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Tuesday, April 23, 2019

    “Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’ Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those...

Sunday, June 10, 2018

     “As he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. And he said to them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.’ Immediately they left their nets and followed him. And going on from there he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed him.” (Mt 4: 18-22)

     The Apostles’ Fast is a good time to contemplate what we mean, when we profess our faith in a Church that is, among other things, “apostolic.” In the broadest sense, the word “apostolic” means, “having a mission.” More specifically, it mean...

Friday, April 27, 2018

     “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” (Jn 15: 18-19) 

     Sometimes we might make the mistake of wanting to “belong” to those or to that which is not, actually, “ours,” and we don’t realize we’ve made this mistake until we suffer rejection. And this hurts. 

     But this kind of pain, if we receive it in God’s light, is a great “teachable moment,” revealing more to us about our “vocation” as “ekklesia” (from “ekkaleo,” meaning “to call out”) to follow Christ. We are “His own,” and nobody else’s, as long as we are willing to be, – and this means we will be recognized as impost...

Saturday, November 25, 2017

“I therefore, a prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called (τῆς κλήσεως ἧς ἐκλήθητε), with all humility and meekness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager (σπουδάζοντες) to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in the one hope of your calling, – one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all, who is above all and through all and in all.” (Eph 4: 1-6)

The “calling to which you have been called”! What is that, exactly? It is “to maintain the unity of the Spirit (ἐνότητα τοῦ Πνεύματος) in the bond (συνδέσμῳ) of peace,“ as one Body, in one Lord. That’s what the church or “ekklesia“ (from the verb “ekkaleo,“ to call forth), made up of...

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Lord, our God, save Your people and bless Your inheritance. Protect the fullness of Your Church. Sanctify those who love the beauty of Your house. Glorify them in return by Your divine power, and forsake us not who have set our hope in You.“ (Prayer of the Second Antiphon, Byzantine Divine Liturgy)

This prayer speaks to our basic human needs for identity and belonging, which find true fulfilment in our being God’s and of God; in belonging to “the fullness (pleroma) of the Church (ekklesia).“ We might also foster our sense of identity and belonging elsewhere, in associations online or offline; cultural, political, sports-related, and so on. But none of these offer us unity with, and belonging to, “all.“ And by “all“ I mean, Creator and all of creation, visible and invisible. The Church is t...

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

For many are called (κλητοὶ), but few are chosen.” (Mt 22: 14)

A “calling” or “vocation” is common to all members of the “church” or “ekklesia” (from the Greek verb “ekkaleo,” which means “to call out”). We are all “called” “according to his purpose” (Rom 8: 28) for each of us, according to our specific, God-given gifts and character. But it is not easy to discern God’s voice in our lives (our specific “calling”), because we are burdened with other voices. They pull us away from being ourselves, the “selves” God wants us to be, and into a mainstream of popular masks behind which most of us feel safe.

A “vocation,” as Karl Jung defines it, is “an irrational factor that destines a man to emancipate himself from the herd and from its well-worn paths.” That is to say, it is liberating. But Jung...

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Paul, called (κλητὸς) by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and our brother Sosthenes, to the church (ἐκκλησία) of God which is at Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints (κλητοῖς ἁγίοις) together with all those who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Cor 1: 1-3)

 

St. Paul himself is “called,” as are the people to whom he writes – not only at Corinth in the first century, - but “in every place” and throughout the ages, and today, wherever we are, who “call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” As “church” or “ekklesia” we are “the ones called forth” (the Greek word “ekklesia” comes from “ekkaleo,” to call forth or call out), to...

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