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A New Perspective With the Resurrection
      Last week on Palm Sunday there was a horrific bombing of two Coptic Orthodox Churches in Egypt, killing 44 people and injuring more than 100. Imagine, going to church to celebrate Palm Sunday and begin Holy Week, and experience the terror of such horror a ... read more

A Teaching Divine Liturgy
      When Prince Vladimir’s emissaries visited the Church of Holy Wisdom in Constantinople, back in the 10th century, and attended a worship service, they explained to their leader: “We knew not whether we were in heaven or on earth. One thing we understoo ... read more

A Theology of Interruptions
      How many of us like being interrupted? We may be in the middle of doing something, and then someone unexpectedly comes up to us, interrupts us, and disrupts our planned schedule. How about when we’re doing something really important? How do we act when ... read more

Addictions, Demons and Redemption
      Demon possession. We heard about it in today’s Gospel story when Jesus cast out demons controlling two men. In the other Gospels, we read about legions of demons possessing a single man. Too often, when we contemporary people hear about demon-possession ... read more

Against the World
      How many of you bought tickets for the Powerball over these past weeks? How many dreamed how winning $1.5 billion would change your life in the most beautiful way? (Actually, like the couple in Tennessee that won, you would take home $157 million after ta ... read more

All Saints Day
      How many times we pray at every Divine Liturgy: “Remembering the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary, with all the saints, let us commit ourselves, and one another, and our whole life to Christ our God.” What does it mean when we say “with all the sai ... read more

Are the End Times Coming?
      Are the end times coming? We are living through unprecedented hurricanes with Harvey and Irma. We witness a massive 8.1 earthquake in Mexico. Raging wildfires in Oregon and the Northeast are threatening. Ongoing wars in Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, and Iraq ... read more

As the Father Sent Me So I send You
      Christos Anesti! Christ is Risen! Krishti u Ngjall! Last week on the night of Pascha, at the Resurrection service, my son brought one of his best friends to our church service. In fact, my daughter also brought two of her school friends to experience ... read more

BC and AD - All Saints Day
      The saints of the Church represent quite a wide range of fascinating people. Some were apostles, prophets and martyrs; bishops, priests and ascetics; men and women; rich and poor; old and young; some were murderers and thieves early in their lives; others ... read more

Be Strong in the Lord
      “Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hos ... read more

Becoming Instruments of Light in the Darkness
      “The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death Light has dawned.” (Mt 4:15-16) On the Sunday after the baptism of Christ, this is how we hear St Matthew the Evangelist begin the story ... read more

Beginning a New Year of Change and Transformation
      Having just celebrated the entrance of God into the world at Christmas, can we return back to our normal routine of life and our typical schedule? If we have sincerely experienced Christ’s birth, and invited Him to be born anew in our hearts and lives, ... read more

Being With the Father but Not Becoming Like the Father
      A number of years ago under Communism, there was a certain old priest in Romania who would never greet anyone with the typical “Hello” or “Good Morning”. Instead, whenever he greeted anyone, he would say, with a shining smile on his face - “Rej ... read more

Bread in the Kingdom of God
      “Blessed is the one who shall eat bread in the Kingdom of God.” As Jesus was teaching the people, he shared with them that the Kingdom of God is at hand, that we can live under the reign of God as a present reality, and that the Kingdom of Heaven i ... read more

Casting Out Darkness and Putting on Christ
      Today we hear about a man terrorized and paralyzed with a legion of demons, and yet Jesus simply casts them aside and offers new life to a pathetic, broken man! We read numerous other passages in Scripture where Jesus encounters demon-possessed people who ... read more

Christ Lives In Me
      How many of you were at our festival last week when Billy Gibbons, the lead singer for the rock-n-roll band ZZ Top, came by to eat some Greek food? For me, I knew ZZ Top from when I was younger, but I wouldn’t have even recognized Billy Gibbons. Yet, I ... read more

Christ the Healer
      We are all broken in some ways. We are all sick. We are all in need of help from a healer. Think about any past deeds or actions or memories that weigh you down? I know people who live in the shadow of terrible mistakes or some bad choices they made de ... read more

Christ's Call to Unite That Which is Divided
      Our country is divided, and becoming more divided with each passing day. Whether it’s our politics, the latest debate of the NFL and the American flag, the proposed tax cuts or health care or simply different opinions on social issues or particular beli ... read more

Co-Workers with God and Fishers of Men
      “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” The very first promise that Jesus made to his disciples and followers was that IF they would follow Him, He would show these fishermen how to “fish for people.” His first promise was not one of a ... read more

Competition vs Compassion
      Competition v. Compassion. Think about that comparison. Competition v Compassion. Where do we stand when we see others? From a young age, our society cultivates and instills in us the spirit of competition. I want to do better than others. Why do they ha ... read more

Cultivating a Noble Spirit
      “You took something very precious away from me,” said Nadine Collier, daughter of 70-year-old Ethel Lance, one of the nine people killed in the Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC. “I will never talk to her ever again. I wi ... read more

Cultivating An Attitude of Gratitude
      “You need an attitude of gratitude!” This was the response that an amazing prisoner gave me, when I asked him how he maintained a positive spirit inside the medium security prison where he lived. I met this man when I visited a prison weekly during my ... read more

Cultivating our Hearts
      Why is it that one person hears the Gospel and is pierced to the heart, while another one hears the Good News of our Lord week after week, yet remained unchanged by it? I meet from time to time people who have had dramatic conversions – from addictio ... read more

Deny Self So We Can Fill Self
      “No one can really embrace the Christian asceticism mapped out in the New Testament unless he [or she] has some idea of the positive, constructive function of self-denial. The Holy Spirit never asks us to renounce anything without offering us something ... read more

Deny Yourself and Discover the Path of Life
      I was recently reading about the life of St Maximillian Kolbe, the Polish Catholic priest who died in the Auschwitz Nazi death camp during WW2. His story is one of truly “denying yourself, taking up one’s cross, and following Jesus Christ.” It began ... read more

      Distractions. How many of us find ourselves distracted? From our phones? Social media? 24/7 News? Never-ending sports? Constant distractions all around us. Distractions that don’t allow time to sit in silence, reflect or meditate, or even focus in praye ... read more

Do You Want To Be Healed
      Imagine Jesus asking someone who has been paralyzed for 38 years the question, “Do you want to be made well?” It seems ridiculous. Someone who has been sick and suffering for 38 years would obviously want to be healed, right?!? Yet, Jesus asked the ... read more

Don't Accept the Grace of God in Vain
      “Don’t accept the grace of God in vain.” St. Paul warns the first Christians in Corinth about this in today’s epistle reading. “Don’t accept the grace of God in vain.” What does that mean? How can one accept the grace of God in vain? Is t ... read more

Excuses - Priorities - the Kingdom of God
      Excuses. We all make them. Excuses why we don’t work out and exercise more. Excuses why we don’t eat better and in a healthier way. Excuses why we don’t stop certain bad habits. Excuses why we don’t do what we know we should do. Excuses why we can ... read more

Extremist of Love and Justice
      Extremism seems to be on the rise in America, and this can come in many dangerous forms. Right-wing extremism, as well as left-wing extremism. Religious extremism along with atheist extremism. How many of us would like to be labeled an extremist? Not a fl ... read more

Facing Death
      Hurricane Matthew kills more than 500 people in Haiti, and this is only the latest natural disaster to bring unexpected death to the world. Look in the news every day and we will hear about the war in Syria, the migrants crossing the Mediterranean, the co ... read more

Facing Death and Judgment
      This past week I spoke with a 62 year old woman who is dying. Several months ago her doctors told her that she has six months to live due to a rare form of cancer. Of course, this woman is extremely sad at her prospects. Yet she is preparing herself for w ... read more

Festival Sunday
      “Many members but one body - Working together for the glory of God” Well, our annual festival is here once again, and what a hectic yet joyous time for our Sts. Constantine and Helen family. Many parishioners have been wonderful stewards of their ... read more

Forgiveness and the Beginning of Lent
      Several decades ago under communism, there was a 70 year old Romanian priest who was thrown into prison because of his faith. Before he was thrown into prison, however, he was tortured and beaten so badly that he was close to death. As he laid in the pri ... read more

Forgiveness Frees Us from Being Imprisoned in our Souls
      There is a story of when President Bill Clinton met the great South African leader Nelson Mandela for the first time. In his conversation he told Mandela, “When you were released from prison, Mr. Mandela, I woke up my daughter at three o’clock in the ... read more

Four Pillars for a Meaningful Life
      “There is more to life than being happy.” How many people agree with that statement? As we prepare to begin a new year, I want to draw our attention to this challenging statement – “There is more to life than being happy.” What do you think coul ... read more

Freedom in Christ
      The Statue of Liberty has always been a symbol of hope for millions and millions of immigrants who have come to this country, often fleeing poverty, oppression and the harsh realities of their homeland. “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masse ... read more

Freedom in Christ
      “It is not freedom when we say everything is permitted. This is slavery.” These words from St Paisios the Athonite, one of the newly canonized saints of our Church, could well be directed towards our individualist, contemporary society. On this Ju ... read more

Giving Thanks and Giving Back
      A month or so ago we were fortunate to have a miraculous myrrh streaming icon here at our church. While standing in line waiting to be anointed, there was a young mother and her two sons in front of me. I could see out of the corner of my eye the older s ... read more

Giving Thanks in All Circumstances
      “Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” Listen to these words from Holy Scripture - the will of God for us is to “rejoice always, pray without ceasing and give ... read more

Giving Your Life for Another
      President Harry Truman was the object of an assassination attempt in which two secret service agents were killed while protecting him. In recounting the experience of that terrible day, the President said, “You can’t imagine how a man feels when someo ... read more

God Doesn't Want to Condemn But Wants to Love
      God doesn’t want to condemn, He wants to love! Think about that statement. God doesn’t want to condemn us. He’s not looking to punish us. He’s not sick and tired of us, wanting to reject us. NO! We need to understand God for who He is and what ... read more

God's New Name for Us
      What is your name? What’s the name people call you, and what is the name that God knows you by? Names hold an important place throughout the Bible. We read in many places throughout the Scriptures how God changes people’s name. Abram becomes Abraha ... read more

God's Superheroes - Women of Faith
      This past week, we held another wonderful Vacation Church Camp which focused on Superheroes. Of course, we mentioned the kids’ favorite superheroes, like Captain American, Wonder Woman, Iron Man and others, but this was just a segue into focusing on God ... read more

Good News of Great Joy
      Yesterday, I received a moving email which I want to share with you. As I read it, I thought about how it captures part of the spirit and meaning of Christmas. It came from a mother who lost her 18 year old daughter last January from a totally unexpected ... read more

Good news of Great Joy for Challenging Times
      God Rest ye merry gentlemen let nothing you dismay, for Jesus Christ our Savior was born on Christmas Day, to save us all from Satan’s power e’re we have gone astray, O tiding of comfort and joy, comfort and joy, O tidings of comfort and joy ... read more

Healing Our Loneliness and Offering Us Friendship
      Someone once asked a famous doctor in America, “What is the most devastating disease among people today.” He immediately replied, “Loneliness. The longer I practice medicine, the surer I am that no illness is so painful and universal as loneliness. ... read more

Hope Patience and Prayer
      “Rejoice in hope; be patient in tribulation; continue steadfast in prayer.” (Romans 12:12) Eveyone repeat that - “Rejoice in hope; be patient in tribulation; continue steadfast in prayer.” This advice from St. Paul to the Christians in Rome ... read more

How Many Times Do We Forgive Others
      Who finds it easy to forgive someone who has really hurt you? For some forgiveness comes a little easier than for others, but for most of us, we reach a certain limit in forgiveness. When someone really offends us, hurts us, and remains arrogantly unrepen ... read more

How Often Do We Forgive?
      How often do I have to forgive someone who hurts me? That’s a pretty common thought all of us have had at one time or another. And when we look for answers, we can get all kinds of responses. Some will tell us not to forgive. Others will limit forgiv ... read more

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