Homily – Aslan is NOT a tame lion

Luke 10:25-37; Ephesians 2:4-10.  In this homily on Christ’s encounter with the rich young man, Fr. Anthony encourages us to let go of our need to uses riches, lists, and spells and open ourselves to follow the living God.  Enjoy the show!

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Here are the notes I didn’t use:

What had the rich young ruler done?

Quite western: a goal – collecting data – making choices to get the goal

Hadn’t worked so far: Judaism was a system for producing righteousness; but he was still unsatisfied.

It is easy to preach Christ this way: He is the one who fills that “God-sized hole”.  He is that last bit of data we need. (review the line of reasoning)

We are the ones who do not walk away sad; we stay because we see Him for what He is.  The rich young man was blinded by his riches, but we hold our earthly possessions lightly – palms outstretched and open towards him in offering and thanksgiving.

Orthodoxy can be taught this way too.  You have been like the Rich man, you have followed the ways that have been given you, but you long for more.  Christ in Holy Orthodoxy offers you more.

But what if this way of approaching salvation, eternal life, and an end to spiritual longing as a problem to be solved sets us up for failure. 

What if this way of solving problems – one that has boosted our standard of living beyond the imagination – what if this is part of the “riches” that stand between us, righteousness, and eternal life.

Objectification.  The Pharisees in the Gospels did it.  The Rich Man did it.  We do it all the time.

But Christ-God is not the solution to a math problem – He is the Divine Logos who became incarnate so that we THROUGH OUR RELATIONSHIP TO HIM could be “raised up with Him to sit in the heavenly places.”

We need to follow Him, be in relationship with Him; so close and joyful that it is not longer I who live but He who lives in me.

You can’t do relationship with math.  The objectification of relationship is destroying the virtue and life of our communities. 

Let go of the riches of problem solving.  Christ is here – not as a solution but as the source of all virtue, joy, and life.  Let go of trying to learn the words and actions that might bind you more tightly to him and Him more tightly to you.  We are not alchemists or binders and there is no spell that can