Archive for the ‘Audio homilies’ Category

“According to your faith be it unto you.” The two blind men teach us how to increase our faith. Matthew 9:27-35

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

Gregory William, for whom I pray fervently that he will have true faith! LISTEN NOW

Synopsis: Before Jesus healed the two blind men who had cried out to him MANY times (with the rudiments of the Jesus prayer), He said to them: "According to your faith be it unto you". Remember, since we read the scripture in order to be taught something about ourselves, we MUST apply this saying to ourselves – does it fit us? If we find ourselves to be lacking in faith, or perhaps the fruit of faith – results in things that matter in our lives, then we must find a way to increase our faith. It is reasonable to ask the Lord for this, since the apostles themselves also asked him to increase their faith. Jesus commended several people concerning their faith – including the centurion Syrophenician woman of Canaan, and the woman "who was a sinner". Each adds to the picture of how we can increase our faith. We look at the example of the two blind men, with humility, recognizing that we have weak faith and need to learn from their example.

More homilies on the Seventh Sunday after Pentecost are HERE

Matthew 9:27-35 27 And when Jesus departed thence, two blind men followed him, crying, and saying, Thou son of David, have mercy on us. 28 And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to him: and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord. 29 Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you. 30 And their eyes were opened; and Jesus straitly charged them, saying, See that no man know it. 31 But they, when they were departed, spread abroad his fame in all that country. 32 As they went out, behold, they brought to him a dumb man possessed with a devil. 33 And when the devil was cast out, the dumb spake: and the multitudes marvelled, saying, It was never so seen in Israel. 34 But the Pharisees said, He casteth out devils through the prince of the devils. 35 And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.


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Let love be without dissimulation. A reason for all the rules. Romans 12:6-14. 6th Sunday after Pentecost 2012

Sunday, July 15th, 2012

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Synopsis: St Paul can be hard to read because his theology is so dense. There is a common pattern to his writings however; he presents his theological arguments, and then proceeds to tell us the "rules". We are in a non-dogmatic age, where there is only one rule – one cannot believe, much less proclaim that there are rules! the Christian life is not this way! Our rules are based on our theology, and are summarized by love. In this selection, St Paul gives a lot of rules, and they are summed up by his admonition: "Let love be without dissimulation." He gives us a reason for following moral rules just preceding this selection: " I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.".

More homilies on the 6th Sunday after Pentecost are HERE

Romans 12:6-14 6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; 7 Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; 8 Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness. 9 Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. 10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; 11 Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; 12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; 13 Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. 14 Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.


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The Gergesenes demons ask US an important question, and IMPORTANT advice for those who wish to marry, in 2 homilies

Monday, July 9th, 2012

Another "TWO-FER" today, with a homily on one of the most important questions in all of Scripture, asked by an unlikely teacher, and VERY IMPORTANT commentary on selection of a husband or wife, inspired by talk around the campfire at the St Peter the Aleut summer camp.

Exorcism of the Gergesens DemoniacsSynopsis: The exorcism of the Gergesenes demoniacs is an incredible story, with lots of bizarre occurrences: demons confessing Jesus as God and begging Him for mercy, pigs committing mass suicide in the sea, and an entire town coming out to meet Jesus after the miracle. None of this is the most important thing. The demon #39;s question is what you must not miss; it is a question being asked of you every day: "What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God?". We must learn to recognize and answer the questions Scripture asks of us. This passage teaches us, what not to answer in the reactions of the townspeople. They are among the most tragic people in the New Testament, because they went to Hell quietly. Before we are too hasty in our judgment of them, let us compare ourselves to their actions.

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More homilies on the 5th Sunday after Pentecost are HERE

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.


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On the top of "Little Mount Athos", at Possum Kingdom Lake, Graford, TexasSynopsis: At St Peter the Aleut Summer camp, which is at Possum Kingdom Lake (Texas) in July each year, we love to have campfires late at night with the youth and talk about stuff. This year, Fr Cassian Sibley came up with a gem, a quote from his grandfather: "It takes a really, REALLY good man to be better than no man at all". This short talk expands on that quote, which is critical for our youth to understand, or else they may "settle" for a marriage to a man (or woman) who is not suitable for them to save their souls and raise good children. There are reliable ways to make sure this DOES NOT HAPPEN. This is important stuff!

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How should we live? Learn how to think. Romans 6 and the faith of the centurion teach us this. 2 homilies.

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

A TWOFER today: Homilies on the epistle and the Gospel read this past Sunday, the 4th after Pentecost.

Synopsis: Romans Chapter Six is one of the most important chapters of the New Testament. It teaches just about everything that is important: about the effect of the incarnation, baptism, the purpose of life and how to accomplish it, and also something that is very important: how to think about sin. To sin, pure and simple, is to become a slave to unrighteousness, and the end of such things is death. We must learn to consider ourselves slaves to righteousness. It is one … or the other. How can we learn to think AND act in this way?

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Romans 6:18-23 18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. 19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. 20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. 21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. 22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. 23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.


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Healing of the centurion's servantSynopsis: The Lord commended the faith of the centurion who had a sick servant. We must live our life the way he lived his, or we will not have faith. The centurion teaches us that faith will not exist without profound humility and obedience, and wonder of wonders, the more humble we become, the more bold and confident we will be in prayer. If you lack faith, attention or assurance in prayer, or God in any ways feels distant to you, you absolutely, positively must learn to have the faith of the centurion.

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Matthew 8:5-13 5 And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him, 6 And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented. 7 And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him. 8 The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. 9 For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. 10 When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. 11 And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 13 And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.



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More homilies on the 4th Sunday after Pentecost are HERE


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Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; to fulfill the command we must control our thoughts! Matthew 6:22-33

Monday, June 25th, 2012

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Synopsis: The Lord never gives us a command that He does not explain and teach how to fulfill. In this selection, He first teaches us how to fulfill the command by teaching about the eye, and desire, and then progresses to rebuke our thoughts and anxieties. These things are obviously related! They both tie in to HOW to fulfill the command "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness".

Matthew 6:22-3 22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. 23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! 24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. 25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? 26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? 27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? 28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? 31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.


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How to become a Saint. You do want to be a saint, don’t you? Sunday of All Saints, 2012

Monday, June 11th, 2012

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I want them all to become Saints! May God help them! All Saints day, 2012

Synopsis: We are ALL called to be Saints (holy). This is the purpose of Christianity and the church – to guide people towards sanctity and holiness – to become Saints. The scriptures read today are an instruction manual in how to become a saint. It boils down to priorities, the courage to make the effort to hold to them, even when it is difficult (confession) and patience.

More homilies on all Saints day, the 1st Sunday after Pentecost are HERE

Matthew 10:32-33, 37-38; 19:27-30 32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. 33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. 37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. 27 Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? 28 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. 30 But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.

Hebrews 11:33-12:2 33 Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions. 34 Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. 35 Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: 36 And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: 37 They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; 38 (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. 39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: 40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect. 1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.


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“I will give you a new heart, and put a new spirit within you” – learning to read the heart and discriminate between the old and new ways.

Monday, June 4th, 2012

The church decorated with living plants for Pentecost, 2012

The church decorated with living plants for Pentecost, 2012

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Synopsis: The readings for Divine Liturgy on Pentecost give the story of Pentecost and our Lord #39;s prophesy of it. The "take home" for Pentecost is from one of the Vespers readings: "I will give you a new heart, and put a new spirit within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and will give you a heart of flesh." (Ezekiel 36:26) We can know a lot about Pentecost, but if we do not learn how to discern the old ways, which the heart falls into frequently, from the new ways, we will have learned nothing useful for our salvation. We look into how to learn to discern what is in our hearts, whether it be according to the old, or according to the new. The Holy Spirit will not continue to abide in a heart that does not seek after the new ways. We contrast new and old ways and discuss how to develop the skill to discern between them. This is a critically important subject. This homily is a bit longer than normal, but it is important, and it is difficult to discuss important things, and important skills in 12-15 minutes.

More homilies on the Sunday of Pentecost are HERE

Ezekiel 36:24-28 24 For I will take you from among the Gentiles, and will gather you together out of all the countries, and will bring you into your own land. 25 And I will pour upon you clean water, and you shall be cleansed from all your filthiness, and I will cleanse you from all your idols. 26 And I will give you a new heart, and put a new spirit within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and will give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my spirit in the midst of you: and I will cause you to walk in my commandments, and to keep my judgments, and do them. 28 And you shall dwell in the land which I gave to your fathers, and you shall be my people, and I will be your God.


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The Healing of the Blind man – without courage there will never be healing.

Monday, May 21st, 2012

Healing of the Blind ManLISTEN NOW

Synopsis: What is the most important part of the healing of the blind man story? It is undoubtedly the courage of the blind man and how because of his courage he was brought to full enlightenment and healing. Our healing in Christ will not proceed to completion without personal courage. It does not matter how talented, intelligent or knowledgeable you are, or whether you have more self control than most and your life is in good order or not – without personal courage and willingness to stand up and be a Christian in our post Christian age (a misnomer term, there has never been a "Christian" age, since the world has always been against Christ), you will not be healed of your passions and sins and achieve perfection. The dialogue of the blind man with the Pharisees of his age (every age has them), shows how we incrementally become wiser and sounder in soul as we react to whatever the world brings to is with courage, and with what we know at the time. This is an "every man" kind of story. The blind man had no special talent, nor did he have complete knowledge (his answers showed him growing in knowledge), but he was courageous, and because of this, he gained not only physical eyes, but also spiritual ones. Anyone who is tempted to cave in to the political correctness of this age, which demands certain ways of thinking, speaking and acting, needs to ponder the healing of the blind man in great detail.

More homilies on the 6th sunday of Pascha, The Sunday of the Blind man, are HERE

John 9:1-38 1 And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. 2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? 3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. 4 I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. 5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. 6 When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, 7 And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing. 8 The neighbours therefore, and they which before had seen him that he was blind, said, Is not this he that sat and begged? 9 Some said, This is he: others said, He is like him: but he said, I am he. 10 Therefore said they unto him, How were thine eyes opened? 11 He answered and said, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed, and I received sight. 12 Then said they unto him, Where is he? He said, I know not. 13 They brought to the Pharisees him that aforetime was blind. 14 And it was the sabbath day when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes. 15 Then again the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. He said unto them, He put clay upon mine eyes, and I washed, and do see. 16 Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath day. Others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them. 17 They say unto the blind man again, What sayest thou of him, that he hath opened thine eyes? He said, He is a prophet. 18 But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind, and received his sight, until they called the parents of him that had received his sight. 19 And they asked them, saying, Is this your son, who ye say was born blind? how then doth he now see? 20 His parents answered them and said, We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind: 21 But by what means he now seeth, we know not; or who hath opened his eyes, we know not: he is of age; ask him: he shall speak for himself. 22 These words spake his parents, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue. 23 Therefore said his parents, He is of age; ask him. 24 Then again called they the man that was blind, and said unto him, Give God the praise: we know that this man is a sinner. 25 He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see. 26 Then said they to him again, What did he to thee? how opened he thine eyes? 27 He answered them, I have told you already, and ye did not hear: wherefore would ye hear it again? will ye also be his disciples? 28 Then they reviled him, and said, Thou art his disciple; but we are Moses' disciples. 29 We know that God spake unto Moses: as for this fellow, we know not from whence he is. 30 The man answered and said unto them, Why herein is a marvellous thing, that ye know not from whence he is, and yet he hath opened mine eyes. 31 Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth. 32 Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind. 33 If this man were not of God, he could do nothing. 34 They answered and said unto him, Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us? And they cast him out. 35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God? 36 He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him? 37 And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee. 38 And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him.


Healing of the Blind ManIf the "LISTEN NOW" link does not work, copy this URL into your browser: http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/pascha-sunday-06_2011-05-20+the-blind-man+courage-precedes-full-enlightenment_john9-1-38.m3u

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She left her waterpot! The extreme humility and faith of the Samaritan Woman.

Monday, May 14th, 2012

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Synopsis: The story of the woman at the well, St Photini (Svetlana) has an enormous amount of deep and important theology, but the most important part is the personality of the Samaritan woman must be understood an emulated to understand any of it. She was very humble; when the Lord exposed her sin, she stayede with Him to hear more. When she understood Him, she left her waterpot. We esplore these two actions. She was an extremist. We cannot be saved unless we are too.


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Two homilies on the 4th Sunday of Pascha. Faith must deal with despondency and the variable relationship of faith to miracles.

Monday, May 7th, 2012

Healing of the Paralytic by the Sheeps poolSynopsis: The Healing of the Paralytic by the sheep's pool has many deep theological concepts in it, but none of this matters if we do not adopt the character and faith of the paralytic. We examine his patience and also his despondency. All true faith must battle with despondency. The paralytic and other examples during this Paschal period, such at the Apostle Thomas and Peter, and the Myrrh bearing women teach us this critical lesson.

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More text and audio homilies on the 4th Sunday of Pascha, the Paralytic are HERE

John 5:1-15 1 After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 2 Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. 3 In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. 4 For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. 5 And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? 7 The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me. 8 Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. 9 And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath. 10 The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, It is the sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed. 11 He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk. 12 Then asked they him, What man is that which said unto thee, Take up thy bed, and walk? 13 And he that was healed wist not who it was: for Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place. 14 Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee. 15 The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus, which had made him whole.


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Peter raises Tabitha, part of a mosaic in San Vitale, at Ravenna, early 6th century.source http://www.comeandseeicons.com/t/pdg15.htmSynopsis: Exegesis of Acts 9:32-42, the reading for the 4th Sunday of Pascha. Two miracles of Peter. The variable relationship of faith to miracles.

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Acts 9:32-42 32 And it came to pass, as Peter passed throughout all quarters, he came down also to the saints which dwelt at Lydda. 33 And there he found a certain man named Aeneas, which had kept his bed eight years, and was sick of the palsy. 34 And Peter said unto him, Aeneas, Jesus Christ maketh thee whole: arise, and make thy bed. And he arose immediately. 35 And all that dwelt at Lydda and Saron saw him, and turned to the Lord. 36 Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did. 37 And it came to pass in those days, that she was sick, and died: whom when they had washed, they laid her in an upper chamber. 38 And forasmuch as Lydda was nigh to Joppa, and the disciples had heard that Peter was there, they sent unto him two men, desiring him that he would not delay to come to them. 39 Then Peter arose and went with them. When he was come, they brought him into the upper chamber: and all the widows stood by him weeping, and shewing the coats and garments which Dorcas made, while she was with them. 40 But Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down, and prayed; and turning him to the body said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes: and when she saw Peter, she sat up. 41 And he gave her his hand, and lifted her up, and when he had called the saints and widows, presented her alive. 42 And it was known throughout all Joppa; and many believed in the Lord.


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