IOCC – 7/4/2020
Serving God by Serving Others
A Russian folktale speaks about a cobbler who received a message from God that He would visit him on Christmas Day. The cobbler diligently prepared for the divine visit, but that entire day, only several people in need came by his house. The day passed by, and God did not come. When the cobbler complained that he had been deceived, God replied to him that He indeed had visited the man several times—in the form of all those people in need.
We Christians very often pass by people in need thinking that they would spend the money we give them in an unacceptable manner. Yet we forget that every person, no matter how undeserving of our attention and our charity, is an opportunity to serve God. Christ said that whenever we serve our neighbor, we serve God: “As you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me” (Matt. 25:40).
The fifth Sunday of the Lent is a pertinent moment to remember that God provides us with opportunities to serve Him by serving others, no matter who or what they are. Was not St. Mary of Egypt in the first part of her life a sinful person undeserving of one’s attention? Yet through her repentance and subsequent dedication of her life to God, did she not become one of the greatest saints of the Christian Church?
This week’s reflection is written by Rev. Fr. Vasilije Vranic, St. Luke Serbian Orthodox Church in Washington, DC.
Icon courtesy of Fr. Matthew Garrett (holy-icons.com)