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Redeeming the Time

Redeeming the Time

The Way of Life is Simple. Sin is Complex.

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The parable of the Publican and the Pharisee. Life is simple. If you know a few simple things, and do them, you will be saved. A description of the complex ways of sin, modeled by the verbosity and judgment of the Pharisee, and the simplicity of righteousness, as shown by the publican.

In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Today we are beginning the Lenten Triodion, so in four weeks we begin Great Lent. There’s really a lot that goes on in Great Lent, but it’s really very simple, because life is simple. There’s really not much you need to know to succeed in life. You just have to do what you know. Great Lent is all about repentance, so we start with the gospel for the publican and the Pharisee, this…

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Redeeming the Time

A Little Good Always Wins Over Bad

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Learning from the bad and the good in the gospels. What is the purpose of Great Lent, and how do we go about achieving it? The story of Zacchaeus (this is our story!), along with all the other gospels on the Sundays before Great Lent teaches that we can only give a little bit of good to God, but if we give what we have (with faith, and of course, effort), he will magnify our small effort, and it will always be greater than the bad we do. We must give something. We also take note of the sin of the Pharisees and how it makes a person unable to be saved, not matter whatever good or bad they do. Luke 19:1-10


In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

This is one of five Sundays before Great Lent begins. We’re already in that period of time, preparing for Great Lent. This is sort of an unofficial beginning to the preparation, because we actually start using the Triodion next week, which is the book that we use for all of Great Lent and Holy Week, but Zacchaeus is kind of a beginning, because it’s the gospel that is said before…

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Redeeming the Time

Gregory Palamas: Purpose of the Baptism of Christ and Struggle in the Christian Life

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Theophany, based on the theology of St Gregory Palamas (Homily 60), and not only his theology, but the theology of the Church. An exposition of the Gospel read on Theophany, Matthew 3:13-17. The baptism of John contrasted with Christian baptism. The difference between the baptism of Christ and all the others John baptized. What did Jesus mean when he said, "Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness"? Our baptism requires many things from us. It makes us capable of all of these things. An important segue about the weakness of our age and struggle in the Christian life, and that struggle and success are not synonymous, and that we must be kind and never give up, or we will not be saved, no matter what other virtues we may have.

In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

I was going to read you some things from St. Gregory Palamas, but I didn’t really mark it correctly, so I would stumble a bit, but he has an incredible homily about the baptism of Christ and what baptism means for us. If you read it, you’ll find out that everything I’ve been saying to you for 22 years I haven’t been making up, because that theology just permeates our church…

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Redeeming the Time

Becoming Human: We are Able, Because of Baptism

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Exegesis of the Epistle Reading for the Sunday after Theophany (Ephesians 4:7-13), with emphasis on our only task in life, made possible because of baptism—becoming human. According to the words of the Apostle, "the grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ (begun at baptism) leads us to the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ." This is the process of becoming fully human. In the perfect man, Jesus Christ, there is no sin or dark passions, and we will get there because we are able.

In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

This is the Sunday after Theophany, and I actually didn’t think I would be doing this today, because I was supposed to be in Austin, but unfortunately Vladyka Peter has a problem with his leg, and he wasn’t able to travel, so he had to cancel. So he drove back, and so I get to speak to you about my favorite subject, and this could be a definition of what Christianity is—becoming…

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Redeeming the Time

Joseph the Betrothed, Jesus Christ, Emmanuel, Mercy

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A discussion about Joseph, especially a comparison of the reaction of Zacharias, Mary and Joseph to their revelation from an angel. We see the great nobility of Joseph and that he was a holy and just man, and knew prayer of the heart. A discussion about the names “Jesus” and “”Christ,” and especially “Emmanuel,” and therefore the true meaning of the Nativity of Christ, for a Christian, in his daily life, moment by moment. In this explanation, we describe mercy and a fundamental difference between Eastern and Western Theology.

In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

I thought I would just sort of talk to you about the Scriptures we read today, some of the things that happened in them. When we read the Scriptures, there should be things that just kind of jump out at us, and there’s a lot of things that jump out at me when I read these Scriptures, and I don’t read them just at this time of the year, but throughout the year, cycling through the gospels…

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Redeeming the Time

Jesus is Not a Victim, and was Never Passive

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Bad theology leads to bad actions. The Western conception of Jesus is as a victim, and a passive man. He was not! We must be like the Christ we worship. We must be aggressive, and even violent. We define what this aggression and violence is and give an example that should be familiar to all—prayer in the Divine Liturgy—and explain about the sole purpose of the liturgy and role of the priest and the people in the liturgy, and that neither is more important that the other. If everyone prayed in the liturgy with violence, there would be flame!

We’re about to celebrate the birth of Christ, but who is Jesus Christ? The Scriptures have Pilate saying, “Behold the Man,” so when we behold him, whom do we see? Bad theology leads to bad practices, bad morality, bad thinking. Our theology regarding Jesus Christ is that he, being the God-man, having all of the prerogatives of the Father, chose to become a man so that he would be God and man, and everything he did as a man was freely, giving himself…

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Redeeming the Time

Pentecost: Short exegesis on the Holy Spirit

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On the Sunday of Pentecost, Fr. Seraphim shares a short catechesis on the Holy Spirit, covering His procession fro the Father, the various symbols for the Holy Spirit, and the important scripture text which tells us not to "quench the Spirit," and about blasphemy against the Holy Spirit it. Then we get to the best part, the best a pastor has to give his flock. We discuss how the Holy Spirit communicates with us, and how to listen to and "feel" our heart, and this "understanding that is within us" will teach us all things, and guide and help us in everything. We must learn to know when our heart is cold, or warm, enlarged or shriveled up, soft or hard. This is a skill which we must learn; we can speak a little bit about it, but only God can teach us.

Short exegesis on the Holy Spirit How to listen to the Holy Spirit when He talks to the heart. Pentecost 2015

SYNOPSIS:A short catechesis on the Holy Spirit, covering His procession fro the Father, the various symbols for the Holy Spirit, and the important scripture text which tells us not to “quench the Spirit”, and about blasphemy against the Holy Spirit it. Then we get to the best part, the best a pastor has to give his flock.…

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