Things Hidden and Things Revealed: Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost and Seventh Sunday of Luke

Galatians 1:11-19; Luke 8:41-56; Isaiah 43:9-13 It is perhaps significant that in this ecclesial year we read during Divine Liturgy from the first chapter of Galatians twice in the space of two weeks. This happens because Galatians 1:11-19 is the passage appointed for St. James’ day, which happened to be on the Lord’s Day this year, and it is also appointed for Divine Liturgy this week. Paul’s “independent” words here are particularly…

The God Who Makes Himself Known: James the Brother of God, Sixth Sunday of Luke

Luke 8:26-39; Gal 1:11-19; Luke 16:19-31; Jeremiah 31:31-34 This weekend, the Orthodox community is united in remembering James, the brother of the Lord, but we have different gospel readings: Luke 8:26-39 for some of us, and Luke 16:19-31 for others.  Both gospel readings, and the epistle appointed for St. James touch on similar themes, fortunately.  The reading from Galatians 1:11-19 gives us an inside look into the experience of St. Paul, his…

The Gift(s) of the Evangelist Luke: Special Blog for St. Luke’s Feast-day!

“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…

Weapons of Righteousness: Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost & Third Sunday of Luke

2 Corinthians 6:1-10; Isaiah 59:15-17; Wisdom 5:17-20; Isaiah 11:3-5 Today in public American discourse, one can (in many circles) only with great difficulty use the words “weapons” and “righteousness” in the same sentence. This was not always the case, of course. In past ages, those who bore weapons for the public good were honored as righteous. Even Orthodox Christians, though ambivalent about the tragedies associated with war, celebrated without embarrassment the martyrdom…

Fear, Enemies and Fishermen: First Sunday of Luke Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Luke 5:1-11; 2 Cor 1: 21-2:4; Col 1:13-23; Isaiah 11:1-9 The prophet Isaiah was given, many centuries before the coming of the God-Man, insight into a time that God had appointed, when the Messiah would guide God’s people in wisdom and righteousness. Speaking of that hope, and helping the Jewish people to anticipate it more clearly, he wrote this: There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a…

“Blessed Rather?” Contemplating Blessing, Honor and Humility on the Nativity of the Theotokos

Readings: Phil. 2:5-11, Luke 10: 38-42, Luke 11: 27-28, Isaiah 45 Both the readings for Western Christian communities for this coming Sunday, and our readings for today in the Orthodox Church have to do with humility. On Sunday, many Western Christians who follow the Common lectionary will be reading the words of the apostle concerning St. Paul’s rescue from degradation: “And I am the foremost of sinners; but I received mercy (1Tim…

Fathers, Fools, Faith and Fragility: Tenth Sunday After Pentecost

1 Cor. 4:9-16; Matthew 17:14-23;1 Samuel (1 Kingdoms)16:1-13; Micah 5:2-4 “Straighter when we bend and taller when we bow:” this was G. K. Chesterton’s understanding of the mystery of the gospel. Though he was not “Orthodox” (with a big O), he surely cared passionately about doctrinal orthodoxy and authentic Christian practice.  And his paradoxical saying sums up God’s way of working in the world—the ‘foolishness” of God is surely stronger than human…