The conversation and conversion of the Samaritan woman by the well, recorded only in John, is the conversation of Christ with the soul. This is good news for us, as the future Equal to the Apostles Photini (Svetlana) was not a good woman – she had many sins – and we are not good either, however, she listened to the Lord, even as He sternly corrected her false beliefs and immoral lifestyle. The same conversation is happening to us, every day. Are you listening? Do you know how to listen? St Photini teaches us.
SYNOPSIS:The Scriptures tell us that Joseph “became bold” and asked for the body of Jesus from Pilate. He did a dangerous thing, which would likely cost him his life, as did the Holy Myrhhbearers when they went to the tomb on the day of the resurrection, to anoint a dead man. Why did they become bold? This is very important! They did not quite ” get things right”, since Jesus was not dead, so it is not so important that we get everything right and understand everything, but we must &become bold”, because of love, and God will cause everything to work to the good. Also, at the beginning, an instruction about praying for people during the most sacred part of the Divine Liturgy, which is an obligation for all Orthodox Christians, and not only the clergy.
The Apostle Thomas is a perfect example of how we are, deep inside. We have doubts, problems, unresolved issues. We must follow his example to resolve all these problems. We also talk about the closing of the doors in the altar on Bright Saturday night, and what it means. It is VERY related to the story of Thomas, which must become our story if we are to be saved.
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.
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.
Two homilies on the 4th Sunday of Pascha, the Healing of the Paralytic. One on the Gospel, and one on the epistle.
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.
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.
The stoty of the Myrhhbearing women and Joseph and Nikodemus is fundementally about boldness, and doing the right thing, without regard to how it will get done. Here is a small excerpt: To become bold doesn’t mean you do something without being scared. It means you do something despite the fact that you’re scared, or confused, or whatever. That’s what courage is. Courage is to do things regardless of how you feel, and that’s what the Myrrhbearing Women did, and that’s what Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus did, and that’s what we must do. And there will be moments in our life when we have to be bold, not just one, but many moments.
The Scriptures tell us that Joseph “became bold” and asked for the body of Jesus from Pilate. He did a dangerous thing, which would likely cost him his life, as did the Holy Myrhhbearers when they went to the tomb on the day of the resurrection, to anoint a dead man. Why did they become bold? This is very important! They did not quite ” get things right”, since Jesus was not dead, so it is not so important that we get everything right and understand everything, but we must &become bold”, because of love, and God will cause everything to work to the good. Also, at the beginning, an instruction about praying for people during the most sacred part of the Divine Liturgy, which is an obligation for all Orthodox Christians, and not only the clergy.
The story of the “unbelieving disbelief” of Thomas, always read on the Sunday after Pascha, and also several other times during the year has one core message that applies to every human being. We look at this, and the only reason Thomas stayed with the Apostles through the eighth day, when He saw Christ – love. Without love, and the actions of Thomas replicated in *our* lives the resurrection will be of no good effect for us. the Christology and theology in this selection is deep and important, but the example which we must learn is of even higher importance.
Of all the resurrection stories, perhaps the one concerning St Thomas is the one we can most relate to. He is the "common man", who was later able to do uncommon things. We are just like him, so our path of life must also be like his, which is the Christian life in microcosm. He, like us, was a complex indivicdual, believing, then faint of heart, couargeous, then full of fear. The one thing that he did that we must do to be saved is to endure, and "believe in the midst of our unbelief". If we do this, we are not far away from the supernatural exploits of St Thomas, the Apostle.