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Thursday, December 13, 2018

  “The next day again John was standing with two of his disciples; and he looked at Jesus as he walked, and said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God!’ The two disciples heard him say (this), and they followed Jesus. Jesus turned, and saw them following, and said to them, ‘What are you looking for (Τί ζητεῖτε)?’ And they said to him, ‘Rabbi’ (which meansTeacher), ‘where are you staying?’ He said to them, ‘Come and see.’ They came and saw where he was staying; and they stayed with him that day, for it was about the tenth hour. One of the two who heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother.” (Jn 1: 35-40)

     I’m looking at this passage today, when those of us on the Older Calendar celebrate the day of St. Andrew, the “first-called” of the Apostles. Andrew already had a g...

Monday, October 8, 2018

       “One of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee’s house, and took his place at table. And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was at table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw it, he said to himself, ‘If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner.’ And Jesus answering said to him, ‘Simon, I have something to say to you.’ And he answered, ‘What is it, Teacher?’ ‘A certa...

Monday, April 30, 2018

     “‘He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me. This is the bread which came down from heaven, not such as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live for ever.’ This he said in the synagogue, as he taught at Capernaum. Many of his disciples, when they heard it, said, ‘This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?’ But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples murmured at it, said to them, ‘Do you take offense at this? Then what if you were to see the Son of man ascending where he was before? It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh is of no avail; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But there are some of y...

Thursday, August 24, 2017

As soon as they left the synagogue, they went with James and John to the home of Simon and Andrew. Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they immediately told Jesus about her. So he went to her, took her hand and helped her up. The fever left her and she began to serve them. That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed. The whole town gathered at the door, and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was. Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” (Mk 1: 29-35)

I love getting this glimpse into both the “private” and “public” life of the enormously-popu...

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money, saying, ‘Give me also this power, that any one on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.’ But Peter said to him, ‘Your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money! You have neither part nor lot in this matter, for your heart is not right (εὐθεῖα) before God…’” (Acts 8: 18-21)

That’s one of the great things about the Holy Spirit: His power cannot be bought, sold, or otherwise manipulated, (despite mankind’s efforts to do so throughout Church History). All we can “offer” the Holy Spirit is ourselves, as He offers Himself to us. Like Simon, we can have “neither part nor lot” in God, – without actually “having part and lot” in H...

Sunday, April 2, 2017

“…Then turning toward the woman he (Jesus) said to Simon (the Pharisee), ‘Do you see this woman? I entered your house, you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.’” (Lk 7: 44-47)

This sinful woman “loved much,” says the Lord. But who is it that this woman “loved much”? It is interesting to me that our Lord does not specify. It is clear from her actions that she loved our Lord “much.” But He says about her, generally, that she “loved much.” Becau...

Monday, February 20, 2017

“’Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you (ὑμᾶς, you in the plural), that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you (περὶ σοῦ, you in the singular) that your faith may not fail; and when you have turned again, strengthen your brethren.’ And he said to him, ‘Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.’ He said, ‘I tell you, Peter, the cock will not crow this day, until you three times deny that you know me.’” (Lk 22: 31-34)

This passage is similar, yet different, from the mind-boggling instance in the Old Testament, when Satan came forth before God, along with “the sons of God” (Job 1: 6), and asked God “to put forth His hand” on the righteous Job “and touch all that he has.” After this, as Satan assured God, Job would supposedly “curse” God “to His face” (...

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Now a certain man named Simon had previously practiced magic in the city and amazed the people of Samaria, saying that he was someone great. All of them, from the least to the greatest, listened to him eagerly, saying, ‘This man is the power of God that is called Great. And they listened eagerly to him because for a long time he had amazed them with his magic. But when they believed Philip, who was proclaiming the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.” (Acts 8: 9-12)

Both Simon the Sorcerer and the Apostle Philip worked certain, miraculous acts in Samaria, impressing the people of Samaria. But all Simon’s magic offered them was the thrill of spectators, observing a “man,” Simon, whom they equated with “the power of God.” Th...

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