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Rich people entering tthe Kingdom


[James 2:1–13; Mark 10:23–32] Hear­ing the word of the Lord a‐bout the incon­ve­nience rich peo­ple have in enter­ing the King­dom of God, the dis­ci­ples thought, Who then can be saved? The Lord said to this, With men it is impos­si­ble, but not with God: for with God all things are pos­si­ble. It is not pos­si­ble to re‐nounce self-inter­est with­out the in‐fluence of grace on the heart; it is not pos­si­ble to cope with all sorts of weak­ness­es for things, or with all the sin liv­ing in us and all of its con‐sequences with­out God’s grace. God’s grace is giv­en, accord­ing to faith in the Lord, in the mys­ter­ies of the holy Church. Hold tight­ly to the holy Church of God and to all of its insti­tu­tions, and the pow­er of God, help­ing to bring about every good, will always abide with you. But at the same time always remem­ber that these illu­mi­nat­ing and life-giv‐ing insti­tu­tions are a means and not the goal; that is why you should go through them only in order to enliv‐en and nour­ish the grace-filled pow‐ers hid­den in you through their in‐fluence, and then take up your work as a strong man, ready for every good deed. If you keep what you have received to your­self and not release it through good deeds, you will not be right; just like one is not right who shuns every­thing belong‐ing to the church. Incor­rect zealots of piety make the very struc­ture of a pious life sub­ject to crit­i­cism; but this does not take the sig­nif­i­cance a‐way from this struc­ture, and does not jus­ti­fy phi­los­o­phiz­ers, who shun it only on these grounds.

Saint Theo­phan tthe Recluse