Homilies at Saint John's
These are father Ion's remarks after watching the Ekota movie during our Wednesday evening dinner following the Presanctified Liturgy. You may watch Ekota here: http://ekotafilm.com/
“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” ― Max Planck
The father had two sons: one dead, away from him and the other confused in his very house. So can we be as members or stewards of the church - dead or confused. The way of repentance returns us to the father and brings life back to the True Life.
The exhibit at the Tech Museum in San Jose: https://www.thetech.org/bodyworldsdecoded
The Word of Life: Luke 13:10-17, the Healing of the Woman on the Sabbath Day. Use it to augment YOUR reality.
The address of His Eminence Metropolitan Nikitas at the Vespers service for Saint Nicholas in San Jose. In Greek: 5:30-10:26.
Sunday of the Healing of the Blind Man.
Sunday of the Rich Young Man.
The parable of the Rich Fool - against greed and anxiety.
You might think that health is good and illness is bad. Well, a different perspective might be of more benefit to you...
Solomon built the first Temple in Jerusalem. The sisters are building the magnificent Monastery in Dunlap. The homily offers insight into what it would take our Carmel community to build the church.
A new meaning given to the WWW for the benefit of our families, of our community and of our country.
No mountain is bigger than Christ... if we place our lives in His hands.
The feeding of the 5000 in the desert - a simple teaching about prioritizing our investments and appreciating the return.
Pair God's MERCY with your FAITH and watch the miracle: your renewal. Happy Festival!
We all love our Greek Festival. Labor Day weekend – come and see! We all have opinions about how good the Festival turns out. But what does it look in the eyes of God? Why are we there and how are we to make it bright? Of course, by light. But whose light?
The Greek word that Father Ion commented on is Philotimo. According to Saint Paisios, Philotimo is the reverent distillation of goodness, the love shown by humble people, from which every trace of self has been filtered out. Their hearts are full of gratitude toward God and their fellow man, and out of spiritual sensitivity and a sense of honor they try to repay the slightest good which others do for them. (‘Spiritual Awakening”, Vol II)
According to recent studies, chronic loneliness is a modern-day epidemic strongly affected by excessive social media communication. The demoniacs in the Gospel lesson suffered from the same problem because of the illness of their mind - isolation and separation from the rest and from God. Christ was there to heal them. Christ is here to heal you too...
SEE the Light.
MEET the Light.
FOLLOW THE Light.
Be CHANGED by the Light.
Saint John Maximovitch shows us that, by doing these, we can do better than the centurion from the Gospel lesson and become HOLY.
The homily addresses the issue of seeking the Kingdom of God before anything else. What about the rest? They will be added... Father Ion revisits tithing as a spiritual discipline, a matter of faith and its importance for us and our community. Do you tithe? If not, why not? Birds don't tithe either...
The homily brings up similarities between being a good father and a good follower of Christ (fisherman). Our community and the world need them both - fathers and fishermen...
Reflections on how to make Pentecost meaningful to us as individuals and as community as well.
Most of the Orthodox Churches have a dome. Ours does not... yet. The Gospel lesson today tells us how to work towards building our church... with a dome.
At times we feel like God turned His back on us. This is precisely the time when we should not leave His Church and turn our back on Him.
The Myrrh-Bearing women went to the tomb wondering who will roll away the stone. As we seek to serve the Resurrected Christ, we should not ask ourselves this question but a different one, about another stone...
Father Aris presents two factors of success for growing our community. The homily is based on the gospel reading of the day: John 5:24-30 (2nd Thursday after Pascha).
Christ is Risen! Faith without works is dead, it does not save. The homily addresses why the sacred work of building our own church is relevant to our salvation.
The glorious Entrance of the Lord into Jerusalem leads to the Cross. From today's bombing of Coptic churches in Egypt, to Saint Paul's word from captivity and to our own suffering - a reflection on how to relate to Christ's Passion ahead of us.
Between Lent and the Holy Week - a lecture by Metropolitan Nikitas about how the Orthodox Church celebrates and understands the 11th chapter of the Gospel of John.
Remarks by Metropolitan Nikitas after the divine liturgy.
A chasm separates one side from another. This Sunday is a turning point in the course of Lent directing us towards the Passion of Christ and His Resurrection. The homily reveals two ways of bridging the chasm that separates us from the Cross in order to give meaning to Pascha.
This is the second part of the presentation on missionary work through the Orthodox Orphanage in India done by Cleo Constantin. The Lucky Girls Movie was shown prior to Cleo's word. It can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hRqUxA6RdX0 Donations may be made on line at https://www.paypal.com/donate/?token=j4QUOG48BN0mly0iZtpNKmOqHzbqGxWjI_SvuSCnc4pvNlhGqRKmJYOyTP1XCtENeaOXNW
Oratorical Festival Senior Division (Grades 10–12)
Topic #4: The Lord commanded us not to create idols (Exodus 20:4), yet people continue to do so. Discuss the kinds of idols people make or worship today and the response that an Orthodox Christian should have when confronted by them.
Oratorical Festival presentation about Saint Herman of Alaska and his presence in the life of a sixth-grade boy.
The homily draws a path between the demon possessed from the Gospel lesson and the Panagia, from the fallen to the most honored. The path is not flat. Going up takes effort. Falling down ends with a crash.
Reflection on the two kinds of fear mentioned in the readings at the Annunciation liturgy.
The central point of the Great and Holy Lent, the Sunday of the Holy Cross brings us to the footstool of God revealed to us in Glory on the Cross. Three crosses to deal with; for all of us; this Lent and every day. The homily addresses how to do so.
The healing of the paralytic in Capernaum reminds us of the cost and nature of Christ's power. What a gift to us!
Reflection after the Second Salutations to the Theotokos service.
Father Ion's comments after the Great Compline built upon one of the hymns from the service: << Illumine my eyes, O Christ, my God, lest I sleep to death; lest my enemy say: "I prevailed over him." >> The reflection covers three practical areas to work on and to make Lent meaningful.
The Triumph of Orthodoxy over the heresy of iconoclasm took a huge sacrifice from many. The heresy of being Spiritual but not Religious has been around for 1500 years. Emerging victorious over it requires personal sacrifice as well. A Lenten recipe: pair up the Triumphant Orthodoxy with the your participation in the (Lenten) sacramental life of the Church and the much desired Beacon of Orthodoxy will shine from your community.
One reason why Orthodox churches do not have pews: for people to do prostrations... Why so many this first week of Lent? What do they mean? Where is God in all this? Father Ion's brief remarks at the end of the Canon of Saint Andrew bring up the beauty of this unique and marvelous service. See the whole service here: http://www.agesinitiatives.com/dcs/public/dcs/dcs.html
The presentation was given by Father Ion at the dinner following the Presanctified Liturgy on the first Wednesday of Lent. Father presented from his recent experience with the Prison Ministry highlighting the spiritual struggles of the inmates and how we too share in them. Each Wednesday during Lent we will have a similar event - lecture, movie, discussion.
Reflections offered by Father Ion on a few things from the beautiful service at the end of the second day of Lent. Three points: What do we bring to the Liturgy and how do we offer? Is our prayer space a mess? How and what do we eat these days?
The Forgiveness Sunday has two themes: the Expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise and Forgiveness. They beautifully come together in defining the Lenten Journey for the Orthodox Christian: a return from exile on a path that is narrow but well marked.
We hear about the three aspects of the ascetic struggle - prayer, fasting and almsgiving - with great care as we prepare for the Great and Holy Lent. Learn from the shoemaker how to make this ascetic labor bare fruit. Gospel lesson here.
From the Cross to the Throne of the Last Judgment - from Glory to Glory. This is Christ's path. It should be yours too...
From the pig pen to the Church - the way of repentance. Repentance opens the door to the house of the Father. The homily addresses what could get in the way of us experiencing our presence in the Church and partaking of God's Joy.
A ten-week journey starts on this Sunday. Aim for growing to be a Publisee and then be by the Cross at the Crucifixion and by the empty tomb on Pascha. Blessed Triodion!
Approach Lent with the desire to leave behind the state of leftovers. Ask for crumbs to receive wholeness; fall in order to be risen - learn from the Canaanite woman and marvel Christ!
The vision of President Trump could be a plan for us too if we follow Zacchaeus's example. Not only salvation would come to our house, but we would also build our church quickly. The first step towards the Great and Holy Lent brings up the issue of DESIRE. Let us build Christ's Church!
Learn from the leper that got saved, not only healed from leprosy. Two things to do before giving thanks to God to make it salvific.
Knowing about Christ, the Light of the world, and about the Kingdom of Heaven is not sufficient. Full participation is required in order to access the Kingdom that is at hand.
Delivered by His Eminence Metropolitan Nikitas after the Liturgy for the feast of Saint John the Baptist.
Delivered by His Eminence Metropolitan Nikitas at the Vespers for the feast of Saint John the Baptist.
Heavens opened again and the whole creation is restored.
A Heart Resolution for the New Year. The Old Covenant external sign of circumcision is replaced in the New Covenant by Baptism. The circumcision of the heart is what makes our participation through baptism in the mystery of the New Covenant - much needed for growth, strength, wisdom and God's grace in our lives and in the life of our church.
Christ is Born! Glorify Him! The only important thing on Christmas day: giving thanks to God. We do this by truly participating in the mystery of His incarnation through the Eucharist.
The homily brings up ancient faith wisdom preached by Saint John Chrysostom more than 12 centuries ago. It guides us on how to fill the gap between the mystery of Nativity and the secular indoctrination of Christmas without Christ and of feasting without celebration. Merry Christmas!
God becomes incarnate to save fallen mankind, to forgive and to die on the cross. Among Christ's ancestors we find very sinful characters. Imprisoned by our own fears, passions and selfishness we could be worse than repentant inmates. Christ is born to free us and to give us a way to enter His joy.
Luke 14: Eating bread at the Pharisee's house, Jesus challenges the Jewish leaders and us on practical matters. The call for a change of mindset is made as applied to participation in the life of the Church.
Homily offered by Father Constantine Evstathiu. Christianity is not a religion or a philosophy but a way of life, a way to experience the eternal Kingdom. Father Constantine articulates the need to focus this Advent season on who we are called to be and to prepare in order to rejoice when the time will come to celebrate the Nativity of our Savior.
As the water changes into steam as heat is applied to it, so we are to change from inviting Christ into our life to getting ourselves into Christ life. The heat of the Holy Spirit makes this transition possible. All by God's grace, through faith for good works! Do not be lukewarm!
The parable of the fool rich man is viewed through the eyes of marriage. Spouses live a fruitful marriage when they give to one another. Christ is the Bridegroom of the Church. Included is the story of Nabal and Abigail facing David (Kingdoms 25).
The Church as the inn where the beaten man was brought by the Good Samaritan. We must pursue healing ourselves before healing others.