Passages: 2 Kings 2:1-15; James 5:16-20; Luke 4:25-30
Ընթերցուածքներ՝ Դ Թագց. Բ 1-15; Յակ. Ե 16-20; Ղուկ. Դ 25-30
In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen!
Over thanksgiving last year, my family and I travelled to California to spend time with my cousins. Naturally, every time we travel to a place we haven’t been in some time, other friends and acquaintances want to meet up as well. One day, my dad and I went to visit a friend of his whom he had not seen since childhood. As they chatted and spoke about the past years and what they had been through, my dad’s friend told him of how he had been on dialysis because of kidney failure. This news was upsetting but this wasn’t the end of that story. This man was no longer on dialysis because he was able to get a new kidney. He and his family were not the wealthiest or most connected people yet, they are prayerful and had faith in God. A few months on dialysis when the doctor’s had said he either needs to get a kidney transplant or things would quickly decline, this man came home broken and upset. As he got out of his car, his neighbor greeted him and asked why he looked so gloom. My dad’s friend explained to his neighbor the situation and his neighbor, whom he had known only in passing, with the occasional hello, turned to him and said, if you need a kidney, take mine. Surprised and unsure of what to make of it, he asked why? “Because you need one and I have one to give.”
My dears, what is the purpose of having something as precious as this life, as precious as faith in God, if we bottle it up, close it off and refuse to share it with others? What good do we expect to see in this world when those of us who claim to believe in God, live and act the same, if not worse, then those who have no faith? Christ Jesus, asks this same question in today’s Gospel, to the Jews in the synagogue, who believed to be the chosen people, who claimed to “know” the Scriptures, to know God yet, they did not live a life that reflected God, they did not in their hearts fully trust God. It is no good! In fact, Christ gives the example of the Prophet St. Elijah and St. Elisha, who took away the rains and caused famine and whom gave healing to those who were considered second class citizens. In other words, our faith if we don’t use it, if we don’t care for it and tend to it, it will dry up, it will starve, and we will fall into spiritual famine because it’s no good; it’s no good to be a Christian and only remember on Sunday; it’s no good to be a Christian and pray when we need something; it’s no good to be a Christian if it is self serving. God is good; to be in Communion with God, to be a Christian is to be the good. How therefore do we care and tend to our faith? How do we reflect and live the good that is God?
By giving away our kidney’s. Meaning coming into Communion with God and taking that communion by seeing the needs of other’s, our friends, our neighbors, of those who are lost and broken, those who are rejected and hurt and sharing our faith through the life we live. As a priest, I have the opportunity to stand here and give a homily every week. However, my words are empty, my message is meaningless if the life I live away from this pulpit does not reflect my words because the greatest sermon someone can give is the life they live not the words say preach. God reveals His good likewise – through action. He creates, sustains, blesses and ultimately gave Christ to die for our sins. Each one of us my dears is called to live a life of faithfulness in God, sharing God’s love, life and hope, the Good News of salvation in Christ Jesus from our brokenness and sins. Because when we see the needs of others and give to them, not only will they be healed but we also will be healed. For that St. James writes in his letter, “Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed…My brethren, if any one among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.” By praying for one another, by bringing God into the lives of others, by living our faith, we too are forgiven of our trespasses, we are also healed of our brokenness.
We become that good, we become the revelation of God in a world that is looking for Him. My dad’s friend received new life and healing because his neighbor recognized what he had was something he could give, something that would renew life. How much more life does God give to us to share with others in this world? No, perhaps we are not called to give our kidney’s to our neighbors; but we are called to pray, to love, to foster and give guidance towards God. We are called to share and lift up, strengthen and build up with what God has blessed us with by blessing others. We are called to be Christ in this world. For some that might be through giving a kidney or donating blood; a few days ago we celebrated memorial day and remembered our veterans, those who served and gave their life; for some of us, it is singing in the choir, serving on the board, being a priest; while for other’s it might be to financially support, or teach, preach, raise, feed, etc. Ultimately, sharing God’s love is not about the words we say, it is about the Word, Christ Jesus, whom we receive here through Holy Communion, through the Scriptures and teachings of the Church, which renews us, feeds us and makes us understand how we too take that life and share it with the rest of the world.
As my dad’s friends neighbor said, when asked why would you give me your kidney? “you need one, and I have one to give.” This world needs God; we have God to give. Let us give my dears, through our life by treating each other and those outside these doors with love, compassion and mercy; give because it was given to us freely by the Grace of God. When we give know that God our Father in Heaven sees and will heal us, raise us up from the ashes, renew us through Christ Jesus. By the grace and power of the Holy Spirit, may our hearts be opened to this truth, my our hands work to bring love and may our lives glorify our God in Heaven, Amen!