Archbishop Alexander (Nehodenko)

Glory to Jesus Christ, dear brothers and sisters!

The matter is not that a man is rich. The matter is his wealth blocks his relationship with God. A man begins to trust only in himself and his wealth. Why is it bad? As a connection with the truth becomes blocked. It’s like a river. First, it’s a small spring. God gives you the opportunity to comprehend his wisdom. The spring begins to flow. If it is not strong, because a man thinks for himself only, then a swamp is formed. It does not go forward, it stops. And a man thinks: "What for I should go and do something for someone if I can create a quiet lake of life for myself and feel good there."

Therefore the Lord through this parable says that wealth itself is not bad. The bad thing is when wealth takes you from the truth and becomes a kind of icon for you. You start to think about how to keep this wealth. So you already forget to think about the truth. That's really bad.

The Lord warns us through Matthew: “Woe to the world for temptations to sin! For it is necessary that temptations come, but woe to the one by whom the temptation comes!” Everything is interconnected. If we look at our lives, we see that everything is interconnected.

I recalled this because of the events taken place now in the capital, in the Independence Square. We see what's going on in spiritual aspect. And we must understand that it is normal, as Jesus himself told us that the temptation have to come, and we have to be ready. The only thing we have to remember that it depends on us whether we have strength to defeat these temptations. We should not be afraid of them. We should not think that we are bad or imperfect, and temptations won’t come to us. They will come. They have already come and we are fighting with them. And I believe that we will win. Our Rubicon has been passed. The only thing we have to do - just to have strength, be in connection that exists among us, not to lose it. Not to lose the gift that God Himself has given to us. Gift of insight, gift of prophecy, gift of vision. Although it has been dulled by another force, it still remains. You should understand this and do not think that someone is stronger. If we say that God is the Almighty, we should it realize.

If the Law of the God’s Justice admits some connivance, it is done for us to pass the exam. We can’t improve our soul without passing exams, going through trials. We won’t do it while sitting on the couch watching TV, or just meditating. We have to push our way forward, as a small spring, so that a large river may follow us. The Lord will give strength, give water and it will go. The Lord says: “Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water”. Living water! Man is a conductor of the living water from God. So do not stop, let’s go together along the path, made for us by God himself. He leads us. If we follow the law of God, we go right. We should realize that if we obey the God’s commandments and precepts , we go right. We should understand the words of Apostle James that "Satan himself is able to take the form of an angel of light". He simply masquerades as an angel of light. What do the servants of Satan do? They masquerade as speakers of truth. And a man of God, who bears the cross - the cross of understanding, the cross of wisdom, has to distinguish between things. When a man realizes the alleged light is evil, the only correct response is to move away from that person and his affairs.

Why do I say this? I say this, because, in my opinion, good events now happen in Kyiv. People do not want to be in the yoke. We cannot say that we have no relation to that. This concerns us. I'm not saying that we should join some kind of confederation or union. But we should choose between the better structure and the worse.

The time will come and we’ll have to choose again. It always happens, people or nation is constantly choosing in aspiration toward the light. Righteous government and righteous man. So I urge you to be wise. You know almost all the laws of God - use them. Do not think that someone will use them instead of you. Each person is responsible for his choices.

I would like also to answer the frequently asked question, "Do I have to go to the temple? Does a person save his soul in the church only?" My answer is that a man saves his soul not only in the church. But when one person prays – it is one strength, and when many people are going to the same place, their prayer is multiplied. So this is the meaning of attending the church. We become hundreds, thousands of times stronger when we're together.

Every person should decide for himself. You can redeem yourself, but when people come to the temple, it is a bigger strength. And when we come and pray together, we may do a lot of good things, so that our prayers become stronger. Therefore the Lord says to gather community of alike people. Let the bad people do bad things and good people- good things. They should be divided, so that you can see who is who - the sheep are on one side, the wolves – on the other.

We must also remember the caution of God about a wolf among the sheep. How can we distinguish a wolf? Judging by his deeds. If the deeds are good, you are a God's sheep. You should have good deeds, not just say good words. An evil person can speak very well, but we see he is a wolf in sheep's clothing, judging by his deeds.

I just want to remind us to be wise, because this is a time when people should be wise. Trials came to our world, trials come to our community. But people do not sigh nor weep, because we are with the Creator of the Universe. When you feel that the angels of heaven stand behind your back, you will never be afraid, because you believe that the Lord will not leave his children.

We listened to the parable about a man, whom the Lord gave strength, but he did not understand that. Lord gave him wealth - wheat. That is, the Lord gave strength to that man. But the man said: "I have power, and I’m not going to do anything. I will just satisfy my own needs". And the Lord wondered: "What I gave you strength for? I deprive you of strength". So, he took it away together with that soul.

If you want to leave this world prematurely, live for yourself.

Everyone wants to hear answers to his questions. We read the Gospel and usually get a response. The Lord will not leave us, he will never stand aside. That's what we have to understand that he is near us. If a person believes, he understands that there is the truth, which can’t be overcome by no other force, as the truth created everything.

I want to remind you that God is alive, he is creative, he is developing, he is all-mighty and he takes care of us, though sometimes we have little faith. Anyway, we are His children. We are his children, we should not forget that. Good parents never leave their children. Sometimes, a child may be naughty, or do something bad. Then mother would say, "Son, do not do that, it’s a wrong thing to do." However, when child is in some sort of trouble, mother will always protect her child, will cheer him up and say, "You are the biggest treasure I have". So we are the biggest treasure in God's hands, if we are his children.

Glory to Jesus Christ, dear brothers and sisters!