First Fruits

A compilation of quotes from scripture, the Holy Fathers, or contemporary Orthodox Christian sources to remind us to offer to God what is best and first each week. Use these quotes for personal inspiration or for your parish stewardship communications.

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And even if a person should possess the complete treasures of the King, he should hide them and say continually: “The treasure is not mine, but another has given it to me for a charge. For I am a beggar and when it pleases Him, He can claim it from me.” +St. Macarios

From the Parable of the Sower

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And as for what fell among the thorns, they are those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature. And as for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bring forth fruit with patience.

The Gospel of Luke 8:14-15

From the Gospel reading on the Sunday of the 7th Ecumenical Council. Visit the Online Chapel of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese for the entire reading for the day.

 

Second Sunday of Luke

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But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the selfish. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.

From the Gospel reading on the Second Sunday of Luke. Find the entire reading from Luke 6:31-36 at the Online Chapel of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese.

 

The Cheerful Giver

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BRETHREN, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do as he has made up his mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that you may always have enough of everything and may provide in abundance for every good work. As it is written, “He scatters abroad, he gives to the poor; his righteousness endures for ever.” He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your resources and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way for great generosity, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.

St. Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians 9:6-11, the Epistle Reading on the 2nd Sunday of Luke.

Sunday After Holy Cross

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For what does it profit a man, to gain the whole world and forfeit his life? For what can a man give in return for his life?

The Gospel of Mark 8:36-37

From the Gospel reading on the Sunday after the feast of the Holy Cross.

JOHNCHRY

The sun gives forth light; it cannot help doing so. Animals breathe in and out; they cannot help doing so. Fish swim in rivers and the seas; they cannot help doing so. What, then, are the things which a Christian cannot help doing?… [A] Christian cannot help being generous. To be a Christian is to acknowledge that everything belongs to God and the human beings are merely stewards of what they possess; so they naturally want to share their possessions with those in need. +St. John Chrysostom

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Cheerfulness consists in not regarding these things as our own, but as entrusted to us by God for the benefit of our fellow-servants. It consists in scattering them abroad generously with joy and magnanimity, not reluctantly or under compulsion (II Cor.9:7). Further, we ought cheerfully to empty ourselves of that which we stored up in the hope of the true promise God has made to us of giving us a hundredfold reward for this. +St. Symeon the New Theologian

Seek first His kingdom

No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink, nor about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add one cubit to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O men of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear? For the Gentiles seek all these things; and your heavenly Father knows you need them all. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well.

From the Gospel reading on the 3rd Sunday of Matthew.

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The essence of wealth is not in material things, but what we have within ourselves. No matter how much you give a person, you will not satisfy him.

St. Anatoly

All Saints

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And every one who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life. But many that are first will be last, and the last first.

From the Gospel of Matthew 19:29-30, read on the Sunday of All Saints.

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