What made St. Nicholas of Myra Christianity’s best-known and most-loved bishop? The path he cut through life. My sermon — at St. Nicholas Church and on St. Nicholas Day — December 6, 2020.
In the churches bless God the Lord, all you offspring of Israel. God is wonderful in his saints. Blessed be God!
“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” (Matthew 6:14)
On September 8, we celebrate the first great holy day of the Orthodox liturgical calendar (the Church Year begins in September). The Nativity of the Mother of God celebrates the birth of the woman called to be the mother of the Messiah.
The Lord tells the Prophet Jeremiah:
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you. (Jeremiah 1:5)
If this is the case for the prophets, it is so for all God’s People. God did not choose Mary arbitrarily to be the woman who would bring his Son into the world. Mary’s ministry as “Theotokos”– “Birth-giver of God” – was in the Lord’s mind before he formed her in her mother’s womb. Before she was born, Mary was set apart, consecrated, for this great calling.
Indeed, none of us is here by accident. Like Mary, we all have a part to play in God’s great plan for his creation. What is required of us is the trust, courage, and resolve of our Lord’s Mother, to echo her words:
I am the Lord’s servant. Let it be to me according to your word.
Today is the feast of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist (see Mark 6:14-30). This holy day is a day of strict fasting in the Orthodox Church, as we remember the death of an innocent and holy man at the hands of a weak leader governed by his ego and insatiable appetites.
Christianity was never meant to be merely a topic of academic study. Christianity is communion with the living God. “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” (Psalms of David)
Yes, we must use our heads when learning the Faith. But Christ doesn’t want us to leave him in our heads, he wants us to invite him to sit on the throne of our hearts.
Came across this wonderful icon on Facebook – the Mother of God, Our Refuge During the COVID19 Pandemic.
Tomorrow is the feast of the Dormition (“Falling Asleep”) of the Mother of God. Our parish celebration will be tomorrow evening and Sunday morning. But in the morning tomorrow, we’re streaming the Service of Supplication to the Mother of God on the parish Facebook page and YouTube channel.
By the prayers of the Theotokos, Savior, save us.
“All the ends of the world shall remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations shall worship before you.” (Psalm 22)
“Keep saying the Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me!”