In this video recording, Archbishop Christophoros from Jordan talks about greed starting from the parable of the rich fool. He also tells us the story of a hermit from the Jordan River. “What does greed do to us? It gives us continuous indicators that we are lasting here, we won’t leave… Greed gives us a thinking mechanism that makes us more earthly, more material…”
English translation by Waad Rabahie
Video source: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese – Amman – Jordan, December 6th, 2020
The church Fathers tell a story of a hermit who was here at the Jordan river. Do you see how holy is our land? It was filled with monks and nuns… But now we emptied it from monastics…
One of the hermits who were here at the Jordan river was tempted by the devil.
The devil came to him saying: “why are you torturing me in this way and neglecting me?”
The hermit said: “Get away from me, devil! Go away to other souls that would respond to your temptation!”
The devil answered saying: “is this how you cast me away?” And then resentfully said: “there will come a chance for me during your 40 years of living when I will capture you!” And he left.
The hermit started thinking in his head: “Well, I have a long time… 40 years… Why don’t I leave the desert for a little while and go to the city?
On one hand I can see my family. And on the other hand, my tired body from asceticism can rest.”
However, after he made his decision and was leaving the desert towards the city, our merciful and graceful Lord didn’t want his soul to perish and He sent an angel who stopped him saying:
“Dear father, where are you going!”
He replied: “I’m going to the city.”
The angel said: “is this how the enemy fooled you? Go back to your asceticism and stand firm in it. And ask the Lord for forgiveness!”
The biographer of this righteous man tells us that he went back to his cell and spent his days in weeping as a child, asking God for forgiveness for being deceived by the devil.
The holy father who tells this story continues and says: “After three days he left this life.”
What does greed do to us? It gives us continuous indicators that We are here, we are lasting here, we won’t leave… Greed gives us a thinking mechanism that makes us more earthly, more material and consuming.
So that we don’t store treasures for our eternal life. That’s why today’s Gospel is for each one of us. So that we always grow in this spiritual virtue: the virtue of remembering death.
And to remember that there will come a time, sooner or later, God knows, when we will leave.
That’s why we should store eternal treasures. He gave us the parable [of the foolish rich man] that we heard in today’s Gospel reading.
Saint Gregory asks this rich man: “Why didn’t you think of another solution? For example, to distribute these goods stored in your barns to the poor, since God sent you more goods… He gave you new things in this year… It was more fitting that you distribute it to the needy and the poor, thus you can fill your stores again, instead of planning in this way.”
That’s why at the end of the Gospel, He described him “fool”.