Whenever Jesus was asked a question, He also answered much more than just the question. Such as His answer to the question of the disciples of St. John the Baptist: whether or not He was the one "that should come". This answer contains instructions for how to live our life properly. As is the case with almost all of the Gospel it is counterintuitive to the vast majority of pop Christianity, some of which has even invaded the Orthodox faithful. We should not be overwhelmed by the austerity of...
On the Nativity of St. John the Baptist, Fr. Seraphim Holland discuss his teachings and how they are easy and practical to apply to our daily life in order to fulfill the commandment that is incumbent upon every Christian: "Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight."
A look at what the saints are like, and what we should do to be like them. By looking at the first four Beatitudes from St. Matthew ("Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.") in a very practical way. There are things we all can do to fulfill these Beatitudes,...
Only Jesus Christ has the authority to tell us "Do not be anxious," because only He can back up His words by helping us permanently. The are many temporary cures for anxiety, but only one way of life leads to a life free of anxiety. The Gospel talks about this way, which is a learned skill.
On the Sunday of All Saints, Fr. Seraphim Holland tells about what is a saint, how the saints relate to us, and how to become a saint. We look especially at Hebrews which talks about the great cloud of witnesses, and also in the gospel about the confession we must make before men. Putting these things together we see the life of the saints and how to join that life.
Fr. Seraphim Holland preaches on the Monday of the Holy Spirit. You must have practical in order to have spiritual. Actually, you must do practical things in a spiritual way in order to truly become spiritual. The Gospel of St. John was read during the Paschal period, ans after Pentecost and now we are trying to apply the grace of the Holy Spirit in our life in practical ways. Therefore, we are beginning to read the Synoptic Gospels starting with St. Matthew, we can see everywhere that they...
Fr. Seraphim Holland shares a homily on the Feast of Pentecost. The Christian life, and salvation, is impossible without the Holy Spirit abiding in us. This is what we celebrate on Pentecost, and all of the readings for the feast teach us not only about the ministry of the Holy Spirit, but also how we must live. We do short survey of the readings from Vespers, Matins and the liturgy.
The Gospel reading for the Sunday of the Holy Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council, which follows the Feast of the Ascension, is from the High Priestly prayer of Jesus Christ, since the counsels were instrumental in protecting the dogmas regarding Jesus Christ and the Holy Trinity. This prayer defines salvation in four different ways, and these definitions are also an instruction about how to live.
The healing of the Blind Man, like all of the Sunday Gospels during the Paschal season, important teaching for us - the PROCESS of enlightenment. It is not easy, or automatic. To obtain it, we must supply labor, and courage, and know who we are and what our purpose in life is. God will supply all grace needed as we make mistakes along the way.
Father Nicholas Park, in an exegesis of the encounter of the Samaritan woman with Christ at the well, points out the many things she did which must be examples to us if we are to find salvation. Among them are that, when faced with her sins, she was silent and repentant, she listened and cared about theology, and she put down her water pot.
Today we read in the Gospel that after many heard the Lord Jesus speak about His body and blood, they left Him, saying: "This is an hard saying; who can hear it?" Believing, following and ordering our life by the "hard sayings" of the Scripture is part of that answer to the question we often hear: "How is Orthodoxy different than (fill in the blank?)." We talk about this hard saying and how a person must live in order to follow hard sayings. Simon Peter gives us one of the necessary things...
Fr. Seraphim Holland preaches about the healing of the paralytic at the Sheep Pool. When we read scripture, we must look for certain key phrases and words, that are will teach us something if we read with our heart and not just our eyes. The healing of the paralytic at the sheep spool has for such key phrases that we want to speak of today: “Wilt that be made whole?” “I have no man,” “rise, take up thy bed, and walk,” “thou art made whole: sin no more.”
Fr. Seraphim Holland shares about the healing of the nobleman’s son. This man had enough faith that he believed the Lord when He said that his son would be would be healed. There are other healings that show other amounts of faith, one greater and one lesser. We compare this healing with the healing of the servant of Cornelius the centurion, and also the healing of the daughter of Jairus. The Lord will meet us at the point we are with a faith that we have at as long as we are doing the best...
The story of the Holy Myrrh-bearers is especially about doing what we are able to do. They acted out of love, even though they were overcome with sadness, and because of this, ignorance. If we do what we are able to do (never less!), even if we are not completely correct, God will make us able to do more. This is the story of how a sinful, ignorant human being because enlightened and perfected.
Fr. Seraphim Hollands hares five important points from the Gospel on Thomas Sunday. 1. Show up! 2. God will be there through our doubts/sins/stupidity/etc IF... 3. We must work even when we do not see God. 4. Thomas was the first to declare the two natures of Jesus Christ. 5. The promise of the Holy Spirit.
A homily by Fr Nicholas Park. Both the Epistle and the Gospel today on Bright Saturday have a central teaching: it is not about me, it is always about Jesus Christ. We must always be asking ourselves about the thing we are doing/teaching/desiring/being - is it about me, or is it about Jesus Christ?
The scriptures must be applied! We savor all four of the readings today, and discuss having the mind of Christ, "nice" Jesus (He does not exist in the church), always giving back when given a blessing, the complete and total absence of legalism or formalism in the church, and acquiring moral authority.
Fr. Seraphim Holland shares how the encounter of Jesus with Nicodemus teaches about baptism, the cross, the divinity and humanity of Jesus, and above all, how to think and live spiritually and why this is important. Our exegesis of this very important encounter covers these things, and always focuses on living spiritually. This is an important life skill, and the Gospel of John teaches it more than any other scripture
Fr. Seraphim Holland shares on Bright Wednesday. What will Jesus answer us if we asked him, as Andrew did, "Where are you staying?" We must ask this question and also respond to His answer, "Come and see," in a spiritual way. What is this way? Also: Why are the doors to the altar opened during Bright Week? And why are they closed on Saturday? How is the book of John different than every other book in the bible?
Fr. Seraphim Holland shares that the Resurrectional Gospel from Luke about the encounter of Jesus Christ with two of His disciples on the road to Emmaus is read on Bright Tuesday. He discusses why this is read, even though the Gospel of John is read for almost every other day in the Pascha period, and that this encounter must be like our life. Our hearts must also burn. What is this "burning"?