The Gospel reading for the fifth Sunday of Lent relates the story of the audacious question posed by the apostles James and John, who asked for glorification without first drinking the cup of humiliation. Fr Thomas reminds us that this basic principle of the Christian life proves true even for seemingly mundane things that we might mistakenly think are unimportant, like going to church to worship.
"God is Love" has become one of the most abused verses of Scripture. It's used today to justify every sin and excuse every condition. Fr Thomas urges us to look at the entirety of the Gospel message to truly understand the implications of being a creature of God Who is Love.
On the day before the Great Feast of the Annunciation of the Mother of God, Fr Thomas weaves the themes from the gospel of the Second Sunday of Lent (the healing of the paralytic) and from the Annunciation to remind us that the Word of God is given to us to increase our faith and trust in Him.
On the Sunday after Theophany, the reading from the Apostle teaches us that there is a close relationship between Christ's filling all of creation with Himself and the gifts that He bestows on us. Fr Thomas reminds us that those gifts need to be discerned and exercised to continue the work of renewal in the world and in our parishes.
On the Sunday before Christmas, the kingly lineage of Jesus according to St Mathew is read. Fr Thomas teaches us that the names recount that Jesus is anything but a distant ruler, but rather that He identifies with the brokenness of humanity and comes to redeem us from it.
The beauty of Orthodoxy is richly expressed in her magnificent iconography adorning the walls and ceilings of our churches. As the parish of St Nicholas continues the iconographic renewal of their temple, Fr Thomas encourages parishioners to look up and see the Kingdom to come.
One day after the horrendous killings of 11 Jewish worshippers in a Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Fr Thomas gives a sobering reflection from the reading of the Sunday: the exorcism of the Gadarene demoniac.
Christians are called to live in the will of God, but how do we find it? Fr Thomas teaches us that living in the will of God means identifying with God's Kingdom and not with the values of this fallen world.
In the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant, Jesus illustrates the consequences of unforgiveness. Fr Thomas teaches us that it is the God of love, mercy, and compassion who commands us to forgive and warns us of the judgment to come if we do not.
Everyone has difficulties and problems that they face on a daily basis. Fr Thomas teaches us that in the midst of the storms of life we can experience the "peace from above" which is found only in Christ.
The societal and moral changes sweeping across the world pose profound challenges to Orthodox Christian believers. Fr Thomas reminds us that we must face these challenges squarely and never compromise what we believe by adopting worldly values.
in Romans 10, St Paul writes about the importance of his fellow Jews hearing about Christ and why it's important for their salvation. Fr Thomas reminds us that evangelism should not be a foreign concept to Orthodox Christians. We must get comfortable with sharing our faith in Christ and speaking about God's work in our life.
On the seventh Sunday of Holy Pascha we recall the words of our Lord to His apostles before His passion, reminding them that what He taught them was given by God Himself. Fr Thomas reminds Orthodox Christians that we must also receive this apostolic teaching and pass it on to new believers without any change or error.
The healing of the blind man in John 9 is a dramatic story of the healing power of God. Fr Thomas teaches us that we also have been healed by virtue of our baptism and we should tell others the story of our recreation.
On the Sunday of St Thomas, we hear of the encounter of the Apostle with the risen Christ. Fr Thomas teaches us that we too must make every effort to encounter the resurrected Christ both in the Holy Scriptures and in the Eucharist.
On the great feast of the Annunciation of the Mother of God, Fr Thomas reminds us that the message given by the Archangel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary is the very essence of the gospel message. This same message about the person of Jesus Christ also requires a response from us.