Thursday, March 9, 2017

our true purpose

St John Chrysostom tells us about what our main purpose is not... and points towards what it is in A Year with the Church Fathers.

He points out that we don't prize horses for their saddles, and we don't prize fruit trees for their leaves. In the same way, we should not be overly concerned with wealth, health, or public acclaim. These are not what really matter, in the end.

What matters, he says, are "true doctrine and righteous living." And while those things are important, I agree, I think he just barely misses what is MOST important. It IS important what we believe... true doctrine. And it is important that we live righteously. But when they asked Jesus what was MOST important, He said loving God and loving other people.

That, I think, is what really matters most. We can certainly worry less about money and health... both will eventually go away. We can stop fretting about what people think of us. That won't matter either, eventually.

But we should concern ourselves chiefly with loving God, and with loving other people. In a way, these are the same thing. When Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him, and Peter said "yes", Jesus said "Feed my sheep." Because that's the way we show our love for God... by taking care of His children.

God, thank You for this lenten season, when we remember what isn't really important... and what is.

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