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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Happiness can only be achieved by looking inward and learning to enjoy whatever life has and this requires transforming greed into gratitude.

St. John Chrysostom

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Let us give thanks to God continually. For, it is outrageous that when we enjoy His benefaction to us in deed every single day, we do not acknowledge the favor with so much as a word; and this, when the acknowledgment confers great benefit on us. He does not need anything of ours, but we stand in need of all things from Him.

St. John Chrysostom

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[T]he rich man is not the one who has collected many possessions but the one who needs few possessions; and the poor man is not the one who has no possessions but the one who has many desires.

We ought to consider this the definition of poverty and wealth. So if you see someone greedy for many things, you should consider him the poorest of all, even if he has acquired every one’s money.  If, on the other hand, you see someone with few needs, you should count him the richest of all, even if he has acquired nothing.

St. John Chrysostom

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Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your master.

Matthew 25:21

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The rich man is not one who has much but one who gives much. For what he gives away remains his forever.

St. John Chrysostom

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How much is enough? How much is necessary? What do we really need? How may we use our money and possessions for ourselves, our families, our children and our churches? These are the hardest questions for Christians to answer.
Fr. Thomas Hopko

Memory eternal, Fr. Thomas! Read an excellent article on almsgiving by Fr. Thomas here: A Meditation on Almsgiving.

almsgiving challengeWill anyone rob God? Yet you are robbing me! But you say, “How are we robbing you?” In your tithes and offerings!  You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me—the whole nation of you! Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in my house, and thus put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts; see if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you an overflowing blessing. (Malachi 3:8-10)

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You will never overcome God’s generosity, even if you give away all that you have… And however much you bring to him, always more remains. Nor will you give anything that is your own; for all things flow from God. +Saint Gregory the Theologian

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Whereas we receive benefactions from God every minute, we ourselves don’t benefactor even once our neighbor. +Saint Basil the Great

9th Sunday of Luke

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The Gospel of Luke 12:16-21

The Lord said this parable: “The land of a rich man brought forth plentifully; and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ And he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns, and build larger ones; and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, ‘Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; take your ease, eat, drink, be merry.’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you; and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” As he said these things, he cried out: “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

For daily scripture readings, visit the Online Chapel at goarch.org.

 

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