Monthly Archives: May 2023

Fathers of the First Council, John 17: 1-13

In John 17:1-13, Jesus prays for us, His disciples that we may all be one – Christ prayed that we His followers would have a unity of love as exists between the Three Persons of the Holy Trinity.

When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son that the Son may glorify You . . . And now I am no more in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name, which You gave me, that they may be one, even as we are one. . . . But now I am coming to You; and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves.”

St. Silouan the Athonite (d. 1938) poetically comments:

“The Lord said, ‘I am in the Father, and the Father in me, and ‘You are in me, and I in you.’ Our soul feels the Lord in us, and we cannot forget Him for a single moment. What mercy is this – that the Lord desires us to be in Him and in the Father!

But what have we done for You, Lord,
in what have we pleased You,
that You do wish to be in us, and for us to be in You? We crucified You on the Cross with our sins,
yet do You still wish us to be with You?

O, how great is Your mercy! I see Your mercy spread over me. I am deserving of hell and every torment,
yet do You give me the grace of the Holy Spirit.
And if you did vouchsafe to my sinful self
to know You by the Holy Spirit, then I beseech You, O Lord, let all people come to know You.”
~ St. Silouan the Athonite

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Ascension of our Lord

“Lift up your gates, O ye princes, and be lifted up, ye ancient doors, and the King of glory shall enter in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts – he is the King of glory!”

These verses from Psalm 23 were seen by some of the Church fathers as a prophetic indication of the mystery which we celebrate today: that 40 days after his Resurrection from the dead, the Lord ascended into heaven with his risen and glorified body and sat on the right hand of his Father in heavens, placing our human nature, his own flesh which was born on earth, crucified and risen, in glory, majesty, and honour, because he who took that flesh was not a man but God’s only Son, his Wisdom and his Word. Continue reading

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Sunday of the Blind Man, John 9: 1-38

Christ is Risen! Today is the last Sunday before the Feast of the Ascension, ten days before the Feast of Pentecost. Throughout the Paschal season the Priest holds the lighted three Branch Candlestick symbolic of the light of the Resurrection. We know from attending services during this period that the liturgical texts and hymns resound with the words of light, glory, brightness, radiance, and splendour. Continue reading

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On Sunday, the Orthodox Church prayerfully remembered the Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council of Nicaea, which once met in the city of Nicaea in order to investigate and judge the heresy of Arius. We know that in the first centuries of Christianity, the Church endured severe persecution, first from the Jews and then from the pagan Roman imperial power. But despite the fact that the persecution was bloody, despite the fact that thousands of Christians died under torture for their confession of faith, nonetheless, it was not dangerous for the Church. Continue reading

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Sunday of the Samaritan Woman, John 4: 5-42

One of the greatest things that the Orthodox Church has is a living tradition of Saints who are great examples, who preached the Gospel, and bring the faith to those around them. If they had not lived out a Godly life then many of us would have not been here today worshiping the one true God. Because of this we know that Christ is glorified through his Saints. One of those great Saints that received the light of Christ and passed it on was the saint we hear about today in the Gospel reading, the Samaritan woman, also known as St. Photini in Greek or Svetlana in Russian. It’s no wonder that her name translated means light specifically, because she was the one who received the light of Christ, transformed her own life and then brought this transformation to those around her. Continue reading

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Deep joy and heartfelt jubilation fill us as we read about Christ’s miracles in the Gospel. These readings convey His infinite power, providential care, and ultimate love for all men. But they also teach us important life lessons. So let us take a closer look at the narration about the paralytic.

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