A sermon delivered by V. Rev. Stavrophor Milan Krstic.. H/T: St. George Serbian Orthodox Church in Midland, PA (here)
How many times would we find a message on a social network that someone needed help and we would just skip it and go on to the next picture, debating on what kind of comment to leave so our facebook friends would be impressed?
Or how many times would we find a letter in our mailbox from people we dont know, asking for help?
We put it aside for later and later we forget all about it.
Or how about a man on the street holding a sign saying he would work for food. I haven’t seen anyone around here but when I lived in Florida, every big intersection would have at least one man there.
And what would I do?
Sometimes I would give him money, but other times the green light would come too quickly, or I had no cash and I would just drive on feeling very bad at the moment, but by the time I reach my destination, I would completely forget about him.
All these examples are observed from this side. The side that was asked for help. And the fact that we didn’t take any action had little or no impact on our lives. In the best case, we would feel bad for a very short period of time and then we would ease our conscience with some kind of reasoning why we couldn’t help at the moment.
Now imagine for a moment that we are on the other end, the ones sending out the message.
Imagine that some kind of hardship fell over you or one of your loved ones and in the process of trying to figure out a solution you come across an idea: You know a lot of people on facebook. Hundreds of them. They sure would help. All they would have to do is click on ‘Share’ and someone would help.
However, usually that click doesn’t happen. People are too busy checking the latest news and gossip.
Now, if we ask ourselves why we don’t help every time someone seeks our help, there would be many different excuses. But for most people the excuse is that we think we don’t have enough time, money or connections in order to help.
In reality all we need is willingness to help. If we want to help there will always be enough time, we can all afford ten minutes here and there. There will also be enough money, because no one expects one person alone to solve all of their problems.
And the most important thing: when we do good, we are not alone. God is always with us. He only awaits for us to excercise our free will and decide to help. When we do that all that wind that we get beneath our wings comes from God. He opens the doors and makes things happen.
But we need to know that when we do come across a peson who need our help, it is not only their problem anymore but ours as well. Nothing happens without a reason. God always has a plan. So when we help another person, we are also helping ourselves. We are helping ourselves in the way that we are keeping our hearts warm and full of compasion for others so that God will recognize us as His own.
That is the point of today’s parable. God helped an unfortunate man who suffered for years and healed him.
And what happened then?
People who knew this man and his problem got very upset with God for sending the demons to the pigs after healing the man. The pigs went off the clif and killed themselves. They got so upset that they asked God to leave.
That is exactly what happens everytime we don’t help people in need. When we turn our backs to them in fact we are turning our backs to God.
Is this what we want? Of course not.
But why do we do it?
Because we are human with weaknesses, selfishness, and forgetfulness.
So how do we fight that?
With prayer and good deed. The very things God would recognize.
Think of others.
Because the only thing which belongs to you in the end is what you gave to others.