Bishop Basil (Nesterenko)


Glory to Jesus Christ, dear brothers and sisters!

I congratulate you with the Holy Sunday and Holy Communion.

Today we have heard the Gospel (Matthew XIX:16-26 ), which is very important for all God’s children, who want to be saved. We see the young man, who had perfect life, but a question bothered him. A question: How can we enter the Kingdom of God? He asked the Lord: “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?”

He appealed to Jesus Christ and called Him GoodTeacher. Jesus said: “There is only one who is good.” So the young man with his words confirmed that Jesus Christ was the True Lord.

The young man asked this question because he understood that all Commandments, which he kept, weren’t enough to be saved and to enter the Kingdom of God. The Lord told him: “You should keep all commandments.” And God named them all. And the young man answered: “All these I have kept. What do I still lack?” So Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.

The young man obviously did not expect for such advice from Jesus Christ that is why he was not ready to execute it. And we actually see that he went away sorrowful. Because he couldn’t say to Jesus Christ that he was not ready to lose all his possession.

For sure, that young man had love to people, kept all commandments of God, but it was not enough to give all his possessions. And as a matter of fact those material possessions kept him. He did not realized that they were temporary, that you have to collect your treasures on the Heavens.

The possession is a thing for some people and they even are ready to give their lives for it. It is a pity but there are a lot of people, who give their lives to gain that material wealth. They do not understand that all wealth is temporal. It will be difficult for them to enter God’s Kingdom afterwards. Because the Lord said: “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.”

The possession is not a sin, but the fact of very close connection with this possession is a sin, because such man has only one goal in life - to live in wealth. We know a lot of Saint people, who weren’t poor, but rich. But they used their wealth to help poor people who needed that, but not for their own further enrichment.

And today God does not expect from us to give up everything material we have and follow Him. We cant physically follow Him today. But we can follow Him in own thoughts. And every person follows Him on his own way. We have a chance to help others. And a lot of people need help right now. And all our country needs help. We all must help our country as much as we can. If someone cant help material, he can help physically. There are a lot of volunteers now who do not have money, but they help with their love and time, they do what they can.

And the Lord told us in the Gospel of Matthew: “Do not collect treasures here on the Earth, where rust, aphis and moths could not destroy it, but on the Heaven.” And the Lord due to today’s Gospel also let us know how to become perfect and enter the Kingdom of God. So we have to realize it, save it in our souls and use all our spiritual and physical strength to enter the Kingdom of God.

Let the Lord save you.