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Monday, December 16, 2019

     “Now the serpent was more subtle than any other wild creature that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, ‘Did God say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree of the garden’?’ And the woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden; but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” (Gen 3: 1-3)

     As the Nativity Fast continues, I’m thinking about the “place” of concrete, physical food (and drink) within the “spirituality” of our Church’s tradition of fasting. Because one hears, sometimes, the opinion that it isn’t, or shouldn’t be, “really,” about food (and drink), but about “more spiritual” considerations. Perhaps this is because of the misleading connotat...

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

  “…By this the Holy Spirit indicates that the way into the sanctuary is not yet opened as long as the outer tent/tabernacle is still standing (which is symbolic for the present age). According to this arrangement, gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot perfect the worshiper in regard to conscience, but deal only with food and drink and various washings, regulations for the body imposed until the time of reformation/setting right (μέχρι καιροῦ διορθώσεως). But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) he entered once for all into the Holy Place, taking not the blood of goats and calves but his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.” (Hebr 9: 8-12)

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Thursday, December 21, 2017

But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose origin is from of old, from ancient days. Therefore he shall give them up until the time when she who is in labor has brought forth; then the rest of his brethren shall return to the people of Israel. And he shall stand and feed his flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. And they shall dwell secure, for now he shall be great to the ends of the earth.” (Micah 5: 2-4)

This passage from the Book of Micah, who prophesied from ca. 737 to 696 BC, is read in our churches at Vespers of Christmas Eve. It points to the “coming forth” from Bethlehem of a “ruler”; and to a certain “she” being “in labor” and “...

Sunday, December 10, 2017

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father.” (Jn 1: 14)

What is the point of this great “earthquake” in Salvation History, as Gregory the Theologian calls it, of the Word becoming flesh, and dwelling among us, “full of grace and truth”? It is that we, through communion with Him both “in the flesh” and in the Spirit, Who continues to dwell among us, also become “full of grace and truth.” Just as we have “seen” His glory, we are called to manifest it, rather than obscure it, and to “see” it in one another, both “in the flesh” and in the Spirit.

But in our Internet Age, in the “virtual” reality we have created online, we generally “see” one another only in part, as a set of statements and opinions. We...

Monday, July 4, 2016

He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.” (Jn 1: 10-13)

It is through faith that I receive “power,” on a daily basis, “to become” who I am meant to be, according to the intention of my Creator: His child. And that means – one who is in the process of growing. Just as “the world came into being through Him,” so do I truly “come into being,” as I grow on my cross-carrying journey of ups and downs, through Him.

So let me “receive Him” today, letting Him into my day, that I may grow, rather...

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