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

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

Filed under Sunday Homilies

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

Comments Off on Ascension of our Lord

Filed under Feast Days, Readings

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

Comments Off on Sunday of the Blind Man, John 9: 1-38

Filed under Sunday Homilies

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

Comments Off on

Filed under Readings, Sunday Homilies

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

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

Filed under Sunday Homilies


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.

Continue reading


Filed under Sunday Homilies

With a Courage Born of Love: Homily for the Sunday of the Myrrh Bearing Women in the Orthodox Church

Christ is Risen!
We have now been celebrating our Lord’s victory over death for two weeks. We will continue to do so for a few more weeks, saying “Christ is Risen” many times. But we must not let our celebration of Pascha stop there. For we want to live the new life that the Lord has brought to the world; we want to participate in His victory over sin, death, and all that separates us from life eternal. And we can learn an important lesson in how to do that from those who were at the empty tomb on Easter morning as the first witnesses of the resurrection to hear the word of the angel: “He is Risen. He is not here…Go tell His disciples—and Peter—that He is going before you to Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you.”

Continue reading

Comments Off on With a Courage Born of Love: Homily for the Sunday of the Myrrh Bearing Women in the Orthodox Church

Filed under Readings, Sunday Homilies

From St. Gregory Palamas…

If you put something fragrant on to burning coals, you motivate those who approach to come back again and to stay near, but if instead you put on something with an unpleasant, oppressive smell, you repel them and drive them away.

It is the same with the mind. If your attention is occupied with what is holy, you make yourself worthy of being visited by God, since this is the sweet savour which God catches scent of.

On the other hand, if you nurture evil, foul and earthly thoughts within you, you remove yourself from God’s supervision and unfortunately make yourself worthy of His aversion.

We know that prayer in and of itself cannot save us, but carrying it out before God can.
For when the Lord’s eyes are upon us He sanctifies us, as the sun warms everything upon which it shines.

~ St. Gregory Palamas

Comments Off on From St. Gregory Palamas…

Filed under Wisdom of the Church Fathers

St Antony teaches ….

St Antony teaches about ceaseless abiding with God: ‘Let your soul be with God at all times, and your body be as some statue on earth. Stand always straight before the face of God. Have the fear of God always before your eyes, as also the remembrance of death and withdrawal from all worldly things. Die daily, that you may live; for he who fears God will live for ever. Be always alert, that you fall not into laziness and idleness. Hate all that is of this world and flee from self, for otherwise it will separate you from God. Hate all that brings harm to your soul.

Do not depart from God for the sake of transient things. Do not take the example of him that is weaker than you, but that of him who is more perfect.

Be attentive to the example of those who have loved the Lord with all their hearts and performed good works. Above all, pour forth constant prayer and give God grateful thanks for all that happens to you. Fulfil all that is commanded, and you will receive the inheritance which “eye hath not seen nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man” (I Cor. 2:9).’

Comments Off on St Antony teaches ….

Filed under Wisdom of the Church Fathers

St. Basil the Great – Celebrated January 1st

Very few of us realize that the beginning of the Church calendar does not start on January 1st. Actually, our Church calendar begins on September 1st. In our daily living, however, with our friends and neighbours and our society, our year begins on January 1st. This is a very important date in our Church since it marks the Feast Day of one of our greatest saints, St. Basil the Great. Continue reading

Comments Off on St. Basil the Great – Celebrated January 1st

Filed under Saints