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Sunday, June 23, 2019

     “They (the saints in the Old Testament) were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented – of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth. And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us. Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy...

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

   “And he began to teach them that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. And he said this plainly/openly (παρρησίᾳ). And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him. But turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter, and said, ‘Get behind me, Satan! For you do not have in mind (οὐ φρονεῖς) the things of God, but the things of men.’ And he called to him the multitude with his disciples, and said to them, ‘If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.’” (Mk 8: 31-34)

     And He said this “plainly.” Both the thing about His suffering, being rejected and killed and rising again, – and the thing about Peter being (a)...

Thursday, October 4, 2018

         ”When the men had come to him, they said, ’John the Baptist has sent us to you, saying, Are you the Coming One (ὁ ἐρχόμενος), or do we look for (προσδοκῶμεν) another?’ And that very hour he healed many of infirmities, afflictions, and evil spirits; and to many blind he gave sight. Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Go and tell John the things you have seen and heard: that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who is not offended because of me.” (Lk 7: 20-23)

     Jesus Christ, “the Coming One,” was “coming” into the lives of many, and “healing” their afflictions and infirmities. So the blind could “see,” the lame could “walk,” lepers were “cleansed,”...

Sunday, September 30, 2018

     Priest: “Your own of Your own (Τὰ σὰ ἐκ τῶν σῶν, Твоя от твоих) we offer to You (σοὶ προσφέρομεν, тебе приносяще), in all and for all (κατὰ πάντα καὶ διὰ πάντα, о всех и за вся).“ (Eucharistic Prayer, Byzantine Divine Liturgy)

     What we “offer“ to God in the Eucharist was already His, in the first place. We offer, or re-present to Him, 1. The gifts of bread and wine, and by them “all“ the material world; and 2. Ourselves and “all“ others in the Church, both living and departed. Again and again, at every Eucharist, we surrender to God entirely, “in all and for all,“ lest we forget God’s loving dominion over it all. And then, after we thus hand ourselves and everything over to God, He “re-turns“ us and everything to us, transfigured.

     We are only able to “do this,“ a...

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