Elias Miniatis, bishop of Kerniki and Kalavryta
“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other.
You cannot serve God and mammon” (Mt. 6:24 )
God and the world(1)are two opposites that are completely foreign and infinitely distanced from each other. These are the two masters Christ is referring to when He states that it is impossible for someone to serve both simultaneously.
If someone decides to draw near to one, he necessarily distances himself from the other. If he begins to love one of them, he will inevitably develop hate for the other.
If he chooses to concern himself with and admire one, he must neglect and loathe the other.
“For someone will either hate the one and love the other, or be loyal to the one and despise the other.”
Our eyes cannot simultaneously look at the sky and the ground. Our mind cannot concurrently be devoted to heavenly and earthly matters. Our heart cannot at the same time love both God and the world. It is either one or the other; because
it is impossible for a person to have both:
“You cannot serve both God and mammon.”
There are two reasons for this. The first one is this: God wants man entirely to serve only Him. However, the world also wants man to completely submit himself to it. Thus, it is impossible for man in total to be in both places. The second reason is that God’s law is diametrically opposed to the world’s ordinances. It is likewise impossible for someone to follow two totally different sets of instructions.
On account of these two reasons, it is impossible for someone at the same time to be the slave of two different masters; namely, God and the world.
The first and great commandment that God gave in the Old Testament, and which Christ repeats many times throughout the Gospel, is this:
“Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord. You shall love the Lord our God from your whole heart, from your whole soul, and from your whole
power” (Dt. 6:4-5).
In other words, God says, “you have only one natural and genuine master, O man!
It is Me the Lord. For I created you out of nothing, I gave you life and your soul, I ransomed you with My own blood, I granted you salvation, and I have prepared the Kingdom of Heaven for you. You are My creation, My possession ,you belong entirely to Me.”
Thus, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind” (Mt. 22:37).
The term “world” takes on various meanings when used in Scriptures. It can refer to i) the earth, or the universe; ii) the people, or mankind. More often, however (as in this present text),it is used to refer collectively to the worldly, earthly, and sinful mindset and lifestyle prevailing in the majority of people on earth, in contrast to the spiritual, godly, and holy way of life practiced by the minority of people who chose to follow Christ’s commandments.