The Gospel in context, always! Reading the scripture with purpose.

The Gospel in context, always!
Reading the scripture with purpose.
The Wordly NEVER understand Holy Things!
Luke 9:7-11. 21st Tuesday of Luke and/or the 4th Tuesday of Luke

Today’s gospel, like most Gospel selections, must be read in context in order to be understood. When we hear this selection in church, we are not reading the surrounding verses which often help elucidate the passage, but if we are students of the scripture, we will remember the context. We should know the scripture better than any book. It should be intimately familiar to us.

There is only one way for that to happen! We must read the scripture often, with purpose! …

Galatians 2:16-20. Christian vs Jewish justification, and why it is important. Audio Homily. 21st Sunday after Pentecost.

Galatians was written to a group of Gentiles that had been infected with Judiazing teachings; they had been taught that they were required to fulfil the rituals of the Jewish law (circumcision, washings, dietary laws, etc) to be saved. All of Galatians refutes this heresy, and teaches why Christians must be moral. This passage particularly highlights the differences between Jewish justification (which was only an external declaration) and Christian Justification, which is also a declaration, but also involves the inner man becoming righteous – that is, the obliteration of sin (not just forgiveness), and eventual perfection. Why should we care about the difference between the Jewish view and the Christian reality? Because almost everyone, to a greater or lesser degree often lives and thinks as the Jews did.

The first great catch of fish compared with the second. Audio Homily 2010

The first Great catch of fish, read in context with the 2nd great catch (which occurred three years later, 8 days after the resurrection) is truly the “Gospel” – the “Good News”, because it is a promise to us that we can change and truly become holy – all we need do is be with Jesus Christ throughout our life. We compare the two great catches, and explore what it means to be with Christ. The Epistle reading is from Galatians, them overall theme of which is that we cannot be saved bu . We are not saved by works, but we cannot be saved unless we stay with Christ throughout our life – we examine what this means.

The Good Turkish Judge. From the Life of the Elder Ieronymos of Aegina (+1966)

The Good Turkish Judge. From the Life of the Elder Ieronymos of Aegina (+1966).

Shortly before World War I, a Turk visited Fr. Iieronymos’ humble hermitage. The Turk told the elder that his master, a judge, had sent him to invite the elder to his house.

The elder became a little worried. He was not accustomed to receiving invitations to “social receptions” and his mind began to suspect that he might experience some evil or temptation. However, he prayed to God and followed the Turkish servant.

On their arrival at the judge’s large home, the judge himself welcomed him – with much warmth, as a matter of fact. They sat on a great divan and the judge began the conversation:

“Efendi papa, I am a Turk, a Moslem. From the salary I receive, I keep whatever is necessary for my family’s support, and the rest I spend on alms. I help widows, orphans, the poor; I provide dowries for impoverished young women so that they can get married, I help the sick. I keep the fasts with exactness, I pray and, in general, I try to live a life consistent with my faith. Also, when I sit in judgment, I strive to be just, and never take a person’s position into account, no matter how great he is. What do you say? Are all these things that I do sufficient for me to gain that Paradise that you Christians talk about? …