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Pastoral Witness
Patriarchal Encyclical on Preservation of God's Creation - 08/16/14

The common Mother of all Orthodox, the Church of Christ, the Body of our eternal Lord and divine-human Jesus Christ, compassionately ministers through all of its activities, but especially through the Divine Eucharist, by offering its holy gifts to their Creator in the mystery of salvation. It does this with proven boundless and indiscriminate love toward all of its members to the degree also demonstrated by our heavenly Father.

In its prayerful memory, the Church always bears in mind the presence of its children, maintaining a vivid interest and concern for all that relates to and influences their lives. This is why it does not remain unmoved or indifferent by the on-going and daily destruction of the natural environment resulting from human greed and vain profit, which in turn implies an essential turning of the Lord’s face and results in consequential turbulence in nature and fracture in its crown, namely human existence, whose very survival is threatened.


Ходження по воді - 08/11/14

Христос тільки міг ходити по хвилях морських, бо Він є Владикою сотвореного світу.Але Ап. Петро ходив по воді також, а він є людина. Сьогоднішнє Євангеліє про це докладно оповідає нам. Коли Христос молився, апостоли були в човні і цілу ніч боролися з хвилями та вітром, який кидав їхній човен то в один, то в другий бік. Христос, одначе, не забув про них. Вранці Ісус прямував до них, йдучи по воді, як по сухому. Апостоли злякались, але Христос сказав їм: “Це Я, не бійтесь!” Вони не впізнали Його. Одним з християнських привітань є “Христос посеред нас!” Дійсно, Христос є серед нас, але ми часто проходимо через життєві незгоди, печалі, не зізнаючи Його присутності.


Send them away! - 08/08/14

Send them away! This is what Christ’s disciples said that He should do to the multitudes that had been following Him, in today’s Gospel lesson- send them away. Let someone else feed them, see to their needs. And, on the surface, this seems to be a reasonable request, given their situation, their apparent inability to care for all of them. Send them away! But even if this request was made because the disciples thought it would be in the people’s best interest, it was still, as we learn, the wrong attitude, the wrong response to that situation. Yet, knowing this, what we must ask ourselves, brothers and sisters, is how often do we say this very thing?


Нагодування 5 тисяч - 08/01/14

Євангельське повчаня, яке читається у восьму неділю по П’ятидесятниці, своїм змістом вражає нас двояко, у двох аспектах. В 13-му вірші 14-го розділу Євангелії від Матвія згадано, що Ісус “відчалив човном у місце пустинне і самотнє. І почувши народ із міст пішов пішки за Ним”. Отже люди так прагнули чути Слово Боже з уст Спасителя, так прагнули отримати благодать Божу від нього на оздоровлення, що шукали за Ним і знайшли Його у місці “пустинному”, де Христос напевно шукав молитовного усамітнення після тяжкої вістки про відрубання голови Іванові Хрестителеві.


Holy Fathers of the first six Ecumenical Councils - 07/28/14

Today our church commemorates the Holy Fathers of the first six Ecumenical Councils, so it would be beneficial to consider why they are considered so important. On the great day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit fell upon the timid apostles, who then went forth throughout the whole known world preaching the Gospel boldly. Although uneducated, being mostly fishermen, it was the Holy Spirit who overshadowed and prompted them and gave them the eloquence to spread salvation across many lands. St. Paul warned us though that there will be wolves in sheep's clothing, who will pervert and twist Christ's true teaching. In every generation there have arisen both false pastors and people with ears itching for different and novel doctrines.


The Feast of Saints Peter and Paul: A Lesson for Healing the Divisions among Us - 07/12/14

While we may be surprised to see such behavior among Christians, it is nothing new. In fact, Christians have even gone so far as to claim patrons from among the saints – and even Christ Himself - as proponents of their fallen notions. Let me give you an example from today's feast. One of the things that created divisions (and eventual schism) within the Church was an argument over who had the power to decide matters of faith and direction. The Romans, seeking to bolster the centrality and power of their pope, turned Saint Peter into the patron of their cause, reading into his life proof that their position on (Roman) Papal Primacy was the only correct and natural one. When we read such claims, we learn more about Roman Catholic doctrine and its defenders than we do about the actual life and ministry of St. Peter. He was clearly the “first among equals”, but the rock of his confession and the keys to the kingdom were not uniquely his, but the salvific witness and ministry of the Church.


Vacation from God? - 07/11/14

Ah, summertime! Each of us looks forward to the time of year where we get a break from our daily work and school routine.

In the United States, we call it vacation. Other countries call it holiday. Irrelevant of the name, it brings images of leisure time, travel, friends, family, and sometimes adventure.

Whether it is a trip to the shore, a cabin in the mountains, a tent in a park, a luxury hotel, or a cruise on the open seas, we all need a break from our normal routine to recharge our personal batteries. As each of us is different, we all have our own idea of what constitutes the best use of our time away from the office or the classroom.


OrthoAnalytika!
Weekly reflections by Rev. Fr. Anthony Perkins, pastor of St. Michael Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Woonsocket, RI. Click here>
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