Let’s say you have a test at school next week. What do you do? You study, don’t you? You study a lot! You don’t want to just pass with a 70 percent… you’d like to get an A, wouldn’t you?
Today, in the Gospel reading, a man asks Jesus how he can get into Heaven. He says he has already followed the rules in the 10 Commandments. That’s great! But then comes a hard thing for him. Jesus told him, “then sell all that you have and give it to the poor.” The man was so sad, because he was very rich! He didn’t know if he could make it to Heaven after all!
We all want to go to Heaven, and we all want to be with God forever, don’t we? So let’s think of it like a test at school. We want to pass with flying colors! We want to get an A! The man in the story today wanted to do just enough to pass.
God wants us to always try our hardest to love Him and to love our neighbors. We can read stories about the saints of our Church, and we find that they loved God so much that they did even more than just passing the test! They helped their neighbor more, they gave to the poor more, they fasted more, they read the Bible more, they forgave more, they loved more.
BRAVE SAINT JOHN: FROM DAMASCUS, SYRIA
Do you listen to the news? Even if you listen just a little bit, you have heard about Damascus, in the country of Syria. Christians have lived in Syria for many, many years. Saint Peter even told the people there about the Good News of Jesus Christ! On Saturday, we will celebrate the feastday of a saint from Damascus, in Syria. Saint John lived 1300 years ago. He was a super smart boy who was interested in all kinds of things. He followed his father, and became kind of
like a judge. At that time, the emperor made a law against icons. He made it illegal to have icons in public places.