Patriarch Daniel: Christ urges us to free our soul from the tyranny of exclusive worries

Homily by His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel about the worry for necessities

In his homily delivered on the third Sunday after Pentecost, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel pointed to the fact that the pursuit of the Kingdom of God ought to be a priority for every Christian. The true sense of Christian life and the way we must live our life as spiritually free people are concentrated in the pursuit of the Kingdom of Heaven.

His Beatitude Daniel, Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church, attended the Divine Liturgy celebrated on June 25 at the St Great Martyr George Chapel of the patriarchal residence.

His Beatitude offered his reflections on the biblical passage from the Gospel of Matthew regarding worry about necessities. He pointed to the importance of a pure conscience and of wisdom so that our life be filled with light. He cautioned that if human reason or discernment is darkened by selfish passions and unclean thoughts, then human earthly life becomes a darkened existence.

The eye to which the Saviour refers in the Gospel that it must be healthy is interpreted especially as the spiritual eye, i.e. man’s mind or conscience that draws us near to God when we love Him more than anything in this world or takes us away from God when we excessively or exclusively love perishing things.

The patriarch cautioned that Christ the Lord urges us first to take care of the immortal soul and of the acquisition of eternal life by cultivating the faith in God and to leave behind the worry about food and clothing.

In his speech, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel stressed that only a spiritual man can be free, being in a connection of love, obedience, and prayer with God. He added that Christ the Lord does not urge us to laziness or passivity, but He rather urges us to free our soul from the tyranny of exclusive worries to acquire material goods.

The Saviour’s urge not to worry about food, drink and clothing (Matthew 6:25), the patriarch explained, means to avoid reducing our human life to its biological, material and passing aspect. Worry about food, drink and clothing must not paralyse our spiritual life due to an obsessive preoccupation with passing material goods.

On the other hand, worry about spiritual things should represent a priority for us, because when we take too much care of the material, limited and passing goods, we forget the unlimited, eternal spiritual good things.

Christ the Lord wants to free us from reducing life to its biological aspect, which becomes a true enslavement of men, and wants to nurture our souls with the presence of God’s merciful love, understood as divine providence or the Creator’s care for His creation.

In the Gospel, Christ asks us to reflect on God’s merciful love and on His loving care by observing the insignificant beings such as the birds of the sky and the fleeting flowers of the field. Therefore, the patriarch said, we understand that God’s care is a lot greater for man who was created in His image and is called to His likeliness through the communion of eternal life.

We ought to give priority to spiritual life and freedom so that we be not enslaved by the care for passing, material goods. According to the teachings of the Church, we must first take care of the way we present our soul before God. The garment of the soul should be the light acquired through fiery prayer and a holy life lived in purity and good deeds.

Therefore, material things should not become more precious than prayer and the sanctification of our life through luminous thoughts, beautiful words and good deeds, the patriarch said.

His Beatitude went on to say that during his earthly life, man should have a priority in pursuing the Kingdom of Heaven. To pursue God’s Kingdom means to nurture our soul first with spiritual gifts. This is, in a concentrated form, the communion of eternal life and love between the All-Holy Trinity, the holy angels and the humans who fulfil God’s will.

Patriarch Daniel concluded his homily by urging the faithful to ask for Christ’s help in order to be able to seek the Kingdom of God through prayer and good deeds.

© ZL

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