Angels, Help us to Adore Him! (Twenty Third after Pentecost, Synaxis of the Archangels and Heavenly Host)

Hebrews 2:2-10; Luke 8:41-56, 9:1; Daniel 8:16; 9:21-11:1; Joshua 5:13-15, Rev. 12:7-11 Back when I was a graduate student, I assisted the loving but quite liberal professor of New Testament, George Johnston, in a large class given to students at McGill ( Montréal), who wanted to be more acquainted with the Bible, for the purposes of their various disciplines—English literature, music, law, and the like. Prof. Johnston was fond of me, but…

“Save us, O Son of God!” Twenty-First Sunday after Pentecost

Galatians 2:16-20; Luke 8:27-39; Luke 16:19-31; OT passages on “Son of God” This weekend is one of the few in which the Orthodox jurisdictions do not follow the same gospel reading. Some read the story of Lazarus and the Rich Man, while others read the story about the man with a legion of demons. The epistle, however, remains the same, and is comprised of the words by which St. Paul corrected St.…

The Gift(s) of the Evangelist St. Luke: Bonus Blog

“With Sacred Songs, let us praise the holy Apostle the Narrator of the Acts of the Apostles and Author of the Bright Gospel of Christ the All-Hymned Luke Whose Fame is not Confined to Christ’s Church for He is the Physician who Heals Men’s Ills Nature’s Frailties and the Soul’s Injuries and he Prays Unceasingly, for our souls.” + Troparion of St. Luke the Evangelist, Tone 5 The name Luke has become…

Sunday of Holy Fathers of Seventh Ecumenical Council: Things Sure and Shallow

  Readings: Genesis 14:14-20; Deut 1:8-11, 15-17; Deut 10:14-21; Luke 8:5-15; Titus 3:8-15 “The saying is sure…But avoid stupid controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels over the law, for they are unprofitable and futile” (Titus 3:8-9). What is sure? What is stupid or shallow? The answers we hear this Saturday and Sunday should give a sense of déjà vu! The Epistle reading for Divine Liturgy (though not the gospel), as well as the…

Intimations of Holiness

Readings: 2 Cor 6:14-7:1; Luke 5:1-11 Ex 29:45-46, Lev. 26: 12-13; Jer 39 (32 MT) 37-40; Ez. 37:27-28; Isaiah 52:1-11 “Make holiness perfect in the fear of God” This Sunday, the seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost, we read a passage from St. Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians that makes many Protestants cringe. Indeed, though there is no textual reason to think so (every ancient manuscript includes this passage, with no significant variants!)…

“With my Own Hand”—God’s World, our Life in the Spirit, and the New Creation.

Readings: John 3:13-17; Galatians 6:11-18; Isaiah 65:17-19; Numbers 21:5-10 This weekend marks my birthday, which stands equidistant between the feast of the Nativity of the Theotokos (Sept. 8), and the feast of St. Edith of Wilton (Sept. 15/16). St. Edith is not well known to Orthodox, but is a (British) saint in the undivided Church, nonetheless. I was delighted, on visiting St. Vladimir’s Seminary, to hear her name remembered in the closing…

A Cautionary Tale: The Beheading of St. John the Forerunner

Readings for the Fast-day: Mark 6:14-30; Acts 13:25-33 Psalm 2:7; 10-12; Malachi 4:4-6 This Saturday is a strict fast. When we remember the beheading of John the Forerunner we are also remembering the dark side of reality, and the sober element of our faith. Clearly, we would prefer to celebrate the resurrection and the glorification of the saints. But the Holy City to come, we are told, is built on the foundation…