“We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.” Understand yourself, and repentance and change will be unhindered.

Synopsis: It is crucial that we apply the Scripture we read *personally*. St Paul’s writings especially have important doctrinal teachings, but they always have personal application that we must not miss. We hone in on a critical “pointer” the Apostle gives regarding our nature and sin. We must takes his words to heart, and “own” them, so that we do not waste time with sadness, grief, guilt, surprise and shame, and always have productive repentance for our sins.

Parable of the Wedding Feast & the earnest of the Spirit, & also how/when to pray for people during the Divine Liturgy.

The homily begins with a request to pray for an Orthodox woman who is planning to have an abortion. The most important place in the liturgy to offer our heartfelt prayers to God for others is given, and it is explained that among other things, the earnest of the spirit, which St Paul mentions in his epistle should motivate us for our brethren who are suffering or in danger. After a little bit about how Orthodox should view abortion, this " earnest" and the "tie in" to the parable of the wedding feast are explained, and we see how praying for others and struggling for good MUST be the result of our entry into the wedding feast, which has already occurred, and is occurring.

arable of the Vineyard: the outer (Jewish) and inner (Christian) meanings and symbolism: we must bear fruit! AND The Holy Prophet Samuel: Behold, here am I. Speak, for thy servant hears.

Another TWO_FER on the 13th Sunday after Pentecost, 2012!

The Parable of the Vineyard, like most parable, has an immediate, outer meaning, and many layers of inner meaning. We compare all the symbolism in the parable, giving the immediate (Jewish) meaning, and The Christian meaning, and then talk about the main inner point of the parable: we must bear fruit – we are commanded to!

We celebrated The Prophet Samuel today, and talked about him at Vigil. The Holy Prophet Samuel teaches us how to approach EVERYTHING in life. The manner of the birth and calling of Samuel is also mentioned.

Exegesis of Vespers readings on Transfiguration: typology and moral instruction.

Exegesis of the Vespers readings (parables, paremia) for the Feast of the Transfiguration, with emphasis on typology, especially comparing the Theophanies Moses and Elijah experienced to the Transfiguration on Mount Tabor, and the significant moral instruction these events give us, when viewed in a Christian light.

For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” It seems obvious now, but will it be after years of sin?

This is one of my most important homilies ever, and involves a very personal story. The Scripture today mentions the Second Coming of the Lord, and Jesus gives instructions that are easy to understand. Basically, He teaches that if there is time to talk about the supposed arrival of Him in the second coming, it is NOT happening. His coming will be so fast that “For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” This scripture has always meant a great deal to me, because of hearing it long ago spoken to a person who was absolutely convinced that she could never be deceived. even though at the time she was in a sinful relationship with a man. She figured that God would forgive he when they married, and she was right; God forgives all who repent, but the question that has always been on my mind since that day is, would there come a timer, after many days, months, years of sin that a person would not longer desire to repent, and be capable of being deluded regarding things they formally understood? This is a critical question!

A TWO-FER today. A Homily on the Gospel of the Exorcism of the Lunatic Son, and some exegesis of a passage from 1 Corinthians.

A TWO-FER today. A Homily on the Gospel of the Exorcism of the Lunatic Son, and some exegesis of a passage from 1 Corinthians.

Synopsis: The exorcism of the lunatic son teaches us how to gain faith. There is no faith, no salvation without labor. We must understand prayer and fasting in this context. We also see that our sins CAN and DO harm others.

Synopsis: The words of St Paul regarding Apostles MUST also apply to us! If we want honor, apparent strength or wisdom, etc, we will not be followers of Christ. If we obey the apostle and are followers of him (we must understand this – we must also live in such a way that people follow us!), we will understand true prayer and virtue in all circumstances.

Jesus walks on the water and the disciples are afraid. WHY?

When Jesus walked on the water to join the disciples in their boat, the Gospel mentioned that they were afraid – twice. When He approached, they thought they saw a spirit and were afraid, and of course, Peter became afraid when he saw the waves and felt the wind, when he was attempting to walk on the waves to Jesus. They *should not* have been afraid! The Lord had just performed a stupendous miracle, and they should have known that He would always protect them. Why were they afraid? It was for the same reasons that we are afraid, or suffer from the common modern version of fear – anxiety.

“They need not depart; give ye them to eat.” The promise, command and privilege given in the feeding of the five thousand.

The feeding of the five thousand was a unique miracle, in that our Lord commanded his disciples to participate in it, by telling them: “Give ye them to eat.” This is VERY significant. It is both a promise, a command and a privilege that EVERY Christian must obey EVERY day. Obeying this command is the ONLY way to happiness, as it is part of the fulfillment of the Great Commandment, as the fulfilling of that command is accomplished by actively fulfilling the second commandment. The miracle shows us that no matter what our circumstances are, “giving them to eat ” will always be aided by God, and will result in an abundance. We may not feel this abundance until later, but is certainly will accumulate if we obey the command of the Lord to think of others first before ourselves.

“We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.” The Apostle explains how to become strong.

The Apostle Paul usually gives detailed theological arguments in the beginning of his epistles and then admonitions and commands based on these truths. Today he explains immediately why “We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves”. If we do not understand his lesson we have no idea what Christianity really is. We will see the simple reason for Christian morality.