Friday, May 29, 2015

If you thirst for God, you will be satisfied

“On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’" (John 7.37-38) The response from those gathered in the Temple was not surprising. Many said, “Truly this is the Prophet!” (John 7.40) Unfortunately others were not convinced. Many within the Jewish elite, the respected leaders of the community, instead of thirsting for God, thirsted instead for their own power and authority.  “Then the Pharisees answered them, ‘Are you also deceived? Have any of the rulers or the Pharisees believed in Him? But this crowd that does not know the law is accursed.’" (John 7.47-49)

Each of us must determine for ourselves whether we thirst for God, or whether we seek our own power and authority. If we thirst for God, only then will our thirst be quenched and we will be satisfied. If we thirst for power and authority, then anyone and everyone who has either becomes our enemy, and our thirst will never be satisfied.

The Holy Apostles taught, “There are two ways, one of life and one of death; but a great difference between the two ways.” (Didache) The way of death is constantly being thirsty but never having enough water to drink, while the way of life is nurtured by the Holy Spirit and a river of cool refreshing water gushes from our heart for all eternity. 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Season Finale! Tonight @ 7pm LIVE STREAM Bible Study

Monday, May 25, 2015

The Church - Protector and Shepherd

Before ascending to His Throne, Jesus commanded the Apostles to remain in Jerusalem to await the Holy Spirit. Before departing for his trial, Saint Paul warned the Church that wolves would come to attack the Church, some even from within. Ever since, we have been waiting for the return of Christ, comforted and shepherded by the Holy Spirit, while protected by His Church. But we cannot be shepherded if we insist on ignoring the Church and wandering away from her wings. The Church, guided by the Holy Spirit, protects us from the wolves while leading us to heaven. We must be vigilant against the attack of the wolves, and learn to recognize when someone is teaching against the Church. At those moments we must run to the Church for protection.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Have You Glorified God with Your Works?

Shortly before Jesus ascended the Cross and endured His Holy Passion, He offered God what the Church refers to as the High Priestly Prayer. “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You....I have glorified You on earth. I have finished the work You have given Me to do.” (John 12.1,4) Every moment of His life Jesus glorified God in every work He accomplished. On the Seventh Sunday of Pascha, the Church remembers these words as we prepare to celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit into the world on Pentecost. It should serve as a reminder of what is important in life.

Each of us has been given a time on earth – some long, some short – to glorify God in our work. For some it seems so long ago that we gathered in the dark Church to receive the Light of Christ and sing Christ is Risen! Because of the Feast of Feasts, and Christ defeat of death, our lives will never be the same. We have been given another chance by God to live in communion with Him.

Jesus continues, “I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world.” (John 17.6) Have you manifested His name to others? Have you assisted others to know who Jesus Christ is? Have you made the reality of God’s presence known to those you meet during the day? Have you been a living icon of Jesus to the strangers whom you meet at work or the mall? These are a few simple ways to glorify God with your works. That’s how He did it, and so can you.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Holy Motherhood

Mothers’ Day is a day to honor our mothers, those holy women who gave us life. This week’s episode of Be Transfigured in dedicated to honoring Holy Motherhood. Holy Motherhood is different than birds caring for chicks in their nests. Holy Motherhood doesn’t end with mere physical labor. Holy Motherhood includes bringing us to know Jesus Christ. Holy Motherhood teaches us to open our hearts to Him, and allow His warmth and love to heal our hearts and bring us into repentance. Holy Motherhood is what makes us children of God rather than animals.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Honoring Motherhood

Each year on Mothers’ Day, we honor the women who bring life into the world. These women, our mothers, sisters, daughters, cousins, and friends possess a unique and God-given power to become co-creators with Him and bring all human life into the world. Without motherhood, we would be lost. Without motherhood, we would not know love. Through the God-given stewardship of motherhood and by example, our mothers teach us to love one another, to sacrifice for each other, to serve each other, and the greatest lesson of all – to love and serve the Lord. It is not surprise that we honor them with a special day set aside in the calendar, so that they know we love and appreciate them.

Of course the example par excellence of motherhood is the Panagia herself. The Mother of God, in her love, dedication and obedience to God, brought Life into the world, so that the entire world could live eternally with God. The Mother of God, serving as our Mother, inspires us to a deep love relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. As the icon above the Holy Altar in almost every Orthodox Church throughout the world reveals, she has enthroned God upon her heart, and with open arms she invites us to do the same. The Panagia, like all dedicated and loving mothers brings us to the Lord.

On the Fifth Sunday of Pascha the Church honors another woman who brought an entire city to know Christ. Saint Photini, the Samaritan Woman at the well, met Jesus and ran to town calling, “"Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?" (John 4.29) The love and devotion to Christ of Saint Photini resulted in an entire city coming to know Jesus Christ.

Look around and see the dedicated and loving women in your life who have allowed you to see Christ. And now....join with and honor them as icons of blessed motherhood.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Behold The Man and Be Made Well

Many years before an unknown paralytic was healed by Jesus Christ, God told us through His Prophets that He would provide a Man who would arise from below the horizon to save us. On the Fourth Sunday of Pascha, the Church reminds us, through the Gospel of John that God has always planned to save those of us patient enough to endure until He comes. He came, He died and was buried, but He rose from the dead, and life rules eternally. And now...we can be healed.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Behold the Man?

In the Gospel for the Fourth Sunday of Pascha, the Sunday of the Paralytic, we hear the story of a man who for thirty-eight years had “no man” to heal him. Year after year he sat by the Pool of Bethesda waiting for someone to help put him into the water, but while he was still crawling another would climb in before him. This continued for thirty-eight years. Until one day Jesus came walking by.

“He said to him, ‘Do you want to be made well?’ The sick man answered Him, ‘Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.’” (John 5.6-7) The man was alone for so many years, he had given up hope for help, and each time the water was stirred up, he would begin dragging himself toward the pool. He was too late. But things were about to change.

Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” (John 5.8) He didn’t need to drag himself into the water. He didn’t have to worry about whether or not someone else would be healed before him. He finally had what he had been waiting for. He finally had “A Man” to help him, Jesus Christ the Messiah IS “The Man” he was waiting for.

Behold the Man; there are only three times in Scripture this expression is used.
  • “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil.” (Genesis 3.22) when Adam fell to temptation in the Garden.
  • “Behold the man, Orient is His name, and He shall build the house of the Lord,” (Zechariah 6.12) to announce the promise of the Messiah.
  • “Behold the man.” (John 19.5) when Pilate announced to the world that Jesus was going to die.