Luke 10: 38-42, 11: 27, 28
In an age of seemingly endless controversy and conflict in our society and world, it is easy to allow what is prominent in our culture to dominate our lives, our sense of who we are, and of what is ultimately most important. In other words, it is easy to make the world our temple and to offer our lives to its false gods. No matter what form it takes, that is simply idolatry. Today we celebrate a feast that invites us to a totally different way of living and thinking that is focused on offering ourselves to our Lord, and not to idols.
8th SUNDAY OF LUKE, Luke 10: 25- 37
There are some people who think that worshiping God in beautiful liturgical services distracts us from serving our neighbors and accomplishing His purposes for us in the world. There are those who say that focusing on prayer, fasting, and other spiritual disciplines wastes time and energy that could be better used in helping others. On November 17 we commemorate St John Chrysostom, whose life and ministry demonstrate that we do not have to choose between liturgical life and practical service, for true worship and prayer enable us to make all dimensions of our life in the world an entrance into the heavenly kingdom through Jesus Christ, our eternal High Priest.
Sunday’s Gospel Luke 16: 19- 3 challenges us in its soberness: We see one man who suffered in this life, saved, and another man, who had everything in this life, condemned. This image is such a challenge because we live in an age where many assume they’re good (by their own definition of what ‘good’ is) and, therefore, ‘automatically’ going to heaven. But this subjective understanding of Heaven just doesn’t square with the Gospel, which makes it clear that the Kingdom of Heaven means foremost this: life with and in God, participation in the divine life of the Holy Trinity—what we call, ‘theosis’—and the bearing of the fruit of that theosis in how and for Whom we live out our earthly lives.
7th SUNDAY OF LUKE, Luke 8: 41-56
Even in a small parish like ours, it is not hard to see that people are different from one another in many ways. We have different interests, personal backgrounds, and opinions on all kinds of things. We do not all look or dress alike. But what we have in common as Orthodox Christians is far more profound than any of that. Our salvation is not in any conventional human characteristic or endeavor, but in the healing mercy of Jesus Christ.
Beloved Children in the Lord,
Grace and peace be with you all in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, in whose name we invoke every paternal and patriarchal blessing upon this holy community here in Merrick that bears the name of Saint Demetrios the Great Martyr and Myrrh-Streamer. What a joy it is to be here with so many of the faithful, and to wish all of you “Chronia Polla” on this eve of the feast – your patronal feast – and especially to those who share the name of our great intercessor and wonderworking protector. Most especially do we extend these festal greetings to our beloved brother Archbishop Demetrios of America. Many years to you, Your Eminence!
Sunday Sermon on the Fourth Sunday of Luke, Luke 8: 5-15
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, One God.
We live in a world obsessed with outcomes.
Winning – regardless of the methods, regardless of the means – counts. Nothing else.
In nearly every area of our lives – our athletics, our politics, our business – winning is the criteria by which people are assessed.
A person is either successful, by winning, or a loser.
I don’t think that was always the case. It was not that long ago when people of good character were winners. People who played by the rules were winners.
Luke 7: 11-16
O Lord, Do you know my pain?
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and Of the Holy Spirit, Amen
O Lord, Do you know my pain?
O Lord, Do you see my struggle?
I am lost in the world; will you find me and bring me home?
Gifts are something we do not deserve, but rather are given to us because of love. Divine Love, the Love of God sees all that we are, all that we will be, and what will become of us. One mystery of life is that the divine patience and love of God gives us true freedom, and choice, even though God knows already what is to come.