Six minutes on the progression of sin. Holy Week is not only about the events surrounding the passion of our Lord, but is also a time for introspection and self-amendment. The descent of Judas into the insanity of deicide did not happen all at once, but progressed because of his addiction to a particular passion. We read a sessional hymn from Holy Tuesday Matins, and see how it describes the progression of sin in *our* lives unless we fight to not “accept the darkness”. This is VERY important, and applies to EVERYONE.
“Impious Judas with avaricious thoughts plots against the Master, and ponders how he will betray Him. He falls away from the light and accepts the darkness; he agrees upon the payment and sells Him that is above all price; and as the reward of his actions, in his misery he receives a hangman’s noose and death in agony. O Christ our God, deliver us from such a fate as his, and grant remission of sins to those who celebrate with love Thy most pure passion.” (Sessional Hymn, Tone 8, Holy Tuesday Matins)
On Holy Tuesday Presanctified, we read the Parable of the ten virgins. This parable is one of the most important in all of Scripture, and a proper understanding of it is crucial. The interpreter par-excellence of this Gospel is my Patron, St Seraphim of Sarov. His “Conversation with Motovilov” (also here) contains pearls regarding this parable.
“Rejoice In The Lord Alway And Again I Say Rejoice”
Synopsis:A homily by Deacon Nicholas Park in which he discusses the admonition of the Apostle Paul to “Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice”. Many if the children of Jerusalem who cried “Hosanna” were worshipping Jesus as the person they *wanted* Him to be, and not as He really is.
Learning Humility by recounting the events of Holy Week
Synopsis: A very short homily after Vespers in the vigil for Palm Sunday. The events of Holy week should teach us humility. Many mistakes were made, by those who loved the Lord and those who hated Him. For instance, two prophesies, one from Zechariah, and the other from Jeremiah, were fulfilled to the letter, and the leaders who plotted to destroy Jesus, and who knew the Scripture, were blind to this. Martha and Mary, who loved the Lord, showed deep ingnorance about Who He is. We must learn humility from these examples.
“In confirming the common resurrection” and other reasons why Lazarus was raised.
Synopsis: After Matins for St Lazarus, a short homily giving examples from the services which detail three of the reasons why the story of the resurrection is so prominent in the Gospel of John, and is read at this time of the year, and the most important reason, from the story itself, why this extremely intimate account of this great miracle of Christ is preserved.
Exegesis of the raising of Lazarus story
Homily after liturgy on Lazarus Saturday, with the children enthuistically and usually quite theologically correctly participating.
The Saturday of Lazarus is The entrance into holy week and a prophesy of our resurrection. The resurrection of Jesus Christ enables us to have our resurrection. What it the most important part of this story? All that is true, and that is alive is because of Jesus Christ. Our life is to become like Christ. If we become like him, we will have life in ourselves; If not, we will have no life.
We cannot exhaust all the theological profundity of the story of the resurrection of Lazarus. This short homily after Presanctified liturgy, 3 days before Lazarus Saturday, focuses on just one thing: Martha’s interaction with Jesus and the reality that is difficult to fully believe UNLESS it is lived: “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live”
Today we look toward the resurrection, and we look also set our eyes on the resurrection we will celebrate with great fervor and zeal and festivity in only another week. But today we look at our resurrection, very explicitly because Lazarus was a man like us and was dead and already decomposing, and our Lord raised him from the dead. …
Newsletter for Palm Sunday. Announcements, Service Schedule, and more.
In our continuing series of small homilies between Vespers and matins, based upon the texts of the services, we examine the repentance of St Mary of Egypt, and see how we can emulate it. Her repentance was not a one time, unique event! We must find ways to cultivate a repentant spirit; the hymns discussed today give us much to do to accomplish this.
“The pollution of past sins prevented thee from entering the church to see the elevation of the Holy Cross; but then thy conscience and the awareness of thine actions turned thee, O wise in God, to a better way of life. And, having looked upon the ikon of the blessed Maid of God, thou hast condemned all thy previous transgressions, O Mother worthy of all praise, and so hast gone with boldness to venerate the precious cross” (5th Sunday of Lent, Sat Vespers, Lord I have cried)
“I am held fast in the mire of sin, and there is no strength or courage in me; the tempests of my trespasses hast overwhelmed me. Look upon me, O Virgin, I entreat thee, for thou hast borne the Word who alone loves mankind. Deliver me from every sin, from all the passions that destroy my soul, and from every ill inflicted by the enemy, that I may sing with joy; Intercede with thy Son and God, O undefiled, that remission of transgressions may be given to those who in faith take refuge beneath thy protections.” (5th Sunday of Great Lent, Matins, Sessional Hymn after the 3rd Ode)
The Gospel for St Mary of Egypt presents a “riddle” to us: “Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.”. The Lord tells us she is forgiven because of her love! What does this mean? It is very important to understand. We see in both Gospels 3 examples of what to do or not do to nurture this kind of love.