Archive for June, 2010

Gleanings:A house well swept.

Monday, June 28th, 2010

No man is more easily approached by the Devil than one who lives in slothfulness and leisure: this is a house well swept and adorned for the Evil One. – St. Tikhon of Zadonsk

I saw this recently and it is along the same lines as a sermon I recently posted (The Sign of Jonas – Baptism, resurrection, repentance and obedience.).

St Tikhon and the sermon were referring to:

Matthew 12:41-45 KJV  The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.  (42)  The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.  (43)  When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.  (44)  Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished.  (45)  Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.

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The Gergesenes Demoniacs. We are not so unlike the people of the Gergesenes! 2010 Audio Homily.

Monday, June 28th, 2010

miracle-healing-of-gadarene-demoniacs

The reaction of the people of the Gergesenes to their encounter with Christ is a textbook example of how to kill the conscience. We would do well to recognize everything about this great tragedy, and be honest enough within ourselves to see how we often act like the people of the Gergesenes. Various ways to root out the passions shown by these people, which are common in our own lives, are discussed.

LISTEN NOW

Matthew 8:28-9:1 28 And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way. 29 And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time? 30 And there was a good way off from them an herd of many swine feeding. 31 So the devils besought him, saying, If thou cast us out, suffer us to go away into the herd of swine. 32 And he said unto them, Go. And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine: and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters. 33 And they that kept them fled, and went their ways into the city, and told every thing, and what was befallen to the possessed of the devils. 34 And, behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus: and when they saw him, they besought him that he would depart out of their coasts. 1 And he entered into a ship, and passed over, and came into his own city.


If the "LISTEN NOW" link does not work, copy this URL into your browser: http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/pentecost-sunday-05_2010-06-27+gergesenes-demoniacs.m3u

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Archive of Audio and text homilies:http://www.orthodox.net/sermons

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Lots of icons online

Sunday, June 27th, 2010

I decided to put a whole lot of icons, most of which are used somewhere on our website, on Flickr, so others have access to them. I generally search for an icon with Google when I am finishing a sermons of something else for the website. Here is the fruit of my labors. This list will grow.

There are true icons, and also iconographic line drawings, and a few of those Protestant inks drawings that are sometimes really nice, and a few painting or photos of contemporaries, like Metropolitan Antony Krapovitsky.

 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/saint-nicholas/sets/72157624370288956/show/

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The Gergesene demoniacs We all must answer the question, “What have we to do with Thee, Jesus, Thou Son of God?”

Sunday, June 27th, 2010

The Gergesene demoniacs
We all must answer the question,

“What have we to do with Thee, Jesus, Thou Son of God?”

The answer  of the The Holy Apostles

&St Photini, Equal to the Apostles (the Samaritan woman)

5th Sunday after Pentecost
Matthew 8:28-9:1
2009

http://www.orthodox.net/ikons/miracle-healing-of-gadarene-demoniacs.jpg In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.


“What have we to do with Thee, Jesus, Thou Son of God?”

 

said the demoniacs when Jesus approached them. This is a question that all of us should answer.

 

Remember I told you, when the Scripture says something, it’s saying it to you. When these demoniacs are saying, “What have we to do with Thee,” doesn’t that question also apply to us? What are we to do with Jesus? Jesus has done something for us. He said to do things. He came, He preached, He died, He was resurrected, He sent the Holy Spirit to us. What are we to do with this?

Today we happen to celebrate the Apostles Peter and Paul. And the Apostles are the quintessential example of answering this question.

 

Everyone is going to answer it. Whether they acknowledge Christ or not, they will answer this question of what they are to do with Christ.

What did the Apostles do?

 

In the beginning when they were fishing, the Lord said, follow me; and they left their nets, their father, everything, and they followed Him. And then they were with Him for three years, difficult years, years of pain, years of hunger, of fatigue, of danger, and years of learning about themselves, as we can see examples where the Lord showed them where their imperfections were.

 

And then they were prepared to go out and have their sound go forth over all the world [1].

 

But why did all this happen? Because they answered this question, “What have we to do with Thee?”

In the same way, everyone is going to come out to meet Christ, just like the people of the Gergesenes.

 

The whole town went out to meet Christ after He had healed the demoniacs. And to a man they said, depart from us, leave us. And He did. Everyone is going to come out to meet Christ. They will either ask Him to stay or ask Him to leave. And He will either stay or leave, depending on what we ask.

Of course, it’s not just what we say with our lips. It’s also what we do with our deeds. We must live in such a way that the Lord sees that we do love Him and that we do desire Him. So, just to say something doesn’t really matter. We must do it.

The people of the Gergesenes suffered a great tragedy on this day. The Lord came to them and they rejected Him. They were afraid of Him. They saw a great miracle. They saw their pigs all killed, so their way of commerce was destroyed. They were afraid. They were angry. They were confused. So they asked Him to go away, and He did.

 

And the next day was the same as the previous. The sun rose, they ate, they drank. They eventually got more pigs and they forgot about that terrible, frightening occurrence that happened so many years ago for them. But God had come to them, had visited them and they had rejected Him.

Brothers and sisters, God visits us every day. This is not a trite phrase. This is the truth. So every day we should be answering this question, What are we to do with what God does for us? Whether we go out to meet Him in our mind, absolutely consciously, or not, we are going to see Christ, and we are asking Him to either stay or leave, and He will stay or leave.

This Gospel is one of the most tragic of any and all of Scripture because it really, in a nutshell, shows how people’s lives are lost. They’re lost by just living their life, not thinking of God, doing what they want to do, and then they die. And most of them will not know what they have missed until the Judgment. What a terrible, terrible tragedy. An unseen tragedy. An invisible tragedy.

 

This tragedy is happening in our lives too. Because every time that we choose the wrong way, we are like the people or the Geresenes. I am not saying that we’re rejecting Christ and telling Him to go away forever. But we are losing an opportunity for sanctity, for blessedness.

Saint Peter seized upon these opportunities for blessedness. The Lord said, “Who does everybody think I am?” So the Apostles say, some say you are John the Baptist, some say Elias, one of the prophets. So obviously there was confusion about who Christ might be. This was after, of course, the Baptist had been beheaded. Simon Peter with courage seized on the moment and said, You are the Christ. [2]

 

Now, it doesn’t matter that later on he obviously wavered in his faith. He’s human. But when he could, he did what was right and that is what made Peter great. We must, when we can, do what is right. Because there are so many times we do what is wrong, we must seize upon the moment. These people of the Gergesenes didn’t do it. The Apostles did.

There’s another Apostle who did. I always mention her every time we have this story about the Gergesene demoniacs. And that is Saint Photini, Equal to the Apostles [3]. The stories are striking in their parallels and in their differences.

 

Saint Photini, had had five husbands, and the one she was with was not her husband, and the Lord told her all these things. What did she do? Well, she went away into the city forgetting her water pot – she had come to get water, but what did she need water anymore for? She had Living Water now – to tell everyone, “Come see a man who has told me everything that I have done.” [4] She knew that this was the Christ, and this was someone that she wanted those whom she loved to know about.

 

How was her reaction to having her sins exposed? Joy, relief, zeal.

Now, what was the reaction of the pig shepherd boys? They fled to the city and told their masters about it, and everyone came out in an uproar and afraid and told the Lord to leave. And so a great tragedy happened for them.

A great blessedness for Saint Photini, and great blessedness for the Apostles when they accepted the Lord’s gentle rebukes. And a great tragedy for those Gergesenes who, when they see their sins, looked away and asked the Lord to leave.

Brothers, we should not be like this. We must emulate the Apostles. We must emulate Saint Photini, Equal to the Apostles.

 

When the Lord reveals our sins, we should be glad because He is unburdening us. He is helping us to strive for perfection. We can’t be happy if we are still sinning. He can forgive sins seventy times seven. But we are still sinners, and sin hurts and causes illness.

The Lord came so that we would no longer be sinners. But we must answer the question every day: What are we to do with Him?

Those who do not love God answer it in such a way as to say, Go away. Not in so many words. But in the way they live their lives and their priorities and what they think is important and what they do, they say, Go away.

Those who love God and are called according to His purpose, they beg Him to stay.

So let us be like the Apostles and learn from Christ and answer this question as they did. What are we to do with Thee, Jesus? Amen.

 

 

Priest Seraphim Holland 2009.    

 

This and other Orthodox materials are available in from:

St. Nicholas Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas

 

·         Mailing Address: Box 37, McKinney, TX 75070

·         Rectory Phone: 972/529-2754

·         Email: seraphim@orthodox.net

·         Web Page: http://www.orthodox.net

·         Redeeming the Time Blog: http://www.orthodox.net/redeemingthetime/

 

This homily is at:

http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/pentecost-sunday-05_2009-07-12.html

http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/pentecost-sunday-05_2009-07-12.doc

http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/pentecost-sunday-05_2009-07-12.mp3

 

http://www/.orthodox.net/redeemingthetime

Archive of commentaries: http://www.orthodox.net/scripture

Archive of homilies: http://www.orthodox.net/sermons

 

To receive regular mailings of sermons, and scriptural and services commentary and other things throughout the church year, read our blog “Redeeming the Time” (http://www.orthodox.net/redeemingthetime). You may also subscribe to the RSS Feed or receive its postings by email.

 

Our parish Email list ( http://groups.google.com/group/saint-nicholas-orthodox-church) also has all the latest postings from our website and blog; everyone is welcome to join.

 

All rights reserved.  Please use this material in any edifying reason. We ask that you contact St. Nicholas if you wish to distribute it in any way.  We grant permission to post this text, if completely intact only, including this paragraph and the URL of the text, to any electronic mailing list, church bulletin, web page or blog.

 

 

 

 

 



[1] This references the Prokeimenon for the Apostles, used in the Liturgy for them.

 

[2] Matthew 16:13-16 KJV  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.  (15)  He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?  (16)  And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

 

[3] The “Samaritan Woman”. The Sunday of the Samaritan woman is the fifth Sunday of Pascha. Homilies here: http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/index.html#The_Samaritan_Woman

 

[4] John 4:28-29 KJV  The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men,  (29)  Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?

 

 

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Electronic Newsletter, June 27, 2010 ns

Friday, June 25th, 2010
St. Nicholas Orthodox Church
McKinney, Texas
Electronic Newsletter, June 27, 2010 ns

"Since we have been baptized, let us take care that our soul remains swept and garnished but never empty. Our soul should always be filled with the Holy Spirit and then the evil spirit, when he comes anywhere near us, will be filled with fear and will not be able to enter us."
   
- From "Redeeming the Time." See the entire post here.

Announcements

Our new facility brings with it new maintenance and upkeep tasks. The main venues for keeping our church beautiful are the sisterhood under the leadership of Matushka Marina and the brotherhood under the leadership of our Warden, Reader David Hawthorne. New members, and more active old members, are always welcome! Please help!

We have again updated and prioritized our list of things our parish needs. If you or somebody you know wish to supply one of these items, please contact us.

We will not be holding our usual Tuesday Vespers, Wednesday Liturgy or Thursday Molieben this week, since Fr. Seraphim will be at the St. Peter the Aleut children's summer camp.

This Saturday is the commemoration of St. John of San Francisco, the Wonderworker, a great saint of our century and our land, and the patron saint of our parish brotherhood. We will hold services Friday evening and Saturday morning.
 

*********************************************************************


Prayer Requests

 

For the Health and Salvation.

  • Priests Jean and Grégoire and all the faithful and suffering of Haiti
  • Elizabeth Ash.

For the Repose. Please pray for the repose of the recently departed servants of God, who have reposed within the last forty days:

  • Dr. John Johnstone. 6/4 ns."Herr Doctor" was a dear friend of Fr Seraphim and family in St Louis. He was about 90. 

For a more complete listing, please see our parish prayer list.
 

If you have prayer requests for the ill, for those with special needs or in difficult circumstance or for the departed, please e-mail Priest Seraphim or Deacon Nicholas


*********************************************************************


Schedule of Divine Services in the Coming week

(All services will be held in the new location at 708 S. Chestnut, McKinney TX 75069):

Saturday, 6/26/10

  • Sisterhood garage sale, 7am.
  • Confessions, 4pm.
  • Vigil, 5pm.

Sunday, 6/27/10.

  • Divine Liturgy, 10am.
  • Church School, 12:45pm.
Friday, 7/2/10.
  • Vigil or Vespers for St. John of San Francisco, 7pm
Saturday, 7/3/10

  • Liturgy for St. John of San Francisco, 9am.
  • Brotherhood meeting following the Liturgy.
  • Confessions, 4pm.
  • Vigil, 5pm.

Sunday, 7/4/10.

  • Divine Liturgy, 10am.
  • Church School, 12:45pm.

Our ongoing calendar of services through is posted here:

Our "Redeeming the Time" blog usually has at least several posts a week – http://www.orthodox.net/redeemingthetime.

*********************************************************************


Fasting in the Coming week:

The apostles' fast continues until the feast of the Apostles Peter and Paul on Monday, July 12th. During this fast, we fast from meat, fish, dairy, eggs, wine and oil, with the following exeptions:

  • Fish, wine and oil are allowed on Saturday and Sunday
  • Wine and oil are allowed on Tuesday and Thursday
  • This week, Fish is allowed on Monday (in honor of St. Jonah of Moscow) and Friday (in honor of the Apostle Jude).
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The Sign of Jonas – Baptism, resurrection, repentance and obedience.

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

The Sign of Jonas – Baptism, resurrection, repentance and obedience.
5th Wednesday after Pentecost

Matthew 12:38-45

 

The Prophet Jonas (Jonah) http://www.orthodox.net/ikons/jonah-prophet-01.jpg In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

I wanted to speak for just a moment about this reading on the Fifth Wednesday after Pentecost, about the time that the Lord was asked by the Pharisees to give a sign. He said that,

“An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign. And there shall be no sign given to it except the sign of Jonas.”

Everyone knows the sign of Jonas. He was three days in the fish, and then he came out. It’s a type of the Resurrection.

But the Lord shows from the context that the sign of Jonas is much more than the Resurrection.

The Resurrection, out of context, gives life to no one. Only if the Resurrection is lived, only if the Commandments are followed, does the Resurrection give life.  

So the sign of Jonas is about life, (that is, how to live) not just about that the Lord was going to be resurrected.

It speaks of our resurrection and also our baptism because, after all, Jonas came out of the water – so it’s a type of baptism also.

The Lord judged those people of that generation because they were not going to listen to this sign. They already were judging Him, trying to put Him to death. Many of them, after the Resurrection, would make up false stories about it.

The sign of Jonas is the Resurrection, and also repentance and obedience, because, He says,

“The men of Nineveh shall rise up in judgment with this generation and shall condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonas. And behold, a greater than Jonas is here.”

Now, what happened in the life of Jonas, if you want to summarize it really quickly? He was disobedient. He was told to do something by the Lord. He didn’t want to do it, and he saw that it was dangerous to not do the Lord’s will. He fell into great peril, and was saved by the Lord. Then He repented.

What happened afterwards is as important as the resurrection - that is – Jonas obeyed. Now, as we see in the story, he obeyed although he still had his rough spots. He still was not perfect in his obedience — We don’t call him the doubting prophet for nothing. But he obeyed.

Obedience is a process.

It is not something that happens instantaneously. It’s not something we do perfectly and completely every single day. It’s something that we strive for and make an effort towards. So Jonas obeyed after he was resurrected — or, shall we say, since he was in the water — after he was baptized.

Now, the Lord makes it very clear that He is talking about baptism when He speaks about the demon. He says,

“When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.”

He is cast out by baptism. And what happens? The house of the man is garnished and swept. But the demon, after being out for a while, says: I’m going to return to the house from whence I came out. When he comes, he finds it empty, swept and garnished.

Swept and garnished is a good thing. Baptism should clean us and baptism should make us beautiful. But if our soul is empty, the demon will come back in; the passions will come back in.

So the sign of Jonas is not just Resurrection. It is baptism and it is repentance after baptism. It is changing our way of life after baptism.

And the Jews that were listening to the Lord, many of them were not about to change their way of life. And that is why the Lord said, this is the sign that you will get, the sign of Jonas. Not just that He is pointing to the Resurrection, but also pointing to what we should do after baptism, which is our resurrection, isn’t it? Isn’t it what makes us capable of being resurrected?

So what we should do after our baptism, our resurrection, is live a life of repentance. That’s the sign of Jonas.

May God help us to live according to this sign of Jonas. Since we have been baptized, let us take care that our soul remains swept and garnished but never empty. Our soul should always be filled with the Holy Spirit and then the evil spirit, when he comes anywhere near us, will be filled with fear and will not be able to enter us. Amen.

Transcribed by the hand of Helen

 

Matthew 12:38-45 38 Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee. 39 But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: 40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41 The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here. 42 The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here. 43 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. 44 Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. 45 Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.

 

 

Priest Seraphim Holland 2008.    

 

This and other Orthodox materials are available in from:

St. Nicholas Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas

 

·         Mailing Address: Box 37, McKinney, TX 75070

·         Rectory Phone: 972/529-2754

·         Email: seraphim@orthodox.net

·         Web Page: http://www.orthodox.net

·         Redeeming the Time Blog: http://www.orthodox.net/redeemingthetime/

 

This homily is at:

http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/pentecost-wednesday-05_2008-07-16.html

http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/pentecost-wednesday-05_2008-07-16.doc

http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/pentecost-wednesday-05_2008-07-16.mp3

 

http://www/.orthodox.net/redeemingthetime

Archive of commentaries: http://www.orthodox.net/scripture

Archive of homilies: http://www.orthodox.net/sermons

 

To receive regular mailings of sermons, and scriptural and services commentary and other things throughout the church year, read our blog “Redeeming the Time” (http://www.orthodox.net/redeemingthetime). You may also subscribe to the RSS Feed or receive its postings by email.

 

Our parish Email list ( http://groups.google.com/group/saint-nicholas-orthodox-church) also has all the latest postings from our website and blog; everyone is welcome to join.

 

All rights reserved.  Please use this material in any edifying reason. We ask that you contact St. Nicholas if you wish to distribute it in any way.  We grant permission to post this text, if completely intact only, including this paragraph and the URL of the text, to any electronic mailing list, church bulletin, web page or blog.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Our Completed Church! Lots of pictures, from moving in to the 1st services.

Monday, June 21st, 2010

firstliturgy-53

 

Our Completed Church!

 
"Being confident of this very thing, that He who hath begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Christ Jesus."

And at long last, the good work of building our church has been completed.

We have a beautiful new temple!!

 
Much more here, with lots of pictures, including the outside, living fence, the holy certificate of occupancy, the moving in process, first weekened services, and very cute grandchildren 9they have good genetics!)

Go to this post from my daughter's excellent "Mommy blog": http://momology.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-church.html

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The faith of the centurion The key to faith is: live according to the things you say you believe. Confidence in our prayers comes from the way we live

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

The faith of the centurion

The key to faith is: live according to the things you say you believe.

Confidence in our prayers comes from the way we live

4th Sunday after Pentecost
Matthew 8:5-13

2009

 

Ikon of the healing of the centurion's servant. Matthew 8:5-13 http://www.orthodox.net/ikons/miracle-healing-of-the-centurions-servant.jpg
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

 
“Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee.”

 

So the Lord said to the centurion. Just before this He had said,

 

“I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.”

So why did this man believe so and why did the Lord single out his belief?

In our world today when things are made to appear to be easy, belief is almost magical to people. They disassociate faith from their actions and life priorities.

Faith is not from magic. It’s not something that just appears. It is from the way we live.

 

This is what the Lord was pointing out. The centurion showed by his words and actions the kind of man he was.

 

So he comes to the Lord. He has a servant who is sick. He asked Him to heal him. That’s all he asks; he does not ask Him to go to his house or anything else, because he knows that the Lord can heal.

Why does he know this? He knows this because of the way he lives.

 

He tells the Lord:

 

I’m a man under authority; I say to one of my soldiers: Do this and he does this; go here and he does go; to my slave, go and he does it.”

 

He knows that when under authority you should do what you’re told. How would he know this unless he does it himself?


Confidence in our prayers comes from the way we live
, brothers and sisters. If we don’t live a righteous life, if we’re not obedient, then when we pray to God, we will not have confidence.

 
Now, understand, this is not a matter of being completely sinless. No man is sinless.

 

This is a matter of:

How do you live your life?

What are your priorities?

What’s important to you?

 

This soldier was under authority so he obeyed authority, and he had men under his authority, and he expected them to obey. He knew about authority; he knew about obedience. That was the way he lived his life, and since he was obedient, he had confidence even though he understood himself to be unworthy.

This soldier was considered by the Jews to be a pagan, since he represented Rome to them, even though he believed in the true God and read the Jewish writings. A Jew could not go into a pagan’s house or he would be defiled. So the centurion didn’t want the Lord to come to his house because the Lord, being a Jew would be ritually defiled. And of course the centurion was humble enough to state this plainly.

Sometimes we try to manufacture humility by putting our eyes down to the ground and by bowing to people and by, saying things that appear and sound to be humble.

 

Humility isn’t what we sound like or how our eyes look.

 

Humility is how we live. Humility is who we are.

Humility is recognizing that without God we can do nothing and with God we can do everything. And we are unworthy of His love but He loves us and He will help us.

Only those who are absolutely aware of their sinfulness are absolutely confident in their prayers.

 

It seems to be a bit of a conundrum or riddle. Being more aware of our unworthiness, we are more confident? Absolutely. Because the person who is aware of their unworthiness is living a worthy life, or relatively worthy, shall we say. We are all unworthy.

The true Christian is living a good life, reliable, obedient, ethical, and honorable. And if you live in this way, regardless of your weaknesses and sins, God will hear your prayers, and you will feel confident that God will hear your prayers. This is why the centurion believed, because of who he was, how he lived.

It’s the same with us.

 

There are things in our lives, each one of us, that are difficult. People we care about, situations that are not what they should be, and also, of course, our own sins and our own weaknesses that we wish we can be unburdened from.

Oh, yes, each one of us would like the Lord to say to us that what we believe is accomplished. But that’s only if we believe.

 

And belief comes from practice. Belief comes from being good.

Healing of the centurion's servant, an ink drawing from"Project Gutenberg's Mother Stories from the New Testament" - http://www.gutenberg.org/files/17163/17163-h/17163-h.htm<br />
             http://www.orthodox.net/ikons/miracle-healing-of-the-centurions-servant-02.jpg This is the great unheard, hidden story now of Christianity in our age. You can redefine God to be anything you want nowadays. He can allow anything and everything, except believing that there is sin.

But internally, the soul knows.

 

The soul knows when it does wrong. The soul knows when it has bad priorities. The soul knows when it’s really lying to itself, saying it is a Christian but not living in a Christian way – perhaps going to church, giving alms and other things, but not having your absolute and only priority to be with God.

 

The soul knows.

 

And so when we pray and we feel lacking confidence, this is because of the way we live, of our priorities.

 

Let’s take a lesson from the centurion. He understood authority because he was obedient to authority, so it was easy for him to believe that the Lord, who has authority over all things, could do what He wanted him to do, even though he knew himself to be unworthy.

You see the key here?

 

The key to faith is: You have to live according to the things you say you believe.

 

It’s a matter of priority. It’s a matter of consistency. It’s a matter of being honorable about what you say you believe. This is what marks a Christian.

Let us be like the centurion.

 

Let us be men of faith, let us live according to our faith. Then we will have confidence.

 

Amen.

 

Transcribed by the hand of Helen

 

The ink drawing is from a wonderful little Bible Story book that is online: Project Gutenberg's Mother Stories from the New Testament
        

 

 

Priest Seraphim Holland 2009.    

 

This and other Orthodox materials are available in from:

St. Nicholas Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas

 

·         Mailing Address: Box 37, McKinney, TX 75070

·         Rectory Phone: 972/529-2754

·         Email: seraphim@orthodox.net

·         Web Page: http://www.orthodox.net

·         Redeeming the Time Blog: http://www.orthodox.net/redeemingthetime/

 

This homily is at:

http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/pentecost-sunday-04_2009-07-05.html

http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/pentecost-sunday-04_2009-07-05.doc

http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/pentecost-sunday-04_2009-07-05.mp3

 

More homilies for the 4th Sunday after Pentecost are here: 

http://www.orthodeox.net/sermons/index.html#4th_Sunday_after_Pentecost

        

 

http://www/.orthodox.net/redeemingthetime

Archive of commentaries: http://www.orthodox.net/scripture

Archive of homilies: http://www.orthodox.net/sermons

 

To receive regular mailings of sermons, and scriptural and services commentary and other things throughout the church year, read our blog “Redeeming the Time” (http://www.orthodox.net/redeemingthetime). You may also subscribe to the RSS Feed or receive its postings by email.

 

Our parish Email list ( http://groups.google.com/group/saint-nicholas-orthodox-church) also has all the latest postings from our website and blog; everyone is welcome to join.

 

All rights reserved.  Please use this material in any edifying reason. We ask that you contact St. Nicholas if you wish to distribute it in any way.  We grant permission to post this text, if completely intact only, including this paragraph and the URL of the text, to any electronic mailing list, church bulletin, web page or blog.

 

 

 

 

 

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Our first liturgy – May 31/ June 13 2010 – video

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

 

 

Part 1:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=reBX7iL-Bv4

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/22977549

http://video.yahoo.com/watch/7652789/20332274

http://www.blip.tv/file/3755517

 

Part 2:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmANEB23pRE

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/22998040

http://video.yahoo.com/watch/7657847/20349551

http://www.blip.tv/file/3760282

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Pictures of our first liturgy May 31/June 13 2010

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

The First Liturgy, May 31/ June 13 2010,
Two days after we attained our long sought after occupancy permit. We only had time to hang iconostasis icons. The mood was festive, the liturgy prayerful, the acoustics excellent, the children excited, and the hall is already too small!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/saint-nicholas/sets/72157624278380102/show/

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