In this morning’s Gospel we hear fear in the voices of the Apostles. As they were crossing the sea a great storm began to toss their boat around like a toy being played with in the bath. It was the middle of the night and Jesus had sent them ahead the evening before so that He could dismiss the crowd. Alone in the storm tossed boat they saw something in the distance. “It is a ghost!” (Matthew 14.26) Their fear had blinded them, and they did not recognize Jesus. Trying to comfort them, Jesus said, “Be of good cheer. It is I. Do not be afraid.” (Matthew 14.27)
O Lord our God and Creator, who has honored us men and women with Your own image; who has taught Your elect, so that most wise are they who give heed to Your teaching; who reveals wisdom unto babes; who has imparted Your teaching unto Solomon and unto all who have sought Your wisdom: Open the hearts, the minds, and the lips of these Your servants, that they may receive the power of the law, and successfully apprehend the useful precepts which shall be taught them, to the glory of Your All-Holy Name, to the profit and building up of Your Holy Church, and that they may understand Your good an
In today’s Gospel we see another miracle of Christ, this time by feeding thousands of people with just a few loaves of bread and a couple fish. According to the Gospel more than 5000 ate enough so their stomachs were filled and still there was bread and fish left over. Today’s I don’t want so much to focus on the feeding miracle as much as the interaction between Christ and His Disciples.
We have all experienced that moment when we asked God why He didn’t help us. It could have been when someone we loved was very sick, or as has been the case too often lately, yet another mindless mass-shooting in our society. We continue to pray that God would “do something” but it often seems like He chooses rather to sit back. Our experience seems to be in direct conflict with what we hear in the Gospel, when it seems that at every turn God heals and ‘makes everything OK’ for those hurting. Why didn’t God help us?
In today’s Gospel lesson we see not one, but two times that God healed someone. The first example was when two blind men came to Jesus crying out to Him, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on us!” (Matthew 9.27) As Jesus healed them He said, “According to your faith let it be to you,” (Matthew 9.28) and they were healed. The second example was when these same men, now that they could see and believed in the power of Jesus to heal, brought a man with a demon to Jesus.
I’ve been thinking about this topic for quite some time. We are invited by our Lord to love everyone we encounter in life. We are also challenged by our society to love others who might be different from us, be it politically, physically, intellectually, morally, but lately most especially religiously. In truth, our Lord would not disagree with this challenge, but does the society express love in the same way as God?
There is a story about an American cabbie who was visiting Greece with his family. One day he went looking for a taxicab only to find all the drivers in the cafeneion. One after the other, they each refused to take his fare. Finally, he asked one cabbie, “It is only NOON, why won’t you take my fare?” He answered, “I have made all the money I need for today. Tomorrow I will drive more.” The American was shocked, so he pressed.
We’ve all heard them; those pious commandments from our grandmothers (yiayias) about how we are supposed to live our Orthodoxy. Sometimes our yiayias are spot on, while at other times they’re not quite right. Either way, we are always blessed when we follow the advice of yiayia. They are the unknown saints of our day, faithfully praying for us. Thank you yiayias. In this episode, we answer questions about timing for baby blessings, female prohibitions, and godparents traditions.
Every year on Judgment Sunday before the beginning of Great Lent, the Church reminds us of our Lord’s invitation to serve others. “'Come, you 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 took Me in; 'I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.'” (Matthew 25.34-36)
There are most likely several seniors in your Community who are unable to leave their home for even the simplest daily activities. Many times, these men and women spend the day alone in their room wanting someone to talk to. Summer is also a time when their own memories of family vacations and holidays can create a sense of depression and loneliness. That’s when our youth can be the most help.