Homily on Psalm 1

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by St. Hilary of Poitiers

St. Hilary was the champion of the Incarnation during a time in Church history when Arianism and Orthodoxy were battling over the souls of the righteous.

The primary condition of knowledge for reading the Psalms is the ability to see as whose mouthpiece we are to regard the Psalmist as speaking, and who it is that he addresses. For they are not all of the same uniform character, but of different authorship and different types. For we constantly find that the Person of God the Father is being set before us, as in that passage of the eighty-eighth Psalm: I have exalted one chosen out of My people, I have found David My servant, with My holy oil have I anointed him. He shall call Me, You are my Father and the upholder of my salvation. And I will make him My first-born, higher than the kings of the earth ; while in what we might call the majority of Psalms the Person of the Son is introduced, as in the seventeenth: A people whom I have not known has served Me; and in the twenty-first: they parted My garments among them and cast lots upon My vesture. Continue reading Homily on Psalm 1

St. Maximus the Confessor

St. Maximus the Confessor
St. Maximus the Confessor

St. Maximus the Confessor was a monk and teacher, well versed in rhetoric and the classical arts. He wrote against false teachings about Christ when few would do so.

His enemies had little defense against his logic, and so rather than answer his arguments, they cut off his right hand and tore out his tongue, so that he would be able to neither preach nor write about the Truth.

Now that’s great preaching.

St. Leo the Great

St. Leo the Great
St. Leo the Great

St. Leo the Great was the bishop of Rome during difficult times. He was an eminent scholar of Scripture and rhetoric.

During an invasion by Attila the Hun, St. Leo met him outside the gates of Rome. After some short words, to everyone’s surprise, Attila turned and left.

Three years later, during an invasion by Genseric the Vandal, St. Leo’s intercession again saved the Eternal City from destruction.

Now that’s great preaching.

Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist John

John the Baptist
John the Baptist

St. John the Baptist was the Forerunner of our Lord Jesus Christ. We celebrate his nativity on June 24th.

He preached repentance to all, and though a celibate himself preached especially for the honor of marriage (to Herod and Herodias).

He preached for about 90 days, then was imprisoned and beheaded. You know when they want you dead after only 3 months of preaching, well…

Now that’s great preaching.

Prophet Jonah

Prophet Jonah
Prophet Jonah

The Prophet Jonah lived in the 8th century b.c.

Jonah lived more than eight hundred years before Christ. It is said that he was that son of the widow of Zarephath in Sidon whom the Prophet Elias had raised from the dead. By his three-day sojourn in the belly of the whale, he prefigured the three days that Christ lay in the tomb; and, by his deliverance from the belly of the whale, he prefigured the Lord’s Resurrection from the dead. 

Jonah preached to the people of Nineveh, and was so successful that not only did the king repent in sackcloth and ashes, but he ordered all his people to fast, and not just the people – even the cattle, in order to turn God from His righteous chastisement of the great city.

God did spare Nineveh.

Now that’s great preaching.

Achieving Orthodox Unity

1793955620_afbdb414bf_bBy: Fr. Gleb McFatter

Sermon delivered on the Sunday of Orthodox, Naples, Florida, March, 2009.

In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

This invocation of the Holy Trinity which I have just recited is familiar to us all. It is repeated often in every Orthodox service and it is included in every Orthodox prayer. Yet I wonder how many of us have ever contemplated the concept that underlies this invocation, and how that concept is the very core belief which brings us together this evening for the Triumph of Orthodoxy.

In the divine liturgy, we affirm the Holy Trinity as one in essence and undivided. In fact, the Church goes even further and confirms that the Holy Trinity is not only one in essence and undivided, but that it is also comprised of three different and distinct persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Continue reading Achieving Orthodox Unity

The Cross – The Preserver of the Universe

by St. John Maximovitch

StJohnMaximovitchOur father among the saints, John Maximovitch, was a diocesan bishop of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) who served widely from China to France to the United States. Countless miracles have been attributed to this holy bishop, both during his lifetime and since his repose. During this year, we will be offering some of his Pre-Lenten and Lenten themed sermons for your reference. Read them reverently.

In the prophet Ezekiel (9:6) it is said that when the Angel of the Lord was sent to punish and destroy the sinning people, it was told him not to strike those on whom the “mark” had been made. In the original text this mark is called “tau,” the Hebrew letter corresponding to the letter “T.”, which is how in ancient times the cross was made, which then was an instrument of punishment. Continue reading The Cross – The Preserver of the Universe