|How to understand suffering - 12/08/13|
There are several passages in the New Testament where we hear of the people suffering for an incomprehensibly long period of time - in fact three of them are part of the regular cycle of readings which are taken on Sunday, including the 'Man Born Blind', the 'Woman with the Hemorrhage' (38 years) and today's story of the woman made infirm by a demonic spirit for eighteen years.
What Happens When I See Chronic Suffering?
|2013 Nativity Fast - 11/18/13|
The Nativity Fast – and not only this fast, but all the other fasts prescribed by our Church – is a means by which we are able to place the spirit before the flesh and to bring desires of the flesh under the control of our spiritual and moral aspirations. Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself sanctified fasting with his own example, when he fasted and prayed for 40 days and nights, preparing Himself for ministry to the human race. According to the teaching of the Saviour, fasting helps us to cleanse our soul from sin, frees us from the dominion of the devil and restores us to communion with God. “This kind can only be expelled by prayer and fasting,” (Mt 17:21) says the Lord. Emulating our Lord, Jesus Christ, we, on our life’s path, should take full advantage of this God-given time of the Nativity Fast to maintain a prayerful state of soul, for sincere repentance, and to be worthy of meeting the New-born Christ Child – the Saviour of the World.
|The Good Samaritan - 11/17/13|
In today's Gospel, Jesus gives us the straightforward direction about how we may attain to eternal life. He sums it up in the quotation "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself. The duty towards God is quite clearly set forth, but to be explicitly clear, who then is one's neighbor? The parable of the Good Samaritan is meant to be an eminent explication which no one could misconstrue. The priest and the Levite, who consciously evade any contact with the man who had been mugged and left for dead, were consciously chosen as types, who should have taken a positive action towards the victim.
|Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus - 10/30/13|
The rich man descends from luxury to suffering, while Lazarus is promoted from pain to Blessedness. In this life Lazarus lies at the gate. In Greek it suggests Lazarus is “thrown” or “dumped” there affording the rich man to help him but he doesn’t. In today’s Gospel, Lazarus does not blame anyone for his poverty and misery. He certainly doesn’t blame God for his situation. He doesn’t blame the rich man for his mean spirit. Thus, due to his humility he went to heaven, to the bosom of Abraham.
|Зерно — це слово Боже - 10/25/13|
Господь наш Ісус Христос знову зібравши багато людей навколо Себе, повчає їх притчею про сівача, який вийшов щоб посіяти зерно своє. Святі апостоли не зрозумівши Божественного вчення, просять Христа щоб Він пояснив їм її значення. Тоді Ісус пояснив її так. “Ось що означає ця притча: Зерно-це Боже Слово. А котрі край дороги, - це ті. Хто слухає, але потім приходить диявол, і забирає слово з їхнього серця, щоб не ввірували й не спаслися вони. А що на кам'янистому грунті,- це ті, хто тільки почує, то слово приймає з радістю; та кореня не мають вони, вірують дочасно, - і за час випробовання відпадають. А що впало між терен, - це ті, хто слухає слово, але, ходячи, бувають придушені клопотами розкошами, - і плоду вони не дають. А те, що добрій землі, - це оті, хто як слово почує, береже його в щирому й доброму серці, - і плід приносять вони в терпеливості”. (Лк. 8, 11-15).
|The Way of Life and the Way of Death - 10/15/13|
We know, from Holy Scripture, that in the early days of the Church, our Faith, later to be called “Christianity”, was originally referred to as “the Way.” Its adherents, Christ’s disciples, were followers “of the Way.” Indeed, in the Didache, one of the oldest Christian documents not to have been canonized as Holy Scripture, being written towards the end of the first century, the opening line is, “There are two ways, one of life and one of death; but a great difference between the two ways.”
Weekly reflections by Rev. Fr. Anthony Perkins, pastor of St. Michael Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Woonsocket, RI. Click here>