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Pastoral Witness
Herod’s Fear - 09/10/14

Today the Church commemorates the Beheading of St. John the Forerunner- one of very few Feasts in the course of the Liturgical Year upon which we fast (another, of course, being the Elevation of the Holy Cross in September). Now, the person known as Herod about whom we hear in today’s Gospel Reading is actually one of the sons of Herod the Great, the king who murdered 14,000 male babies and young children in and around Palestine at the time of Jesus’ birth. However, as this was all inside the limits of the Roman Empire, any king, or ruler, was appointed by Rome- it was not a hereditary position. So, while his father had been king, this particular Herod was actually a governor, and not royalty, although he was raised as though he were. And, because his father, in his position as king, had accumulated vast wealth, Herod, now a grown man and having inherited a portion of his father’s wealth, could afford to set himself up and live like a prince. He had multiple palaces, many servants, and a small army in his employ.

Багатий юнак - 08/29/14

Сьогоднішнє Євангельське читання має справу з одним з найбільш чутливих, делікатних і в той самий час, з одним з найважливіших питань пов'язаних з духовним життям кожної віручої людини. Це питання - є питанням нашого ставлення до земних багатств. Правильне розуміння та належне відношення до земних багатств має настільки важливе духовне значення, що одна шоста всіх Христових повчань, та третина всіх Його притч пов'язана з цим питанням.

Reflection on Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos - 08/28/14

Why the Holy Church gives such unprecedented attention to the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos and ever-virgin Mary? But it is not only Dormition church always glorifying her in a way as no other righteous person or saint. Without any doubt it is because she is Mother of our God and Savior Jesus Christ. This is why throughout the life of the Theotokos we are witnessing constant heavenly presence; her earthly life was directed to heavenly life. As a child she went to the temple, heaven on earth, she also was visited by Angel. Her knowledge of God and His Kingdom made it possible for her to accept words of an Angel and act according to God’s will. And as she was carrying in her womb Son of God she herself became part of Heaven and Heavenly Kingdom. And from that time on all her thoughts and all her existence was surrounded only by Heavenly presence. She knew her Son only as she could, and no one else. It was given to her to be Living Altar of the Son of God.

Do you have pride? - 08/24/14

In the gospel today of saint Matthew we read about a young man who approaches our Lord and says “what must I do in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven?" Our Savior says to the young man that he must keep the Ten Commandments and the man said that he is faithful to the Law of Moses. This man is kind of proud about keeping up with the spiritual precepts, and then he goes on and ask “what else must be done in order to enter the Kingdom and have eternal life.” At this point our Lord says something very powerful “go sell everything you have, give the money to the poor and come follow me.” (Mt. 19:21-22)

A Merciless Servant - 08/23/14

In today’s Gospel lesson we heard the parable about the merciful king and a merciless servant. Jesus Christ told this parable when Apostle Peter asked the Savior: “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.” (Mt. 18:21).

Безжалісний слуга - 08/23/14

Сьогодні із Євангелія ми чули притчу про милосердного царя і безжалісного слугу. Цю притчу Христос сказав у відповідь на питання апостола Петра: скільки разів маємо прощати, коли прогрішить брат мій супроти мене? Може до семи разів? Христос йому відповів: Не кажу тобі до семи, але до сімдесяти разів по семи (Матв. 18 21-22).

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.

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