Redeeming the Time
An Orthodox Christian
Journal
St Nicholas Orthodox Church, Dallas Home Page St Nicholas the Wonderworker Go to the bottom of the page
Russian Orthodox Church
of St Nicholas
Dallas, Texas
Phone:972 529-2754
nicholas@orthodox.net
Redeeming the Time
July 19/ Aug 1
Vol. 03.11

9th Sunday After Pentecost
Jesus Walks on the Water -
See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,
redeeming the time, because the days are evil.


Spiritual Things

*Redeeming the Time

*Questions and Answers about Orthodox Doctrine

*Thoughts on the Sunday Gospels

*Articles on various things

*Confession

*An Exact Exposition of The Orthodox Faith

*Services

*Prayers

*Trebnic Prayers

*The Orthodox Typicon

*A Recent Miracle of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker

With a WONDERFUL icon!

Reference

*Calendar for the Current Month

ROCOR Directories
*Worldwide Parishes
*Clergy E-mail
*All Clergy

*Many Orthodox Links

*FAQS

*Fasting Typicon


About Us

*Contact Information

*Directions to our church

*Regular Services Schedule

*St Nicholas Family Album

*Who may receive the Holy Mysteries at St. Nicholas?

*New Valaam Trading Company

News and Announcements *

Many Years! *

Bad News from Serbia, as the world forgets *

Building Fund *

New Material on the Web Site *

Wednesday Services at Church are Cancelled for the Month of August *

First Divine Liturgy at St John Chrysostom Mission, Belton, TX *

Questions about the Gospel on the 9th Sunday after Pentecost *

Matthew 14:22-34 - Jesus walks on the water *

Questions about the Holy Prophet Elias *

Gleanings from the Fathers *

All good is in Me *

How to Obtain Forgiveness of Sins *

Answers to Questions about the Gospel on the 9th Sunday after Pentecost *

ANSWER 1 *

ANSWER 2 *

ANSWER 3 *

ANSWER 4 *

ANSWER 5 *

ANSWER 6 *

ANSWER 7 *

ANSWER 8 *

ANSWER 9 *

ANSWER 10 *

Answers to Questions about the Holy Prophet Elias *

Answer 1 *

Answer 2 *

Answer 3 *

Answer 4 *

Answer 5 *

Answer 6 *

Answer 7 *

Answer 8 *

Answer 9 *

Answer 10 *

News and Announcements

Many Years!

Many years to Matushka Marina, who celebrated her namesday last Friday.

Bad News from Serbia, as the world forgets

From: "Fr. Sava" <decani@EUnet.yu>

Organization: Decani Monastery

Subject: URGENT MATERIAL ON DESTRUCTION OF CHRISTIAN MONUMENTS IN KOSOVO

http://www.decani.yunet.com/destruction.html

Dear Friends,

After the month and a half of the NATO and UN sponsored peace in Kosovo we have the following results:

130,000 - Serbian refugees from Kosovo (2/3 of the population)

150 - killed Serbs

200 - kidnapped Serbs

40 - damaged or destroyed churches

Serbs are persecuted, killed in flats, expelled from their homes, women are raped, farmers are slaughtered, Serbian and all non-Albanian homes are systematically torched, AND all this in the presence of the most powerful force in the World.

We have just prepared an extensive photo material on destruction of the Serbian Orthodox Churches in Kosovo. These destructions are systematically effected by the Kosovo Albanian Extremists who have launched a campaign of ethnic cleansing and the cultural genocide against everything Christian in the province. All these churches are destroyed NOT IN WAR but during the peace established by NATO and UN in the province. In fact, Albanian extremists led by KLA are using the presence of the International Forces and UN as an umbrella for the worst barbarism against the Christian monuments in Europe.

HOW LONG WILL THE WORLD TOLERATE THE BARBARISM IN THE PRESENCE OF THE NATO FORCES?

WAS THE GOAL OF THE NATO INTEVENTION REPLACING ONE REPRESSION WITH ANOTHER?

IS EUROPE GOING TO CELEBRATE THE 2000 JUBILEE OF CHRISTIANITY WITH CHRISTIAN CHURCHES SYSTEM- ATICALLY DESTROYED IN FRONT OF EYES OF THE WHOLE WORLD?

http://www.decani.yunet.com/destruction.html

http://www.decani.yunet.com

Note: Fr Sava is a Hieromonk from Decani Monastery who has communicated many times about Kosovo via the internet, and visited Washington DC and other places trying to make peace in the region. He and his bishop opposed Milosevic before it was fashionable, and their monastery has been a haven for all the oppressed, including Albanian Kosovars.

Building Fund

Our building fund balance is $21,262.38, as of last weekend. Our goal is to raise two hundred thousand dollars as soon as possible, then begin to build, or purchase a building. To this end, our church budget stipulates that one thousand dollars a month be taken from the monthly income, and put in the building fund. This is only twelve thousand dollars, and we will not get anywhere soon if this is the only source of funds for the building fund. Please give to the building fund as often as you can, but abide by THIS ONE CONDITiON. DO NOT decrease your tithe to the general fund of the church in order to give to the building fund. This would be, as they say, "robbing Peter to pay Paul". Those who do not tithe already SHOULD, because they are neglecting not the church only, but themselves.

Our money truly IS where our heart is, as the Lord said: "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." (Matt 6:21)

Please remember that your tithe is given to God, and should not be "used" to garner support for any opinion, influence people, or "make a statement". It should not be given, nor taken away because we agree or disagree with some event or community direction or opinion, or anything else in the community. To do these things is to follow the way of the world. We must be able to give to God because it is the right thing to do, and not for any other reason.

New Material on the Web Site

Some very edifying articles have been put on our web site (http://www.orthodox.net). Look at the front page, on the left-hand side for these offerings:

  • RECOMMENDED! Right Belief in a Left-Handed World, by Priest Martin Swanson
    Fr Martin is Fr Seraphim's spiritual father.
  • The Life of Piety, by Priest Alexis Duncan
  • The Rule For Attending To Oneself For One Dwelling In The World by St Ignatii Briachaninov (also in this issue of Redeeming the Time)
  • The Mind of Christ and the Mind of Man

Wednesday Services at Church are Cancelled for the Month of August

Because of Fr Seraphim's health problems, there will be no Wednesday Moleban at the church during August. We will be serving the small Paraclesis to the Theotokos on most weekdays during the Dormition fast (the last 2 weeks of August) AT THE RECRORY. Everyone is welcome. See the August calendar for details.

First Divine Liturgy at St John Chrysostom Mission, Belton, TX

Aug 14/27 - Strict Fast

Forefeast of Dormition

2 Cor 11:5-21 Mark 4:1-9

Services in Belton at St John Chrysostom Mission

Vigil for Dormition- 7:00 PM

Aug 15/28

Dormition of the Theotokos

Phil2:5-11 Luke 10:38-42, 11:27-28

Services in Belton at St John Chrysostom Mission

Divine Liturgy- 10:00 AM

6:00 PM Vigil at St Nicholas AS USUAL

God willing, we will serve Vigil and Divine Liturgy for the Holy Dormition at St John Chrysostom Mission in Belton. Belton is near Waco, Texas.

Questions about the Gospel on the 9th Sunday after Pentecost

Matthew 14:22-34 - Jesus walks on the water

QUESTION 1

"And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up into the mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, He was there alone. But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary."

Why did Jesus go up into the mountain to pray?

QUESTION 2

"And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up into the mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, He was there alone. But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary."

There was another time when the Apostles were in a boat that was in a storm.

  • Was this earlier than this event or later?
  • Describe this other event.
  • What can we glean from the order of the events?

QUESTION 3

"And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea." (Matt 14:25)

What time is this? Does the time teach us something important about the spiritual life?

QUESTION 4

Why did Jesus constrain his apostles to get in a ship? Hint: This followed which event? How did the Jews view Jesus after this event?

QUESTION 5

The boat the disciples were in is a wonderful image of what? Explain.

QUESTION 6

Why did Peter get out of the boat and come to Jesus? The reason is important, and has serious implications.

QUESTION 7

What happened to Peter as he walked on the water towards Christ? Why? Answer with more depth than just recounting the event. There is a deep meaning and lesson here.

QUESTION 8

Coming back to the metaphor the boat represents, evaluate Peter's action in this light. What made his action dangerous? How do we "step out of the boat" in our life?

QUESTION 9

What is the spiritual meaning of the miracle? Of course, this is an "open ended" question, and hard to answer. So is the question of how we are to live our life, moment by moment. Think a bit, and focus on one or more of these things:

  • Jesus went up alone to a mountain to pray
  • The disciples were in a boat which was beset by terrible waves and winds.
  • Jesus came to the disciples in the fourth watch of the night.
  • Peter faltered after he left the ship.

QUESTION 10

Peter's experience walking on the water, feeling fear, and beginning to sink before being saved by Christ, foretold a future important experience. Which?

Questions about the Holy Prophet Elias

St Elias' day is this coming Monday.

Question 1
We hear nothing of the Holy Prophet Elias (aka Elijah), until, in a mysterious way, he appeared (subsequently, there would be other even more wondrous appearances and disappearances) and made a bold pronouncement to an apostate king. The pronouncement came true. During which this time, Elias lived by a brook, and was fed in a wondrous way.

In which book does the Holy Prophet Elias first appear?

If you did not have a Bible handy, but were in the church with all the service books available, where could you find the most important stories about the Holy Prophet? To answer these questions, consider:

  1. What appellation was given to the Holy Prophet? What does it mean?
  2. Who was the king?
  3. What did Elias tell the king, and why?
  4. What was the brook?
  5. How was the prophet fed in a wondrous way?
  6. The Holy Prophet continually showed in his actions great zeal, great fearlessness and unconcern for his personal circumstances, because of his great faith in God. We stand in awe of his exploits and intimacy before God, and have much to learn from him. What does the order of events (the holy prophet first rebuking Achab, then foretelling a serious drought, and then being told where to go during the drought) teach us?

Question 2

During the drought the Holy Prophet lived by the brook as the Lord commanded him, until it dried up. Then the Lord told him to go to another place to meet a certain person, for his sustenance.

  1. Who was this person?
  2. Describe their meeting and the miracle that occurred.

Question 3

The Holy Prophet was much loved by the small family, who were his benefactors, and he stayed with them for a long while. "And it came to pass", as the Holy Scripture puts it, that a great calamity befell the family, and the Holy prophet worked a great miracle by the power of his bold prayer.

  1. What was the calamity?
  2. What was the reaction of the mother?
  3. The Holy Prophet did more than pray. His actions mystically pointed to the cross and resurrection. How?


Question 4

We must yet tarry a little while on the great miracle of Elias regarding the widow's son. His successor also performed such a miracle, and in this case, the cross and resurrection were even more strongly and unmistakably prefigured. Describe this miracle. How was the cross so strongly prefigured? What do we mean by "prefigured" anyway? What is a another word used to mean the same thing as a "prefigurement"?

Question 5

After the drought had lasted many days the Holy Prophet was told to again confront the apostate king. What were his bold denunciation and orders to the king? Describe Elias' great miracle, which put to shame the apostate followers of idols. What happened after this miracle?

Question 6

After the Holy Prophet brought rain and destroyed the prophets of Baal, he received a message. What was it, and what did he do? Elias became depressed. Why? What did the Lord do, and where did Elias go? What did the meals that he ate foreshadow? When he reached a certain place, God manifested Himself to him intimately. Describe the experience. Has it anything to teach us?

Question 7

There are many unique aspects to the life of the Prophet Elias. He shares a very unique status with only three other human beings that have ever walked the earth. Who are the others, and what is this status?

Question 8

The holy Prophet Elias is known far and wide for his powerful intercessions, especially concerning which two things? Speculate why.

Question 9

"The angel in the flesh, the foundation of the prophets, the second forerunner of the Coming of Christ, the glorious Elijah from on High sent down grace upon Elisha to dispel infirmities and cleanse lepers. Wherefore, he poureth fourth healings upon them that honor him." Troparion for Elijah


The Holy Prophet is called in his troparion a "second forerunner of the Coming of Christ."

  1. Why?
  2. Who was the first forerunner of the coming of Christ?
  3. Did the Jews understand this about Elias? What is the proof?

Question 10

Have the so-called Orthodox ecumenists of this age of compromise anything that they can learn from the Holy Prophet Elias? Do you think that his type of piety would offend them? Why or why not?

Gleanings from the Fathers

All good is in Me

Do you desire good for yourself? All good is in Me. Do you desire blessings? All blessings are in Me. Do you desire beauty? What is lovelier than I? Do you desire noble birth? What birth is more noble than that of the Son of God and the Virgin? Do you desire rank? Who is of higher rank than the King of heaven? Do you desire glory? Who is more glorious than I? Riches? All riches are in Me. Wisdom? I am the Wisdom of God. Friendship? Who is a greater friend than I - I who laid down y life for all? Help? Who can help but I? Happiness? Who can be happy without Me? Do you seek consolation in distress? Who will console you but I? Do you seek peace? I am the peace of the soul. Do you seek life? In Me is the fount of life. Do you seek light?

I am the light of the world.

St Tikhon of Zadonsk

How to Obtain Forgiveness of Sins

Do we forgive our neighbors their trespasses? God also forgives us in His mercy. Do we refuse to forgive? God, too, will refuse to forgive us. As we treat our neighbors, so also does God treat us. The forgiveness, then, of your sins or unforgiveness, and hence also your salvation or destruction, depend on you yourself, man. For without forgiveness of sins there is no salvation. You can see for yourself how terrible it is.

St. Tikhon of Zadonsk, Journey to Heaven.

Answers to Questions about the Gospel on the 9th Sunday after Pentecost

ANSWER 1

St John Chrysostom answers this question well:

"To teach us, that loneliness and retirement is good, when we are to pray to God. With this view, you see, He is continually withdrawing into the wilderness, and there often spends the whole night in prayer, teaching us earnestly to seek such quietness in our prayers, as the time and place may confer. For the wilderness is the mother of quiet; it is a calm and a harbor, delivering us from all turmoils." (Chrysostom HOMILY L. MATT. XIV. 23, 24)

ANSWER 2

At an earlier time, the Apostles were with Jesus in a boat. They were beset by a storm, while Jesus was asleep. The Apostles were terrified, and woke Jesus, saying, "Lord, save us: we perish." (Matt 8:25). The Evangelist reports their amazement: "... the men marveled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him." (Mat 8:27)

This event, chronicled in Matthew 8:23-27, was much earlier in Jesus' ministry. At this time, the Apostles were still unformed and weak in faith. They were terrified in a boat with the God-man right beside them, because they did not really understand all things about Him yet. Jesus taught them and strengthened their faith gradually, by degrees, and in the same way teaches us. Later, when their faith was stronger, and able to endure more, He allowed the Apostles to flounder in the waves an entire night without him, because they were ready for this greater test.

"He Himself then went up thither with this object, but the disciples are tossed with the waves again, and undergo a storm, equal even to the former. But whereas before they had Him in the ship when this befell them, now they were alone by themselves. Thus gently and by degrees He excites and urges them on for the better, even to the bearing all nobly. Accordingly we see, that when they were first near that danger, He was present, though asleep, so as readily to give them relief; but now leading them to a greater degree of endurance, He doth not even this, but departs, and in mid sea permits the storm to arise, so that they might not so much as look for a hope of preservation from any quarter; and He lets them be tempest tossed all the night, thoroughly to awaken, as I suppose, their hardened heart." (Ibid.)

ANSWER 3

The night was divided into four "watches" of 3 hours each. The last watch was just before dawn, at the end of a long night. The long duration of the Apostles' all night struggles should teach us that we also must endure temptations a long time, with patience and faith. Our society teaches us to believe in "quick fixes" and to love comfort and an easy way of life, but none of these things are compatible with the Christian way of life.

"And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved." (Mat 10:22)

ANSWER 4

Immediately previous to constraining His disciples to get into a ship, Jesus had fed a multitude with five loaves and two fishes. The Jews had a very carnal view of the Messiah. They expected Him to be a King who would crush all their enemies, such as the hated Romans. An army needs significant supplies, especially food, in order to wage a war. The miracle of the loaves gave them confidence that they could crush the Romans, and they desired to make Jesus their king. Jesus fled from them for this reason.

"Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world. {15} When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone. " (John 6:14-15)

ANSWER 5

The Church has always used the image of the boat as a metaphor for the Church herself. When we are within the boat, we are safe, even though beset by waves. The sides of the boat are the rules and canons of the church, the disciples represent all Christians, and the stormy sea is our life.

ANSWER 6

The Evangelist reports: "And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. {29} And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus." (Mat 14:28-29)

Peter, OF HIS OWN WILL, asked to leave the boat and come to Jesus. Jesus allowed him to do this, and the result was very instructive for us. We must strive to do things not of our own will, no matter how honorable our intentions, but always seek God's will. We must not take our ability to do something as God's permission and blessing.

ANSWER 7

Peter left the boat with holy zeal, and the best of intentions. Blessed Theophylact says that he asked because he had the most fervent love for Christ. After walking for a bit, a strange things happened:

"But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me." (Mat 14:30)

Peter began to look at his external circumstances, and he who was walking on the tempestuous and dangerous sea, feared the wind, a much lesser danger. He only began to sink when he became afraid of the wind. So it is with human nature. We sometimes fear lesser things because of the frailty of our nature, and lose our faith.

ANSWER 8

The only way to be saved is to remain in the Ark, that is, the Holy Church. The Christian life is much more than a set of beliefs; it is membership in the body of Christ, and a way of life. The Holy Spirit has clearly marked the path for us; we need only to follow it with faith. Anytime we choose our own way, rather than the way of life handed down to us, we venture out onto the waves of life without any protection. Alas, it seems that the major reason why people make little progress in the Christian life is because of their pride and self-will, which constantly whispers to them another way.

ANSWER 9

After a great miracle, Jesus retired to a mountain to pray. Is this not to teach us to seek after God with all our heart, and to rid ourselves of distractions? While Jesus was on the mountain, the disciples were beset by a great storm, during the night, when men are most afraid. The God-man was protecting them, although He was not with them in the boat. So it is with us, who are protected by God, although we do not always perceive His presence.

The boat which protected the disciples from the waves represents the church, and the Christian way of life. If we remain in the boat, that is, if we live as the Holy Spirit has revealed through the mind of the church, we are protected from the stormy waves of this temporal life.

The disciples battled the storm through the long night, and only near dawn did Jesus come to them. We must battle our passions throughout our whole life, and our full reward only comes at the end, after we have endured.

"Meanwhile the ship which carries the disciples, that is, the Church, is tossed and shaken by the tempests of temptation; and the contrary wind, that is, the devil her adversary, rests not, and strives to hinder her from arriving at rest. But greater is "He who maketh intercession for us." For in this our tossing to and fro in which we toil, He giveth us confidence in coming to us, and strengthening us; only let us not in our trouble throw ourselves out of the ship, and cast ourselves into the sea. For though the ship be in trouble, still it is the ship. She alone carrieth the disciples, and receiveth Christ. There is danger, it is true, in the sea; but without her there is instant perishing. Keep thyself therefore in the ship, and pray to God. For when all counsels fail, when even the rudder is unserviceable, and the very spreading of the sails is rather dangerous than useful, when all human help and strength is gone, there remains only for the sailors the earnest cry of entreaty, and pouring out of prayer to God. He then who grants to sailors to reach the haven, shall He so forsake His own Church, as not to bring it on to rest?" (Blessed Augustine, Sermon 25 on the Gospels, Matthew 14:24,)

ANSWER 10

Peter's great zeal and love for the Lord prompted him to ask to leave the boat to join Him on the waves. This was actually a bad judgement on Peter's part, because his fledgling faith in the Lord could not withstand the wind, and he faltered. This event mystically foretells Peter's threefold denial of the Lord, after his firm promise that He would never deny him.

Blessed Theophylact teaches that the Lord allowed Peter to fail so that he would not become puffed up, and also for the sake of the other disciples, who perhaps envied him.

Answers to Questions about the Holy Prophet Elias

Answer 1

In the 17th chapter of the Third Book of Kings, the Holy Prophet Elias appears, being called only "Elias the Tishbite (or, Thesbite), of the inhabitants of Galaad". The word "Tishbite" is interpreted "that makes captive", and most probably indicated the place of the Holy Prophet's birth. Josephus, the Jewish Historian, supposes that "Tishbi" was some place in the land of Giliead. (See Easton's Bible Dictionary)

The Holy Prophet boldly rebuked the apostate king Achab, who had married the pagan Jezebel, and submitted, for the sake of her charms, to idolatry:

"And Achab, the son of Amri, did evil in the sight of the Lord above all that were before him.{31} Nor was it enough for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam, the son of Nabat: but he also took to wife Jezabel, daughter of Ethbaal, king of the Sidonians. And he went, and served Baal, and adored him. {32} And he set up an altar for Baal, in the temple of Baal, which he had built in Samaria; {33} And he planted a grove: and Achab did more to provoke the Lord, the God of Israel, than all the kings of Israel that were before him." (3 Kings:16:30-33, Douay-Reims)

The Holy Prophet warned him that a drought would occur, because of Achabs' wickedness. During the first portion of the drought, the Holy Prophet lived by the brook Cherith, where he was fed by ravens:

And Elias the Thesbite, of the inhabitants of Galaad, said to Achab: As the Lord liveth, the God of Israel, in whose sight I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to the words of my mouth. {2} And the word of the Lord came to him, saying: {3} Get thee hence, and go towards the east, and hide thyself by the torrent of Carith, which is over against the Jordan; {4} And there thou shalt drink of the torrent: and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there. ... {6} And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the torrent. (3 Kings:17:1-4,6 Douay-Reims)

The most important stories concerning the Holy Prophet Elias are read during the Vespers service commemorating him, and is therefore found in the Menaion for July 20. Throughout his life, Elias showed utter disdain for his personal circumstances and safety, and he was unafraid to tell the truth, even to those who could kill him. He foretold a great drought, with his righteous anger obscuring from him even his own bodily needs, and the Lord did not abandon his chosen one, but led him to the brook Cherith, to feed him with ravens. We see this pattern throughout the Prophet's life. He acts according to zeal, and the Lord protects him, rewarding his great faith. We must also strive to have such zeal and faith, and stand in the truth only, obeying the words of our Savior: "Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? {32} (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. {33} But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." (Mat 6:31-33)

Take courage, Christian. Don't compromise your faith because of fear, whether for your position or job, or title, or comfort, or anything else.

Answer 2

"After the brook Cherith dried up, the Lord said: "Arise, and go to Sarephta of the Sidonians, and dwell there: for I have commanded a widow woman there to feed thee." 3 Kings 17:9

This sets the stage for the wondrous dialogue between the poverty stricken woman who, with her only son, expected to die. The Holy Prophet teaches us much about the virtues of obedience and hospitality.

"He arose, and went to Sarephta. And when he was come to the gate of the city, he saw the widow woman gathering sticks, and he called her, and said to her: Give me a little water in a vessel, that I may drink. {11} And when she was going to fetch it, he called after her, saying: Bring me also, I beseech thee, a morsel of bread in thy hand. {12} And she answered: As the Lord thy God liveth, I have no bread, but only a handful of meal in a pot, and a little oil in a cruise: behold I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it, for me and my son, that we may eat it and die. {13} And Elias said to her: Fear not; but go, and do as thou hast said but first make for me of the same meal a little hearth cake, and bring it to me, and after make for thyself and thy son. {14} For thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel: The pot of meal shall not waste, nor the cruise of oil be diminished, until the day wherein the Lord will give rain upon the face of the earth. {15} She went, and did according to the word of Elias: and he ate, and she, and her house: and from that day {16} The pot of meal wasted not, and the cruise of oil was not diminished according to the word of the Lord, which he spoke in the hand of Elias." (3 Kings 17:9-16)

I believe Holy Tradition holds that the widow's son was none other than St Jonah, the prophet.

Answer 3

While Elias was staying with the widow and her son, the boy fell grievously ill and died. The woman believed that it was because of her sins that the boy had died. What a piteous scene! The family had only just been saved from starvation by the Holy Prophet, and now the woman has lost her only son. Elias took her son and went into his room. In the heat of his own grief, with compassion for the widow, he cried out to the Lord: "...O Lord, my God, hast thou afflicted also the widow, with whom I am after a sort maintained, so as to kill her son?" (3 Kings 17:20) Now we are vouchsafed to see a great miracle, and the power of sincere prayer, and a prophesy of the power of the cross:

And he stretched, and measured himself upon the child three times, and cried to the Lord, and said: O Lord, my God, let the soul of this child, I beseech thee, return into his body. {22} And the Lord heard the voice of Elias: and the soul of the child returned into him, and he revived." (3 Kings 17:21-22)

We worship the same God as Elias. Why are our prayers so weak, and why do we ask for so little? He saw only in a figure the redemption of the cross, and we have had it revealed to us fully. The Holy Paul certainly included Elias among those great ones of God whose exploits in turn rebuke and exhort us:

"And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: {40} God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect. {12:1}Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, {2} Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.(Heb 11:39-40,12:1-2)

Through the prayers of the Holy Prophet Elias, may we live as believers in the redemption of the cross!

Answer 4

The Lord chose Elisha to be the successor of the Holy Prophet Elias. This holy prophet also worked a miracle that even more strongly prefigures the resurrection, and prophesies that our redemption will come through the cross. A "prefigurement" is an event which occurs in the Old Testament and points to an event in the New Testament. It is also called a "type". Another example of a "type" is when Moses struck his staff in the bitter waters, and they were made sweet (drinkable). This also is a prefigurement of the cross, which will make "sweet" our life which would without the cross end in bitter death. There are hundreds of examples in the Old Testament, which the Holy Church understands and meditates upon in the holy services. In fact, the best way to become a true scholar of the Old Testament is to listen attentively to the services of the church, which always understand it in the light of the New!

The Holy Elisha worked an even greater miracle than Elias. He was often a guest at the house of a Shunamite woman who was barren. Through his prayers, she conceived and bore a son. When the lad was a young boy, though able to work with his father in the fields, he took sick suddenly and died. The woman immediately saddled her ass and rode to Mount Carmel, where the prophet was living. Although the prophet sent Gehazi, his servant, to lay his staff upon the boy, he did not revive. This staff represents the Old Covenant, which is not able to give life.

In the meantime, Elisha had followed the Shunamite woman back to her home, at her insistence. In the miracle of the son's resurrection, we see clearly the type of the cross:

"Eliseus, therefore, went into the house, and behold the child lay dead on his bed: {33} And going in, he shut the door upon him, and upon the child, and prayed to the Lord. {34} And he went up, and lay upon the child: and put his mouth upon his mouth, and his eyes upon his eyes, and his hands upon his hands: and he bowed himself upon him, and the child's flesh grew warm. {35} Then he returned and walked in the house, once to and fro: and he went up, and lay upon him: and the child gaped seven times, and opened his eyes." 4 Kings:4:32-35

The staff represents the Old Covenant, which is superceded by the New and brought in by the cross, which Elisha clearly prefigured by laying upon the boy in the form of a cross. (Read the entire story in 4 Kings 4:1-37)

Answer 5

"After many days, the word of the Lord came to Elias, in the third year, saying: Go, and shew thyself to Achab, that I may give rain upon the face of the earth. " (3 Kings18:1)

On the way to Achab, Elias met Abidias, the governor of Achab's house, who had been sent to forage for feed and water for the livestock. There ensued a rather funny discussion between them, as Elias asked Abidias to announce his coming to Achab, but the servant feared doing this because:

"And when I am gone from thee, the Spirit of the Lord will carry thee into a place that I know not: and I shall go in and tell Achab; and he, not finding thee, will kill me: but thy servant feareth the Lord from his infancy. {13} Hath it not been told thee, my lord, what I did when Jezabel killed the prophets of the Lord; how I hid a hundred men of the prophets of the Lord, by fifty and fifty in caves, and fed them with bread and water? {14} And now thou sayest: Go and tell thy master: Elias is here: that he may kill me. (3 Kings 18:12-14)

Elias prevailed upon Abdias to announce him, and then came to Achab, who immediately denounced the Holy Prophet, blaming him for the drought. The Holy prophet fearlessly denounced the king because of his idolatry, and ordered him to gather people together, setting the stage for a great miracle.

<PP Elias prevailed upon Abdias to announce him, and came to Achab, who immediately denounced the Holy Prophet, blaming him for the drought. The Holy prophet fearlessly denounced the king because of his idolatry, and ordered him to gather people together, setting the stage for a great miracle. >

"And when he had seen him, he said: Art thou he that troublest Israel? {18} And he said: I have not troubled Israel, but thou and thy father's house, who have forsaken the commandments of the Lord, and have followed Baalim. {19}Nevertheless send now, and gather unto me all Israel, unto Mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the groves four hundred, who eat at Jezabel's table." (3 Kings 18:17-19)

The Holy Prophet then rebuked the people and challenged the "prophets of Baal" (pagan priests):

"And Elias coming to all the people, said: How long do you halt between two sides? If the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people did not answer him a word. {22} And Elias said again to the people: I only remain a prophet of the Lord: but the prophets of Baal are four hundred and fifty men. {23} Let two bullocks be given us, and let them choose one bullock for themselves, and cut it in pieces, and lay it upon wood, but put no fire under: and I will dress the other bullock, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under it. {24} Call ye on the names of your gods, and I will call on the name of my Lord: and the God that shall answer by fire, let him be God. And all the people answering, said: A very good proposal." (3 Kings 18:21-24)

The Holy Prophet had a flair for the dramatic, as well as great zeal. He gave the pagan priest the first opportunity to prove that their "god" was better. They prayed from the morning until the "time of the giving of sacrifice", and even cut themselves with knives and wailed, to no avail. In the middle of their fruitless gesticulations, Elias, with great humor told them:

"... Cry with a louder voice: for he is a god; and perhaps he is talking, or is in an inn, or on a journey; or perhaps he is asleep, and must be awaked. " (18:27)

Near the end of the day, the prophet called to people unto him, and did a very strange thing, showing that he not only possessed a sublime sense of humor, but again a flair for the dramatic. He built an altar of twelve stones, for the twelve tribes of Israel, and dug a trench to contain water. After cutting up the bullock and placing it on the altar, he did a very strange thing:

"18:34. And he said: Fill four buckets with water, and pour it upon the burnt offering, and upon the wood. And again he said: Do the same the second time. And when they had done it the second time, he said: Do the same also the third time. And they did so the third time. {35} And the water run round about the altar, and the trench was filled with water." (18:34-35)

Elias then prayed to the Lord, and:

"Then the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the holocaust, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. " (18:38)

After this, understandably, the people believed in the Lord, and Elias ordered that all the prophets of Baal be immediately slain.

Answer 6

After the prophets were killed, the pagan queen Jezebel sent Elias a message telling him she would not rest until he was dead:

"And Jezabel sent a messenger to Elias, saying: Such and such things may the gods do to me, and add still more, if by this hour to morrow I make not thy life as the life of one of them." (19:12)

Elias, the holy prophet, as a man, felt fear, and fled from Jezebel. He went into the desert, and cast himself down by a Juniper tree, and desired to die, because he knew that all of Israel was in the throes of apostasy, and he could not bear to endure anymore.

"And he went forward, one day's journey into the desert. And when he was there, and sat under a juniper tree, he requested for his soul that he might die, and said: It is enough for me, Lord; take away my soul: for I am no better than my fathers." (19:4)

The prophet was fed two times by an angel, with bread and water, then commenced to take a forty day journey across the desert to Mount Horeb. This bread foreshadows the "heavenly bread", which empowers a man to do anything, if he has faith.

Upon arriving at the cave, Elias renewed his complaint to the Lord:

"And when he was come thither, he abode in a cave. and behold the word of the Lord came unto him, and he said to him: What dost thou here, Elias? {10} And he answered: With zeal have I been zealous for the Lord God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant: they have thrown down thy altars, they have slain thy prophets with the sword, and I alone am left, and they seek my life to take it away." (19:9-20)

Then the Lord revealed Himself to the Holy Prophet, in a still small voice:

" {11} And he said to him: Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord: and behold the Lord passeth, and a great and strong wind before the Lord, overthrowing the mountains, and breaking the rocks in pieces: but the Lord is not in the wind. And after the wind, an earthquake: but the Lord is not in the earthquake. {12} And after the earthquake, a fire: but the Lord is not in the fire. And after the fire, a whistling of a gentle air. {13. And when Elias heard it, he covered his face with his mantle, and coming forth, stood in the entering in of the cave, and behold a voice unto him, saying: What dost thou here, Elias? And he answered: {14} With zeal have I been zealous for the Lord God of hosts: because the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant: they have destroyed thy altars, they have slain thy prophets with the sword; and I alone am left, and they seek my life to take it away. {15} And the Lord said to him: Go, and return on thy way, through the desert, to Damascus: and when thou art come thither, thou shalt anoint Hazael to be king over Syria; {16} And thou shalt anoint Jehu, the son of Namsi, to be king over Israel: and Eliseus, the son of Saphat, of Abelmeula, thou shalt anoint to be prophet in thy room."

St. Elias only heard the Lord when he was still and quiet. We can only hear him when our passions are stilled and quieted.

Answer 7

The Holy Prophet Elias was taken up from the earth in a fiery chariot, hence, he did not die a natural death, as it is wont for all flesh to do. He shares this distinction with Enoch, of whom the scripture states: And he walked with God, and was seen no more: because God took him." (Genesis 5:24). Enoch and Elias abide in the heavens with two others who have flesh, albeit in a perfected state, namely, Jesus Christ the God-man, who deified his flesh by rising from the dead and ascending into heaven, and His most pure mother, who died as anyone else must, but was taken up into the heavens by her son.

Answer 8

The church prays to the Prophet Elias to alleviate drought, and bring rain, since by his prayers the rains were stopped, and by his prayers they came again. His intercessions are also a powerful aid to the sick, as the resurrection of the widow's son proves unmistakably. The church's experience, has confirmed again and again, and her services, for those who listen, teach this clearly.

"O prophet, preacher of Christ, thou dost never depart from the throne of Majesty, and ever intercedest for every one afflicted with sickness. Ministering in the highest, glorified in all places, thou dost bless the whole world. Ask thou for cleansing for our souls" (Glory, at the Aposticha, service for St Elias, July 7)

"The angel in the flesh, the foundation of the prophets, the second forerunner of the Coming of Christ, the glorious Elijah from on High sent down grace upon Elisha to dispel infirmities and cleanse lepers. Wherefore, he poureth fourth healings upon them that honor him" Troparion for Elijah

Answer 9

Just as the Holy Baptizer of Christ, John, heralded the first coming of Christ, when He came meekly, as a servant, so the glorious Elias will herald the second coming of Christ, when He will come in al power and majesty, as a King, swiftly, from the Mount of Olives. The church knows that both Enoch and Elias will come back to the earth in it's very last days, and preach Christ. They will be slain by the antichrist, and lay in the streets for three days, after which the Lord will come and usher in the New, unwaning age.

The Jews of Jesus' day certainly understood this about Elias, although they were confused, and thought that perhaps Christ himself was Elias: "When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? {14} And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. " (Mat 16:13-14)

Answer 10

The Holy Prophet Elias burned with zeal for the truth, and this zeal made him never consider compromise with falsehood. In our day, Orthodox compromise the truth with regularity, first by being wishy washy about where the church is, and where it is not. Sometimes they compromise the truth because of fear, and oftentimes because of desire for political or material gain, or because of an unwholesome, ignorant pursuit for "unity", which they mistakenly equate as the only indicator of true love. Their apostate way of thinking has even led some to worship in services with pagans. Their actions have even been captured on video tape, and their words have been printed, for all with eyes to see.

Here is one small example. The Ecumenical Patriarch, Bartholomew, is attempting union with the Papist Roman Catholics, but this union is not being pursued in truth. Instead of teaching them where they have erred, and making it clear to them that they have fallen away from the truth, he uses Byzantine flattery which clearly shows that he fully accepts that they are members of the church of Christ, ignoring the clear teaching of the church that obdurate heretics are anathema (outside the church). Here is a portion from a recent speech by one of the Patriarch's operatives, on the sad occasion of yet another concelebration of the Orthodox and the Papists, during their celebration in Rome of the Feast of the Apostles Peter and Paul:

"It is indeed for the sake of this sacred cause of unity that our two churches are officially engaged in theological dialogue so that on the basis of their common heritage of the first thousand years of the Church's life they may remove the obstacles to full communion that have appeared since the tragic Schism which has separated us for almost a millennium now. The bitter experience of this long period of separation has made us all aware of the need to accelerate the process of restoring our full communion so that the approaching third millennium of the Christian era may find the Church of God visibly united as she was before the great Schism. As Your Holiness has aptly put it some years ago, East and West are the two lungs by which the Church breaths; their unity is essential to the healthy life of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. (emphasis F.S.)" (Metropolitan John Of Pergamon, speech in Rome, on the occasion of the (Latin) Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, June 29, 1998. This speech was distributed via the "Orthodox News mailing list" (majordomo@list.goarch.org), and is also available at http://www.goarch.org/worldnews.)

I hope everyone can recognize the heresy and accommodation to falsehood in these words. Anyone who understands the Holy Prophet Elias would know that he would not be welcome in such an assembly. The only way to stand for the truth fearlessly is to live in it. May the ecumenists come to their senses, and stand for the truth, instead of uttering false and oily platitudes, through the prayers of the Holy Prophet Elias.

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