The Twenty-Third Day of Christmas Advent: The Power of Mystery

Sermon preached by Fr. Antony Hughes on Sunday, December 24, 2021 There are estimated to be 10s of billions of galaxies in our solar system. 100 billion stars are thought to inhabit each galaxy. 200 billion trillion stars are thought to be in the universe. It is estimated that 100 billion stars are in our galaxy alone. And planet earth is an insignificant ball of dust in a small solar system in the Milky Way

The Twenty-Second Day of Christmas Advent: Saint Nicholas, the Saint of the Seas

Published by Pemptousia Partnership on December 6, 2021 Alexandros Christodoulou Saint Nicholas was born at the south-east corner of Asia Minor, in the town of Patara, in the 3rd century (at the time of the persecutions of Diocletian and Maximian) of devout and rich parents, who had been childless for many years. From an early age it appears that God had destined him for a life of sanctity and of dedication to Himself. The fact he became a

The Twenty-First Day of Christmas Advent: Our Holy Father Savvas the Sanctified

Our Holy Father Sabbas the Sanctified (pronounced “Sava”) was born in 439 A.D. of pious and wealthy parents, John and Sofia, in the village Moutalaske of Cappadocia.  His father was an officer, was forced to leave for Alexandria with his wife Sofia and thus entrusted the upbringing of the five-year-old Sabbas to Ermias, his brother-in-law, on his wife’s side. A few years later, Sabbas, who was dissatisfied by his aunt’s behavior and the subsequent dispute

The Twentieth Day of Christmas Advent: Barbara the Great Martyr and John the Righteous of Damascus

Reading Saint Barbara was from Heliopolis of Phoenicia and lived during the reign of Maximian. She was the daughter of a certain idolater named Dioscorus. When Barbara came of age, she was enlightened in her pure heart and secretly believed in the Holy Trinity. About this time Dioscorus began building a bath-house; before it was finished he was required to go away to attend to certain matters, and in his absence Barbara directed the workmen

The Seventeenth Day of Christmas Advent: You Are Not Alone – And Neither Is God

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, November 16, 2021 I consider it both a strange mystery and a settled matter of the faith that God prefers not to do things alone. Repeatedly, He acts in a manner that involves the actions of others when it would seem, He could have acted alone. Why would God reveal His Word to the world through the agency of men? Why would He bother to use writing? Why not simply communicate

The Fifteenth Day of Christmas Advent: Physical or Spiritual Blindness?

Published by Pemptousia Partnership on January 23, 2022 Protopresbyter Nikolaos Patsalos [It is the]14th Sunday of Saint Luke [this coming Sunday] and we’ve now entered the month of Christmas. Jesus enters Jericho and comes across a suffering person whose affliction is blindness. It’s a terrible cross for him not to enjoy the first and greatest of God’s goods: perceptible light. Apart from being blind, the unfortunate man in today’s Gospel reading is also a beggar. But it was

The Fourteenth Day of Christmas Advent: Embracing Indestructible Joy

Sermon preached by Fr. Antony Hughes on Sunday, December 13, 2020  The Parable of the Great Banquet is a call to joy. We are all invited to it. In fact, the Banquet can be seen as a metaphor for the Eucharist, the Great Thanksgiving. Of course, not everyone comes when invited. Still God invites. He calls even those he knows will reject him. The verse “many are called but few are chosen” can be confusing.

The Thirteenth Day of Christmas Advent: Thanksgiving Communion

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, November 29, 2020  Whom should I thank? The question is normally a matter of polite acknowledgement. A gift was given and received. Who gave it? Whom should I thank? It is inherently the nature of giving thanks that thanks must be given to someone. I cannot give thanks to nothing or no one. As such, the giving of thanks is an act of communion on one level or another. Fr. Alexander Schmemann, in

The Eleventh Day of Christmas Advent: St. Katherine of Alexandria, Virgin & Martyr

NOVEMBER 25, 2021 It could have been a Washington story: she was young and beautiful, from a wealthy and influential family. She had received the best education that money could buy and her suitors were the most eligible bachelors from other leading families. She lived in tense times when it was important to be on the right side of the issues; it could be dangerous to challenge the authorities. But the story of St. Katherine

The Tenth Day of Christmas Advent: Thanksgiving as Mystical Communion

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, November 24, 2021  “This is good. This is bad.” In one form or another, we divide the world into light and dark. It might take the form, “I like this. I do not like that.” What we find easy are the things we see as good and the things we like. If a day is filled with such things, we are likely to be happy. If the day is marked by