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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

     “Therefore let any one who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your strength, but with the temptation will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” (1 Cor 10: 12-13)

     Two things the Apostle is warning us about here, whether we find ourselves in “good” times, during which we might feel that we “stand” quite tall, or whether we’re having “bad” times of some “temptation,” which is calling us to “fall” apart and away from our God-focused path to “salvation” (a “return to wholeness”). In the first, “good” case, he tells us not to make the worst of a “good” situation, by abandoning patience, faith and humility; and in th...

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

    “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Now I myself am confident concerning you, my brethren, that you also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another. Nevertheless, brethren, I have written more boldly to you on some points, as reminding you, because of the

grace given to me by God…” (Rom 15: 13-15)

     On this fourth week of the Apostles’ Fast, as we approach the great feast of Sts. Peter and Paul (this upcoming Friday, for NC-people, and on July 12, for OC-people), I’d like to take pause and reflect on St. Paul’s admonishing-yet-encouraging pastoral “style.” The great Apostle to the Gentiles does admonish his people, writing “more boldly” to them...

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews; to those under the law I became as one under the law—though not being myself under the law—that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became as one outside the law—not being without law toward God but under the law of Christ—that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in it (ἵνα συγκοινωνὸς αὐτοῦ γένωμαι, become its communicant).” (1 Cor 9: 20-23)

Today, as those of us on the Older Calendar celebrate the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, I’d like to ask myself, once again, what it means to be a Church that is “apostolic”; more specifically, I...

Friday, May 19, 2017

But some believers who belonged to the party (αἱρέσεως) of the Pharisees rose up, and said, ‘It is necessary to circumcise them (the newly-converted Gentiles), and to charge them to keep the law of Moses.’ The apostles and the presbyters were gathered together to consider this matter. And after much discussion (ζητήσεως), Peter rose and said to them, 'Men, brethren, you know that in the early days God made choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe. And God who knows the heart bore witness to them, giving them the Holy Spirit just as he did to us; and he made no distinction between us and them, but cleansed their hearts by faith…’” (Acts 15: 5-9)

This happens to be part of our Church’s reading for this Friday, so here are some thoughts.

Th...

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