Archive for the ‘Gospel:Luke’ Category

20th Sunday, 2008. The raising of the son of the widow of Nain. We cannot understand this story unless we weep.

Sunday, November 2nd, 2008

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Luke 7:11-16 And it came to pass the day after, that he went into a city called Nain; and many of his disciples went with him, and much people. 12 Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her. 13 And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not. 14 And he came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise. 15 And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother. 16 And there came a fear on all: and they glorified God, saying, That a great prophet is risen up among us; and, That God hath visited his people.



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Other Homilies on this Sunday:

http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/pentecost-sunday-20_1997.html
20th Sunday of Pentecost (HTML format)
1997

http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/pentecost-sunday-20_1998+the-resurrection-of-the-son-of-the-widow-of-nain.doc
20th Sunday of Pentecost (Word DOC format)
The Resurrection Of The Son Of The Widow Of Nain
1998

http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/pentecost-sunday-20_2002.rtf
20th Sunday of Pentecost (RTF format)
2002

http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/pentecost-sunday-20_2002+the-resurrection-of-the-son-of-the-widow-of-nain.mp3
20th Sunday of Pentecost (mp3 format)
The Resurrection Of The Son Of The Widow Of Nain
2002

http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/pentecost-sunday-20_2004.mp3
20th Sunday of Pentecost (mp3 format)
2004

http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/pentecost-sunday-20_2008-11-02.mp3
20th Sunday of Pentecost (mp3 format)
The raising of the son of the widow of Nain.
We cannot understand this story unless we weep.
Luke 7:11-16
2008

 

 

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20th Week After Pentecost – Friday

Friday, October 31st, 2008

Today’s readings, followed by a few small pastoral and personal thoughts.

Philippians 3:8-19 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, 9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: 10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; 11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. 12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. 13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. 16 Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing. 17 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. 18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: 19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)

 

Luke 7:31-35 And the Lord said, Whereunto then shall I liken the men of this generation? and to what are they like? 32 They are like unto children sitting in the marketplace, and calling one to another, and saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned to you, and ye have not wept. 33 For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine; and ye say, He hath a devil. 34 The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners! 35 But wisdom is justified of all her children.

 

 

Luke 7:31-34 And the Lord said, Whereunto then shall I liken the men of this generation? and to what are they like? 32 They are like unto children sitting in the marketplace, and calling one to another, and saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned to you, and ye have not wept. 33 For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine; and ye say, He hath a devil. 34 The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners!

 

The Lord is using a Jewish game of the time to ridicule the Pharisees. The game was played with two groups of children. One group would mourn and wail and the other would dance and play flutes. Each group would stay separate from the other. This doubtless was imitating the real funerals and celebrations they had seen.

 

The Lord is exposing the Pharisee’s hypocrisy. They would not join with St John the Baptist, nor with Christ. The mourning children represent St John, who lived and austere life. The dancing children represent our Lord, who did not live such an austere life in public, as St John did. The Pharisees held themselves from both, and ridiculed both their teachings and ways of life.

 

Luke 7:35 But wisdom is justified of all her children

 

“Wisdom”, is of course, Jesus Christ, and her children are those that believe in Christ, and follow His teachings. The Book of the Wisdom of Solomon, Proverbs and the Psalms especially contain references to “Wisdom”. In this passage, Jesus appropriates this name for Himself. “Son of Man” is another name He frequently used for himself (and just as “Wisdom”, this name occurs in the OT scriptures)

 

It is good to know the factual content of the scripture, but this is no good to our soul unless we apply it to ourselves. The admonition of the Lord to the Pharisees applies to many in our day. Can we with a straight face call ourselves the children of Wisdom if we do not follow Christ completely? In our politically correct day, many falsehoods are called true and good things labeled as evil. Most people, including those who fancy themselves to be Christian, are heavily influenced by the opinions of the day. These opinions, which are a mixture of good and evil, are held by those who neither mourn, nor dance. We must guard ourselves carefully from such opinions, because as we believe, so we live.

 

Bibliography

The Explanation of the Holy Gospel according to St Luke, by Blessed Theophylact, published by Chrysostom Press – http://www.chrysostompress.org/. ALL FOUR BOOKS ARE HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

 

 

    Priest Seraphim Oct 18/31 2008.                                                  St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas

http://www.orthodox.net/scripture/20th-week-after-pentecost_friday_philippians3;8-19+ luke7;31-35.rtf

http://www.orthodox.net/scripture/20th-week-after-pentecost_friday_philippians3;8-19+ luke7;31-35.pdf

New commentaries are posted on our BLOG: http://www/.orthodox.net/redeemingthetime

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20th Week After Pentecost – Thursday. Philippians 3:1-8. Luke 7:17-30.

Thursday, October 30th, 2008








20th Week After Pentecost – Thursday

 

 

Today’s readings, followed by a few small pastoral and personal thoughts.

 

Philippians 3:1-8 Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe. 2 Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision. 3 For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. 4 Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: 5 Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; 6 Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. 7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. 8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,

 

Luke 7:17-30 And this rumour of him went forth throughout all Judaea, and throughout all the region round about. 18 And the disciples of John shewed him of all these things. 19 And John calling unto him two of his disciples sent them to Jesus, saying, Art thou he that should come? or look we for another? 20 When the men were come unto him, they said, John Baptist hath sent us unto thee, saying, Art thou he that should come? or look we for another? 21 And in that same hour he cured many of their infirmities and plagues, and of evil spirits; and unto many that were blind he gave sight. 22 Then Jesus answering said unto them, Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached. 23 And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me. 24 And when the messengers of John were departed, he began to speak unto the people concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness for to see? A reed shaken with the wind? 25 But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, they which are gorgeously apparelled, and live delicately, are in kings’ courts. 26 But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? Yea, I say unto you, and much more than a prophet. 27 This is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. 28 For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he. 29 And all the people that heard him, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John. 30 But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him.

 

Luke 7:17-30 And this rumour of him went forth throughout all Judaea, and throughout all the region round about. 18 And the disciples of John shewed him of all these things. 19 And John calling unto him two of his disciples sent them to Jesus, saying, Art thou he that should come? or look we for another? 20 When the men were come unto him, they said, John Baptist hath sent us unto thee, saying, Art thou he that should come? or look we for another?

 

Blessed Theophylact tells us that some of St John’s disciples were jealous, having heard of Christ. These were still holding onto their allegiance to John, even though their leader had already said: “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30) Sometimes people do not adapt well to change, and become enamored of a personality instead of the message that person is trying to convey. St John, being a wise pastor, wished to bring his disciples to the proper understanding. They may have believed him if he told them again of Christ, but a better and more sure way was to send them to Christ, so they could see for themselves.

 

A shallow perusal of this text may raise the doubt in some that St John’s faith was weak. How can this be, since he was the one who leaped in the womb when he met Christ, who was in the womb of the Virgin, when she came to Elizabeth? (Luke 1:41). How can this be, since shortly after he prophesied to his followers that:  “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire” (Matthew 3:13), when Christ came to him in the Jordan, he recognized the one of whom He had prophesied, and said with trembling: “have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?” (Matthew 3:14).  

 

Luke 7:24 And when the messengers of John were departed, he began to speak unto the people concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness for to see? A reed shaken with the wind?

Some of the people who knew the St. John had sent messengers to Christ were scandalized, and our Lord is addressing this when he asks a series of questions beginning with “What went ye out to see”. A reed in the wind bends whichever  way the wind blows – this signifies inconstancy and weak faith.

 

Luke 7:28 For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.

 

I know someone who was a pastor in a Protestant church who once discussed this passage with me. He was a reasonably scripturally literate, very sincere pastor. His incredible exegesis of this chapter, which he had obtained from his central church body, was that St John the Baptist was NOT in heaven and was not saved! His reasoning was that since the least person in the kingdom of God is greater than St John, he must not be in the Kingdom of God!  This demonstrates how crazy scriptural exegesis can be outside of Holy Tradition.

 

Christ is excluded from those “born of women”, since the word here indicates a wife.

 

Priest Seraphim Oct 17/30 2008

http://www.orthodox.net/scripture/20th-week-after-pentecost_thursday_philippians3;1-8+luke7;17-30.rtf

http://www.orthodox.net/scripture/20th-week-after-pentecost_thursday_philippians3;1-8+luke7;17-30.pdf

New commentaries are usually posted on our BLOG: http://www/.orthodox.net/redeemingthetime

 

 

 

 

 

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20th Week After Pentecost – Wednesday

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008





Today’s readings, followed by a few small pastoral and personal thoughts.

 

Philippians 2:24-30 But I trust in the Lord that I also myself shall come shortly. 25 Yet I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, and companion in labour, and fellowsoldier, but your messenger, and he that ministered to my wants. 26 For he longed after you all, and was full of heaviness, because that ye had heard that he had been sick. 27 For indeed he was sick nigh unto death: but God had mercy on him; and not on him only, but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow. 28 I sent him therefore the more carefully, that, when ye see him again, ye may rejoice, and that I may be the less sorrowful. 29 Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness; and hold such in reputation: 30 Because for the work of Christ he was nigh unto death, not regarding his life, to supply your lack of service toward me.

 

Luke 6:46-7:1 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? 47 Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: 48 He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. 49 But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great. 1 Now when he had ended all his sayings in the audience of the people, he entered into Capernaum.

 

Luke 6:46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?


Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” (Mat 7:21)


You have heard many times that all dogma is moral. We believe in God, only if, in acknowledging Him, we obey Him. It is useless and destructive to the soul to believe in God without obedience – the demons also believe! It would be good for us if every time we say “Lord”, we evaluate how much we are living according to Whom we speak of. EVERT TIME we say “Lord, Lord”, we must evaluate whether or not we are also confessing Him with our deeds.

 

Luke 6:47-48 Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: 48 He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.

 

It takes great effort and perseverance to “dig deep”. A deep foundation will stand, and a shallow one will eventually be broken. This deep digging includes the searching of the scriptures, to understand the depth of the profundity of their meaning, and also the searching of the conscience. Of course, the rock upon which we build is Christ:


“For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” (1Cor 3:11)


“Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; (2) And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; (3) And did all eat the same spiritual meat; (4) And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.” 1Cor 10:1-4

 

 

At our present time, as we are beginning to actually build our new temple (after months of prayer, planning and fund raising), these words remind me of our present efforts. As your pastor, despite my own limitations, I have attempted to make the foundation of our church to be the rock that is Christ. I am not speaking of the concrete that will be poured this week or next, but the spiritual life of our community. Without spirit, the body is dead. Without effort and perseverance in our personal lives, we cannot expect God to bless our corporate lives in St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church.


I question myself daily, whether I am “digging deep”, and helping to provide a deep foundation for my small flock. I hope that you do this also. This “digging” consists of daily prayer for all of you, the searching of the scriptures, and my personal effort to be a better person. Everything we do privately affects our community corporately. If I do not pray with so much attention on a certain day, I weaken our community. The same is true for everyone in the community. Our fasting, and prayer, and efforts to follow the commandments are both personal and corporate.


The most important change I have made since we have begun seriously to talk of building has been to have a weekday Divine liturgy. We began this custom the week after Nativity this year, and have not failed to celebrate a Divine Liturgy at least once during the week (on Wednesday at the beginning, now on Thursday). Since then, with the one exception of when I was serving at our Diocesan Cathedral in Des Plaines, IL, for their patronal feast. Of course, at that liturgy, I made sure to commemorate everyone in the proskimidie.


We must continue to do all we can to make our building project successful. It will not end when temple is finished. The building we are doing is to build up the body of Christ. A new temple is critical to our success, but more critical is our personal involvement in the life of Christ. If we struggle spiritually, we will succeed physically and financially.

Priest Seraphim Oct 16/29 2008

http://www.orthodox.net/scripture/20th-week-after-pentecost_wednesday_philippians2;24-30+luke6;46-7;1.rtf

http://www.orthodox.net/scripture/20th-week-after-pentecost_wednesday_philippians2;24-30+luke6;46-7;1.pdf

 

 

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20th Monday After Pentecost

Monday, October 27th, 2008

 





20th Week After Pentecost – Monday

Today’s readings, followed by a few small pastoral and personal thoughts.

Philippians 2:12-16 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. 14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings: 15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; 16 Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.

 

Luke 6:24-30 But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation. 25 Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep. 26 Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets. 27 But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, 28 Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. 29 And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also. 30 Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.

 

Phil 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

 

It is quite easy to behave correctly when in the presence of authority. This action applies as much as the other things mentioned in yesterday’s Gospel in which our Lord stated “Even sinners do”. The test of a Christian is if he does good and is obedient when others are not present. Of course, we fool ourselves whenever we think we are alone, because God sees all, but nonetheless, our vanity and dishonesty goads us into attempting to appear more obedient , than we really are when we are with others, especially those who have some authority over us, or whom we wish to impress. This is in direct contradiction to the command of the holy apostle.

 

This desire is also shared by parents, pastors, and teachers. Whoever tries to instill in another person a sense of right and wrong, and attempts to enable them to be good feels this way. I often think about my flock, and wonder how they are doing during the day. You are all in God’s hands, and my influence is but for only a short time each week (or even less than that!), so I console myself by praying for everyone in my small flock every day.

 

Phil 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

 

The Christian faith is active; it is change. God works in us to help facilitate the change, but we must WILL to change and DO according to this will (in this verse, the one doing the “working” is god, and we are doing the “willing” and “doing”). The scripture is full of admonitions and encouragements like this. The world may tell us that salvation is won without labor, but the scriptures tell us emphatically that we must labor!

 

Phil 2:16 Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.

 

This is the prayer of every pastor. I wonder often if my labors will be fruitful. There many times when I am tempted to doubt this, such as when the church is almost empty at the beginning of the liturgy, or when other services are sparsely attended. There are many other things also. I also wonder when I see great inconsistency in lifestyles, and wonder why is this so? Is it because of my sins, my weak faith, my poor prayers? This is a dangerous feeling, which I believe all pastors are prone to, some more, some less. I admit I have it, and there is only one solution: “physician heal thyself!” This is actually the only solution for all our troubles, and by this I mean that we must attempt with great vigor to change ourselves, with consistent prayer, fasting and obedience to the commandments. We must attempt to change before we can expect God to intervene, I try to apply this idea to my life, and teach it. The only reason for doubt is lack of faith, and we lack faith because we lack purity.

 

 

Luke 6:24-26 But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation. 25 Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep. 26 Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets

 

All of this is an amplification of the thought I shared yesterday (St John Chrysostom’s teaching, in agreement with the whole church, that we will be rewarded with the reward we see, whether a temporary reward, or an eternal one, but never both)

 

Priest Seraphim, Oct 14/27 2008

http://www.orthodox.net/scripture/20th-week-after-pentecost_monday_philippians2;12-16+luke6;24-30.pdf

http://www.orthodox.net/scripture/20th-week-after-pentecost_monday_philippians2;12-16+luke6;24-30.rtf

 

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19th Sun after Pent – Luke 6:31-36 – “As ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise”

Monday, October 27th, 2008

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Luke 6:31-36 And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. 32 For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. 33 And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same. 34 And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. 35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. 36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.

Other homilies for this day:

http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/pentecost-sunday-19_1997.html
19th Sunday of Pentecost (HTML format)
1997

http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/pentecost-sunday-19_1999+what-thank-have-ye.doc
19th Sunday of Pentecost (Word DOC format)
What Thank Have Ye
1999

http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/pentecost-sunday-19_2002+be-merciful.mp3
19th Sunday of Pentecost (mp3 format)
Be Merciful
2002

http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/pentecost-sunday-19_2004.mp3
19th Sunday of Pentecost (mp3 format)
2004

http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/pentecost-sunday-19_2008-10-26.mp3
19th Sunday of Pentecost (mp3 format)
";And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise."
Luke 6:31-36
2008



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18th Sun after Pentecost 2008 – “Nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.”

Sunday, October 19th, 2008

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Luke 5:1-11 And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret, 2 And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets. 3 And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon’s, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship. 4 Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. 5 And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net. 6 And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake. 7 And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink. 8 When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord. 9 For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken: 10 And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men. 11 And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him.



If the "LISTEN NOW" link does not work, copy this URL into your browser: http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/pentecost-sunday-18_2008-10-19.m3u

If this file does not work for you, try the direct link to the actual mp3 file:http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/pentecost-sunday-18_2008-10-19.mp3

 

Other Homilies on this sunday:

http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/pentecost-sunday-18_1997.html
18th Sunday after Pentecost (HTML format)
1997

http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/pentecost-sunday-18_2000+the-miraculous-draught-of-fish.doc
18th Sunday after Pentecost (Word DOC format)
The Miraculous Draught Of Fish
2000

http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/pentecost-sunday-18_2002+the-first-great-catch-of-fish.mp3
18th Sunday after Pentecost (mp3 format)
The First Great Catch Of Fish
2002

http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/pentecost-sunday-18_2007-09-30+sunday-after-the-exaltation-of-the-cross+a-simple-way-of-life_galations2;16-20+mark8;34-9;1.mp3
18th Sunday after Pentecost (mp3 format)
Sunday After The Exaltation Of The Cross
A Simple Way Of Life
Galations 2:16-20, Mark 8:34-9:1
2007

 



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Be Humble.

Tuesday, May 6th, 2008

For nothing is so acceptable to God as to number one’s self with the last. This is a first principle of all practical wisdom.


For he that is humbled, and bruised in heart,
will not be vainglorious,
will not be wrathful,
will not envy his neighbor,
will not harbor any other passion.

I wish to share with you today from my personal reading. I am making my way through the homilies of St John Chrysostom on the Gospel of Matthew. I read them online, because it makes it easy to take notes, and perhaps excerpt something such as this for the edification of my flock.

St John is famous for his “tangents”. He is here commenting on “So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.” (Luke 17:10). This is in the middle of a sermon on the genealogy at the beginning of St Matthew!

St John’s tangents are always practical and moral in nature. Here he gives marvelous advice which we should all be careful to keep.

At the end of this letter will be a large excerpt from St. John’s sermon. It is a little difficult to read, because the English is archaic, but the meaning of the small bit I have put at the top of this letter should be clear to the Christian.

Basically, summing it up, if you want to be freed from your passions and achieve peace, then be humble. May God help us to be humble, and realize that peace which Christ came to give us.



So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do. (Luke 17:10)

8. Let us beware therefore of saying anything about ourselves, for this renders us both odious with men and abominable to God. For this reason, the greater the good works we do, the less let us say of ourselves; this being the way to reap the greatest glory both with men and with God. Or rather, not only glory from God, but a reward, yea, a great recompense.

Demand not therefore a reward that thou mayest receive a reward.

Confess thyself to be saved by grace, that He may profess Himself a debtor to thee; and not for thy good works only, but also for such rightness of mind. For when we do good works, we have Him debtor for our good works only; but when we do not so much as think we have done any good work, then also for this disposition itself; and more for this, than for the other things: so that this is equivalent to our good works. For should this be absent, neither will they appear great.

For in the same way, we too, when we have servants, do then most approve them when, after having performed all their service with good will, they do not think they have done anything great.

Wherefore, if thou wouldest make thy good deeds great, do not think them to be great, and then they will be great.

It was in this way that the centurion also said, “I am not fit that thou shouldest enter under my roof;” because of this, he became worthy, and was “marvelled at” (Matt. viii. 8) above all Jews.

On this wise again Paul saith, “I am not meet to be called an apostle;”(1 Cor. xv. 9) because of this he became even first of all.

So likewise John: “I am not meet to loose the latchet of His shoe;”(Mark i. 7; Luke iii. 16; John i. 27, iii). 29. because of this he was the “friend of the Bridegroom,” and the hand which he affirmed to be unworthy to touch His shoes, this did Christ draw unto His own head.

So Peter too said, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man;”(Luke v. 8) because of this he became a foundation of the Church.

For nothing is so acceptable to God as to number one’s self with the last. This is a first principle of all practical wisdom.

For he that is humbled, and bruised in heart,
will not be vainglorious,
will not be wrathful,
will not envy his neighbor,
will not harbor any other passion.

For neither when a hand is bruised, though we strive ten thousand times, shall we be able to lift it up on high. If therefore we were thus to bruise our heart likewise, though it were stirred by ten thousand swelling passions, it could not be lifted up, no, not ever so little. For if a man, by mourning for things pertaining to this life, drives out all the diseases of his soul, much more will he, who mourns for sins, enjoy the blessing of self-restraint.

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf110.iii.vi.html NPNF1-10. St. Chrysostom: Homilies on the Gospel of Saint Matthew, Homily 3

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5th Sunday of Great Lent – Saint Mary Of Egypt – Who Loves The Most

Monday, April 14th, 2008

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5th Sunday of Great Lent – Saint Mary Of Egypt

Who Loves The Most

2008

Luke 7:36-50And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to meat. 37 And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, 38 And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. 39 Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner. 40 And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on. 41 There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. 42 And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? 43 Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged. 44 And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. 45 Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. 46 My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment. 47 Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. 48 And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven. 49 And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also? 50 And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.


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Cheesefare Week, Monday, Luke19:30-34 – "The Lord hath need of him"

Monday, March 3rd, 2008
Luke 19:30 Saying, Go ye into the village over against you; in the which at your entering ye shall find a colt tied, whereon yet never man sat: loose him, and bring him hither. 31 And if any man ask you, Why do ye loose him? thus shall ye say unto him, Because the Lord hath need of him. 32 And they that were sent went their way, and found even as he had said unto them. 33 And as they were loosing the colt, the owners thereof said unto them, Why loose ye the colt? 34 And they said, The Lord hath need of him.




Our Lord’s instructions to the disciples show that He had made careful preparations for His final meal with them. He had not revealed all the details to anyone, but only told them what they needed to know.
He did not explain to his disciples why he needed the colt, but we know now that the animal not only served to convey him into Jerusalem on the day of Palms, but also to indicate mystically for us the bringing in of the Gentiles into the household of faith, since a colt is a yet wild and untamed animal.

And what are to make of the dialog concerning the colt of the unnamed man with the disciples?
We cannot understand the ways of God. So often, we are tempted to have our own judgments concerning people and events, not knowing the mind of God concerning such things.
How many times are we just as the Jews, who thought it preposterous that the Gentiles would share in the salvation promised to them, even though the Lord told innumerable parables concerning this, and there are numerous prophesies concerning the Gentiles in the Old Testament?

How many times do we dare to question the Lord, and say “Why do you loose Him”, that is, question our life’s circumstances and doubt His providence? Or perhaps we do not openly doubt our Lord, but our own prejudices and presuppositions and spiritual blindness have not allowed us to see the hand of God in our daily lives?

This colt is not only a symbol for us of the Gentiles, but also of our own ignorance concerning the mind of God, and how the Lord carefully prepares all things in our life for our salvation, but does not explain to us in intimate detail the reasons for each thing.
Why does the Lord tarry when we ask of Him something? Why does a loved one suffer? Why (on a local and current note), is it so difficult to build a new church for His glory? For every circumstance in our lives, good and bad, we should merely say: “The Lord hath “need” of (it)”, that is, in some way, the providence of God is leading us to better things, although we cannot understand how.
How powerful even the simple words of scripture are! Let us remember the next time that we are perplexed, or disheartened (and it will be today), that we cannot know why the Lord has need of the colt, only that it is part of a careful plan for our salvation.

Full Gospel reading for the Monday of Cheesfare:

Luke 19:29-40; 22:7-39 And it came to pass, when he was come nigh to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount called the mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, 30 Saying, Go ye into the village over against you; in the which at your entering ye shall find a colt tied, whereon yet never man sat: loose him, and bring him hither. 31 And if any man ask you, Why do ye loose him? thus shall ye say unto him, Because the Lord hath need of him. 32 And they that were sent went their way, and found even as he had said unto them. 33 And as they were loosing the colt, the owners thereof said unto them, Why loose ye the colt? 34 And they said, The Lord hath need of him. 35 And they brought him to Jesus: and they cast their garments upon the colt, and they set Jesus thereon. 36 And as he went, they spread their clothes in the way. 37 And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; 38 Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest. 39 And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples. 40 And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out. 22:7 Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the passover must be killed. 8 And he sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare us the passover, that we may eat. 9 And they said unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare? 10 And he said unto them, Behold, when ye are entered into the city, there shall a man meet you, bearing a pitcher of water; follow him into the house where he entereth in. 11 And ye shall say unto the goodman of the house, The Master saith unto thee, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples? 12 And he shall shew you a large upper room furnished: there make ready. 13 And they went, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover. 14 And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him. 15 And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer: 16 For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God. 17 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves: 18 For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come. 19 And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. 20 Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you. 21 But, behold, the hand of him that betrayeth me is with me on the table. 22 And truly the Son of man goeth, as it was determined: but woe unto that man by whom he is betrayed! 23 And they began to enquire among themselves, which of them it was that should do this thing. 24 And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest. 25 And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. 26 But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve. 27 For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth. 28 Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations. 29 And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; 30 That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 31 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: 32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. 33 And he said unto him, Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death. 34 And he said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me. 35 And he said unto them, When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing? And they said, Nothing. 36 Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one. 37 For I say unto you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished in me, And he was reckoned among the transgressors: for the things concerning me have an end. 38 And they said, Lord, behold, here are two swords. And he said unto them, It is enough. 39 And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him.
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