Scripture and Tradition are clear about the existence of the angels. Though Scripture mentions angels over 200 times, only three are mentioned by name. They are the Archangels whose feast we celebrate today: Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael.
Through the intercession of St. Raphael may all who suffer from loneliness or sickness know the healing graces of our loving God.
Through the intercession of St. Gabriel, may God’s strength be with all those who work for the Spread of the Gospel.
And through the intercession of St. Michael, may all who are persecuted for the faith be protected against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
You cannot be the slave both of God and money.
How easy to take the words of Jesus out of context: Use money to win you friends, is one of those lines that sounds strange to us outside the context of the parable and the teaching in todays Gospel. Even the parable itself can seem a little strange is Jesus really recommending that we act like dishonest stewards? No, of course not! The point that reveals this is hidden half way down: The children of this world are more astute in dealing with their own kind Jesus in a way praises the effort of the dishonest steward, but wishes that it was directed less to worldly things, but to the things of heaven. And this is the message that we are to take: where do we direct our energies to making money, fame, fortune and success, or to finding friends in heaven?
0900. Morning Prayer
1000. PARISH MASS
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The Cross of Christ is a paradox: It is precisely in dying to ourselves that we are reborn. It is through dying to ourselves that we find our true self, made in the image and likeness of God. It is through dying to ourselves that we are finally able to love God and others. It is through dying to ourselves that we finally find peace and true joy. It is through dying to ourselves that we are no longer obsessed with ourselves!
By accepting the cross we no longer fear suffering or death. By dying to ourselves, carrying our cross, and following Christ, we can become one with Him.
The Cross is not just the symbol of Christianity, it is the essence of Christianity. Every Orthodox Christian wears a cross around their neck and would never be without his cross. There is an old Russian saying, when someone misbehaves: “he acts likes like he doesn’t have a cross.”
THE SUNDAY LITURGY
None of you can be my disciple unless he gives up all his possessions.
This is a very difficult set of readings. The Gospel itself starts with a saying which many find hard to understand: must we really hate our family to be the Lords disciples? The point is that it is relative: what are we prepared to give up for the Gospel? Are we going to try and make our own cross, or accept whatever we are given? Jesus is probably trying to discourage the crowd of sensation seekers and hangers-on who are crowing round him. He wants real disciples, who are aware of the possible cost: not like the incompetent builder, or the useless king. To be a disciple, one must be prepared to follow Jesus anywhere, whatever it might cost in possessions, family or friends. We may never understand why, but then, who can know the intentions of God?
ALL SAINTS CHURCH
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