- "When the Lord turned again the captivity of Sion, we became as men that are comforted" What is this comfort? (mp3 format)
SYNOPSIS:Psalm 125 exclaims "We became as men that are comforted." Everybody needs comfort. What is the comfort the Psalm is referring to?
- "Lord, my heart is not exalted, nor are mine eyes become lofty." A messianic psalm that describes Jesus Christ and instructs us in how to live. (mp3 format)
SYNOPSIS:Most Psalms are Messianic (describe Jesus Christ in some way), and Psalm 130 does this AND instructs us in the all important virtue of humility.
- "Behold now, what is so good or so joyous as for brethren to dwell together in unity?" Unity, vesting and the Divine Liturgy. (mp3 format)
SYNOPSIS:Psalm 132:2 is use in the vesting prayers of the priest. All would do well to remember the context of this prayer and how Divine Liturgy should be the ultimate expression of unity. Of course, we must understand the Christian meaning of "unity" which differs quite a lot from that of the world.
- The rich young ruler. Questions not to ask: "What shall I do to inherit eternal life?" (mp3 format)
SYNOPSIS:There are questions we should never ask and things we should never say that are in the Scriptures - as an example to us, to teach us that we should know better. One of these questions is asked today by the Rich Young Ruler: "What shall I do to inherit eternal life?". The response of Jesus makes it clear this is a bad question. why is this a bad question and what should we know and how should we live so that we do not ask this (often asked) question?
- Venerating icons: Why do we do it (theological and practicle human reasons) and how do we do it? (mp3 format)
SYNOPSIS:A little talk about venerating icons. Why do we paint icons? There is an important theological reason. Why do we venerate them? Is this important? There are important theological and understandable "human" reasons. Read this especially if seeing people venerate icons freaks you out!
- "A woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself" The Gospel teaches us to see ourselves in the suffering and sins of others so we will be compassionate. (HTML format)
A Woman Which Had A Spirit Of Infirmity Eighteen Years And Was Bowed Together And Could In No Wise Lift Up Herself
Luke 13:10-17 27th Sunday After Pentecost Or 10th Sunday Of Luke
Also in Format: Word DOC
or mp3 SYNOPSIS:The Gospel is a mirror for our souls. We should learn something about ourselves every time we read it. The sinful and cruel reaction of the rule of the synagogue when the woman with an infirmity of 18 years was healed on the Sabbath has much to teach us - about ourselves. If we do not know ourselves, we will not love God. This Gospel will teach us, and teach us how to become more compassionate, if we have the humility to listen.
- "And they understood none of these things: and this saying was hid from them..."Understanding is a *process*! (mp3 format)
SYNOPSIS:Although Jesus told His disciples plainly about His upcoming arrest, trial and death, they did not believe or understand Him; the Gospel mysteriously says "They understood none of these things: and this saying was hid from them". Why was it hidden? We can learn much about ourselves and others by meditating upon this, and we will learn about the mystery of learning spiritual things, sin, patience and labor.
- "And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?" In the parable of the Harvest Of The Rich Man, a question we should never ask but must answer. (mp3 format)
Harvest of the Rich Man
26th Sunday after Pentecost or 9th Sunday of Luke
Luke 12:16-21 Ephesians 2:4-10
SYNOPSIS:There are questions in Scripture we should never ask, but must answer (we must answer all questions in Scripture!). For example, in the Gospel today, the parable of the harvest of the rich man, wondering about his harvest, "He thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?" We answer this important question, and also bring in the words of the Apostle Paul read today which apply: "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." We were born to become good, and do good, because God is good. If we do not understand this, we have not understood Christianity.
- Entry of the Theotokos (Nov 21). One of the "Great Forgotten Feasts" because of our pride in this egalitarian age. Let us explore holiness; we are called to it also! (HTML format)
Luke 10:38-42: 11:27-28
Also in Format: Word DOC
or mp3 SYNOPSIS:The Entry of the Theotokos is one of the in the church calendar, even though it is one of the <12 great feasts>. There are good reasons for this - this feast is especially about holiness, humility and submission, which our modern egalitarian world does not understand. The Theotokos is holy because she chose to be holy, of her own free will. We do not denigrate her by thinking that God in any way made her holy by making her different in some way from the rest of humanity. The Gospel reading for this feast (and all feasts of the Theotokos) is explained in detail. It is a peculiar reading, because the Mary in the reading is not the Theotokos, and it is also a concatenation of two sections of Scripture that are not related in time to each other, but it describes fully the virtue of the Theotokos, which we must emulate. Let us be in awe of the holiness of the Theotokos and all the Saints, and see our destiny in them. Let us explore holiness in this arrogant and egalitarian age.
- "Most Holy Theotokos save us" Why do we say this? Prayer to the Saints. (mp3 format)
SYNOPSIS:Something that gets the attention of Western believers and sometimes makes them even think they are witnessing blasphemy is our oft repeated petition to the Mother of God: "Most Holy Theotokos save us!" People often do not like and rarely benefit from something what they do not understand. We explain the very reasonable reasons for this petition and why it is important.
- Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath day? I will have mercy and not sacrifice. (mp3 format)
Matthew 12:10, Matthew 12:7
SYNOPSIS:Another question in Scripture that we must never ask, but know the answer to: "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath day?"
- And other seed fell upon rocky placed and it sprang up because it had no depth of earth. Patience. (mp3 format)
SYNOPSIS:The second kind of seed mentioned in the parable of the sower has a parenthetical statement that describes it: "and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth" What does this teach us? Patience.
- "And who is my neighbor?" A question we should never ask, but must answer every moment if we are to be saved. (mp3 format)
Luke 10:25-37 Galatians 6:11-18
SYNOPSIS:The parable of the Good Samaritan was told in response the tragic question by the lawyer, "Who is my neighbor" A Christian must never need to ask this questions, but must be answering it every moment in order to be saved. It is clear from the way we live our lives that many, and even we ourselves, do not know the answer to this question! How do we learn to love our neighbor and why is it so important?
- "For this cause also thank we God without ceasing" What should a Christian give thanks for? (mp3 format)
1 Thessalonians 2:9-14
SYNOPSIS:On the day of the American Holiday of Thanksgiving it is appropriate to celebrate the Eucharist (which means the giving of thanks), and to thank God for all things. The words of the Apostle Paul read today are also appropriate and will give us opportunity to discuss what the world gives thanks for, and what a Christian should thank God for, and how to learn to give thanks in this way: "... we thank God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe."
- "No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God." Timothy of Esphigmenou. (mp3 format)
8th Saturday of Luke or 26th Saturday after Pentecost
Timothy of Esphigmenou
SYNOPSIS:The Gospel of Luke today gives the answers of Jesus to 3 who wish to follow him, but do not. His answers apply to many of us, even those who consider themselves to be in the church. The last answer also reminds us of the wonderful martyr Timothy of Esphigmenou.
- Prison visit 2013-11-06. Racism will not survive kindness. How to begin to pray. (mp3 format)
Racism And Prayer
SYNOPSIS:Two edifying stories from a prison visit. We see that racism, so endemic in prison, can be conquered by kindness. Also some wise words of an inmate about how to begin to pray.
- "Already ye are clean by reason of the word which i have spoken to you" A sinner who abides in the vine is clean! How do we understand this! John 15:3 (mp3 format)
SYNOPSIS:In His great discourse before His passion, the Lord makes the amazing statement: "Already ye are clean by reason of the word which I have spoken to you". He was saying this to confused men who were soon to flee from Him in fear. How are we to understand His words? This is very important, especially for sinners who feel worthless and dirty because of their sins.
- Jailhouse talk about prayer and remembrance. "These things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them" (John 16:4) "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now." (John 16:12) (mp3 format)
John 16:4 John 16:12
SYNOPSIS:A jailhouse talk about what hinders prayer and remembrance, and the promise of our Lord that will comfort us. Prison is a lot like the world except more intense more potential for violence, and there are not many breaks. It is always noisy, there is drama all the time. Schedules are crazy and disorienting, and in addition, you have your own thoughts and a lot of time to have them. this is a difficult environment to pray and have remembrance of God. How?! If we do something for the love of God it will never be fruitless. We may not remember, but God always remembers, and will call things to our remembrance as we need them. Our Lord Jesus Christ gives us great consolation in the promise "These things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them" (John 16:4) and "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now." (John 16:12)
- Hieromartyr Zenobius and his sister Zenobia Oct 30 "Life without Christ is not life but death, whereas death for the sake of Christ is not death but life." (mp3 format)
2013-11-12SYNOPSIS:The life of Hieromartyr Zenobius and his sister Zenobia (Oct 30/ Nov 12), zeroing in on the most important part: "Life without Christ is not life but death, whereas death for the sake of Christ is not death but life."
FILES: 4 mp3 files
- Christology 101: Grace, The descent into Hades,unity, salvation and being truly human DEFINED PROPERLY - it is all in here: Ephesians 4:7-13
SYNOPSIS:Ephesians 4:7-13 is a virtual primer on some of the most import Christological subjects. It is read on the Sunday after Theophany, and also for certain Saints in the Menaion, such As Oct 25 (Marcian & Martyrius, notaries). In this short passage we learn of the descent into Hades, and see salvation, Unity and being truly human defined properly. St Paul is expressing thoughts dear to all Eastern Orthodox Christians, and sometimes not understood so well in the West. We look at these amazing verses: "Every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ" "He led captivity captive" "Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ"
- Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus. It teaches awareness! How do we learn to be aware when a Lazarus crosses our path?
SYNOPSIS:The Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus contains an important detail that we must be "aware" of - AWARENESS. The Rich man knew Lazarus by name, but his sinful life made him blind to the suffering of Lazarus until it was too late for him. How many times in our lives have we passed a "Lazarus"? We must learn to become aware. Practical ways to achieve this essential virtue are discussed.