“…Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it ” [John 2:5] Bright Wednesday 2013

May 8th, 2013

"…Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it " [John 2:5]

Bright Wednesday 2013

 

 

"… Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it"[1] [John 2:5]

 

CHRIST IS RISEN!

 

The Miracle at the Wedding at Cana. http://www.orthodox.net/ikons/miracle-wedding-feast-of-cana-01.jpg

 

This is is advice that we need to follow closely. It was given by the Holy Theotokos, to the servants at the Wedding Feast in Cana, when there was no more wine at the feast. Our Lord told the servants to fill 6 waterpots with water (an inexplicable command), and draw some off and bring it to the ruler of the feast, and the water turned into wine.

 

Our will is unreliable since it is tainted by the passions. We often get things wrong. God's will is always GOOD.

 

 Sometimes we know and understand why God is telling us to do a certain thing  such as  that we should love our enemies or we should we should do good to those who do evil into us. That is the easy  stuff (to understand, but not always to do!).

 

The hard part is the following God's will when we do not understand why or perhaps we don't even understand exactly what it is we are to do or what the result is supposed to be.

 

This happened to Peter when he was told by the Lord very early in His ministry to let down the nets for a draught[2].  He has been fishing all night and caught nothing, and experienced fishermen of that time knew that the best time to catch fish was at night and therefore it made no sense from an earthly or worldly perspective to let down the nets in the middle of the day; it was a fool's errand. Peter even stated as much to the Lord, but he obeyed him, perhaps not expecting anything, and of course they caught a great catch a fish

 

I tell myself and my flock many times  things that some do not seem to understand or accept – for instance –  come to the services regularly, confess and commune regularly, fast, pray often for some difficult thing to be resolved. The problem is that although all these things cause grace to abound in the heart it happens most of the time in an invisible and even imperceptible way and it takes much time for us to overcome our passions and the difficulties in life that we experience.

 

All we need to do is obey the Lord, and things will always "work to the good[3]". I have a saying which I say often: "It is always right to do the right thing", and its corollary, "It is  always wrong to do the wrong thing". It is really that simple.

 

The part that it is not simple is that sometimes we don't know what the right thing is that we should do. In the wedding at Cana the Lord gave clear instructions; just go fill some water pots with water. In our lives things are much more gray and we often do not have full or even significant understanding, but the Lord will reveal Himself to us and things will "make sense" if we seek Him.

 

If you often don't know what to do or you are confused by the moral choices that life presents to you then I submit to you that you're not seeking the Lord enough. Something in your life is clouding your understanding[4]. Life is about becoming like God;  if we become like God then we think like Him and  we acquire his mind. If we acquire His mind then we are not confused by anything.

 

To summarize: this simple statement – "… Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it" seems to me to have two important meanings and commands. The first of course is readily apparent: we must obey the Lord every time in every place and in every situation. The second is more subtle and is inferred by the first: we must learn what it is Lord wants us to do, and knowing this takes effort and dedication.

 

 

Priest Seraphim Holland 2013     St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas

 

This article is at:

http://www.orthodox.net/journal/2013-05-08+john2-5+whatsoever-he-saith-to-you-do-it.html

http://www.orthodox.net/journal/2013-05-08+john2-5+whatsoever-he-saith-to-you-do-it.doc

 

New Journal entries, homilies, etc. are on our BLOG: http://www.orthodox.net/redeemingthetime

 

Journal Archive: http://www.orthodox.net/journal

 

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Use this for any edifying reason, but please give credit, and include the URL of the article. This content belongs to the author. We would love to hear from you with comments! (seraphim@orthodox.net)

 

 



[1] Our parish is being encouraged to read the Gospel of John during the Pentecostarion period. If we read 1/2 chapter a day plus the remainder (about 2 chapters) the day before Ascension, we will finish in forty days. On Bright Wednesday, the suggested reading is John 1:1-12, & Bright Thursday the rest of Chapter 2

 

This small essay is a prayerful meditation on some part of the "assigned" reading. REMEMBER – read the scripture to apply it to yourself. This is all important. There may be parts you do not understand, but there will always be something that touches your heart if you read it prayerfully.

 

If you have comments about this verse or another in this selection (John 2:1-12), please add them in the comments, or email them to me.

 

[2] Luke 5:4-6  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.

 

 

[3] Romans_8:28  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

[4] Often this is sin, since "Sin makes you stupid".

“Come and see” – It applies to everything. John 1:46 Bright Tuesday 2013

May 7th, 2013

"And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see." [John 1:46]

 

[Our parish is being encouraged to read the Gospel of Jon during the Pentecostarion period. If we read 1/2 chapter a day plus the remainder (about 2 chapters) the day before Ascension, we will finish in forty days. On Bright Monday, the suggested reading is John 1:1-28, on Tuesday the rest of the chapter (John 1:29-51)]

 

 

The following is a prayerful meditation on some part of the "assigned" reading. REMEMBER – read the scripture to apply it to yourself. This is all important. There may be parts you do not understand, but there will always be something that touches your heart if you read it prayerfully.

 

If you have comments about this verse or another in this selection (John 1:29-51), please add them in the comments, or email them to me.

 

 

"Come and see." This is the way to live your life,  always with obedience and expectation. Our faith is one of experience. We "come and see" by the way we live and the Lord shows us. There are two ways to "Come and See": one is the way of the unbeliever and the other that of the Christian. The unbeliever does something to change his unbelief into belief – he is not sure what he will "see". The Christian knows that God always will act with grace in his life, and that he will always see this, as long as his sins and passions (and not because God has "failed" to act) do not obscure his vision.

 

How many times have our sins,  passions,  doubts kept us from "Coming and seeing"?

 

There are a lot of demoralizing  things that happen in the pastoral ministry (if the pastor is a sinful man). Many times I have been spiritually tired and not wanted to do something,  and not as many times,  but still a large number of times  I have done it anyway,  and I have expected something to happen that would be good for my soul or of some benefit to someone. This is to "come and see".

 

I apply this dictum to prayer for others. Sometimes I see no results for an extended period of time. The Lord expects me to expect results, and continue to pray (there are all kinds of Scripture that state this, do you know some of them?) – this is to "come and see". Do you pray daily (and not just one little "Lord have mercy") for your loved ones and those whom your heart breaks when you think of them?  A good practical way to accomplish this is to pray the Jesus prayer a set number of times (like 10, 50 or 100 – whatever is convenient for your prayer rope) for them every day: "Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on Seraphim". Do not listen to the distracting or even negative and sad thoughts. To listen to them is to not come and to never see.

 

I always (well probably  not always!) had this attitude in regard to the services. Sometimes I am tired and want to "be a parishioner" (not go to church[1])  but of course I go and on most days I go with expectation,  and I have never been disappointed. Something ALWAYS happens.

 

I am convinced that every encounter in our life will teach us something,  strengthen us,  open us up to receiving  and keeping close to our soul grace,  if we always encounter everything  with an attitude  of "Come and see."

 

Priest Seraphim Holland 2013     St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas

 

This article is at:

http://www.orthodox.net/journal/2013-05-07+john1-46+come-and-see+it-applies-to-everything.html

http://www.orthodox.net/journal/2013-05-07+john1-46+come-and-see+it-applies-to-everything.doc

 

New Journal entries, homilies, etc. are on our BLOG: http://www.orthodox.net/redeemingthetime

 

Journal Archive: http://www.orthodox.net/journal

 

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How to BECOME a child of God John 1:12-13

May 6th, 2013

"But as many as received Him, to them he gave power to become Children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were begotten not of blood, nor of the flesh, nor the will of man, but of God." [John 1:12-13]

 

[Our parish is being encouraged to read the Gospel of Jon during the Pentecostarion period. If we read 1/2 chapter a day plus the remainder (about 2 chapters) the day before Ascension, we will finish in forty days. On Bright Monday, the suggested reading is John 1:1-28, on Tuesday the rest of the chapter (through verse 51)]

 

 

The following is a prayerful meditation on some part of the first "assigned" reading. REMEMBER – read the scripture to apply it to yourself. This is all important. There may be parts you do not understand, but there will always be something that touches your heart if you read it prayerfully.

 

If you have comments about this verse or another in this selection (John 1:1-28), please add them in the comments, or email them to me.

 

CHRIST IS RISEN!

 

In one sense we can  say we are not children of God,  but that we are becoming children of God. Of course, the Theologian explicitly states that we are given the power to "become". This implies we are not finished with the transition from being a child of the world (and the Devil) to a child of God. This is a continual, stepwise process.

 

So the question is at what point would we become fully children of God and what is this process. To be a child of God is to be *fully* human,  as Jesus Christ is human. This is a process,  and it takes place over our lifetime.  We are constantly *becoming*. This is not a foregone conclusion. We have the power,  give by Christ through baptism,  and we then must "take our bed and be walking".

 

If we "receive" Christ, we must obey Him. We also must learn about him ("take My yoke upon me and learn of me…"). This learning is not in the head, but in the heart. Our wonderful task is to become like the God-man Jesus Christ, and follow his example, which is well laid out in the Gospels and the lives of his beloved ones, the Saints.

 

The Theologian states that those born of God are not born of:

 

blood – I take this to mean by human birth.

 

the flesh – This may also be human birth, but I take it to mean that the ways of the flesh – our passions, bad priorities, and earthbound desires and practices will never lead us to heaven.

 

nor the will of man – I take this to mean that MY WILL will never lead me to God. I must give my will to God, and so His will if I am to become a child of God. My will does not work, it is unreliable, and dangerous. God's will is perfect, and leads to perfect peace.

 

May God grant that we receive Him in every way and become fully children of God!

 

 

Priest Seraphim Holland 2013     St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas

 

This article is at:

http://www.orthodox.net/journal/2013-05-06+john-1-12-13+how-to-become-a-child-of-god.html

http://www.orthodox.net/journal/2013-05-06+john-1-12-13+how-to-become-a-child-of-god.doc

 

New Journal entries, homilies, etc. are on our BLOG: http://www.orthodox.net/redeemingthetime

 

Journal Archive: http://www.orthodox.net/journal

 

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Use this for any edifying reason, but please give credit, and include the URL of the article. This content belongs to the author. We would love to hear from you with comments! (seraphim@orthodox.net)

Comments on the 2013 Lenten Pastoral Retreat Diocese of Chicago and Middle America ROCOR Mar 20/April 2 – Mar 22/ April 3 2013

April 4th, 2013

Comments on the 2013 Lenten Pastoral Retreat

Diocese of Chicago and Middle America ROCOR

Mar 20/April 2 – Mar 22/ April 3 2013

 

It is our custom in our diocese for the clergy to gather around our bishop twice a year in the cathedral of the Holy Protection of the Mother of God, Des Plaines, Il. One of these times is during Great Lent, and the other is for the Patronal feast of the Cathedral, in the Fall.

 

I hate to travel – I am a nervous and sometimes confused traveler, but I love having traveled and seeing my brothers again. I regret that Fr Nicholas could not come due to his work obligations. He would have loved it. He is in the same boat I was once in, having a young family and a full time job, and juggling time off to include important days such as Good Friday, and Holy Thursday, and trying to have a little bit left for his family time.

 

We are a poor diocese, but we are very rich. I have been around a little, especially because of the Internet, and I do not know of a more peaceful diocese anywhere. I truly enjoy being around my brother clergy, and it is always warms my soul to see how freely and easily we interact with our chief shepherd, Bishop Peter. We are truly free to say anything, in public or private, and there is a sense in our gatherings of acceptance, support and calm.

 

It is not like this all over the Orthodox landscape. I am always consciously aware of how grateful I am that we have this peace and unity amongst ourselves. Our small diocese is growing, and although poor, is quite healthy financially. It is a privilege to be a part of this growth.

 

This is not to say that we do not have opinions, and disagreements in our deliberations. We are a mix of shy and open, quiet and not so quiet, opinionated and taciturn, but our disagreements are always accomplished "agreeably". We all collaborated on an excellent Resolution, so to be published, which we will read to our parishes. We also had an important mutual pastoral concern, and came up with am important step towards addressing it. I think we did important work this week. May God's blessing descend upon our humble pastoral outreach, and have it be received in the same prayerful and pastoral spirit in which it was conceived.

 

Of course the focus of our gathering is our concelebrating of the Divine Liturgy together. We celebrated Vespers and Matins the evening before, with The usage of English and Slavonic split approximately 50% each. As an Anglophone, I much appreciate this, but in the beautiful candlelit cathedral, when the Slavonic was read quite beautifully by the parish Cantor (who is equally adept in Slavonic and English)  and others, I would usually look upon one of the icons and pray the Jesus prayer, and in some way, the moments felt very holy and pure. I do not want to insinuate that I prayed in a holy way or with much attention, because I am a jumble of sins and thoughts,  but I will boldly say that my soul was enlarged by the experience and I treasure these moments. One of the Fathers the following morning asked me if I wanted to stand in the cliros, which was full of clergy chanting and singing in English and Slavonic (when we had the 3rd, 6th and 9th hour and Typika before the Presanctified Liturgy), and I answered no, because it is rare for a priest to be able to stand in the church, and just pray. I appreciate those moments. Perhaps I take advantage, with good attention to 10% of these moments, but this is still a great blessing for my soul, and I hope, for those whom I remember during these holy times. My flock and my family may be assured that my heart is with you very much during these times.

 

Something always happens at some point during the Divine Liturgy, usually around the time of the Great Entrance. This is always the highlight of my trip, but talking about it cannot convey the experience. I become overwhelmed with a kind of certainty deep within my soul that we are surrounded by holiness, – the saints and the angels, and the Holy Spirit in all of us, and we are doing something holy – together, as brothers. It always seems to me that if I fully understood at that moment the enormity of our brotherly love, expressed by our solidarity and sobriety in gathering around our chief shepherd to partake of the Holy body and Blood Of our Lord together, I would fully understand love, and be able to love fully, and therefore to know God, and act as God. This is a comforting feeling, but always, in that peculiar way that we who are Orthodox, (if we love and understand our prayers) understand – it is distressing too. I am in the presence of holiness and I am barely aware of it, and yet, I am filled with the sure hope that my brothers and I, and those whom we touch in our pastoral administrations – will understand it fully, someday. I have heard the term "bright sadness" used to describe Great Lent, and it does, but it also describes these moments, an all moments of deep prayer, and, if we are not lazy and dissolute, every day of our lives.

 

 

 

 

 

Priest Seraphim Holland 2013     St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas

 

This article is at:

http://www.orthodox.net/journal/2013-04-04-lenten-pastoral-retreat-diocese-of-chicago-and-middle-america.html

http://www.orthodox.net/journal/2013-04-04-lenten-pastoral-retreat-diocese-of-chicago-and-middle-america.pdf

http://www.orthodox.net/journal/2013-04-04-lenten-pastoral-retreat-diocese-of-chicago-and-middle-america.doc

 

New Journal entries, homilies, etc. are on our BLOG: http://www.orthodox.net/redeemingthetime

 

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Use this for any edifying reason, but please give credit, and include the URL of the article. This content belongs to the author. We would love to hear from you with comments! (seraphim@orthodox.net)

“Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.quot; The Last Judgment story teaches us we are eternal beings & everything we do must be eternal.

March 10th, 2013

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SYNOPSIS: Are you a glass half full or half empty person? How do you look at the Last Judgment story in Matthew 25:31-46? Many people concentrate on the condemnation of those who go to Hell, but the story actually emphasizes that we are eternal beings ("Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world"), and therefore every thing we do and every work of mercy must be eternal. It teaches us how to accomplish this: "Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me"

Matthew 25:31-46 31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. 41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: 43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. 44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. 46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.


If the "LISTEN NOW" link does not work, copy this URL into your browser: http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/great-lent-sunday-before-great-lent-04_2013-03-10+sunday-of-the-last-judgment+inherit-the-kingdom-prepared-for-you-from-the-foundation-of-the-world_matthew25-31-46.m3u

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The healing of the woman with a spirit of infirmity 18 years teaches us that love is the highest law and HOW to love + 7 homilies on Psalm 118

December 10th, 2012

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Synopsis: The healing of the woman with a spirit of infirmity of 18 years warns us to not be formal in our religion. Love is the highest law; we can only obey this law if we understand something critically important about ourselves. This healing teaches us both of these things.

More homilies on the 27th Sunday after Pentecost are HERE

Luke 13:10-17 10 And he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath. 11 And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself. 12 And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity. 13 And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God. 14 And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because that Jesus had healed on the sabbath day, and said unto the people, There are six days in which men ought to work: in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the sabbath day. 15 The Lord then answered him, and said, Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering? 16 And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day? 17 And when he had said these things, all his adversaries were ashamed: and all the people rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by him.


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Commentary on Psalm 118, verse by verse


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A way to pray for someone with the Jesus Prayer

December 4th, 2012

An excellent way to pray for someone is to pray a short prayer for them, then say the Jesus prayer for the person, for a set number of times.

One may say "Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on N", or, more inclusively, "on us".

After the Jesus prayers, one may repeat the short prayer, or use another one. Two suggested prayers are below.

 

Prayer in Way of the Pilgrim, for others:

Merciful Lord, may Thy will be done;

Thou desirest that all men come to the truth and be saved, have mercy and save Thy servant N.

  Receive this petition from me as a cry of love which Thou hast commanded

 

To pray for someone more diligently:

Save, O Lord, and have mercy on Thy servant(s) ________, [bow]


Deliver him (her, them) from every tribulation, wrath and need [bow],


From every sickness of soul and body, [bow]


Forgive him (her, them) every transgression, voluntary and involuntary, [bow]


And do whatever is profitable for our souls. [bow].       

From the Old Believer Prayer Book.

 

What must I do to be saved? Follow the Greatest commandment and understand how to do this by understanding the Parable of the Good Samaritan.

November 25th, 2012

Parable of the Good SamaritanLISTEN NOW

Synopsis: What must I do to be saved? Follow the Greatest commandment and understand how to do this by understanding the Parable of the Good Samaritan.

More homilies on the 25th Sunday after Pentecost are HERE

Luke 10:25-37 25 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? 26 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? 27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. 28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. 29 But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour? 30 And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. 33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, 34 And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee. 36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? 37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.


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Commentary on Psalm 118, verse by verse


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Two kinds of faith; whatever faith we have the Lord will respond: Jairus and the woman with the issue of blood.

November 19th, 2012

Ikon: Raising of the daughter of Jairus and healing of the woman with an issue of blood.

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Synopsis: The number 12 appears twice in the story of the raising of the daughter of Jairus and the healing of the woman with an issue of blood; this is not accidental. We see two kinds of faith – weak and strong, and the good news that the Lord will respond to even to weak faith, but we must also respond when He does! Of course, the whole point of His response to our weak faith is that it would become stronger! We look at the weak faith of Jairus and his necessary response to the Lord, and learn form the strong faith of the woman with an issue of blood.

More homilies on the 24th Sunday after Pentecost are HERE

Luke 8:41-56 41 And, behold, there came a man named Jairus, and he was a ruler of the synagogue: and he fell down at Jesus' feet, and besought him that he would come into his house: 42 For he had one only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she lay a dying. But as he went the people thronged him. 43 And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any, 44 Came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched. 45 And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? 46 And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me. 47 And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before him, she declared unto him before all the people for what cause she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately. 48 And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace. 49 While he yet spake, there cometh one from the ruler of the synagogue's house, saying to him, Thy daughter is dead; trouble not the Master. 50 But when Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole. 51 And when he came into the house, he suffered no man to go in, save Peter, and James, and John, and the father and the mother of the maiden. 52 And all wept, and bewailed her: but he said, Weep not; she is not dead, but sleepeth. 53 And they laughed him to scorn, knowing that she was dead. 54 And he put them all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying, Maid, arise. 55 And her spirit came again, and she arose straightway: and he commanded to give her meat. 56 And her parents were astonished: but he charged them that they should tell no man what was done.


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Commentary on Psalm 118, verse by verse


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The Gospel proclaimed and its moral imperative: “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works”. Ephesians 2:4-10. 23rd Sunday after Pentecost.

November 12th, 2012

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Synopsis: The Gospel is proclaimed succinctly in this classic and often misunderstood! passage from Ephesians. We go through it carefully, emphasizing that we must not only understand what Christ did for us, but also that this understanding places a moral obligation upon us. Every point made by the Apostle has a moral application to our daily lives, culminating in the significant, somewhat forgotten words (since they follow the famous and significant statement: "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God") "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." This is important stuff! At the end of the homily, a pastoral exhortation regarding what we MUST expect when we attend the liturgy or any service (and how to learn to do this by degrees) and the MOST important prayer that a pastor must have in his heart when he celebrates any service.

More homilies on the 23rd Sunday after Pentecost are HERE

Ephesians 2:4-10 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.


If the "LISTEN NOW" link does not work, copy this URL into your browser: http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/pentecost-sunday-23_2012-11-11+we-are-his-workmanship-created-in-christ-jesus-unto-good-works_ephesians2-4-10.m3u

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Commentary on Psalm 118, verse by verse


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