We are helped to reflect upon that mysterious tour of Christ (from the heavens, to the grave, and back to glory) described in the Tone 8’s Resurrectional Hymns by looking to Psalm 67/68:17-19, Ephesians 4:7-11, John 20:19-31, and 1 Corinthians 3:9-17.
What is meant by the phrase “He was not tempted by Hades”, and is it the case that Jesus appeared first to the Theotokos? We look to the Scriptural teaching on the despoiling of Hades, to the cultural associations of Hades in the Greek and Roman mind, and to the prophet Isaiah for help in understanding the joy of Holy Saturday’s conquest.
Remembering the apostles, we consider Jesus’ words from Matt 9:13 concerning God’s mercy, and the Resurrection hymns in the fourth tone, in the light of 1 Cor 1:26-31, Hosea 6:6-7, Genesis 3:1-5, and Wisdom 2:23-24.
This third week of Pentecost we consider the language of “Father” and “Son” in our gospel and epistle readings, and reflect upon certain trends in Protestant groups to supplant, supplement, or obscure the Trinitarian Name. We look to the Scriptures and the Fathers to explain why our Christian language for God is essential, and not merely “window dressing.”
On this first Sunday after Pentecost, we clarify and amplify the readings from Matthew and Hebrews by looking to the story of Solomonia and her seven brave sons (2 Maccabees 7). This woman, known in the early Church as a prophetess, spoke clearly of God’s creating and resurrecting power, and so inspires us, in our challenges today, to follow Christ to glory.
This week we consider the reading from Acts 16 for the sixth Sunday of Easter, reading it in the light of Psalm 1. These readings discloses different mindsets, some to caution us, some to be our models, as we follow Christ on the Way.
We consider, by means of the Book of Wisdom 17, how paralysis takes different shapes in John 5, Acts 9 and Luke 24: some conditions in which humans have closed themselves off from God, but many others that the Lord heals by His power.
This weekend we consider the radiance of Bright week, the glory of the Theotokos, and the promise of our incorporation into the New Jerusalem, even as we reap many of its benefits now. We look to the prophets Isaiah and Ezekiel, as well as to the final book of the Bible, the book of Revelation, to fill in the wonder of the Paschal hymn and its call for us to rejoice and shine with the glory of God.
This week we look to the Old Testament readings of Exodus 3 and Jeremiah 32-33 to understand the feast of the Annunciation, the words of Gabriel to holy Mary, and the meeting of the Theotokos with Elizabeth in the hill country of Judah. God’s glory is seen in humble places.
This week, we consider the strange figure of Melchizedek in Hebrews 4:14-5:10, and read it in the light of Mark 8:27-9:1, Genesis 14, Isaiah 53 and Psalm 44/45. Why is this figure compared with our Lord, and how must we go beyond this comparison to embrace the cross?
We reflect back upon the Psalm “By the Waters of Babylon,” heard by many of us in the past three weeks, as a preparation for Great Lent. Its troublesome final verse is read with the help of other portions of Scripture, St. John Chrysostom, Cassiodorus and others, so that we can understand why the psalm retains a valuable place in our worship together.
As we approach Lent, we are confronted by Jesus’ parable of the sheep and goats in Matthew 25, and Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 8 about making good judgments in life. We see these two passages illumined by the prophet Ezekiel’s parable of the Shepherd and the sheep.
This week, as we approach Great Lent, Dr. Edith Humphrey helps us prepare our minds by focusing upon godly humility, as seen in Job, in the model laid out for Timothy by St. Paul, and in the well-known parable of the Publican and the Pharisee.
This weekend, as we take our leave of this dramatic time of year, we consider readings from several Orthodox jurisdictions, amplified by passages in the Psalter and the Torah. Ephesians 4:7-13, Psalm 67/68:18, Matthew 4:12-17 and John 21:1-14 show us both the global and the intimate, or personal nature, of the Light that has made its mark upon the entire cosmos, and on each one of us.
We look to this week’s readings, 2 Timothy 4:5-8, and Mark 1:1-8 (with the help of the prophecies of Malachi 3:1-5, 4:2-6), as an encouragement to put off the Old Man, and to put on Christ. The conjunction of Nativity with the beginning of our remembrance of Theophany leads us to dwell upon the themes of old and new— of the new covenant by which we have been embraced, of how it fulfils promises of the old covenant, and of how Christ himself is the Alpha as well as the Omega.
This week we consider God’s actions, both as they fulfill our expectations of His righteous character, and as they astonish us. We remember the faithfulness of those who saw less of God’s revelation than we have, especially the three youths in the fire, and the holy ancestors of Jesus. Our readings for this Sunday, Luke 24:36-53, Luke 14:16-24 and Colossians 3:4-11, both respond to the desires of the ages, and shock us with the vibrancy and great extent of the new creation made possible...
This Sunday, the fourteenth of Luke, we also commemorate the prophet Zephaniah, whose tiny book in the OT speaks eloquently both of the dark state of God’s people, and his aim to bring them into the light (Zephaniah 1:14-17; 3:9-20). Those themes help us to think more concretely, and as a community, concerning the gospel and epistle for today (Ephesians 5:8-19; Luke 18:35-43), where spiritual blindness and sight is also addressed.
This week our two readings (Luke 8:29-56, Galatians 2:16-20) lead us to consider the deep relationship between faith and Christ’s power, a debated issue since the Reformation times. We look to these passages, and back to the example of Abraham (Genesis 15; Genesis 18) in order to understand what St. Paul and Holy Tradition tell us about faith, and how we should answer those who insist that salvation is “by faith alone.” Dr. Edith's new book is titled, "Further Up and Further In: Orthodox...
This week, in the middle of the season of Luke’s gospel, and looking forward to Luke’s feast-day, we consider the many uses that Luke makes of the Old Testament Scriptures, and his careful attention to what “is written” there so that we may better know the LORD. His intimate knowledge of the Old Testament is an indication of its importance, and how we should aspire to know and understand it better.