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Musings from the High Desert

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English

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Episodes

The Faith of Zacchaeus

2/13/2019
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Here's another way to look at this famous text, one that is referenced in every house blessing. Jesus enters under our rooves as he did under the roof of Zacchaeus. But what can this mean? Listen in to Fr Gabriel's exposition of this text which signals the proximity of the Lenten Triodion.

Duration:00:07:07

The Wicked and Slothful Servant

2/5/2019
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What if everybody in this parable got it wrong? What if it's not only the person who is called "wicked and slothful" (a word we'll come back to) who misunderstands the generous donor? Listen in as Fr Gabriel explores this angle on the parable of the talents.

Duration:00:08:28

The Visionary Jesus

1/17/2019
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Fr Gabriel notes the breathtaking sweep that the liturgical readings make from the birth of Jesus to the beginning of his ministry, which demonstrates that the church followed the pattern exhibited in scripture where emphasis is placed on the work and words of the adult Jesus. Fr Gabriel invites us to see the human Jesus as a visionary rabbi who calls people into enacting his vision of the Kingdom of God.

Duration:00:06:31

A Christmas Meditation

12/27/2018
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Fr. Gabriel uses the writings of St John Cassian as a way to consider the meaning of the nativity for our lives.

Duration:00:05:36

The Prophecy of Habakkuk

12/4/2018
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Part of Advent in Orthodoxy is recollection of the minor prophets. This past weekend and over it we commemorated Nahum, Habakkuk and Zephaniah. Fr Gabriel considers the message of Habakkuk, what it meant in context, how the Dead Sea Community used it, and its relevance for our time.

Duration:00:10:11

St. Clement of Rome and the Holy Scriptures

11/27/2018
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The early Christian church shows a sort of fluidity and continuity that we sometimes fail to comprehend when we are confronted with, on one hand, the institution of the church and, on the other, the completed New Testament. Clement's First Letter is an example of a writing that was beloved by many in the early centuries, accepted in various places as "scripture," and demonstrates the faithfulness of the first generations of Christians following the death of the Apostles. Listen in to learn...

Duration:00:14:16

Who Is My Neighbor?

11/14/2018
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Fr Gabriel offers a look at the trajectory - not always positive - of the interpretation of this parable, and goes on to explore the initial conversation between the lawyer and Jesus. The final question is how can we respond to the message of this parable in our time? (Luke 10:25-37)

Duration:00:11:01

Being Gathered Up Together in Christ

11/7/2018
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Fr. Gabriel Rochelle looks at the passage for this Sunday's Epistle (Pentecost 23) in the context of the whole of the letter, with side notes to Romans 9-11 and Galatians. Paul's emphasis is consistent: we are saved by God's Grace in order that we might be reconciled with others, particularly our Jewish brothers and sisters, and that we might do works of compassion and helpfulness in the world. (Ephesians 2:1-10)

Duration:00:08:44

On the Pathway to Becoming Fully Alive

10/29/2018
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Fr. Gabriel Rochelle considers the heart of the Christian message today in relation to both the Gerasene demoniac's tale and Paul's approach to the faith in Galatians. (Galatians and Luke 8)

Duration:00:09:35

The Sower and the Sunday of Fathers of the 7th Council

10/24/2018
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Deacon Ted Brinegar uses the mash-up between the parable of the Sower and the text from St John's Gospel in this Sunday to bring us a clear message about the place of icons in the growth of our faith.

Duration:00:08:48

The Foolish Galatians

10/22/2018
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St. Paul comes off the blocks with a powerful message for the "foolish Galatians." There's a movement in the community to underwrite forms of legalism that would compromise the central message of freedom in the Gospel of Christ. Paul addresses these concerns and offers us light for our way today. (Galatians 1)

Duration:00:12:53

Being Raised to Life

10/18/2018
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Guest Preacher: Fr Timothy Cremeens (Wilkes-Barre PA) reflects on the raising of the widow of Nain's son in relation to our need for "raising" in this life. (St Luke 7:11-16)

Duration:00:17:00

God’s Strength and Our Weakness

10/15/2018
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Fr Gabriel ties together Paul's note about "God's strength is made perfect (whole) in weakness" to his note about the sorrow or grief which is godly and worldly in Chapter 7. Together these make a whole thought for Paul, applicable to us today. (II Corinthians 12:9, 7:10-12)

Duration:00:07:31

Working the Good

10/12/2018
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This week's gospel reveals a peculiar approach to the mission and message of Jesus Christ, an approach different from the other Gospels. Luke, writing to an audience primarily made up of Greeks and Romans, emphasizes the motif of benefaction, of "working the good," that was characteristic of Greco-Roman society in the form of the Benefactor. Luke applies this motif to both God the Father and to Christ himself, and then turns that spotlight on us. (Luke 6:31-36)

Duration:00:07:43

What Creates Character?

10/9/2018
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The passage spins out into a discussion of approaches to ethics characteristic of the time of St. Paul. Do we focus on agency, that is the character and virtue of the person who acts, or do we focus on action as creating character? This debate when on in the time of Jesus and Paul, and it continues today of course. Listen in as Fr Gabriel tries to show that the New Testament witness merges these two approaches or focal points into a new third focus that blends both agency and action,...

Duration:00:09:09

Ministers of Reconciliation

9/17/2018
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Paul's appeal to the Corinthians - and to us today - is grounded in a passage from Isaiah 49, which in turn is grounded in the idea that Cyrus, King of Persia, is a "messiah" for the Israelites in exile in Babylon. Paul moves this idea forward to own time and we see how it applies to us today. Listen in. (II Corinthians 6:1-3)

Duration:00:07:10

Treasures in Earthen Vessels

9/10/2018
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This is the week for that lesson from Second Corinthians where Paul talks about "treasures in earthen vessels." Usually and ultimately we think of this passage meaning that, despite the frailty and brokenness of our lives, grace can still shine through. But there are a few other ways to look at the passage, according to early writers like Origen and St. Jerome.

Duration:00:06:51

The Wedding Guests and Garment

9/2/2018
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This parable has some harsh contents, stemming in part from the hyperbole of ancient storytellers, but there are several lessons below that violent surface we need to pay attention to today. Come and work through the invitation to the banquet and hear about the person who comes with no visible wedding garment.

Duration:00:09:42

The Wicked Vinedresser - Part 2

8/27/2018
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A little lesson in literary forms this week; we need to distinguish between allegory and parable, particularly as used by Jesus of Nazareth. This allegory may stem from the early church, according to some commentators, but there's every reason to think that Jesus said it. The ultimate question is, what does it mean for us and how are we to take it, since it is historically located in his time? Listen in with Fr. Gabriel Rochelle.

Duration:00:11:33

The Rich Young Man

8/22/2018
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This text is familiar because we hear it each year and it is so striking. In it the young man rehearses the list of commandments that any convert might have followed (hence the text has an eye to the Gentile world), but more than this it shows how Jesus drives deeply to the heart of the separation between humanity and God, found in the distractions that make us focus on penultimate things. Listen in.

Duration:00:09:03