Family Matters

Submitted by FatherAthanasios on Sat, 10/23/2021 - 09:04

If you consider the first believers of Christ, they were not strangers, but members of His family. John the Baptist was His cousin, James (also called Iakovos whose Feast is today) was Joseph’s son, and many other relatives surrounded Him in the early days. As the Church developed throughout the centuries, a similar trend continued. There are many cases of what I would call holy families made up of parent-saints and sibling-saints. James, the Apostle and Brother of Our Lord was just one of them.

Growing Up

Submitted by FatherAthanasios on Fri, 10/22/2021 - 08:31

When we are small toddlers, our behavior isn’t always what it should be. In our innocence, not having learned proper behavior skills yet, our parents often tolerate tantrums, outbursts, and even selfish arguments about the ‘ownership’ of toys as we scream MINE. Eventually, as we grow, we learn that such behaviors are inappropriate. We call that growing up. Unfortunately, we don’t always ‘grow up’ when it comes to our spiritual behaviors.

Acts of Love

Submitted by FatherAthanasios on Thu, 10/21/2021 - 08:58

There was an elder who described three reasons we do good things while we are alive. One reason is to avoid the punishment of hell. The second reason is to earn our reward in heaven. The third reason we do good is because we love God, whether we are punished or rewarded. It is the third reason that will ultimately mean we experience our reward, if we receive a reward, as heaven because it is the only reason that is not based upon selfish objectives.

Looking for Signs

Submitted by FatherAthanasios on Tue, 10/19/2021 - 08:56

It is said that when you move into a new area, you should not use maps or GPS to find your way around town. Instead, you should pay attention to the road signs and landmarks if you wish to really learn the area. It is said that when you have your ‘nose in a map’ (or waiting for your GPS to tell you to turn) you will never really know where you are. The same is true for your spiritual journey to heaven.

Episode 350 - Sow Seeds for Christ

When we hear the Parable of the Sower of the Seeds, we are challenged not only to prepare our hearts for the Word of God, we must also become the “Sower” and share the Gospel with our neighbors and friends. Sometimes the message will fall on the path and other times on good fertile soil, but we must keep sharing the message over and over again, and for everyone to hear.

The Relationship Between Faith and Science

Submitted by FatherAthanasios on Mon, 10/18/2021 - 08:40

It can be hard sometimes to think about what ‘life was like’ in the ancient days, especially when it comes to medicine. With so many contemporary advances in medical technology and pharmacology, we forget that doctors are not a modern invention. Science and medicine have been part of life, and part of the Church from the very beginning, but that isn’t to say things haven’t changed.

Don’t Be Stingy with God’s Message

Submitted by FatherAthanasios on Sun, 10/17/2021 - 13:03

In the Gospel we hear one of the great Parables of Our Lord about the “Sower.” This is the only parable where Christ also gives an explanation of the meaning of the parable. We are encouraged to be good fertile soil to allow the Word of God to take root in our hearts so that we can bear fruit with great abundance to the glory of God.

Actions Reveal Belief

Submitted by FatherAthanasios on Sat, 10/16/2021 - 09:30

We try not to do it, but every time see another person acting in a certain way, we presume to know what they believe. Although we might be, and in many cases probably are, wrong about what others believe, we have come to know that for the most part, actions reveal belief. This is one reason we are so careful to behave in a manner that is consistent with our Orthodox Faith.

Righteousness and Holiness

Submitted by FatherAthanasios on Thu, 10/14/2021 - 21:31

There used to be a time when you could distinguish between Christians and non Christians based upon behavior. What the Church used to call sinful, is now glorified by the many Christians within the “Christian Movement.” I refer to Christian Movement, as opposed to Church, because it can be difficult to tell believers from nonbelievers, as both use the same terminology. The struggle within modern Christianity, one that tugs at our temptations in a fallen world, to no longer consider sinful behavior as something that should be avoided, is real.