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“Too many people today insist on preserving whatever “dividing wall of hostility” they can use to promote their vain desires for power, wealth, and other signs of worldly success. Doing so enables them to justify in their own minds how they refuse to pursue reconciliation with those who pose real or imagined threats to their dreams of earthly glory. There are ways to “eat, drink, and be merry” that have nothing to do with food and beverage, but everything to do with impoverishing our souls by indulging in self-centeredness to the point that we cannot even imagine living according to the good news that Christ “has broken down the dividing wall of hostility” and brought peace to those “who were far off, and peace to those who were near.” (Fr. Philip LeMasters)

“Our reading today [Acts 13:13-24] reminds us that Paul lamented the rejection of his fellow Jews as a tragedy (Romans 11:1-320. Today we consider how the opposition to the Gospel produced irrational animosity. Our reading warns us of unreasonable hostility and suggests that we should respond to those who oppose us with the Spirit of Christ. And we should leave those who reject the Gospel either actively or passively to God’s judgment.” (Fr. Basil)

“For us Christians today, we should not be surprised if the world seems hostile to us or disinterested in the good news. We have been forewarned by our Lord about how the world will see us and treat us. Our Lord Jesus never says that we Christians are to act like wolves and go on the attack in order to survive. We are the sheep of His pasture, not even the sheep dogs needed to protect the sheep. We are to follow Him wherever He goes, even to the cross, or to hell. More important than being a predator who can fend for itself, we are to be with Him always, but as sheep.” (Fr. Ted Bobosh)

“God is pouring out His manifold grace on a world hostile to Him, which also includes those who choose to embrace His energies. God knows we are not Apostles. We may be a grandmother, a doctor, a student, a prisoner, a parish Priest, a childcare worker, an attorney; but we all receive God’s grace in the circumstances in which He calls.” (Dynamis 7/11/2021)

“The virtues are all equal and together reduce themselves to one, thus constituting a single principle and form of virtue. But some virtues – such as divine love, humility, and divine patience – are greater than others, embracing and compromising as they do a large number or even all of the rest. With regard to patience, the Lord says, ‘You will gain possession of your souls through your patient endurance‘ (Luke 21:19). He did not say ‘through your fasting’ or ‘through your vigils’. I refer to the patience bestowed by God, which is the queen of virtues, the foundation of courageous actions. It is patience that is peace amid strife, serenity amid distress, and a steadfast base for those who acquire it. Once you have attained it with the help of Christ Jesus, no swords and spears, no attacking armies, not even the ranks of demons, the dark phalanx of hostile powers, will be able to do you any harm.” (St. Gregory of Sinai)


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