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Tuesday, December 4, 2018

    “‘When these days are over it shall be, on the eighth day and thereafter, that the priests shall offer your burnt offerings and your peace offerings on the altar; and I will accept you,’ says the Lord God. Then He brought me back to the outer gate of the sanctuary which faces toward the east, but it was shut. And the Lord said to me, ‘This gate shall be shut; it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter by it, because the Lord God of Israel has entered by it; therefore it shall be shut…’” (Ezek 43: 27 – 44: 2)

     This is one of the three Old-Testament readings at the Vespers-service of the Entry of the Theotokos into the Temple, celebrated today (OC). The three readings are called “Paremia-s“ (паремии) in Slavonic, from the Greek word “παροιμία,“ meaning “parable.“ Th...

Monday, December 3, 2018

    “But he said to them, ‘How can they say that the Christ is David’s son? For David himself says in the Book of Psalms, ‘The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, till I make thy enemies a stool for thy feet.’ David thus calls him Lord; so how is he his son?’” (Lk 20: 41-44)

Our Lord Jesus Christ is often (not always) quite subtle in revealing His divinity to His followers, as in this case: He quotes a Scripture-passage, “The Lord said to my Lord…” (Ps 199/110: 1), and lets them think about it. It’s not the “only” way He reveals Himself to us, of course, because we are all different, and come to believe in Him in different ways. For some, it was enough to “come and see,” as it was for St. Andrew (Jn 1: 38-40), or for St. John at the empty Tomb (Jn 20: 8); while St. Thomas neede...

Sunday, December 2, 2018

    “And a ruler asked him, ‘Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother.’” And he said, ‘All these I have observed from my youth.’ And when Jesus heard it, he said to him, ‘One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.’ But when he heard this he became sad, for he was very rich. Jesus looking at him said, ‘How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom o...

Saturday, December 1, 2018

    “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give alms; provide yourselves with purses that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Let your loins be girded and your lamps burning, and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the marriage feast, so that they may open to him at once when he comes and knocks….” (Lk 12: 32-35)

     Fear not! – the Lord says to me today. Because it is our Father’s “pleasure,” nay, His “good pleasure,” to give us nothing less than His kingdom. The Lord also tells us to be “waiting” for, – not dreading, – but burning with...

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