On 18 November 2012, the Orthodox Church is on the 16th Sunday after Pentecost. The Evangelical pericope presenting the example of the rich man whose ground yielded an abundant harvest was read in all churches.
In the sermon delivered in the chapel of the Patriarchal Residence with Saint Gregory the Enlightener as saint patron, His Beatitude Daniel, Patriarch of Romania, emphasised the teaching of the pericope: “This drama of the greed for the material things becomes bondage. Although he has the initiative to cumulate, yet the rich man is a slave of the material things. The madness is just his attitude to reduce all his life to consuming the material things and to the exclusive concern for the life of the body. The example of the rich man whose ground yielded an abundant harvest is suitable to many people nowadays. The secularised man who builds his life without thinking of God, the Creator of the heaven and earth, without understanding existence, life, and material things as gifts of God, resembles the rich man in the Gospel who builds new store rooms, gathers material goods, and sees progress only as material progress, either of the goods of consume in the consuming society or of money”.
His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel urged the clergy and faithful to mercy and good deeds especially during this period of the Advent of the Nativity of the Lord: “This period of the Advent of the Nativity of Jesus Christ, our Lord, is a period of enrichment in good deeds through prayer, fasting and mercy. Almost all the Sundays before the Christmas Advent and those during the Advent, as well the feast of the Presentation of the Mother of God in the Temple, urge us to enrich ourselves through prayer, confession and Holy Communion, so that we should become a temple of the Holy Spirit, enriched by the grace of the Holiness of God, and through good merciful deeds. This is why the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church sent a letter to the clergy and faithful of all the Romanian Patriarchate, from the country and abroad, asking them to organise during this period collections of money, aliments, clothes and medicines, especially for the sick. This first Sunday of the Advent of the Nativity of the Lord we begin the collection of money. This collection is continuous, on every Sunday and on the feasts mentioned, till the great feast of the Nativity of the Lord. Thus, let us answer the gift of God shown in Jesus Christ, our Saviour for the humans’ salvation out of love for humans, with merciful love for the poor and especially for the sick, because this year is the Solemn year of the Sacrament of the Holy Unction and taking care of the sick“.
Next Sunday the Orthodox Church will be on the 30th Sunday after Pentecost.