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20/20 Vision
       The parents of two teenagers visited a doctor because they were very worried about their children’s failing eyesight. The doctor asked, “What are the symptoms? What are you noticing?” The father said, “Well, our daughter can’t find anything to ... read more

A Dwelling of Christ and a Witness of His Gospel
      This was the theme of our most recent Archdiocese Clergy Laity Congress in Philadelphia this past week and it will be the theme that will guide and inform all Archdiocese programs and initiatives over the next year or two. Our Ecumenical Patriarch Barthol ... read more

A LITTLE BACK & FORTH – THE ANTIPHONS
      The following words have a certain connotation and meaning: antibiotic, antidepressant, antitrust, antithetical, antibacterial, and antiseptic. Not only do they start with the prefix ‘anti’ but that prefix means they are the opposite or opposed to the ... read more

A Man Up a Tree
      Nearly everyone has heard the expression ?up a tree.? It?s like the other saying, ?up a creek without a paddle.? The implication is that if you?re up a tree, then you?re stuck with not an easy way down. In today?s Gospel reading, from the 15th Sunda ... read more

A New Creation
      Gay or straight, republican or democrat, conservative or liberal, man or woman, black or white, pro-choice or pro-life: these are all familiar labels we hear many people identify themselves as are used a pejorative to label someone else. It’s called ide ... read more

A Wealthy Inheritance
       If you received a $1 million, $5M, or $10M inheritance, what would you do with it? Would you spend it or invest it? Would you put in a will or trust for you own children? Think for a moment about wealthy parents who gave most of their estate to their chi ... read more

Abraham is Ready to Sacrifice Isaac
       Humor Intro- A family was eating dinner together before Lent. The parents asked the children what they would like to give up for lent as a sacrifice for God, adding that it should be something they really like. After thinking about it for a while, the y ... read more

Acting vs. Reacting
      As many of you know I am studying in a doctoral program in marriage and family therapy at Argosy University. In three years of school I have completed all my core and elective courses covering over twenty different theories of counseling, how to appraise ... read more

Adam & Eve's Real Mistake
       Today is Cheesefare Sunday. Having already begun our fast from meat this past week, today is the last day we eat cheese and dairy products before beginning the strict fast of Great and Holy Lent, which starts tomorrow on Clean/Pure Monday. More important ... read more

Adults- Better Than Average 2016
      How many Orthodox Christians live in the United States? Over the years, several different answers have been offered. In the recent past, some church authorities estimated between four and six million Orthodox faithful. Our own Greek Archdiocese claimed up ... read more

Adults- Worth of Your Soul
      You don’t have to be part of Weight Watchers to watch your weight. For some of us this might be a daily routine, to step on a scale. Many of today’s scales are electronic with a digital readout, but the older model scales still exist. They have little ... read more

Adults: General Instructions by James
       Usually my sermons each week focus on a specific topic but today I want to give you a variety of little tidbits, kernels of wisdoms, and nuggets of gold. So, here we go. James 1 2My brothers and sisters in Christ, count it all joy when you fal ... read more

Adults: Two Processions
      In the coming election we have two political parties and two candidates representing each party…but I am not going to talk about either one. Now that I have your attention I am going to talk about two things. In the Divine Liturgy there are two processi ... read more

Almsgiving- the Best Investment
      How many of us use a financial advisor? How many of use have a stockbroker? These professionals provide advice about how to maximize our savings, insurance and investments. They also can guide us with a plan to achieving our financial goals including payi ... read more

Apostles Heal as Jesus Did
       I heard a story about Jesus that is not in the Gospels. It goes like this: Jesus was walking along one day when He came upon a man crying, and He said, ?My friend, what?s wrong?? The man replied, ?I?m blind; can You help me?? Jesus healed the man and He ... read more

Are You a Sheep or a Goat?
      In our oppressively politically correct society some are bending over backwards to do injustices of the past. Of course, we must learn our history, understand previous prejudices and admit indiscriminate discriminations. We must undo them and seek to neve ... read more

Ashamed of Adultery
      “I am ashamed.” These three words, when do we often say them or think them? Shame comes from four main experiences. First, when we do something that is inappropriate or morally wrong, we may feel shame, a sense of embarrassment and regret. For example ... read more

Ashes to Ashes: Cremation
       ?Ashes to ashes and dust to dust? is a common phrase we hear associated with funeral practices. This first appeared in the Church of England?s Book of Common Prayer in 1549. The phrase ?dust to dust? has some biblical origin from Gen. 3:19 and Ecclesias ... read more

Attitude of Gratitude
      “Where are the nine?...Where are the nine?” This is what Jesus says (v.17) after He heals the ten lepers in today’s Gospel from the Twelfth Sunday of Luke (17:12-19). He says this because only one of the ten returned to Jesus, glorified Him and gave ... read more

Baptism of Christ & of Christians
       The glorious Feast of Theophany is celebrated every year on January 6th. It centers on the event of the Lord’s baptism in the Jordan River. It is an occasion for us to reflect on the meaning of not only Jesus’ baptism but our own baptism as well. Bis ... read more

Be Good Soldiers of Christ
      Last Sunday (July 20th) we heard about the Prophet Elijah/Elias and the great miracle he performed in calling down fire from heaven to burn up the sacrifice that hundreds of false prophets of Baal could not. In the same manner, St. Panteleimon, whom we co ... read more

Be Strong & Brave
      Who remembers the slogan “Live Strong”? This was started by the former champion cyclist Lance Armstrong in 1997 in response to surviving his battle with cancer. It became a foundation with the mission to improve the lives other cancer survivors. Armst ... read more

Bigger Barns or Bigger Church
      This is a true story: a Greek Orthodox parish community was contemplating building a brand new, larger, more beautiful sanctuary. Of course, there was lots of lively discussion and debate. During a parish assembly meeting, one person rose to speak. He sai ... read more

Blessed Church New Year!
      Blessed and Happy New Year! Why am I saying this greeting to you? Does not the New Year begin on January 1st? Yes, the calendar year that most people recognized throughout the year begins on January 1st. However, the Ecclesiastical or Church New Year begi ... read more

Blessing the Waters
      Today we celebrate the liturgical feast of the Sunday before Theophany. Because is also the Eve of Theophany the Typikon directs all parishes to conduct the Great Agiasmos. I have just used a few words that one might not be familiar with. So let’s go ba ... read more

Born to be Baptized: From Nativity to Theophany
      Do you ever wonder why many Eastern Orthodox celebrate Christmas on December 25th with the rest of the Christian world but many other Orthodox observe the Lord’s Nativity on January 7th? The simple answer is those who observe Dec. 25th use the new Grego ... read more

Bringing our Children to Christ
      I was amused by the story I read in Bit and Pieces about Jack?s mother who ran into the bedroom when she heard him scream and found his two-year-old sister pulling his hair. She gently released the little girl?s grip and said comfortingly to Jack, ?There, ... read more

Broken to be More Beautiful
      How many of us have broken a bone in our body? Probably it was due to an accident or an injury but it might have been purposeful during a surgery to repair something that is impairing health or healing. How does it feel when a bone is broken? It hurts a l ... read more

Cashing In On God's Promises
      Very few people write checks issued from their bank to pay bills or purchase items at a store. While some prefer to pay in cash, more and more of us use credit cards for purchases. Whether I use a check or credit card, a signature typically is required an ... read more

CATECHUMENATE
       In college you may have joined a fraternity or sorority. Even now some of us belong to fraternal organizations such as the AHEPA or Daughters of Penelope. Part of the initiation process and the ongoing meetings are secret rituals. Only members or those p ... read more

Chain of Witnesses: from Second-hand Faith to Personal Faith
      See Coniaris ?Meet Jesus in the Sunday Gospels, vol. 1? p.31 A few weeks ago we used the analogy of a courtroom to help understand God?s judgment. That context is helpful today as well. In a civil or criminal trial evidence is presented to make the ... read more

Christ In Me
      I’m sure many of you notice that I have been quoting frequently as of late the writings of Fr. Anthony Coniaris. I’m sure most of you know also that Fr. Anthony was my parish priest growing up at our sister parish of St. Mary Greek Orthodox Church in ... read more

Christian Rewards Program
      A railroad worker once said, ?I never work on Sundays except for the Lord.? A friend asked him, ?What?s the pay?? He replied, ?Well, the pay is not so hot, but you can?t beat the retirement plan.? In today?s Gospel lesson (Mt.10:32-33,27-28; 19:27-30), fr ... read more

Church is for All- Invite & Feed Them
      Many people have a picture of Jesus followers and the early Church as an open, loving, warm community. However, today’s Gospel reading from the Eighth Sunday of Matthew (14:14-22) shows in fact the opposite. In the passage right before today’s reading ... read more

Church is Here to Help Heal
      Today we will have our annual parish assembly meeting to review our programs and ministries, and set the budget for next year. Parish assemblies can be a little anxiety-provoking because we tend to worry about money. Will there be enough to meet the budge ... read more

Church Ministry: Preach, Teach and Heal
       If you ever watch television shows about nature and wildlife you often see animals being caught and captured, then released. For what purpose? Typically, they are measured and studied to learn more about them. They even receive tracking devices so resear ... read more

Church Music Sunday
      18And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, 19speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, 20giving thanks always for all things to God t ... read more

Come! Jesus’ Invite
      Ella is not just a woman’s name. It’s a command in Greek, “Ella!” An invitation to Come! Or more politely, “Elate, sas parakalo!” It is the same invitation that the Lord Jesus Christ gives in the Parable of the Great Banquet in today’s Gospe ... read more

Confessing our Sins
      Remember back when we were children, how easy it was to take something that was not ours. Whether it was a toy from our toddler playmates, a piece of candy or gum at the convenience store, a nice shirt, purse or jersey left behind at school. We wanted it, ... read more

Conscience- God's Voice Within Us
      Two long-time friends, Polyxeni and Sophia, lived about fifty miles away from each other. One day Polyxeni drove to visit Sophia and spend the afternoon together. They had a great time catching up on all the latest in life. When it came time for Polyxeni ... read more

Created for Good Works
      8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men. 14 And let our people also learn to maintain go ... read more

Cross & 9/11 2016
      When someone says 9-11 almost everyone in America will know that it refers to September 11, 2001, the day of the infamous attacks on the United States by 19 hijackers who flew two airline passenger jets into the World Trade Center in New York, one into th ... read more

Cross & Covenant in Old Testament
       The Vikings begin their 2018 season today against the San Francisco 49ers. The Vikes are 3 to 6 point favorites which seems pretty close. There is a slight chance the game could go into OT. When I say OT almost everyone knows I am talking about ‘overti ... read more

Cross Found in Eden
       A few years ago, the newspapers, magazines and tv shows were headlining a recent story claiming that the tomb or reliquary of Jesus, the Son of Joseph has been discovered. Movie director James Cameron and an Israeli journalist were championing the story ... read more

Deacons & Diakonia
      During the last couple of months, we’ve been blessed to have three different deacons assist with the Divine Liturgy and Holy Week services. Today, the Third Sunday of Pascha, is also known as the Sunday of the Myrrhbearing Women. Yet, it could also be k ... read more

Deaf and Dumb Spirit
      If someone asked you to name the miracles that Christ performed in His earthly ministry, how would you answer? Certainly, one might think of Jesus raising Lazaros from the dead which we will celebrate two weeks from now, walking on water, changing water i ... read more

Disappointment vs His-appointment
      (see Fr Anthony Coniaris, This is My Beloved Son, vol.1, pp.37-49) Xronia Polla! Many Years to everyone on this glorious Sunday of All Saints! Today we commemorate all those who showed us how to be filled with God’s holiness: the Ancestors of Chris ... read more

Do You Belong to Christ?
      How often in conversation do we hear people say things similar to this: “I go to such and such church because I like the pastor there”? Or “We stopped going to that church because they have a new priest, and well, he’s just different.” I am cont ... read more

Do Your Best
      With the recent World Cup Soccer tournament, we see yet again some of the best athletes in the world competing against one another for a championship. This opportunity occurs only once every four years and the difference between a victory and a loss can c ... read more

Don't Condemn Nor Criticize
      Fr. Anthony Coniaris “Jesus Came to Save World not Condemn It” (Meet Jesus in the Sunday Gospels, vol.2 p.43) Jesus says to the woman caught in adultery, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more” (John 8:1-11) “God sent His only-begot ... read more

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