Sunday sermon on Matthew 14:14-22
It was getting late and the crowd, having spent the whole day listening to Christ’s preaching, was not leaving. The disciples began to worry for the people, the day was long, it was hot, there were women and children, and they did not have anything to eat.
Source - Fr John Whiteford's blog.
Let's continue learning how we can begin reading the Bible, come to understand what it says, and actual enjoy what we read, for the spiritual benefit.
Serious topic worth serious discussion. The fact is, we as the Church in general and as each individual parish community, as clergy and as parents, have not done a good job teaching and sharing our Faith.
Set aside two hours and listen to this podcast. There is enough food for thought there.
As an Orthodox Christian priest, I am always interested in how people find and (sometimes) abandon their Orthodox Christianity. In a recent conversation with a close friend of mine, we found ourselves reflecting on friends of ours who have risen to prominence in parishes or theological or academic circles, only to ‘implode’ in a variety of ways, even going so far as to abandon their faith in God entirely.
Source: Fr John Whiteford's blog.
How can someone, who has never really read the Bible before, begin to read and understand it? I will try to answer that question in a series of posts, beginning with this one.
Sunday sermon on Matthew 9:1-8.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, One God. Amen.
As the paralyzed man was brought to Christ, St Matthew tells us today, Christ saw their faith, meaning the faith of those who brought him, and He told the paralyzed man, “Your sins are forgiven you.”
The bystanders were surprised by these words. They thought, “Who is this Man that He dares to say what only God can do?” Remember that people had no idea Who Christ was. At best they thought He was the next great prophet. Only after He died on the Cross and rose from the dead, were their eyes and hearts opened, and they understood.
So they questioned His every move and His every word. When Jesus heard that they were dismayed that He forgave the sins of the paralyzed man, He turned to the people and asked, “What’s easier to say ‘your sins are forgiven’ or ‘stand up and walk’?”
Source - Fr Lawrence Farley.
Nothing helps foster humility like parenthood. New furniture may come out of the box from Ikea with a set of assembly instructions for clueless people like myself, but children do not come out of their mommy with a set of instructions. Too bad. Because sooner rather than later, all parents pull their hair in frustration or wring their hands with worry as they struggle to raise their children and keep them happy and safe.
On Friday, July 7, the feast of the Nativity of St John the Baptist, the Administrator of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA, His Grace Bishop John of Naro-Fominsk led the Divine Liturgy in St John the Baptist Church in Little Falls, New Jersey. His Grace was co-served by a multitude of clergy from the neighboring area:
- Archpriest Igor Tarasov (Chancellor of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA)
-Archpriest Emil Minkovich (Rector of Sts. Peter and Paul Church in Elizabeth, NJ)
-Archpriest John Kassatkin (Rector of Elevation of the Holy Cross Church in Hackettstown, NJ)
-Archpriest George Konyev (Rector of Three Saints Church in Garfield, NJ)
-Abbot Nicodemus Balyasnikov (Cleric of St. Nicholas Patriarchal Cathedral in New York City)
- Priest Aleksey Paranyuk (Dean of the Eastern States & Parish Rector)
- Priest Stephen Kaznica (Rector of Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Passaic, NJ)
- Hieromonk Stephen (Bushman)
- Protodeacon Daniel Sudol (Cleric of Three Saints Church in Garfield, NJ
- Protodeacon Serge Arlievsky (Cleric of Holy Dormition Convent "Novo-Diveevo" in Nanuet, NY)
- Deacon Alexey Golubov (Cleric of St. Nicholas Cathedral)
- Deacon Andrew Massey (Cleric of Elevation of the Holy Cross Church)
- Deacon Nicholas DeGraaff (Cleric of Three Saints Church)
During the Divine Liturgy, prayers were offered for the clergy and parishioners of the parish that have since reposed. Special petitions for peace in the Ukrainian land were also intoned at the Augmented Litany.
At the conclusion of the Liturgy, His Grace congratulated Fr. Aleksey and the parishioners on the occasion of their patronal feast day. In turn, Fr. Aleksey thanked the hierarch for his archpastoral visit and shared prayer. The protodeacons then intoned the Polychronion for the clergy and parishioners of the parish. Through the presentation of Father Aleksey, Bishop John awarded a number of parishioners with Archpastoral Gramotas:
- Gregory Karol, parish president
- Andrew Miketzuk, choir director
- Eugene Kulick, long-time loyal parishioner and former mayor of Little Falls
- Barbara Preciado, tireless Sunday School teacher
- Marc Harris, altar server and maintenance crew member, who single-handedly restored our iconostasis.
After the service, a lenten luncheon was served in the parish hall under the guidance of Matushka Natalia Paranyuk and Fr Aleksey's mother, Maria.
Listen to the podcast talking about one aspect of the Feast of the Nativity of St John the Baptist.
We look to the gospel and epistle readings for this feastday, in order to give us wisdom and courage in meeting the challenges of our own. Luke 1: 1-80, 3:16-20, Malachi 4, Romans 13:11-14:4
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By Patrick Keenan
My parents brought me to Our Redeemer’s Lutheran Church for Baptism as an infant. Somehow, someway a grace entered my life that has resided as long as I can remember. The quest as to Who He is and how I should know Him has been a lifelong pursuit.