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Sermons from St. Sophia, Bellingham, Washington

Sermons from St. Sophia, Bellingham, Washington

By St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Church
Sunday Homilies from St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Christian Church in Bellingham, Washington.
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Galatians 4:22-27- Abraham’s Attitude of Trust in the Adventurous God
Epistle Reading: Galatians 4:22-27 Brethren, Abraham had two sons, one by a slave and one by a free woman. But the son of the slave was born according to the flesh, the son of the free woman through promise. Now this is an allegory: these women are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery; she is Hagar. Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia; she corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother. For it is written, "Rejoice, O barren one who does not bear; break forth and shout, you who are not in travail; for the children of the desolate one are many more than the children of her that is married."
11:19
July 26, 2021
Hold to What You Have Been Taught: Remembering the Gospel in Polarized Times
Epistle Reading: Titus 3:8-15 Titus, my son, the saying is sure. I desire you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to apply themselves to good deeds; these are excellent and profitable to men. But avoid stupid controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels over the law, for they are unprofitable and futile. As for a man who is factious, after admonishing him once or twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is perverted and sinful; he is self-condemned. When I send Artemas or Tychicos to you, do your best to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there. Do your best to speed Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their way; see that they lack nothing. And let our people learn to apply themselves to good deeds, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not to be unfruitful. All who are with me send greeting to you. Greet those who love us in the faith. Grace be with you all. Amen. Gospel Reading: Matthew 5:14-19 The Lord said to his disciples, "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid. Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven." On the Sunday that falls from the 13th to the 19th of the present month, we chant the Service to the 630 Holy and God-bearing Fathers who came together for the 4th Ecumenical Council who assembled in Chalcedon in 451, to condemn Eutyches, who taught that there was only one nature, the divine, in Christ after the Incarnation, and Dioscorus, Patriarch of Alexandria, who illegally received Eutyches back into communion and deposed Saint Flavian, Patriarch of Constantinople, who had excommunicated Eutyches. In the Slavic tradition, on this Sunday, the Fathers of the first six Ecumenical Councils are all commemorated. Apolytikion Plagal Fourth Mode You are greatly glorified, O Christ our God, who established our Fathers as luminaries upon the earth, and through them led us all to the true Faith. O Most compassionate, glory to You. Kontakion Plagal Fourth Mode The Church was strengthened into one faith through the preaching of the Apostles and the doctrines of the Fathers. The Church is robed in truth woven of the word of God from above. It teaches truth, and glorifies the great mystery of faith.
10:53
July 18, 2021
Evidence the Invisible Holy Spirit is in the Church and Our Parish: Holy Pentecost
fter the Saviour's Ascension into the Heavens, the eleven Apostles and the rest of His disciples, the God-loving women who followed after Him from the beginning, His Mother, the most holy Virgin Mary, and His brethren-all together about 120 souls returned from the Mount of Olives to Jerusalem. Entering into the house where they gathered, they went into the upper room, and there they persevered in prayer and supplication, awaiting the coming of the Holy Spirit, as their Divine Teacher had promised them. In the meanwhile, they chose Matthias, who was elected to take the place of Judas among the Apostles. Thus, on this day, the seventh Sunday of Pascha, the tenth day after the Ascension and the fiftieth day after Pascha, at the third hour of the day from the rising of the sun, there suddenly came a sound from Heaven, as when a mighty wind blows, and it filled the whole house where the Apostles and the rest with them were gathered. Immediately after the sound, there appeared tongues of fire that divided and rested upon the head of each one. Filled with the Spirit, all those present began speaking not in their native tongue, but in other tongues and dialects, as the Holy Spirit instructed them. The multitudes that had come together from various places for the feast, most of whom were Jews by race and religion, were called Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and so forth, according to the places where they dwelt. Though they spoke many different tongues, they were present in Jerusalem by divine dispensation. When they heard that sound that came down from Heaven to the place where the disciples of Christ were gathered, all ran together to learn what had taken place. But they were confounded when they came and heard the Apostles speaking in their own tongues. Marvelling at this, they said one to another, "Behold, are not all these which speak Galileans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?" But others, because of their foolishness and excess of evil, mocked the wonder and said that the Apostles were drunken. Then Peter stood up with the eleven, and raising his voice, spoke to all the people, proving that that which had taken place was not drunkenness, but the fulfilment of God's promise that had been spoken by the Prophet Joel: "And it shall come to pass in the last days, that I shall pour out of My Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and daughters shall prophesy" (Joel 2:28), and he preached Jesus of Nazareth unto them, proving in many ways that He is Christ the Lord, Whom the Jews crucified but God raised from the dead. On hearing Peter's teaching, many were smitten with compunction and received the word. Thus, they were baptized, and on that day about three thousand souls were added to the Faith of Christ. Such, therefore, are the reasons for today's feast: the coming of the All-holy Spirit into the world, the completion of the Lord Jesus Christ's promise, and the fulfilment of the hope of the sacred disciples, which we celebrate today. This is the final feast of the great mystery and dispensation of God's incarnation. On this last, and great, and saving day of Pentecost, the Apostles of the Saviour, who were unlearned fishermen, made wise now of a sudden by the Holy Spirit, clearly and with divine authority spoke the heavenly doctrines. They became heralds of the truth and teachers of the whole world. On this day they were ordained and began their apostleship, of which the salvation of those three thousand souls in one day was the comely and marvellous first fruit.
13:37
June 20, 2021
Knowing The Father, Knowing the Christ is Eternal Life
Gospel Reading: John 17:1-13 At that time, Jesus lifted up his eyes to heaven and said, "Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him power over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work which you gave me to do; and now, Father, you glorify me in your own presence with the glory which I had with you before the world was made. "I have manifested your name to the men whom you gave me out of the world; yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you; for I have given them the words which you gave me, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you did send me. I am praying for them; I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are mine; all mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. And now I am no more in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me; I have guarded them, and none of them is lost but the son of perdition, that the scripture might be fulfilled. But now I am coming to you; and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves."
09:34
June 13, 2021
Light, Sight and Faith: The Sunday of the Man Born Blind
Sunday of the Blind Man June 6 The Lord Jesus was coming from the Temple on the Sabbath, when, while walking in the way, He saw the blind man mentioned in today's Gospel. This man had been born thus from his mother's womb, that is, he had been born without eyes (see Saint John Chrysostom, Homily LVI on Matthew; Saint Irenaeus, Against Heresies, Book V:15; and the second Exorcism of Saint Basil the Great). When the disciples saw this, they asked their Teacher, "Who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?" They asked this because when the Lord had healed the paralytic at the Sheep's Pool, He had told him, "Sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee" (John 5:14); so they wondered, if sickness was caused by sin, what sin could have been the cause of his being born without eyes. But the Lord answered that this was for the glory of God. Then the God-man spat on the ground and made clay with the spittle. He anointed the eyes of the blind man and said to him, "Go, wash in the Pool of Siloam." Siloam (which means "sent") was a well-known spring in Jerusalem used by the inhabitants for its waters, which flowed to the eastern side of the city and collected in a large pool called "the Pool of Siloam." Therefore, the Saviour sent the blind man to this pool that he might wash his eyes, which had been anointed with the clay-not that the pool's water had such power, but that the faith and obedience of the one sent might be made manifest, and that the miracle might become more remarkable and known to all, and leave no room for doubt. Thus, the blind man believed in Jesus' words, obeyed His command, went and washed himself, and returned, no longer blind, but having eyes and seeing. This was the greatest miracle that our Lord had yet worked; as the man healed of his blindness himself testified, "Since time began, never was it heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind," although the Lord had already healed the blind eyes of many. Because he now had eyes, some even doubted that he was the same person (John 9:8-9); and it was still lively in their remembrance when Christ came to the tomb of Lazarus, for they said, "Could not this man, who opened the eyes of the blind man, have caused that even this man should not have died?" Saint John Chrysostom gives a thorough and brilliant exposition of our Lord's meeting with the woman of Samaria, the healing of the paralytic, and the miracle of the blind man in his commentaries on the Gospel of Saint John. Kontakion Plagal First Mode I come to You, O Christ, as the man blind from birth. With the eyes of my soul blinded, I cry out to You in repentance, "You are the resplendent Light of those in darkness."
15:40
June 6, 2021
Jesus Evangelizes and Converts the Samaritan Woman: 5th Sunday of Pascha 2021
Gospel Reading: John 4:5-42 At that time, Jesus came to a city of Samaria, called Sychar, near the field that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Jacob's well was there, and so Jesus, wearied as he was with his journey, sat down beside the well. It was about the sixth hour. There came a woman of Samaria to draw water. Jesus said to her, "Give me a drink." For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. The Samaritan woman said to him, "How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?" For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans. Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, 'Give me a drink,' you would have asked him and he would have given you living water." The woman said to him, "Sir, you have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep; where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, and his sons, and his cattle?" Jesus said to her, "Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst; the water that I shall give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." The woman said to him, "Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw." Jesus said to her, "Go, call your husband, and come here." The woman answered him, "I have no husband." Jesus said to her, "You are right in saying, 'I have no husband'; for you have had five husbands, and he whom you now have is not your husband; this you said truly." The woman said to him, "Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain; and you say that Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship." Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for such the Father seeks to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth." The woman said to him, "I know that the Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ); when he comes, he will show us all things." Jesus said to her, "I who speak to you am he." Just then his disciples came. They marveled that he was talking with a woman, but none said, "What do you wish?" or, "Why are you talking with her?" So the woman left her water jar, and went away into the city and said to the people, "Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?" They went out of the city and were coming to him. Meanwhile the disciples besought him, saying "Rabbi, eat." But he said to them, "I have food to eat of which you do not know." So the disciples said to one another, "Has anyone brought him food?" Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of him who sent me, and to accomplish his work. Do you not say, 'There are yet four months, then comes the harvest'? I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see how the fields are already white for harvest. He who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. For here the saying holds true, 'One sows and another reaps.' I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor; others have labored, and you have entered into their labor." Many Samaritans from that city believed in him because of the woman's testimony. "He told me all that I ever did." So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them; and he stayed there two days. And many more believed because of his word. They said to the woman, "It is no longer because of your words that we believe, for we have heard ourselves, and we know that this is indeed Christ the Savior of the world."
13:19
May 30, 2021
Conversion is Leaving Behind What Does Not Work for That Which Does: Sunday of the Paralytic
Sunday of the Paralytic: Close to the Sheep's Gate in Jerusalem, there was a pool, which was called the Sheep's Pool. It had round about it five porches, that is, five sets of pillars supporting a domed roof. Under this roof there lay very many sick people with various maladies, awaiting the moving of the water. The first to step in after the troubling of the water was healed immediately of whatever malady he had. It was there that the paralytic of today's Gospel way lying, tormented by his infirmity of thirty-eight years. When Christ beheld him, He asked him, "Wilt thou be made whole?" And he answered with a quiet and meek voice, "Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool." The Lord said unto him, "Rise, take up thy bed, and walk." And straightaway the man was made whole and took up his bed. Walking in the presence of all, he departed rejoicing to his own house. According to the expounders of the Gospels, the Lord Jesus healed this paralytic during the days of the Passover, when He had gone to Jerusalem for the Feast, and dwelt there teaching and working miracles. According to Saint John the Evangelist, this miracle took place on the Sabbath. Kontakion Third Mode I am grievously paralyzed in a multitude of sins and wrongful deeds. As You raised up the paralytic of old, also raise up my soul by Your divine guidance, that I may cry out, "Glory to Your Power O Compassionate Christ."
13:27
May 23, 2021
The MyrrhBearers, the, Discovery of the Opened Tomb & the Glorious Waste of The Expensive Myrrh
Sunday of the Holy Myrrhbearing Women with the Noble Joseph The Myrrh-bearing women are those women who followed the Lord, along with His Mother. They remained with her during the time of the saving Passion, and anointed the Lord's body was with myrrh. Joseph and Nikodemos asked for and received the Lord's body from Pilate. They took it down from the Cross,wrapped it in linen cloths and spices, then they laid it in a tomb, and then they placed a great stone over the entrance of the tomb. According to the Evangelist Matthew (27:57-61) Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Joses (Mark 15:40) were there sitting opposite the sepulchre, and they saw where He had been laid. This other Mary was the Mother of God. Not only were these present, but also many other women, as Saint Luke says (24:10). Today the Church honors Saints Mary Magdalene (July 22), Mary the wife of Cleopas (May 23), Joanna (June 27), Salome, mother of the sons of Zebedee (August 3), Martha and Mary, sisters of Lazarus (June 4), and the Most Holy Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary, who was the stepmother of her husband Joseph’s sons James (October 23) and Joses (October 30). Today we also also remember Saint Joseph of Arimathea (July 31), who was a secret disciple (John 19:38), and Saint Nikodemos, who was a disciple by night (John 3:3; 19:38). The holy right-believing Queen Tamara of Georgia is honored twice during the year: on May 1, the day of her repose, and also on the Sunday of the Myrrh-Bearing Women. On this day the Church also remembers All Saints of Thessalonica, Saint Seraphim Bishop of Phanar (December 4,1610), the New Martyr Elias Ardunis (January 31, 1686), and the New Martyr Demetrios of the Peloponnesos (April 13, 1803).
10:06
May 16, 2021
The Breath of God and the Post-Resurrection Life: Sunday of Thomas 2021
Thomas Sunday May 9 Though the doors were shut at the dwelling where the disciples were gathered for fear of the Jews on the evening of the Sunday after the Passover, our Saviour wondrously entered and stood in their midst, and greeted them with His customary words, "Peace be unto you." Then He showed unto them His hands and feet and side; furthermore, in their presence, He took some fish and a honeycomb and ate before them, and thus assured them of His bodily Resurrection. But Thomas, who was not then present with the others, did not believe their testimony concerning Christ's Resurrection, but said in a decisive manner, "Except I shall see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into His side, I will not believe." Wherefore after eight days, that is, on this day, when the disciples were again gathered together and Thomas was with them, the Lord Jesus came while the doors were shut, as He did formerly. Standing in their midst, He said, "Peace be unto you"; then He said to Thomas, "Bring hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and bring hither thy hand, and thrust it into My side: and be not unbelieving, but believing." And Thomas, beholding and examining carefully the hands and side of the Master, cried out with faith, "My Lord and my God." Thus he clearly proclaimed the two natures - human and divine - of the God-man (Luke 24:36-49; John 20:19-29). This day is called Antipascha (meaning "in the stead of Pascha," not "in opposition to Pascha") because with this day, the first Sunday after Pascha, the Church consecrates every Sunday of the year to the commemoration of Pascha, that is, the Resurrection. Apolytikion Grave Mode Christ our God, You are the Life that dawned from the grave, though the tomb was sealed. Through closed doors You came to the Apostles. You are the Resurrection of all. And, You renewed us through them with an upright spirit, according to Your great mercy. Kontakion Plagal Fourth Mode Thomas examined Your life-giving side with his probing right hand, O Christ our God. As You entered, though the doors were closed, he cried out to You, with the other Apostles "You are my Lord and my God."
10:18
May 9, 2021
Why do we read the life of Saint Mary of Egypt on the 5th Sunday of Lent?
Sunday of St. Mary of Egypt The memory of this Saint is celebrated on April 1, where her life is recorded. Since the end of the holy Forty Days is drawing nigh, it has been appointed for this day also, so that if we think it hard to practice a little abstinence forty days, we might be roused by the heroism of her who fasted in the wilderness forty-seven years; and also that the great loving-kindness of God, and His readiness to receive the repentant, might be demonstrated in very deed. Apolytikion Plagal Fourth Mode The image of God, was faithfully preserved in you, O Mother. For you took up the Cross and followed Christ. By Your actions you taught us to look beyond the flesh for it passes, rather to be concerned about the soul which is immortal. Wherefore, O Holy Mary, your soul rejoices with the angels. Kontakion Third Mode Who once was filled with every carnal sin has become today, through repentance, the bride of Christ. She desired the company of angels. She trampled upon demons with the Cross as her weapon. This is why, O Glorious Mary, you became a Bride of the Kingdom.
13:42
April 18, 2021
“Ascend, My Brother, Ascend!” - 4th Sunday of Lent
Sunday of St. John Climacus The memory of this Saint is celebrated on March 30, where his biography may be found. He is celebrated today because his book, The Ladder of Divine Ascent, is a sure guide to the ascetic life, written by a great man of prayer experienced in all forms of the monastic polity; it teaches the seeker after salvation how to lay a sound foundation for his struggles, how to detect and war against each of the passions, how to avoid the snares laid by the demons, and how to rise from the rudimental virtues to the heights of Godlike love and humility. It is held in such high esteem that it is universally read in its entirety in monasteries during the Great Fast.
13:13
April 11, 2021
The Holy Cross as an Oasis: 3rd Sunday of Lent 2021
The Third Sunday of Lent is that of the Veneration of the Cross. The cross stands in the midst of the church in the middle of the lenten season not merely to remind men of Christ’s redemption and to keep before them the goal of their efforts, but also to be venerated as that reality by which man must live to be saved. “He who does not take up his cross and follow me is not worthy of me” (Mt.10:38). For in the Cross of Christ Crucified lies both “the power of God and the wisdom of God” for those being saved (1 Cor.1:24).
09:12
April 4, 2021
2nd Sunday of Great Lent: St. Gregory Palamas
This divine Father, who was from Asia Minor, was from childhood reared in the royal court of Constantinople, where he was instructed in both religious and secular wisdom. Later, while still a youth, he left the imperial court and struggled in asceticism on Mount Athos, and in the Skete at Beroea. He spent some time in Thessalonica being treated for an illness that came from his harsh manner of life. He was present in Constantinople at the Council that was convened in 1341 against Barlaam of Calabria, and at the Council of 1347 against Acindynus, who was of like mind with Barlaam; Barlaam and Acindynus claimed that the grace of God is created. At both these Councils, the Saint contended courageously for the true dogmas of the Church of Christ, teaching in particular that divine grace is not created, but is the uncreated energies of God which are poured forth throughout creation: otherwise it would be impossible, if grace were created, for man to have genuine communion with the uncreated God. In 1347 he was appointed Metropolitan of Thessalonica. He tended his flock in an apostolic manner for some twelve years, and wrote many books and treatises on the most exalted doctrines of our Faith; and having lived for a total of sixty-three years, he reposed in the Lord in 1359. His holy relics are kept in the Cathedral of Thessalonica. A full service was composed for his feast day by the Patriarch Philotheus in 1368, when it was established that his feast be celebrated on this day. Since works without right faith avail nothing, we set Orthodoxy of faith as the foundation of all that we accomplish during the Fast, by celebrating the Triumph of Orthodoxy the Sunday before, and the great defender of the teachings of the holy Fathers today.
10:10
March 28, 2021
The Judgment that We Need to Set Us Free: Judgment Sunday 2021
Gospel Reading: Matthew 25:31-46 The Lord said, "When the Son of man comes in his glory and all the holy angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will place the sheep at his right hand, but the goats at the left. Then the king will say to those at his right hand, 'Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.' Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?' And the King will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.' Then he will say to those at his left hand, 'Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.' Then they also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?' Then he will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me.' And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."
13:22
March 7, 2021
The Lord and Savior of Those Who Repent: Sunday of the Prodigal Son
Gospel Reading: Luke 15:11-32 The Lord said this parable: "There was a man who had two sons; and the younger of them said to his father, 'Father, give me the share of the property that falls to me.' And he divided his living between them. Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took his journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in loose living. And when he had spent everything, a great famine arose in that country, and he began to be in want. So he went and joined himself to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would gladly have filled his belly with the pods that the swine ate; and no one gave him anything. But when he came to himself he said, 'How many of my father's hired servants have bread enough and to spare, but I perish here with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me as one of your hired servants.' And he arose and came to his father. But while he was yet at a distance, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.' But the father said to his servants, 'Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet; and bring the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and make merry; for this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.' And they began to make merry. Now his elder son was in the field; and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. And he called one of the servants and asked what this meant. And he said to him, 'Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has received him safe and sound.' But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, but he answered his father, 'Lo, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command; yet you never gave me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends. But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your living with harlots, you killed for him the fatted calf!' And he said to him, 'Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. It was fitting to make merry and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.'"
13:54
February 28, 2021
Humility-Fueled Exaltation: The Publican and the Pharisee
From the Orthodox Triodion: The Pharisee thought to drive swiftly in the chariot of the virtues; but the Publican outran him on foot, for he had yoked humility to compassion. www.saintsophias.org Gospel Reading: Luke 18:10-14 The Lord said this parable, "Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.  The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.  I fast twice a week, I give tithes of all that I get.'  But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me a sinner!'  I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted."
09:31
February 21, 2021
The Weightiness, Glory and Wealth of God’s Mercy: The Parable of the Talents
Gospel Reading: Matthew 25:14-30 The Lord said this parable: "A man going on a journey called his servants and entrusted to them his property; to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them; and he made five talents more. So also, he who had the two talents made two talents more. But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master's money. Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, 'Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.' His master said to him, '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.' And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, 'Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.' His master said to him, '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.' He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, 'Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not winnow; so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.' But his master answered him, 'You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sowed, and gather where I have not winnowed? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to every one who has will more be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness; there men will weep and gnash their teeth." As he said these things he cried out: "He who has ears to hear, let him hear!"
13:54
February 8, 2021
The Lord and Lover of Souls: 15th Sunday of Luke
From the Wisdom of Solomon 11:21-26 The God Who Loves Mankind 21 For great power is always present with You, And who can oppose the might of Your arm? 22 Because the entire world before You Is like a small additional weight on scales, And like a drop of dew early in the morning That falls on the ground. 23 But You are merciful to all, for You can do all things; and You overlook the sins of men to bring them to repentance. 24 For You love all the things that exist, and You detest nothing of the things You made; for You would not even make anything You hated. 25 How could anything continue to exist unless You willed it? or how could anything be preserved Unless it was called into existence by You? 26 You spare all things, because they are Yours, O Master who love human beings. Gospel Reading: Luke 19:1-10 At that time, Jesus was passing through Jericho. And there was a man named Zacchaios; he was a chief collector, and rich. And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not, on account of the crowd, because he was small of stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, "Zacchaios, make haste and come down; for I must stay at your house today." So he made haste and came down, and received him joyfully. And when they saw it they all murmured, "He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner." And Zacchaios stood and said to the Lord, "Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have defrauded any one of anything, I restore it fourfold." And Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man came to seek and to save the lost."
12:20
January 31, 2021
The Primal Kyrie Eleison: The Blind Man of Jericho- 14th Sunday of Luke
Gospel Reading: Luke 18:35-43 At that time, as Jesus drew near to Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging; and hearing a multitude going by, he inquired what this meant. They told him, "Jesus of Nazareth is passing by." And he cried, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" And those who were in front rebuked him, telling him to be silent; but he cried out all the more, "Son of David, have mercy on me!" And Jesus stopped, and commanded him to be brought to him; and when he came near, he asked him, "What do you want me to do for you?" He said, "Lord, let me receive my sight." And Jesus said to him, "Receive your sight; your faith has made you well." And immediately he received his sight and followed him, glorifying God; and all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God.
14:48
January 24, 2021
The 10 Lepers: 12th Sunday of Luke 2021
Gospel Reading: Luke 17:12-19 At that time, as Jesus entered a village, he was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance and lifted up their voices and said: "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us." When he saw them he said to them, "Go and show yourselves to the priests." And as they went they were cleansed. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus's feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan. Then said Jesus: "Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?" And he said to him: "Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well."
14:12
January 17, 2021
All is Written: St. Joseph the Betrothed and St Stephen the Protomartyr
Greeks have an expression of faith in God: “Ola einai grammena” or “All is Written.” The accounts of St. Joseph the betrothed and the Virgin Mary taking the Christ child to Egypt… And the martyrdom of Saint Stephen the first martyr are expressions of this idea of “all is written.“
10:40
December 29, 2020
God Said It Would Happen and It Happened: The Genealogy of Jesus Christ
Gospel Reading: Matthew 1:1-25 The book of the Genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Aram, and Aram the father of Amminadab, and Amminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon, and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of David the king. And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah, and Solomon the father of Rehoboam, and Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asa, and Asa the father of Jehoshaphat, and Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah, and Uzziah the father of Jotham, and Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, and Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, and Manasseh the father of Amon, and Amon the father of Josiah, and Josiah the father of Jechoniah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon. And after the deportation to Babylon: Jechoniah was the father of Salathiel, and Salathiel the father of Zerubbabel, and Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, and Abiud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor, and Azor the father of Zadok, and Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eliud, and Eliud the father of Eleazar, and Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ. So all the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations, and from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations, and from the deportation to Babylon to the Christ fourteen generations. Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child of the Holy Spirit; and her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit; she will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins." All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: "Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel" (which means, God with us). When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took his wife, but knew her not until she had borne a son; and he called his name Jesus.
10:22
December 20, 2020
Never Stop Being a Bearer of Good News…10th Sunday of Luke
Epistle Reading: St. Paul's Letter to the Hebrews 13:17-21 Brethren, obey your leaders and submit to them; for they are keeping watch over your souls, as men who will have to give account. Let them do this joyfully, and not sadly, for that would be of no advantage to you. Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a clear conscience, desiring to act honorably in all things. I urge you the more earnestly to do this in order that I may be restored to you the sooner. Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do His will, working in you that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. Gospel Reading: Luke 13:10-17 At that time, Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath. And there was a woman who had a spirit of infirmity for eighteen years; she was bent over and could not fully straighten herself. And when Jesus saw her, he called her and said to her, "Woman, you are freed from your infirmity." And he laid his hands upon her, and immediately she was made straight, and she praised God. But the ruler of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had healed on the sabbath, said to the people, "There are six days on which work ought to be done; come on those days and be healed, and not on the sabbath day." Then the Lord answered him, "You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the manger, and lead it away to water it? And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day?" As he said this, all his adversaries were put to shame; and all the people rejoiced at all the glorious things that were done by him
11:33
December 6, 2020
13th Sunday of Luke 2020: The Rich Ruler
Gospel Reading: Luke 18:18-27 At that time, a ruler came to Jesus and asked him, "Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" And Jesus said to him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: 'Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother.' " And he said, "All these I have observed from my youth." And when Jesus heard it, he said to him, "One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute it to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me." But when he heard this he became sad, for he was very rich. Jesus looking at him said, "How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." Those who heard it said, "Then who can be saved?" But he said, "What is impossible with men is possible with God."
09:24
November 29, 2020
The Parable of the Rich Fool: Hold onto wealth lightly with your fingertips, not with a death grip.
Gospel Reading: 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."
11:03
November 22, 2020
The way of life that leads to eternal life: the “Philosophy” of the Good Samaritan
The way of life of the good Samaritan compared to the priest. The way of the good Samaritan is the way that leads to return all life. The way of the priest/Levite is the way to nowhere.
09:32
November 15, 2020
The Multi-Faceted Ministers of God: Synaxis of the Archangels
The angelic hosts are as much of God‘s creation as the universe, earth, the sun, kangaroos, killer whales, molecules, mountains, you and I. How the angels serve and minister God and help us in our spiritual lives. The angel serve us also very well, but as great as they are, Jesus Christ is superior to the angels.
08:49
November 8, 2020
Lazarus Was Immediately Conscious of Heaven: 5th Sunday of Luke 2020
Jesus tells the facts about heaven and hell. What having “the peace from above” means and the proof that Lazarus had it. Gospel Reading: Luke 16:19-31 The Lord said, "There was a rich man, who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazaros, full of sores, who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man's table; moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham's bosom. The rich man also died and was buried; and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes, and saw Abraham far off and Lazaros in his bosom. And he called out, 'Father Abraham, have mercy upon me, and send Lazaros to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in anguish in this flame.' But Abraham said, 'Son, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazaros in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.' And he said, 'Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father's house, for I have five brothers, so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.' But Abraham said, 'They have Moses, and the prophets; let them hear them.' And he said, 'No, father Abraham; but if some one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.' He said to them, 'If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced if some one should rise from the dead.'"
11:33
November 1, 2020
Let Us Attend: Class 3 “The Great Litany”
The Litany of Peace or Great Litany The people respond with Lord, have mercy, after each petition. Deacon: In peace, let us pray to the Lord. For the peace from above and for the salvation of our souls, let us pray to the Lord. For the peace of the whole world, for the stability of the holy churches of God, and for the unity of all, let us pray to the Lord. For this holy house and for those who enter it with faith, reverence, and the fear of God, let us pray to the Lord. For pious and Orthodox Christians, let us pray to the Lord. For our Archbishop (Name), for the honorable presbyterate, for the diaconate in Christ, and for all the clergy and the people, let us pray to the Lord. For our country, for the president, and for all in public service, let us pray to the Lord. For this city, and for every city and land, and for the faithful who live in them, let us pray to the Lord. For favorable weather, for an abundance of the fruits of the earth, and for peaceful times, let us pray to the Lord. For those who travel by land, sea, and air, for the sick, the suffering, the captives and for their salvation, let us pray to the Lord. For our deliverance from all affliction, wrath, danger, and necessity, let us pray to the Lord. Help us, save us, have mercy on us, and protect us, O God, by Your grace. Deacon: Commemorating our most holy, pure, blessed, and glorious Lady, the Theotokos and ever-virgin Mary, with all the saints, let us commend ourselves and one another and our whole life to Christ our God. People: To You, O Lord.
54:42
October 30, 2020
6th Sunday of Luke: If the Gospel Does Not Come From Christ Himself, It Is a LIE
St. Paul warns the Church in Galatia that the Judaizing Christians were selling lies. The true Gospel comes only from Jesus Christ Himself through whom the ones He appoints and sends Church.
12:12
October 25, 2020
Class: A Journey Through the Divine Liturgy. Class 1. Why Study the Divine Liturgy?
Why Study the Divine Liturgy? TAnswer: To Increase our understanding so to deepen our participation and give higher praise to God. The Origins of the Divine Liturgy.
51:11
October 23, 2020
Class: A Journey Through the Divine Liturgy. Class 2: Blessed is the Kingdom
In this class we will discuss the very beginning of the Divine Liturgy. Program note: class one should be available shortly after some technical glitches are fixed.
49:55
October 23, 2020
St. Luke the Evangelist and Apostle
Gospel Reading: Luke 10:16-21 The Lord said to his disciples, "He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects him who sent me." The seventy returned with joy, saying, "Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!" And he said to them, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I have given you authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing shall hurt you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you; but rejoice that your names are written in heaven." In that same hour he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, "I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will."
08:58
October 18, 2020
Though Some Will “Get It” and Many Will “Not,” Jesus Shares the Word of God Regardless: The Sower
Luke 8:5-15 The Lord said this parable: "A sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some fell along the path, and was trodden under foot, and the birds of the air devoured it. And some fell on the rock; and as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns grew with it and choked it. And some fell into good soil and grew, and yielded a hundredfold." And when his disciples asked him what this parable meant, he said, "To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God; but for others they are in parables, so that seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand. Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. The ones along the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, that they may not believe and be saved. And the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy; but these have no root, they believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away. 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." As he said these things, he cried out "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."
13:42
October 11, 2020
Who Resides in Your Temple? 2nd Sunday of Luke 2020
Epistle Reading: St. Paul's Second Letter to the Corinthians 6:16-18; 7:1 Brethren, you are the temple of the living God; as God said, "I will live in them and move among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Therefore come out from them, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch nothing unclean; then I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty." Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, and make holiness perfect in the fear of God. Gospel Reading: Luke 6:31-36 The Lord said, "As you wish that men would do to you, do so to them. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much again. 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."
12:10
October 4, 2020
Catching Fish versus Catching Men: An Epiphany- 1st Sunday of St. Luke
What Peter saw… Jesus Christ in the flesh! What “fishing of men” means. .
10:13
September 27, 2020
The Crucified Life is the Healthiest Life: An Exercise
What does it mean to take up your cross and follow Christ? Saint John Cassian’ Thought Experiment on Life on the Cross
07:33
September 20, 2020
The Parable of the Wicked Vinedressers - 13th Sunday of Matthew
Matthew 21:33-42 The Lord said this parable, "There was a householder who planted a vineyard, and set a hedge around it, and dug a wine press in it, and built a tower, and let it out to tenants, and went into another country. When the season of fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the tenants, to get his fruit; and the tenants took his servants and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. Again he sent other servants, more than the first; and they did the same to them. Afterward he sent his son to them, saying 'They will respect my son.' But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, 'This is the heir; come, let us kill him and have his inheritance.' And they took him and cast him out of the vineyard and killed him. When therefore the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?" They said to him, "He will put those wretches to a miserable death, and let out the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the fruits in their seasons." Jesus said to them, "Have you never read in the scriptures: 'The very stone which the builders rejected has become the head of the corner; this was the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes?'"
14:45
September 7, 2020
The Rich Young Man and the Necessities to Inherit Eternal Life.
The young rich man went to the right source, Jesus Christ, to ask about inheriting eternal life. Jesus is the model of the “objective good.” Why God gave so many “shall not” statements in his commandments. However, merely following these shell not Commandments is not enough to enter the kingdom of heaven, as good as it are. We must practice radical live through radical self denial as Jesus does.
13:02
August 30, 2020
11th Sunday of Matthew: The Parable the Wicked Servant
Jesus gives a new commandment for his disciples to forgive everybody, all the time, from the heart. One cannot call God “Father” nor live innHeaven if he or she does not forgive others from the heart. Gospel Reading: Matthew 18:23-35 The Lord said this parable: "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. When he began the reckoning, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents; and as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, 'Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.' And out of pity for him the lord of that servant released him and forgave him the debt. But that same servant, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and seizing him by the throat he said, 'Pay what you owe.' So his fellow servant fell down and besought him, 'Have patience with me, and I will pay you.' He refused and went and put him in prison till he should pay the debt. When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place. Then his lord summoned him and said to him, 'You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you besought me; and should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?' And in anger his lord delivered him to the torturers, till he should pay all his debt. So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart."
13:16
August 23, 2020
The Boldness and the Calmness that Comes with Being In Christ’s Presence
Gospel Reading: Matthew 14:22-34 At that time, Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up into the hills by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat by this time was many furlongs distant from the land, beaten by the waves; for the wind was against them. And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, "It is a ghost!" And they cried out for fear. But immediately he spoke to them, saying "Take heart, it is I; have no fear." And Peter answered him, "Lord, if it is you, bid me come to you on the water." He said, "Come." So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus; but when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, "Lord, save me." Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, "O man of little faith, why did you doubt?" And when they entered the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God." And when they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret.
13:16
August 10, 2020
The Absurdity of Factions in a Christian Community
In his epistle, Saint Paul rebukes the 1st Century Corinthian church for its factions and strife. Instead they must be of one mind in Christ. How the multitude at the miracle of the feeding of the 5000 showed that harmony and one mindedness among a people centered on Christ is possible.
14:58
August 2, 2020
St. Paul to Troublemakers: Two Strikes and You’re Out! Sunday of the Holy Fathers 2020
Saint Paul advisors Saint Titus on how to run a properly believing and functioning Christian community.
14:28
July 19, 2020
Once You are Free, Don’t Go Back and Worship Your Chains: 5th Sunday of Matthew
Saint Paul teaches the Romans about the new way of life of Faith in Jesus Christ.
12:42
July 12, 2020
2nd Sunday of Matthew: When Does Salvation Begin? The Call of the Disciples
Epistle Reading: St. Paul's Letter to the Romans 2:10-16 Brethren, glory and honor and peace for every one who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. For God shows no partiality. All who have sinned without the law will also perish without the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law. For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified. When Gentiles who have not the law do by nature what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that what the law requires is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness and their conflicting thoughts accuse or perhaps excuse them on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus. Gospel Reading: Matthew 4:18-23 At that time, as Jesus walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. And he said to them, "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." Immediately they left their nets and followed him. And going on from there he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left their boat and their father, and followed him. And he went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every infirmity among the people.
09:28
June 21, 2020
The Sunday of All Saints 2020
Epistle Reading: St. Paul's Letter to the Hebrews 11:33-40; 12:1-2 Brethren, all the saints through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, received promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched raging fire, escaped the edge of the sword, won strength out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, that they might rise again to a better life. Others suffered mocking and scourging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were killed with the sword; they went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, ill-treated - of whom the world was not worthy - wandering over deserts and mountains and in dens and caves of the earth. And all these, though well attested by their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had foreseen something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect. Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. Gospel Reading: Matthew 10:32-33; 37-38; 19:27-30 The Lord said to his disciples, "Every one who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven; but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny him before my Father who is in heaven. He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and he who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me." Then Peter said in reply, "Lo, we have left everything and followed you. What then shall we have?" Jesus said to them, "Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of man shall sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 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."
09:27
June 14, 2020
Sunday of the Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council
On the seventh Sunday of Pascha, we commemorate the holy God-bearing Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council. The Commemoration of the First Ecumenical Council has been celebrated by the Church of Christ from ancient times. The Lord Jesus Christ left the Church a great promise, “I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Mt. 16:18). Although the Church of Christ on earth will pass through difficult struggles with the Enemy of salvation, it will emerge victorious. The holy martyrs bore witness to the truth of the Savior’s words, enduring suffering and death for confessing Christ, but the persecutor’s sword is shattered by the Cross of Christ. Persecution of Christians ceased during the fourth century, but heresies arose within the Church itself. One of the most pernicious of these heresies was Arianism. Arius, a priest of Alexandria, was a man of immense pride and ambition. In denying the divine nature of Jesus Christ and His equality with God the Father, Arius falsely taught that the Savior is not consubstantial with the Father, but is only a created being. A local Council, convened with Patriarch Alexander of Alexandria presiding, condemned the false teachings of Arius. However, Arius would not submit to the authority of the Church. He wrote to many bishops, denouncing the decrees of the local Council. He spread his false teaching throughout the East, receiving support from certain Eastern bishops. Investigating these dissentions, the holy emperor Constantine (May 21) consulted Bishop Hosius of Cordova (Aug. 27), who assured him that the heresy of Arius was directed against the most fundamental dogma of Christ’s Church, and so he decided to convene an Ecumenical Council. In the year 325, 318 bishops representing Christian Churches from various lands gathered together at Nicea. Among the assembled bishops were many confessors who had suffered during the persecutions, and who bore the marks of torture upon their bodies. Also participating in the Council were several great luminaries of the Church: Saint Nicholas, Archbishop of Myra in Lycia (December 6 and May 9), Saint Spyridon, Bishop of Tremithos (December 12), and others venerated by the Church as holy Fathers. With Patriarch Alexander of Alexandria came his deacon, Athanasius [who later became Patriarch of Alexandria (May 2 and January 18)]. He is called “the Great,” for he was a zealous champion for the purity of Orthodoxy. In the Sixth Ode of the Canon for today’s Feast, he is referred to as “the thirteenth Apostle.” The emperor Constantine presided over the sessions of the Council. In his speech, responding to the welcome by Bishop Eusebius of Caesarea, he said, “God has helped me cast down the impious might of the persecutors, but more distressful for me than any blood spilled in battle is for a soldier, is the internal strife in the Church of God, for it is more ruinous.” Arius, with seventeen bishops among his supporters, remained arrogant, but his teaching was repudiated and he was excommunicated from the Church. In his speech, the holy deacon Athanasius conclusively refuted the blasphemous opinions of Arius. The heresiarch Arius is depicted in iconography sitting on Satan’s knees, or in the mouth of the Beast of the Deep (Rev. 13). The Fathers of the Council declined to accept a Symbol of Faith (Creed) proposed by the Arians. Instead, they affirmed the Orthodox Symbol of Faith. Saint Constantine asked the Council to insert into the text of the Symbol of Faith the word “consubstantial,” which he had heard in the speeches of the bishops. The Fathers of the Council unanimously accepted this suggestion.
08:57
May 31, 2020
Sunday of the Blindman - Matter of Fact Evangelism
Gospel Reading: John 9:1-38 At that time, as Jesus passed by, he saw a man blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" Jesus answered, "It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be made manifest in him. We must work the works of him who sent me, while it is day; night comes, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world." As he said this, he spat on the ground and made clay of the spittle and anointed the man's eyes with the clay, saying to him, "Go, wash in the pool of Siloam" (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing. The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar, said, "Is not this the man who used to sit and beg?" Some said, "It is he"; others said, "No, but he is like him." He said, "I am the man." They said to him, "Then how were your eyes opened?" He answered, "The man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes and said to me, 'Go to Siloam and wash'; so I went and washed and received my sight." They said to him, "Where is he?" He said, "I do not know." They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. Now it was a sabbath day when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes. The Pharisees again asked him how he had received his sight. And he said to them, "He put clay on my eyes and I washed, and I see." Some of the Pharisees said, "This man is not from God, for he does not keep the sabbath." But others said, "How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?" There was a division among them. So they again said to the blind man, "What do you say about him, since he has opened your eyes?" He said, "He is a prophet." The Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight, until they called the parents of the man who had received his sight, and asked them, "Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?" His parents answered, "We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; but how he now sees we do not know, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he is of age, he will speak for himself." His parents said this because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone should confess him to be Christ he was to be put out of the synagogue. Therefore his parents said, "He is of age, ask him." So for the second time they called the man who had been blind, and said to him, "Give God the praise; we know that this man is a sinner." He answered, "Whether he is a sinner, I do not know; one thing I know, that though I was blind, now I see." They said to him, "What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?" He answered them, "I have told you already and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you too want to become his disciples?" And they reviled him, saying, "You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from." The man answered, "Why, this is a marvel! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him. Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing." They answered him, "You were born in utter sin, and would you teach us?" And they cast him out. Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him he said, "Do you believe in the Son of man?" He answered, "And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?" Jesus said to him, "You have seen him, and it is he who speaks to you." He said, "Lord, I believe"; and he worshiped him.
09:43
May 24, 2020
Sunday of the Paralytic - The Paralytic Needed the Savior and the Christian Church
Gospel Reading: John 5:1-15 At that time, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Hebrew called Bethesda which has five porticoes. In these lay a multitude of invalids, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water; for an angel of the Lord went down at certain seasons into the pool, and troubled the water; whoever stepped in first after the troubling of the water was healed of whatever disease he had. One man was there, who had been ill for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him and knew that he had been lying there a long time, he said to him, "Do you want to be healed?" The sick man answered him, "Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is troubled, and while I am going another steps down before me." Jesus said to him, "Rise, take up your pallet, and walk." And at once the man was healed, and he took up his pallet and walked. Now that day was the sabbath. So the Jews said to the man who was cured, "It is the sabbath, it is not lawful for you to carry your pallet." But he answered them, "The man who healed me said to me, 'Take up your pallet, and walk.' "They asked him, "Who is the man who said to you, 'Take up your pallet, and walk'?" Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, as there was a crowd in the place. Afterward, Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, "See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse befall you." The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him.
13:59
May 10, 2020
Evangelist Zero... the Beginning the the Preaching of the Resurrection - Sunday of the Myrrhbearers
Gospel Reading: Mark 15:43-47; 16:1-8 At that time, Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council, who was also himself looking for the kingdom of God, took courage and went to Pilate, and asked for the body of Jesus. And Pilate wondered if he were already dead; and summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he was already dead. And when he learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the body to Joseph. And he bought a linen shroud, and taking him down, wrapped him in the linen shroud, and laid him in a tomb which had been hewn out of the rock; and he rolled a stone against the door of the tomb. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where he was laid. And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week they went to the tomb when the sun had risen. And they were saying to one another, "Who will roll away the stone for us from the door of the tomb?" And looking up, they saw that the stone was rolled back; for it was very large. And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe; and they were amazed. And he said to them, "Do not be amazed; you seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen, he is not here; see the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him, as he told you." And they went out and fled from the tomb; for trembling and astonishment had come upon them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.
11:06
May 3, 2020
2nd Sunday of Pascha - Thomas Sunday
Gospel Reading: John 20:19-31 On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being shut where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them: "Peace be with you." When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you." And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them: "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained." Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him: "We have seen the Lord." But he said to them: "Unless I see in his hands the print of the nails, and place my finger in the mark of the nails, and place my hand in his side, I will not believe." Eight days later, his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. The doors were shut, but Jesus came and stood among them, and said: "Peace be with you." Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side; do not be faithless, but believing." Thomas answered him, "My Lord and my God!" Jesus said to him, "Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe." Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name.
14:47
April 26, 2020
Palm Sunday 2020
Matthew 21:1-11; 15-17 At that time, when Jesus drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, he sent two disciples, saying to them, "Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me. If any one says anything to you, you shall say, 'The Lord has need of them,' and he will send them immediately." This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying, "Tell the daughter of Zion, Behold, your king is coming to you, humble and mounted on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey." The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; they brought the donkey and the colt, and put their garments on them, and he sat thereon. Most of the crowd spread their garments on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. And the crowds that went before him and that followed him shouted, "Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!" And when he entered Jerusalem, all the city was stirred, saying, "Who is this?" And the crowds said, "This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth of Galilee." But when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying out in the temple, "Hosanna to the Son of David!" they were indignant; and they said to him, "Do you hear what they are saying?" And Jesus said to them, "Yes; have you never read, 'Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings, you have brought perfect praise'?" And leaving them, he went out of the city to Bethany and lodged there. Epistle Reading: St. Paul's Letter to the Philippians 4:4-9 BRETHREN, rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let all men know your forbearance. The Lord is at hand. Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, do; and the God of peace will be with you.
10:51
April 12, 2020
5th Sunday of Great Lent
Gospel Reading: Mark 10:32-45 At that time, Jesus took his twelve disciples, and he began to tell them what was to happen to him, saying, "Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man will be delivered to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death, and deliver him to the Gentiles; and they will mock him, and spit upon him, and scourge him, and kill him; and after three days he will rise." And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came forward to him, and said to him, "Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you." And he said to them, "What do you want me to do for you?" And they said to him, "Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory." But Jesus said to them, "You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?" And they said to him, "We are able." And Jesus said to them, "The cup that I drink you will drink; and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized; but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared." And when the ten heard it, they began to be indignant of James and John. And Jesus called them to him and said to them, "You know that those who are supposed to rule over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you; but whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of man also came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."
10:01
April 5, 2020
The Life of St Mary of Egypt
According to St. Sophronios
01:01:30
April 5, 2020
4th Sunday of Great Lent
Epistle Reading: St. Paul's Letter to the Hebrews 6:13-20 BRETHREN, when God made a promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore to himself, saying, "Surely I will bless you and multiply you." And thus Abraham, having patiently endured, obtained the promise. Men indeed swear by a greater than themselves, and in all their disputes an oath is final for confirmation. So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he interposed with an oath, so that through two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible that God should prove false, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to seize the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner shrine behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek. Gospel Reading: Mark 9:17-31 At that time, a man came to Jesus kneeling and saying: "Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a dumb spirit; and wherever it seizes him it dashes him down; and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid; and I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they were not able." And he answered them, "O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to me." And they brought the boy to him; and when the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. And Jesus asked his father, "How long has he had this?" And he said, "From childhood. And it has often cast him into the fire and into the water, to destroy him; but if you can do anything, have pity on us and help us." And Jesus said to him, "If you can! All things are possible to him who believes." Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, "I believe; help my unbelief!" And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, "You dumb and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him, and never enter him again." And after crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse; so that most of them said, "He is dead." But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. And when he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, "Why could we not cast it out?" And he said to them, "This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer and fasting." They went on from there and passed through Galilee. And he would not have any one know it; for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, "The Son of man will be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him; and when he is killed, after three days he will rise."
11:02
March 29, 2020
Annunciation- The Biggest News Headline of All Time
Gospel Reading: Luke 1:24-38 In those days, Elizabeth the wife of Zacharias conceived and for five months she hid herself, saying, "Thus the Lord had done to me in the days when he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men." In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And he came to her and said, "Hail, O favored one, the Lord is with you! Blessed are you among women!" But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there will be no end." And Mary said to the angel, "How shall this be, since I have no husband?" And the angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, your kinswoman Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible." And Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her.
12:02
March 25, 2020
Mid-Lent and the Veneration of the Holy Cross
Gospel Reading: Mark 8:34-38; 9:1 The Lord said: "If anyone wishes to come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it. 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? For whoever is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of man also be ashamed, when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels." And he said to them, "Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God come with power."
07:43
March 23, 2020
2nd Sunday of Lent (from 2018)
Gospel Reading: Mark 2:1-12 At that time, Jesus entered Capernaum and it was reported that he was at home. And many were gathered together, so that there was no longer room for them, not even about the door; and he was preaching the word to them. And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him; and when they had made an opening, they let down the pallet on which the paralytic lay. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "My son, your sins are forgiven." Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, "Why does this man speak thus? It is a blasphemy! Who can forgive sins but God alone?" And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, "Why do you question thus in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Rise, take up your pallet and walk? But that you may know that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins"-he said to the paralytic-"I say to you, rise, take up your pallet and go home." And he rose, and immediately took up the pallet and went out before them all; so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, "We never saw anything like this!"
18:39
March 15, 2020
Affirmations and Curses: Sunday of Orthodoxy
What do we confess as true and curse as lies on the Sunday of Orthodoxy?
09:54
March 9, 2020
Where is Fasting Mentioned in the Bible? Forgiveness Sunday
Gospel Reading: Matthew 6:14-21 The Lord said, "If you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you; but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. "And when you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by men but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."
10:38
March 1, 2020
A Dangerous and High Stakes Gospel Passage- Parable of the Last Judgment
Gospel Reading: Matthew 25:31-46 The Lord said, "When the Son of man comes in his glory and all the holy angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will place the sheep at his right hand, but the goats at the left. Then the king will say to those at his right hand, 'Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.' Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?' And the King will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.' Then he will say to those at his left hand, 'Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.' Then they also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?' Then he will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me.' And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."
15:02
February 23, 2020
The Prodigal Son 2020
Gospel Reading: Luke 15:11-32 The Lord said this parable: "There was a man who had two sons; and the younger of them said to his father, 'Father, give me the share of the property that falls to me.' And he divided his living between them. Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took his journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in loose living. And when he had spent everything, a great famine arose in that country, and he began to be in want. So he went and joined himself to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would gladly have filled his belly with the pods that the swine ate; and no one gave him anything. But when he came to himself he said, 'How many of my father's hired servants have bread enough and to spare, but I perish here with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me as one of your hired servants.' And he arose and came to his father. But while he was yet at a distance, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.' But the father said to his servants, 'Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet; and bring the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and make merry; for this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.' And they began to make merry. Now his elder son was in the field; and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. And he called one of the servants and asked what this meant. And he said to him, 'Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has received him safe and sound.' But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, but he answered his father, 'Lo, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command; yet you never gave me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends. But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your living with harlots, you killed for him the fatted calf!' And he said to him, 'Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. It was fitting to make merry and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.'"
12:53
February 17, 2020
The Publican and the Pharisee- A Shocking Twist to Ancient Christians
Gospel Reading: Luke 18:10-14 The Lord said this parable, "Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week, I give tithes of all that I get.' But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me a sinner!' I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted."
10:03
February 9, 2020
The Glory of God Returns to the Temple: The Presentation of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Temple
Gospel Reading: Luke 2:22-40 At that time, the parents brought the child Jesus up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, "Every male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord") and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, "a pair of turtle doves, or two young pigeons." Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Symeon, and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ. And inspired by the Spirit he came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the law, he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said, "Lord, now let your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel." And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him; and Symeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, "Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that thoughts of many hearts may be revealed." And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher; she was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years from her virginity, and as a widow till she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. And coming up at that very hour she gave thanks to God, and spoke of him to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem. And when they had performed everything according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth. And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.
10:51
February 2, 2020
15th Sunday of Luke- Zacchaios’ Real Conversion back into being a True Son of Abraham
Epistle Reading: St. Paul's First Letter to Timothy 4:9-15 Timothy, my son, the saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance. For to this end we toil and suffer reproach, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe. Command and teach these things. Let no one despise your youth, but set the believers an example in speech and conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. Till I come, attend to the public reading of scripture, to preaching, to teaching. Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophetic utterance when the council of elders laid their hands upon you. Practice these duties, devote yourself to them, so that all may see your progress. Gospel Reading: Luke 19:1-10 At that time, Jesus was passing through Jericho. And there was a man named Zacchaios; he was a chief collector, and rich. And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not, on account of the crowd, because he was small of stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, "Zacchaios, make haste and come down; for I must stay at your house today." So he made haste and came down, and received him joyfully. And when they saw it they all murmured, "He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner." And Zacchaios stood and said to the Lord, "Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have defrauded any one of anything, I restore it fourfold." And Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man came to seek and to save the lost."
13:44
January 26, 2020
12th Sunday of Luke - 100% of all Orthodox Christians Should Imitate the One Leper who Thanked Jesus
Gospel Reading: Luke 17:12-19 At that time, as Jesus entered a village, he was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance and lifted up their voices and said: "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us." When he saw them he said to them, "Go and show yourselves to the priests." And as they went they were cleansed. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus's feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan. Then said Jesus: "Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?" And he said to him: "Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well."
10:48
January 19, 2020
Sunday After Theophany 2020; Independence Day for Mankind
Gospel Reading: Matthew 4:12-17 At that time, when Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew into Galilee; and leaving Nazareth he went and dwelt in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, that what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: "The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, toward the sea, across the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles, the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and for those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned." From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."
11:33
January 13, 2020
Sunday Before Theophany 2020: The Inauguration of the Gospel... And the Race to the Finish Line
Epistle Reading: St. Paul's Second Letter to Timothy 4:5-8 TIMOTHY, my son, always be steady, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfil your ministry. For I am already on the point of being sacrificed; the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing. Gospel Reading: Mark 1:1-8 The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As it is written in the prophets, 'Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who shall prepare your way; the voice of one crying in the wilderness: prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.' John was baptizing in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And there went out to him all the country of Judea, and all the people of Jerusalem; and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel's hair, and had a leather girdle around his waist, and ate locusts and wild honey. And he preached, saying, "After me comes he who is mightier than I, the thong of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit."
12:38
January 5, 2020
The Sunday After the Nativity: The Holy Family’s Flight to Egypt. Herod versus Joseph: Who Wins?
Gospel Reading: Matthew 2:13-23 When the wise men departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, "Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there till I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him." And he rose and took the child and his mother by night, and departed to Egypt, and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, "Out of Egypt have I called my son." Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, was in a furious rage, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time which he had ascertained from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah: "A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be consoled, because they were no more." But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, "Rise, take the child and his mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child's life are dead." And he rose and took the child and his mother, and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaos reigned over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there, and being warned in a dream he withdrew to the district of Galilee. And he went and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled, "He shall be called a Nazarene."
12:14
December 29, 2019
Sunday Before the Nativity- The Genealogy of Jesus Christ
It is the central tenet of orthodox Christianity that Jesus is God become flesh. The genealogy of Christ found in the Gospels of Saint Luke and Saint Matthew or further claims of this truth. God condescends to enter the chaos and the squalor of mankind In order to redeem us.
09:19
December 22, 2019
11th Sunday of Luke- The Parable of the Banquet
Gospel Reading: Luke 14:16-24 The Lord said this parable: "A man once gave a great banquet, and invited many; and at the time of the banquet he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, 'Come; for all is now ready.' But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, 'I have bought a field, and I go out and see it; I pray you, have me excused.' And another said, 'I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I must go to examine them; I pray you, have me excused.' And another said, 'I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.' So the servant came and reported this to his master. Then the householder in anger said to his servant, 'Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and maimed and blind and lame.' And the servant said, 'Sir, what you commanded has been done, and there is still room.' And the master said to the servant, 'Go out to the highways and hedges, and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled. For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet. For many are called, but few are chosen.'"
09:39
December 15, 2019
10th Sunday of Luke 2019
Gospel Reading: Luke 13:10-17 At that time, Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath. And there was a woman who had a spirit of infirmity for eighteen years; she was bent over and could not fully straighten herself. And when Jesus saw her, he called her and said to her, "Woman, you are freed from your infirmity." And he laid his hands upon her, and immediately she was made straight, and she praised God. But the ruler of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had healed on the sabbath, said to the people, "There are six days on which work ought to be done; come on those days and be healed, and not on the sabbath day." Then the Lord answered him, "You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the manger, and lead it away to water it? And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day?" As he said this, all his adversaries were put to shame; and all the people rejoiced at all the glorious things that were done by him.
07:29
December 8, 2019
14th Sunday of Luke- Salvation Is a Way of Life; The Blind Man Bartimeus
Epistle Reading: St. Paul's Letter to the Ephesians 2:14-22 Brethren, Christ is our peace, who has made us both one, and has broken down the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law of commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby bringing the hostility to an end. And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; for through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built into it for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit. Gospel Reading: Luke 18:35-43 At that time, as Jesus drew near to Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging; and hearing a multitude going by, he inquired what this meant. They told him, "Jesus of Nazareth is passing by." And he cried, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" And those who were in front rebuked him, telling him to be silent; but he cried out all the more, "Son of David, have mercy on me!" And Jesus stopped, and commanded him to be brought to him; and when he came near, he asked him, "What do you want me to do for you?" He said, "Lord, let me receive my sight." And Jesus said to him, "Receive your sight; your faith has made you well." And immediately he received his sight and followed him, glorifying God; and all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God.
11:23
December 1, 2019
13th Sunday of Luke 2019
The authentic life according to Orthodox Christian theology
08:43
November 27, 2019
9th Sunday of Luke - Good Guiding Principles
The parable of the rich fool. Jesus says for us “to be rich towards God.” This is a good guiding principle to guide our lives.
11:33
November 18, 2019
8th Sunday of Luke - Doing Mercy, Not Thinking Mercy - The Parable of the Good Samaritan
Epistle Reading: St. Paul's Letter to the Galatians 2:16-20 Brethren, knowing that a man is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ, and not by works of the law, because by works of the law shall no one be justified. But if, in our endeavor to be justified in Christ, we ourselves were found to be sinners, is Christ then an agent of sin? Certainly not! But if I build up again those things which I tore down, then I prove myself a transgressor. For I through the law died to the law, that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Gospel Reading: Luke 10:25-37 At that time, a lawyer stood up to put Jesus to the test, saying, "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" He said to him, "What is written in the law? How do you read?" And he answered, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself." And he said to him, "You have answered right; do this, and you will live." But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?" Jesus replied, "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him, and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was; and when he saw him, he had compassion, and went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; then he set him on his own beast and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, 'Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.' Which of these three, do you think, proved neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?" He said, "The one who showed mercy on him." And Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise."
12:25
November 10, 2019
7th Sunday of Luke- Thorns in the Flesh and Other Problems Only God Can Solve
How and why Saint Paul boasted in his weaknesses rather than in his great visions. The woman with the hemorrhage of blood and the healing of Jairus’ daughter.
13:02
October 27, 2019
6th Sunday of Luke 2019: Soothing Medicine in a Corrosive Culture
We live in a corrosive culture. How the Orthodox Church provides soothing medicine to heal against what burns.
14:16
October 21, 2019
4th Sunday of Luke- The Parable of the Sower
The Parable from a different perspective. How one person can be different types of “soils” throughout their lives. The etymology of the word “peace” in Greek “eirini.” Gospel Reading: Luke 8:5-15 The Lord said this parable: "A sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some fell along the path, and was trodden under foot, and the birds of the air devoured it. And some fell on the rock; and as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns grew with it and choked it. And some fell into good soil and grew, and yielded a hundredfold." And when his disciples asked him what this parable meant, he said, "To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God; but for others they are in parables, so that seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand. Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. The ones along the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, that they may not believe and be saved. And the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy; but these have no root, they believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away. 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." As he said these things, he cried out "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."
09:01
October 13, 2019
3rd Sunday of Luke: The Widow of Nain and the Emergency Nature of the Gospel
St Paul speaks about the “Acceptable Time” of preaching the Gospel and the urgency with which apostles preach the good news. The urgency to preach the good news of Jesus Christ in the Orthodox Funeral service. Jesus, like a first responder, runs straight to the crisis of his beloved mankind.
19:55
October 6, 2019
2nd Sunday of Luke - Loving Your Enemies as the Citizenship Test for The Heavenly Kingdom
Jesus gives new commandments to His disciples to love their enemies, lend without expecting anything in return, and to be merciful as God is merciful. The impossibility of following these commandments unless we imitate Jesus Himself and depend on His Power and grace. How you can fulfill the commanded by at least hating your enemies a little bit less every day.
12:07
September 29, 2019
Sunday After the Elevation of the Holy Cross- The Logo of the Cross
How the Cross is the “Logo” of the Orthodox Church that speaks to the world. The subtleties of the Orthodox icon of the Crucifixion explained.
13:31
September 15, 2019
Church New Year: Living in the “Acceptable Year of the Lord”
What is the “Indiction”? Why does the Orthodox Church New Year begin on September 1st? Jesus begins his mission in Nazareth with the controversial teaching that He fulfills the words of the prophets. The Greek versus the Christian view of time. For Orthodox Christians, the liturgical year immerses the Faithful in the “Acceptable Tear of the Lord.”
11:29
September 2, 2019
10th Sunday of Matthew - Prayer, Fasting and “The One True Thing”
Jesus gives His disciples the exact reason for their inability to heal a demon possessed boy: Their lack of faith. In other words, their connection with their Lord was lacking.... they neglected sitting at the Lord’s feet to learn and to be trained as His disciples.
10:57
August 25, 2019
9th Sunday of Matthew: Jesus Walks on Water
Why are Orthodox Christians and Their Churches so “Serious”?
14:21
August 18, 2019
8th Sunday of Matthew: You Do Not Have to Be the Smartest Guy in the Room to Be a True Christian....
You Do Not Have to Be the Smartest Guy in the Room to Be an Orthodox Christian.... Just Believe in and Live By the Power and Wisdom of God Revealed in Christ Crucified
11:32
August 11, 2019
Holy Transfiguration: What the Church Sings About the Transfiguration of Our Lord
Holy Transfiguration: What the Church Sings About the Transfiguration of Our Lord
05:09
August 6, 2019
7th Sunday of Matthew/ The Two Blind Men Healed By Jesus as a model of Discipleship
The Two Blind Men Healed By Jesus as a model of Discipleship.
12:15
August 5, 2019
6th Sunday of Matthew 2019 - Jesus’ Authority to Forgive Our Sins
Through three miracles Jesus reveals that he has the authority to forgive sins. His whole life work and ministry is to forgive sins.
10:59
July 28, 2019
3rd Sunday of Matthew: “The Eye is the Lamp of the Soul”... The Simple versus the Evil “Eye”
The word for “anxiety” in Greek means much more that just “anxious.” How a “sound” eye differs from an “unsound” eye.
10:18
July 7, 2019
Sanctified by God Through Endurance: Sunday of All Saints
God sanctifies His saints through their endurance. What does holy “endurance” look like? What can putting up with aggravating people and circumstances do for the Christian? Endurance and patience defines the Christian.
10:41
June 24, 2019
Holy Pentecost and the The Same Minded Church.
Two aspects of Pentecost. 1) At Pentecost, the Holy Spirit descended on the Church that met “with one mind.” 2) Old Testament Pentecost and how it relates to the Christian Pentecost.
07:39
June 16, 2019
Theology that Bestows Eternal Life- Sunday of the Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council.
True theology bestows eternal life. The foundation of our life-giving Orthodox Church. Every once in a while we need a theological tuneup. How the Orthodox Church interprets holy scripture.
14:20
June 9, 2019
Beyond a Shadow of a Doubt: Jesus is God - 6th Sunday of Pascha - The Man Born Blind -
The Pharisees “prosecute” Jesus on the grounds that he is a blasphemer. From the Pharisees’ perspective that prosecution goes horribly wrong. Through the divine miracle of healing a man born with no eyes, by fashioning eyes for him, Jesus reveals that His teachings of His divine origin are true. The guileless man born blind is a key witness to Jesus’ divinity.
13:39
June 2, 2019
God Thirsts for Mankind... Sunday of the Samaritan Woman
The passage on the Samaritan Woman at Jacob’s Well shows that before a man or woman thirsts for God, God thirsts for man.
15:01
May 26, 2019
Sunday of the Paralytic 2019
The Pool at Bethesda gathered a hopeful people as a “proto-Church.” Why is this seemingly non resurrectional Gospel passage placed during the Paschal season? Jesus’ miracles pointed and prepared men and women for His Holy Resurrection. The risen Christ fulfills all miracles.
12:34
May 20, 2019
Sunday of the Myrrh Bearing Women 2019
We Orthodox celebrate the Resurrection as a 40+ fay season so to make the Paschal spirit a way of life. The sublime service of the Myrrh Bearing Women. Why we celebrate the Resurrection at exactly midnight. The Holy Fire of Jerusalem.
12:43
May 12, 2019
Sunday of Thomas 2019
Faith in the resurrection of Jesus Christ is the hinge upon which everything turns. Faith in the resurrection is an all or nothing proposition… Either Jesus has risen from the dead and we are saved or he has not and we remain in our sins. Orthodox Christianity teaches that Christ is risen From the dead end by his death has trampled down death and to those in the tombs He is bestowing life!
10:22
May 5, 2019
Holy Friday Lamentations
Holy Friday Lamentations
10:51
April 30, 2019
Palm Sunday 2019 - Out of the Mouths of Babes Shall Come Pure Praise
Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem was a movement of children. We must become like children to recognize and worship God in spirit and truth.
14:08
April 22, 2019
From Bad Childhood to the Good Life with Christ: St. Mary of Egypt
Many of us struggle with overcoming our pasts. The story of St. Mary of Egypt is one of a bad early life that led to a good adult life. She struggled, with the power of Christ and mentorship of the Theotokos, to create a new life of constant repentance. Her story of repentance is so powerful, that the Orthodox Church lifts up her life story on the Fifth Sunday of Lent as an example to remember and imitate in our own struggle of repentance that leads to a good life with Christ.
11:18
April 15, 2019
4th Sunday of Great Lent- St. John Climacus and The Ladder of Divine Ascent
An explanation of the the Icon of the Ladder of Divine Ascent.
14:04
April 8, 2019
Mid Lent 2019: The Timely and Well Needed Consolation of the Cross if Christ
The Church Fathers designed this Sunday’s Mid Lent adoration of the Holy Cross to be a consolation and and inspiration to those who are struggling to repent.
12:44
April 1, 2019
Sunday of Orthodoxy 2019 - The Solid Foundation of the Orthodox Christian Faith
We are blessed to be Orthodox Christians because it is a faith based on the teachings of Jesus Christ, His Disciples, Apostles and saints.  Icons are not "idols" because while idols depict figments of imagination, icons depict reality... the reality that Jesus Christ is fully God and man, God among us.  The difference between "ancestor worship" and the true veneration/honor of saints.  We are blessed because it is in the Orthodox Church that God meets His People, and His People meet their God.
08:27
March 19, 2019
Forgiveness Sunday - The Eviction of Adam from Paradise
Great Lent is the great search for the "normal life" found only in Christ.  What the Church sings about this Sunday's them of the Exile of Adam from Paradise.  Why did Adam cry the most bitter tears of all mankind?  The true treasure found in waking with God versus the pseudo-treasure that Satan uses to deceive us.  How a priest's number one job is to convince everyone that we are already rich in Christ.  Lent is the willful entering into a "spiritual desert" in order to strip away all the secondary and tertiary things in our lives so that the essential things can appear to us. 
12:21
March 12, 2019
Meatfare Sunday - The Parable of the Last Judgment
Judgment is paradoxically and mysteriously part of the Good News. Orthodox Christians are called to revere God’s judgment.
09:54
March 4, 2019
Sunday of the Prodigal Son 2019
How the Christian Parable of the Prodigal Son differs from the Buddhist Parable of the Prodigal Son.
10:24
February 28, 2019
St. Paul, the Apostolic Lifestyle and St. Haralambos
St. Paul addresses the Apostle Timothy on how to be an apostle:  Learn what the Church teaches.  Teach competent people to teach the Gospel.  Be soldier-like in your discipline in doing the work of spreading the Gospel.  The example of St. Haralambos.
15:28
February 13, 2019
16th Sunday of Matthew - Parable of the Talents
The Context of the parable.  What do the symbols of the Parable of the Talents teach us?  How did two servants double their "investment"?  Why did the one foolish servant  completely fail?  
13:44
February 5, 2019
15th Sunday of Luke - How to Listen to a Sermon - Zacchaios the Tax Collector
Zacchaios is a model of how to hear and respond to the Word of God.  What really pleases God: our fellowship with Him.  
12:48
February 5, 2019
12th Sunday of Luke - The Healing of the Ten Lepers - Repentance, Simply Put
Our Lord God is good and compassionate.  We should never fear to return to Him.  We have a God we can admire and love.  Gratitude is the reason for the Liturgy.  This morning's Gospel passage shows that Repentance is about Two things: 1) Realizing that Jesus is God and has done great things for us, and 2) Return physically to His presence to give thanks.  Like the one grateful healed leper, return to Jesus to give thank... making plans to return to be in His physical presence.  For Orthodox Christians, this place is in the Church, the Body of Christ, Sunday mornings for Divine Liturgy.  
11:11
January 22, 2019
Sunday After the Theophany - The Inauguration of Jesus' Preaching Ministry
Why do Orthodox Christians call Jesus "the Word"?  After His Baptism, Jesus begins his preaching ministry.  Jesus saves by words and teachings.  He regenerates men's lives by teaching and persuasion.  Even his miracles Jesus meant to draw people to his teachings.  Jesus' preaching ministry has never ended and never will end, but continues through the ministry of the Church.
11:28
January 13, 2019
The Sunday Before the Nativity - The Geneaology of Christ
The Genealogy of Our Lord. Why the Orthodox Church still reads this passage just before the Christmas Feast. Jesus descends from a real family, warts and all. The Genealogy is a type of creed, a statement of faith.
07:33
December 26, 2018
11th Sunday of Luke - Parable of the Great Banquet - Don't Fall in Love with Exile
Jesus gives a parable about worldly entanglements and lame excuses. We live in a land of exile while anticipating the Heavenly Kingdom promised by Jesus Christ. Jesus entered the land of exile in which we live to draw us to paradise. Do not fall in love with exile. How should Christians live in exile?
12:04
December 18, 2018
10th Sunday of Luke - Jesus Heals a Woman on the Sabbath - The Liturgy as True Sabbath Rest
Jesus does not "work" on the Sabbath when He healed the woman, but did what God does: He cared for His Creation. God created the Sabbath so that we would remember that He liberates His people from Slavery and that it is the Lord Who makes us "holy." The Divine Liturgy is a call to holy rest.
11:08
December 11, 2018
14th Sunday of Luke - The Blind Man of Jericho
Bartimeaus, the blind beggar healed by Jesus, shows what pure prayer is like. Jesus heard his pure prayer. The blind man shows us that the model of evangelism is simple: share your story of what Jesus has done for you. Spreading good news bears fruit, as seen in how the blind man's story prepared Zaccheus the tax collector to repent before Jesus.
14:28
December 5, 2018
13th Sunday of Luke - The Rich Ruler
The concept of "a camel going through the eye of a need" as a metaphor for detachment from the world and a maturing faith. The portal to heaven is a narrow door... but Jesus is "THE Door." Why Jesus objected to being called "Good teacher." Did the ruler consider himself "righteous" because of his accumulated wealth? Did he consider that heaven was guaranteed for him?
12:40
November 27, 2018
9th Sunday of Luke - Parable of the Rich Fool
The Old Testament context of this parable. How the "Prosperity Gospel" fails when we look at the life and teachings of Christ and His Saints. St. Paul calls Christians to live a "worthy life" in Christ. The Law of Moses was meant to gather a stiff-necked, childish people to make them His "People" awaiting the coming of the Messiah.
14:02
November 20, 2018
The 8th Sunday of Luke - The Good Samaritan is Christ
The Good Samaritan is an icon of Jesus Christ. One who understands this parable will understand the mystery of the Incarnation and the true path to salvation.
10:02
November 13, 2018
The 7th Sunday of Luke - The Raising of Jairus' Daughter - The Woman with the Flow of Blood
What a Shock! God's Power and Grace Radically Heals Those Who Stand In Christ's Presence with Faith. Orthodox Christians understand natural phenomena, but use this understanding to be humble and grow closer to God.
14:54
October 30, 2018
The Parable of the Sower and the Responsibility of Us All to Cultivate Our Own Hearts
Homily on the 4th Sunday of Luke. Parable of the Sower. While Jesus provides everything for us, he cannot cultivate hearts for us. Because Jesus respects our free will, he leaves it to each of us to cultivate our spiritual lives.
12:24
October 26, 2018
The Gadarene Demoniac - Fearing God Makes the Devil Afraid of You - 6th Sunday of Luke
The very first episode of Saint Sophia Greek Orthodox Church of Bellingham, WA!
10:20
October 25, 2018