortunate. While doing so, he gives a penetrating insight into the nature of wealth. Perhaps one finds here St. John’s most pithy definition of wealth and poverty. He wrote strongly on the subject, and on this particular Gospel parable. Below are some quotations from his sermons.
"Let us learn from this man not to call the rich lucky nor the poor unfortunate. Rather, if we are to tell the truth, the rich man is not the one who has collected many possessions but the one who needs few possessions; and the poor man is not the one who has no possessions but the one who has many desires. We ought to consider this the definition of poverty and wealth. So if you see someone greedy for many things, you should consider him the poorest of all, even if he has acquired everyone’s money. If, on the other hand, if you see someone with few needs, you should count him the richest of all, even if he has acquired nothing." (Sermon on Wealth and Poverty, 40)
"If you cannot remember everything, instead of everything, I beg you, remember this without fail, that not to share our own wealth with the poor is theft from the poor and deprivation of their means of life; we do not possess our own wealth but theirs.Learn More »