“For it is God Who acted in both an unexpected and also shatteringly decisive way by transforming the tomb into a womb from which emerges new and everlasting life.” (Fr. Stephen Kostoff) “Should I not rather say that the tomb itself is a womb? There is, in fact, a great similarity. Just as the Lord came out from his mother’s womb living, so also He rose living from Joseph’s tomb. Just as He was born from the womb in order to preach, so also now He has been reborn from the tom
“Disregard occurs whenever we fail to consider God’s view of how we are living – including our inaction…Chronic disregard sears the conscience and prevents us from knowing fear of the Lord. We can become completely sealed off from awareness of God’s presence and never notice the failure deep within us (Jeremiah 6:15). Most of the evils in this life come about when we turn away…When we lose the fear of God, we silence the heart, stifle the saving voice of shame, and shut off h
“What then is the source of contention in human society? The apostle’s penetrating insight discloses that the cause is found in the “desires for pleasure” (James 4:1). But the term that this phrase translates has a broader meaning than this phrase suggests. It refers to sensual gratifications, that is, insatiable lusts (vs. 1). James says that these passions “war in your members” (vs. 4:1). He does not mean that the cravings set different parts of the body against each other.
“We are God’s vineyard, charged with bearing fruit and offering “the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name” (Heb 13:15). We are to abide in Him or risk being “cast out as a branch and . . . withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned” (Jn 15:6). Let us give God His due in the time allotted to us. Sin is around us and within us. Its allure deceives us so that we often fail to consider the cons
“…to know the Lord, He must stay with us, and we must spend time with Him. In this vein, Jesus said, “Abide in me and I in you” (John 15:4). The Greek word “abide” refers to staying in the same place, condition, hope, or relationship…When the Lord dwells in our hearts, and when we reside in His, then we can bear abundant fruit for Him (John 15:4). Yet, this mutual indwelling is also the way that we can know Him with spiritual perception. Abiding is not a one-time or sporadic
“We go to Church to set our hearts on fire with love for God and the world. We go to Church because there are so many things to care about and for which we offer prayer to the merciful God. We are to awake from our slumber so we can follow the Lord with diligence and vigilance.” (Fr. Ted Bobosh) “Although some early Christians failed the test of faith, the names of steadfast disciples such as Timothy, Luke, Mark, Priscilla, Aquila, and Onesiphorus, are well known to readers o
“Our primary vocation is to have union with God and become Christ-like in all that we say and do. Our secondary vocation, or vocations, are what we do in our lives that enables us to express this Christ-likeness” (Sacramental Living) “In order to bear witness to the good news that the Son of God has become truly one of us, we must freely pursue the vocation of becoming like Him in holiness as we grow in our participation in His divine life. Our fundamental vocation remains th
“In a medieval world, the “order” of things was thought important: kings and commoners, high-born and low-born, masters, yeomen, and apprentice, etc. The whole of the universe had an order (hierarchy) that included the angels, human beings, and all creatures. The point was not oppression or suppression, nor to “keep people in their place.” Rather, the order of things served the purpose of union with God.” (Father Stephen Freeman) “Order reflects the nature of God’s holiness.
“ ‘For everyone will be seasoned with fire, and every sacrifice will be seasoned with salt’ (Mark 9:49). Being seasoned with fire means being tested to see if one's faith and works are genuine.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Mark 9:49) “…Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?” The question Paul poses in [2 Cor 13] verse 5 is an appropriate challenge for us as Christians. Just as Saint Paul urges the Corinthians to “examine yourselves as to whether
“In the original Greek, the word for “conscience” has the root of self-knowledge…The conscience is the witness that compares one’s conduct with the sense of right and wrong. Paul instructs that church leaders have a “good conscience” that does not harbor feelings of guilt or offense against God. A “good conscience” comes from living “honorably”…For example, in 1 Peter, the Apostle teaches that all believers must be ready to witness to their hope. But to give their testimony t