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Wednesday, June 27, 2018

    “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Now I myself am confident concerning you, my brethren, that you also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another. Nevertheless, brethren, I have written more boldly to you on some points, as reminding you, because of the

grace given to me by God…” (Rom 15: 13-15)

     On this fourth week of the Apostles’ Fast, as we approach the great feast of Sts. Peter and Paul (this upcoming Friday, for NC-people, and on July 12, for OC-people), I’d like to take pause and reflect on St. Paul’s admonishing-yet-encouraging pastoral “style.” The great Apostle to the Gentiles does admonish his people, writing “more boldly” to them...

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

     “The promise to Abraham and his descendants, that they should inherit the world, did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith. If it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression. That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his descendants—not only to the adherents of the law but also to those who share the faith of Abraham, for he is the father of us all, as it is written, ‘I have made you the father of many nations’—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. In hope he believed against...

Thursday, September 7, 2017

They came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gerasenes. And when he had come out of the boat, there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, who lived among the tombs; and no one could bind him any more, even with a chain; for he had often been bound with fetters and chains, but the chains he wrenched apart, and the fetters he broke in pieces; and no one had the strength to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always crying out, and cutting himself with stones. And when he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and worshiped him…” (Mk 5: 1-6)

By the end of this well-known narrative, which is too long to quote in its entirety, our Lord will have commanded the “legion” of demons that had possessed the man into a herd of swine, which prompt...

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Almighty Lord, You have created all things in wisdom. In Your inexpressible providence and great goodness You have brought us to these saving days, for the cleansing of our souls and bodies, for control of our passions, in the hope of the Resurrection. After the forty days You delivered into the hands of Your servant Moses the tablets of the law in characters divinely traced. Enable us also, O benevolent One, to fight the good fight, to complete the course of the fast, to keep the faith inviolate, to crush underfoot the heads of unseen tempters, to emerge victors over sin and to come, without reproach, to the worship of Your Holy Resurrection. For blessed and glorified is Your most honorable and majestic name…” (Lenten Liturgy of Presanctified Gifts, Opisthambonos-Prayer)

The “forty days”...

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Therefore hear the word of the Lord, afflicted people, and rulers of the people that are in Jerusalem. Because you have said, We have made a covenant with Hades, and agreements with death; if the rushing storm should pass, it shall not come upon us: we have made falsehood our hope, and by falsehood shall we be protected: Therefore thus says the Lord, even the Lord, Behold, I lay for the foundations of Sion a costly stone, a choice, a corner-stone, a precious stone, for its foundations; and he that believes on him shall by no means be ashamed. And I will cause judgment to be for hope, and my compassion shall be for just measures, and you that trust vainly in falsehood shall fall: for the storm shall by no means pass by you, except it also take away your covenant of death, and your trust in...

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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