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My final words and reflections to the St. Nicholas Parish Family
In the Epistle Reading we hear about various gifts and how they are to be used for the glory of God.   If we do not use the gifts given to us by God, they can unfortunately be lost!  Listen to how and what you can do in and through your God given gifts.
Light is VERY important in the life of the Church.  Light is the first thing God created.  We hear so many references to light in the Divine Services, one of the final hymns we chant in the Liturgy is "We have seen the light, the true Light...". What does this mean though for us?Is The Light (Christ) shining in and through us?Are shining our light to others in a world that so desperately needs it?
Today we are blessed to celebrate All Saints Sunday, in which the Church remembers those who from the beginning of time lived a Godly life and who were "set apart" - this is the real definition of the word Αγιος.  Today as a Nation we also celebrate Father's Day and the responsibility given to all dads.  How great that both of these days are combined for us today and what does it mean for us?  Listen!
Today, 50 days after the Resurrection of our Lord we celebrate Pentecost.  As we know it is the birthday of the Church, as the Apostles began to preach to all nations the message of the Gospel. What does this mean for us today?  How important was this event?  God given all of us the opportunity to be His disciples today, the question... is are we doing it?
Today, the third Sunday of Pascha we celebrate the Myrrhbearing woman along with Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemos.  Today in our country we also celebrate Mother's Day.  We hear from the Book of Proverbs "Train up a child the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it".  We are to continue to be a parish that works along side every mom and dad as they raise their child(ren) following the direction of our Lord and His Church.  This sermon also shares a story about a protective mom who referenced herself as a "Momma Bear."
Palm Sunday is a bright day in the life of the church, yet it also has sadness mixed with it.  With this day we remember how our Lord was welcomed with excitement, yet we know that those shouting his praise would later shout out for His crucifixion.  What about us?  What is our focus here today?  What will our focus being later during this Great and Holy Week?
Belief, unbelief, doubt.  Faith is a process, and we ascend (through the Church and her teachings) in wisdom and knowledge.  When we see our human weakness at times it is because of Satan's grip, yet we must remember that Jesus is the strongest.  Faith is not always clear, it has confusion, it has doubt, yet we are reminding to have faith in the One Who Is.
We can learn a lot about our spiritual life from riding a bike.  When we first learned how to ride it was easy because of the training wheels.  Then one day, they came off.  We fell, cried, and wanted to the training wheels back on.  What does this have to do with our spiritual lives listen
We have been quite comfortable with Crucifixion, yet at the time of Christ it was seen as utter humiliation, a cruel and unusual form of punishment.  Yet what about our cross that we are to take up and follow Christ?   This cross that we take up requires time and endurance and it can bring pain and suffering as well and sometimes we might want to cut our cross down (see image for example).  Yet we do not take up our cross to reject life but rather to save life.  Listen for more.
The Third Sunday of Great Lent is of the Holy Cross.  Why?  What is the Cross for us?  Did you know that it can also be a prayer?  Listen for more
This Sunday is known as (Meatfare) Judgement Sunday and the Gospel Passage informs us of what will happen at the Second Coming of our Lord.  We know about the separation of the sheep and goats and why they were split?  What does this tell us and are we doing what we are called to do?
Saints are remembered and celebrated every day in the life of the Church.  One Saint that we celebrate this week is St. Nicholas Planas (d. 1932 ), who was a simple priest who was remember for two things in his life.  What where they and how can we be like him?  Listen
We all know the Parable of the Prodigal Son.  We have either read many commentaries or heard sermons about the love of the father, the repentance of the younger son and the emotion of the older brother.  Yet have you ever thought of how the Epistle Reading and Gospel Passage on this day mix?  Listen to find out
We hear in the Divine Services "Lord have mercy". Have you ever wondered why we say this beautiful statement so many times?  We learn that from the Parable today of the Publican and Pharisee.  Listen to the words of our Lord about these two different men and where we may stand.
On this Sunday we are recognizing Parish Family Members who went above and beyond their responsibilities in serving all us from the beginning and through this Pandemic Period.
The prayers before Holy Communion (which are dated from the 13-14th Cen.) offer so much beauty and focus in preparation for a person to "approach with the fear of God, faith and with love."  Today there is a connection from the Epistle Reading (which we hear St. Paul to Timothy, which the Church uses at the beginning of the Communion Prayers) and the Gospel Passage of the man receiving his sight.  Listen to how we can have the faith and where we should place ourselves in rank to God.
We hear in the Gospel Passage about 10 lepers who had faith and called out to Christ for His mercy.  While they followed His command to "show themselves to the priests" one realized he was healed and came back to give thanks.    Some questions:Why just one? Where did the other 9 go? Are you like the one who came back to give thanks? Are you like the other nine that we do not hear from again?
This sermon focuses on a Seminar that a few parish family members attended yesterday.  One of the presenters focused on how our Churches need to have a deep Sacramental life in Christ.  When we come and participate in The Divine Liturgy, we receive Christ.  He dwells in us.  Have you ever thought of yourself as a walking Chalice?  
We hear today about our Lord healing a woman on the Sabbath Day, and a leader of the Synagogue wasnt too happy.  Our Lord today reminds us that as we are to follow the Commandments of God, we must always have love and compassion in our hearts.  What are our responsibilities?  Well listen... 
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