The 40 Holy Virgins and Saint Ammoun the Deacon, were from Adrianopolis in Macedonia. Deacon Ammoun was their guide in Christian Faith. They were captured by Baudos the governor, and were tortured because they would not offer sacrifice to idols. Continue reading
Monthly Archives: August 2020
12th SUNDAY OF MATTHEW, Matthew 19: 16-26
In the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
The Lord warns us today of how difficult it is for a man who is rich to enter the Kingdom of God.
Does it mean that the Kingdom of God is open only to destitute, to those who are materially poor, who lack everything on earth? No. The Kingdom of God is open to all who are not enslaved by possessions. When we read the first Beatitude, ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven’, we are given a key to this saying: the poor in spirit are those who have understood that they possess nothing which is their own. We have been created as an act of God, loved into existence; we are offered by God communion with Him to which we have no rights. All we are, all we possess is not our own in the sense that we have not made ourselves, we did not create what is seemingly ours – every thing which we are and which we have is love, the love of God and the love of people, and we cannot possess anything because everything is a gift that escapes us the moment we want to have possession of it and say, “It is mine”. Continue reading
The Spiritual Testament of St Seraphim of Vyritsa (1866-1949)
“This was from me” is a famous letter written by Saint Seraphim of Vyritsa that he sent to his spiritual child, a bishop who was in a Soviet prison at that time; this homily “This was from me” is written as a consolation and counsel to the bishop to let him know that God the Creator addresses to the soul of man. Continue reading
Apodosis of The Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokios commemorating Panagia tou Harou whose icon is enthroned at our Parish
Panagia of Harou is the name of the unique icon which depicts the Virgin Mary cradling the crucified Christ, rather than the Christ child, hence its name (haros in Greek means “death”). This icon is found in the Church of St. John the Theologian in Leipsi, Greece. The annual commemoration of the icon takes place on August 23 when the island of Leipsi fills with pilgrims from all over the Dodecanese, to witness the procession of the icon around the entire island and see the annual blossoming of the dead bouquet of lilies on the icon. Continue reading
11th SUNDAY OF MATTHEW, Matthew 18: 23-35
The parable challenges purely rationalistic logic by saying love is of extreme importance, far more important to Jesus than justice. Continue reading
The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew. (17:14-23)
Today we hear the story of the man who brings his son (an epileptic) to the Lord Jesus Christ for healing. The man, a devout and caring father, comes and falls on his knees before the Lord and he cries out with a familiar cry “Lord, have mercy!” This is the proper way to worry about our children and loved ones, not with fruitless anxieties, but with heartfelt prayer to God with the cry “Lord have mercy!” Continue reading
There was a very virtuous couple who had great reverence for the Panagia. This couple had an icon of the Mother of God painted on one of the walls of their home. They had taken great care and had spent a good sum of money to ensure that it turned out impeccably beautiful, and, every time they passed by this holy icon, they would venerate it and recite the “Greeting of the Archangel.” On account of their good habit, the Panagia sent Her grace and many blessings into their lives. Indeed! They lived with such virtuous conduct, united in complete agreement with each other, and without ever quarrelling with or upsetting any of the neighbours, that everyone referred to them as “the peaceful ones.” This couple had a three year old child, who, seeing his father and mother frequently stopping to pray before the holy icon with reverence, also acquired this habit. Continue reading
“The Theotokos is the salvation of the whole world, she is the only mother for all Christians… She has much love for the human race, especially for sinners.” ~ St. Anthimos of Chios
Excerpt from the homily on the Dormition of the Theotokos by St. Germanos of Constantinople.
“It is time, my Mother,” says the Lord, “to take you to myself. Just as you have filled the earth and all who dwell in it with joy, O you who enjoy such grace, come, and make the heavens joyful once again. Make my Father’s dwelling-place radiant; be a spiritual guide for the souls of the saints. For when they see your glorious passage here to my side, escorted by angels, they will be convinced in their faith that their own place, too, through you, will be to dwell here in my light. Come, then, in exultation; rejoice now, as you rejoiced at the angel’s greeting. In every way you now have the dignity of your title, ‘full of grace.’ As when you were about to conceive me you were invited to rejoice, so rejoice again in my desire to take you to myself. Do not be disturbed at leaving behind the corruptible world, with all its desires. Forget about its power of corruption. For you will not leave those who live in the world bereft of your protection; but just as I, who am not of the world, watch over those who live in it and take care of them, so your patronage will not be taken away from those who live in the world, until its consummation. Continue reading
In Matthew 14:22-34, we learn an important lesson about being Christ’s disciples.
In today’s Gospel, we see the disciples rowing against the howling wind. But the fact that they are going against the wind doesn’t mean they are headed in the wrong direction or that they are moving away from Christ. In this Gospel lesson, that raging wind is necessary for their encounter with Christ and for their understanding to grow. Continue reading
“Why did the Lord take only three disciples on Tabor and not all? Because Judas was not worthy to behold the divine glory of the Teacher, Whom he will betray and the Lord did not want to leave him [Judas] alone at the foot of the mountain so that the betrayer would not, by that, justify his betrayal. Continue reading