On the importance of being a good father
I’ll forever be grateful for the love and support I received from my father. My dad never let a day pass without assuring his two sons of his love and acceptance. Albert Parsons always imaged to his sons the importance of living an honest life, and being kind to everyone. Generous almost to a fault, my dad put himself out for others, forgave those who wronged him, looked for the good in everyone, and always demonstrated the importance of being true to oneself.
Although my brother Dwayne and I were raised Lutheran by a devout mother, my dad didn’t become a regular church goer until he was in his sixties. For our golf pro dad, God’s presence was enjoyed on the golf course, but he thought his boys needed to attend church just as he’d been required to do when he was a boy (he’d been raised in the Episcopal Church). He always supported my mother’s commitment to our Lutheran parish, where she served as the choir director and organist. Both my parents converted to the Orthodox Church, while in their seventies.
Our dad was proud of us, and supported whatever direction we chose for our lives. Since dad believed everyone should be free to go with their heart, he refused to press either of us into careers that would somehow make him proud. He didn’t believe any parent should live vicariously through their children, but only encourage them to live a life that is grounded in honesty, and respect for others.
It is always a joy when I meet fathers who visibly encourage their children, speak proudly of their kids accomplishments, and encourage them to be true to themselves. Dads who lovingly support their children, even when they make choices that don’t conform to their own image of success, demonstrate the best of what it means to be a father. The dad who keeps his eyes focused on Christ, prays for his children, and expresses his unconditional love for his kids, will, in the end, have been a good father, and blessed with adult children who will always be grateful for the dad God gave them.
With love in Christ,
Wednesday December 18, 2019 / December 5, 2019
27th Week after Pentecost. Tone one.
Nativity (St. Philip’s Fast). Food with Oil
Venerable Sabbas the Sanctified (532).
New Hieromartyr Elias priest (1932).
New Hieromartyr Gennadius (1941).
St. Sergius confessor, priest (1950).
St. Gurias, archbishop of Kazan (156).
Venerable Karion (Cyrion) and his son St. Zachariah of Egypt (4th c.).
Venerable Nectarius of Bitol (Serbia) (1500), and his elder, St. Philotheus, of Karyes Skete, Mt. Athos (Greek).
St. Nicetius, bishop of Trier (566) (Gaul).
Venerable Justinian, hermit of Wales (560) (Celtic & Britis).
Commemoration of St. Cosmas of Vatopedi (1276) and the monks of Karyes, Mt. Athos, martyred by the Latins (1283) (Greek).
Martyr Diogenes (Greek).
Martyr Abercius (Greek).
St. Nonnus, monk (Greek).
St. Gratus, monk (Greek).
The Scripture Readings
Jesus Heals a Great Multitude
17 And He came down with them and stood on a level place with a crowd of His disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem, and from the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear Him and be healed of their diseases, 18 as well as those who were tormented with unclean spirits. And they were healed. 19 And the whole multitude sought to touch Him, for power went out from Him and healed them all.
20 Then He lifted up His eyes toward His disciples, and said:
“Blessed are you poor,
For yours is the kingdom of God.
21 Blessed are you who hunger now,
For you shall be filled.
Blessed are you who weep now,
For you shall laugh.
22 Blessed are you when men hate you,
And when they exclude you,
And revile you, and cast out your name as evil,
For the Son of Man’s sake.
23 Rejoice in that day and leap for joy!
For indeed your reward is great in heaven,
For in like manner their fathers did to the prophets.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
Bear and Share Burdens
6 Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. 2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
27 All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. 28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”