Saint Paul teaches us, “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, to show that the transcendent power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For while we live we are always being given up to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh.” (2 Corinthians 4.7-11)
Friday, September 30, 2016
Wednesday, September 28, 2016
Today’s Gospel Reading: Luke 6:17-23 (RSV) - At that time, Jesus stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured. And all the crowd sought to touch him, for power came forth from him and healed them all. And he lifted up his eyes on His disciples, and said: "Blessed are you poor, for yours is the Kingdom of God. Blessed are you that hunger now, for you shall be satisfied. Blessed are you that weep now, for you shall laugh. Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you and revile you, and cast out your name as evil, on account of the Son of man! Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven."
God could have been a distant all-powerful God casting judgment down from His Throne in heaven, but instead chose to enter into creation so we could have a true and physical encounter with God. His desire for our healing, sometimes expressed in physical miracles, ultimately requires our willingness to approach Him and touch Him to be healed from everything.
Tuesday, September 27, 2016
Priest: Through the prayers of our holy fathers, Lord Jesus Christ, our God, have mercy on us and save us.
Monday, September 26, 2016
calls us to reach out of our comfort zone and trust that He knows our abilities
and has our best interest in His mind. At those moments, it doesn’t do us any
benefit to look back at our failures but ahead to God’s glory and promise for a
blessed future. Too often our fears and lack of confidence take control and we
refuse to trust that God indeed knows what He is doing.
Sunday, September 25, 2016
Saturday, September 24, 2016
Gospel Reading: Luke 5:12-16 (RSV) - At that time, Jesus was in one of the cities, there came a man full of leprosy; and when he saw Jesus, he fell on his face and besought him, "Lord, if you will, you can make me clean." And he stretched out his hand, and touched him, saying, "I will; be clean." And immediately the leprosy left him. And he charged him to tell no one; but "go and show yourself to the priest, and make an offering for your cleansing, as Moses commanded, for a proof to the people." But so much the more the report went abroad concerning him; and great multitudes gathered to hear and to be healed of their infirmities. But he withdrew to the wilderness and prayed.
- Saying your prayers this evening and tomorrow morning
- Preparing to receive Holy Communion
- Arriving at Church ON TIME
- Making an offering to the Church
- Receiving Holy Communion
- Fully engaging the prayers of the Divine Liturgy
- Light a candle
- Say a prayer of thanks
- Make an offering to the Church
Friday, September 23, 2016
Gospel Reading: Luke 1:5-25 (RSV) - In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah; and he had a wife of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in years. Now while he was serving as priest before God when his division was on duty, according to the custom of the priesthood, it fell to him by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense. And the whole multitude of the people were praying outside at the hour of incense. And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And Zacharias was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said to him, "Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth; for he will be great before the Lord, and he shall drink no wine nor strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb. And he will turn many of the sons of Israel to the Lord their God, and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared." And Zacharias said to the angel, "How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years." And the angel answered him, "I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God; and I was sent to speak to you, and to bring you this good news. And behold, you will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things come to pass, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time." And the people were waiting for Zacharias, and they wondered at his delay in the temple. And when he came out, he could not speak to them, and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple; and he made signs to them and remained dumb. And when his time of service was ended, he went to his home. After these days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she hid herself, saying, "Thus the Lord has done to me in the days when he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men."
Thursday, September 22, 2016
Gospel Reading: Luke 4:16-22 (RSV) - At that time, Jesus came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up; and he went to the synagogue, as his custom was, on the Sabbath day. And he stood up to read; and there was given to him the book of the prophet Isaiah. He opened the book and found the place where it was written, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord." And he closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant, and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. And he began to say to them, "Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing." And all spoke well of him, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth.
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Wednesday, September 21, 2016
"I know some of the Jewish / Christian feasts and their differences. I am no familiar with the Jewish Pentecost vs the Christian Pentecost. Could you explain?
Epistle Reading: St. Paul's Second Letter to the Corinthians 13:3-13 (RSV) BRETHREN, since you desire proof that Christ is speaking in me, he is not weak in dealing with you, but is powerful in you. For he was crucified in weakness, but lives by the power of God. For we are weak in him, but in dealing with you we shall live with him by the power of God. Examine yourselves, to see whether you are holding to your faith. Test yourselves. Do you not realize that Jesus Christ is in you? - unless indeed you fail to meet the test! I hope you will find out that we have not failed. But we pray God that you may not do wrong - not that we may appear to have met the test, but that you may do what is right, though we may seem to have failed. For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth. For we are glad when we are weak and you are strong. What we pray for is your improvement. I write this while I am away from you, in order that when I come I may not have to be severe in my use of the authority which the Lord has given me for building up and not for tearing down. Finally, brethren, farewell. Mend your ways, heed my appeal, agree with one another, live in peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you. Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the saints greet you. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.
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Tuesday, September 20, 2016
The Lord said to his disciples, "Beware of men who will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name's sake. This will be a time for you to bear testimony. Settle it therefore in your minds, not to meditate beforehand how to answer; for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict. You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and kinsmen and friends, and some of you they will put to death; you will be hated by all for my name's sake. But not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your lives."
Monday, September 19, 2016
Sunday, September 18, 2016
Saturday, September 17, 2016
I'm sorry but when I am reminded of these heart-wrenching stories, I can't accept the "but I want my kids to have a normal life" excuse to why they do not fast or attend Church services.
Sophia & her three daughters: Faith, Hope, and Love
These Saints were from Italy and contested for the Faith about the year 126, during the reign of the Emperor Hadrian. Faith was twelve years old, Hope, ten, and Love, nine; each was tormented and then beheaded, from the eldest to the youngest. Their mother Sophia mourned at their grave for three days, where she also fell asleep in peace; because of her courageous endurance in the face of her daughters' sufferings, she is also counted a martyr. The name Sophia means "wisdom" in Greek; as for her daughters' names, Faith, Hope, and Love (Charity), they are Pistis, Elpis, and Agape in Greek, and Vera, Nadezhda, and Lyubov in Russian.
Friday, September 16, 2016
Consider today’s Gospel Reading - Gospel Reading: Luke 7:36-50 (RSV) At that time, one of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee's house, and took his place at table. And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was at table in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw it, he said to himself, "If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner." And Jesus answering said to him, "Simon, I have something to say to you." And he answered, "What is it, Teacher?" "A certain creditor had two debtors; one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they could not pay, he forgave them both. Now which of them will love him more?" Simon answered, "The one, I suppose, to whom he forgave more." And he said to him, "You have judged rightly." Then turning toward the woman he said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? I entered your house, you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little." And he said to her, "Your sins are forgiven." Then those who were at table with him began to say among themselves, "Who is this, who even forgives sins?" And he said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace."
Wednesday, September 14, 2016
Monday, September 12, 2016
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Sunday, September 11, 2016
Saturday, September 10, 2016
Gospel Reading: Matthew 10:37-42, 11:1 (RSV) - The Lord said, "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. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for my sake will find it. He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives him who sent me. He who receives a prophet because he is a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward, and he who receives a righteous man because he is a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward. And whoever gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he shall not lose his reward." And when Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in their cities.
Friday, September 9, 2016
The Gospel lesson for today is quite telling... Gospel Reading: Luke 8:16-21 (RSV) The Lord said, "No one after lighting a lamp covers it with a vessel, or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a stand, that those who enter may see the light. For nothing is hid that shall not be made manifest, nor anything secret that shall not be known and come to light. Take heed then how you hear; for to him who has will more be given, and from him who has not, even what he thinks that he has will be taken away." Then his mother and his brothers came to him, but they could not reach him for the crowd. And he was told, "Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, desiring to see you." But he said to them, "My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it."
Thursday, September 8, 2016
Today's Gospel- Luke 10:38-42, 11:27-28
At that time, Jesus entered a village; and a woman called Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving; and she went to him and said, "Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve you alone? Tell her then to help me." But the Lord answered her, "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things; one thing is needful. Mary has chosen the good portion, which shall not be taken away from her." As he said this, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, "Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts that you sucked!" But he said, "Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!"
Wednesday, September 7, 2016
At that time, there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, "What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God." But Jesus rebuked him, saying, "Be silent, and come out of him!" And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying with a loud voice, came out of him. And they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, "What is this? A new teaching! With authority he commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him." And at once his fame spread everywhere throughout all the surrounding region of Galilee.
Tuesday, September 6, 2016
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."
A Prayer For Adults
Lord our God, whatever sins I have committed this day, in word, deed or thought, forgive me, for you are good and love all people. Grant me a peaceful and undisturbed sleep. Protect me from every abuse and plot of the evil one. Raise me up in due time that I may glorify you, for you are blessed, together with your only begotten Son, and your all holy Spirit, now and forever and to the ages of ages. Amen.
Monday, September 5, 2016
My question is, why do we say that death entered the world when Adam and Eve sinned. Notwithstanding the teachings on this subject from the Holy scriptures, ie, Gods commandments made know to Adam and Eve, and in there disobeying Him, the consequences, God said to them for if & when you eat of the tree of good and evil, you shall surely die. Is God just referring to a spiritual death, as well as a physical death of humans, (that's the only conclusion i can come to) for these sayings. But why does the Church say then that death entered the world after the fall of Adam and Eve. Because we learn from science, physics relics, from antiquity, that the evidence is quiet, overwhelming, that death has been around for billions of years, long before the human species ever came into existence. Surely, death of all things that was ever brought into existence, has followed the same predictable pattern for billions of years, plants, animals, stars, galaxies, suns moons, all are born, all mature, and eventually, all die. How do we substantiate, this claim that the Church, in fact most Christian, religion makes the same claim, that death entered the world from the sin of Adam and Eve. Would very much appreciate hearing back from you, maybe, shed some light on how we are to reconcile this issue in our own minds today, with all the advancements and knowledge that science has shown us, even proved through math, and relics.– Question submitted by James (Demetri)
That brings me to my next point about the consequences of Original Sin. Humans, having been placed within creation, are expected to live as part of creation as lord of creation. There is an important symbiotic relationship between lord and subject. As a consequence of The Fall this symbiotic relationship has been disrupted. God said, “Because you heeded the voice of your wife, and ate from the one tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it,’ cursed is the ground in your labors. In toil you shall eat form it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, and you shall eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground from which you were taken.” (Gen 3.17-19 SAAS) This teaches us that the struggle between man and creation, rather than the death of plants and animals, is a consequence of The Fall.
As lord of creation (small “l” since God is the LORD of creation) our sin affects the creation. Our greed causes us to abuse creation for profit, causing excessive pollution of our air and water. Our lust causes us to rape the soil of nutrients so we can eat till our heart is content leaving soil barren and in need of chemical fertilizers. Our thirst to live wherever we please, irrespective of natural resources, causes or rivers to run dry. I think you get the point...
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