“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.

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

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.

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

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.”.

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

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.

Synopsis: 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.

Synopsis: 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!

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

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?

Synopsis: 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.