A sermon given by fr. George Calciu, Nov. 2005.
(one year before his departure in Christ)
Lazarus has not done any good work because he couldn’t. He humbled him self at the door of the rich man praising God for it and accepting his pain without whining. The rich man did not cause harm, however he hasn’t work any good. He eat and had merry and didn’t offer the poor Lazarus even the crumbs fallen from his table.
To not do good, it’s a sin. The line that separates the good from the evil is very thin, as the invisible piece of string. You must be very careful!
In vain you may say: I do not work any good because I do not harm anyone; I do not care what others do, I mind my own; I’m honest, successful, I have money in the bank, I own a home and so on … But you also did not work anything good, the pain of others has not softened you…
You did not care to offer a gift to God, nor that you’ve touched and wrap the wound of the fallen; you did not care to search the one in the hospital or the one ill in his home. So you said to no one: you are an old man, let me take you to the hospital or to your doctor! You lived like a still and passed throughout this world and your whole life like a woodpile, and you think that this “thread”, as thin as the horizon, it separated you from evil. Nothing further from the truth, my brother. All your life you stood on the other side of the string that separated you from good.
As the Holy Fathers said: evil in itself has no essence, evil exists in the absence of good, that is where goodness is not manifested, evil takes its place. If you do not work any good, then you commit evil, and you also sense this because we live in a crazy world, full of suffering, of wars, of pain, crimes and poverty.
Indeed our American soil is very rich and we are somewhat rich. But there are many poor, see there how many people are poor? Nowhere I have seen many beggars as you see in America. I travelled to Europe, but saw no where so many homeless or mad wondering the streets, to sleep outside in the winter, to freeze and die.
For there is something about the rich America and the rich man whose ground yielded plentifully.
America is very fertile, I mean not only the soil, but the American mind, the intelligence brought from abroad… they invent all sorts of things, but everything is done for this earthy life and not praising God for it. Perhaps ordinary people are remembering God, but those others are not, as they are overwhelmed by the multitude of their fruits. They build even larger “barns”, billions are multiplying as they would be growing in trees, expenses increase … still something is missing…
It’s missing what the Savior said: that you have not gathered in Christ. Him, who does not gather in Christ, wastes!
It is better to be poor, but to gather in Christ, than to be rich and enter hell, without any help. For only the good deeds you’ll take you to the next world. And the good deeds you worked or did not do, will judge you. So you will not judge for yourself, nor that you’ll you say: Lord, there is someone else out there worse than me, who has done more wrong. For when you”ll be facing God you’ll be standing alone. There is no other priest George, but I.
So God does not judge me in comparison to others, because everyone will answers for his deeds, and others will not answer for yours.
The wealth will not condemn you to hell, neither that poverty will take you to heaven but how you managed them, how you put them in relation to God and your fellow men. Amen!
Fr. George Calciu, Living words. “To serve Christ, means suffering”. Bonifaciu Press, 2009 – translated from Romanian by EC.)