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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

One day, as he was teaching the people in the temple and preaching the gospel, the chief priests and the scribes with the elders came up and said to him, ‘Tell us by what authority you do these things, or who it is that gave you this authority.’ He answered them, ‘I also will ask you a question; now tell me, Was the baptism of John from heaven or from men?’ And they discussed it with one another, saying, ‘If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Why did you not believe him?’ But if we say, ‘From men,’ all the people will stone us; for they are convinced that John was a prophet.’ So they answered that they did not know whence it was. And Jesus said to them, ‘Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.’” (Lk 20: 1-8)

Some teachers like to say, There is no such thing as a bad...

Sunday, June 4, 2017

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance…” (Acts 2: 1-4)

There is much to be said, and internalized, and lived, on the basis of this great event in our common history, celebrated today, of the Descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles, and through them on all of us. But I would just like to comment on the “sound” (ἦχος) in which He chose to descend, “like the rush of a mighty wind.” – Wind, of all things! For most of us who are not...

Sunday, April 30, 2017

And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week they went to the tomb when the sun had risen. And they were saying to one another, ‘Who will roll away the stone for us from the door of the tomb?’ And having looked up, they saw that the stone was rolled back—it was very large. And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe; and they were greatly amazed (ἐξεθαμβήθησαν).” (Mk 16: 1-5)

The “stone” that covered the door of the tomb rolled along a track, carved into the front of the tomb, and probably weighed about a ton. Three women could not have possibly rolled this stone away. Call me sexist, but the fact is,...

Friday, March 24, 2017

Now the powers of heaven minister invisibly with us. For, behold, the King of Glory enters. Behold the mystical sacrifice, fully accomplished, is ushered in. Let us draw near in faith and love, that we may become sharers/partakers (μέτοχοι, причастники) in everlasting life. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.” (Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts, Great Entrance hymn)

This is the hymn we sing at the Lenten Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts, when the “mystical sacrifice” of the Body and Blood of Christ, the already-consecrated Gifts (consecrated at the Divine Liturgy of the previous Sunday), are transferred in a solemn procession from the Prothesis-table to the Holy Table in the altar. Here the unity of “us” with “the powers of heaven,” of the earthly and the heavenly, the temporal and everlastin...

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber; but he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens; the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” (Jn 10: 1-5)

There are many “voices of strangers” in positions of leadership today, or so it seems to me anyway. But that’s no cause for fear, as Bob Dylan prophetically notes: “So don’t fear if you hear / A foreign sound to your ear / It’s alright, Ma, I’m only sighing.”

W...

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the exiles of the Diaspora… Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy we have been born anew to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and to an inheritance which is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while you may have to suffer various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith, more precious than gold which though perishable is tested by fire, may redound to praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (1 Pet 1: 1, 3-7)

I find myself in a different kind of “diaspora” today, living far away from t...

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