loader from loading.io

Homily - Exposing Darkness

OrthoAnalytika

Release Date: 12/03/2023

Homily - Prejudice, Objectivity, and Perseverance show art Homily - Prejudice, Objectivity, and Perseverance

OrthoAnalytika

Homily – Prejudice, Objectivity, and Grit St. Matthew 15.21-28 Gospel: Then Jesus left and withdrew to the district of Tyre and Sidon. And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and cried; “have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; for my daughter is severely possessed by a devil.” But Jesus did not answer her at all. So his disciples came and pleaded; “send her away, for she is crying after us.” Jesus replied; “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Then she came and knelt before him saying; “Lord, help me.” And Jesus answered; “it...

info_outline
Bible Study – Job 2:16-7:14 show art Bible Study – Job 2:16-7:14

OrthoAnalytika

Bible Study – Job Class Five: Job 2:16-7:14The trial of ideas begins. 

info_outline
Homily - Spiritual Investing? show art Homily - Spiritual Investing?

OrthoAnalytika

Homily on the Talents Main point: What do we with the riches God has given us? Multiply them! How? By investing all those riches in spiritual activities that provide a strong return on investment and having enough self-discipline not to waste them on activities that cause spiritual harm. There are many kinds of riches that the Bible and Tradition teach about; today we’ll talk about spiritual and monetary riches. How to Get a Good Return on Spiritual Riches •   Baptized Christians have all received riches (the grace of Baptism – a life in Christ!): what do we do...

info_outline
FSAW - Falling Short of the Glory of God show art FSAW - Falling Short of the Glory of God

OrthoAnalytika

In this episode of "Father, Speak a Word," Fr. Gregory Jensen, PhD and Fr. Anthony talk about why we should celebrate our shortcomings (as we repent of our sin).  The conversation is based on Fr. Gregory's substack article "."  [The audio has been corrected.]

info_outline
Bible Study – Job 1:13-2:15 show art Bible Study – Job 1:13-2:15

OrthoAnalytika

Bible Study – Job Class Four: Job 1:13 – 2:15 From the Orthodox Study Bible. Job Loses His Children and Property 13.  Now there was a day when Job’s sons and daughters were drinking wine in the house of their elder brother, 14.  and behold, a messenger came to Job and said, “The yokes of oxen were plowing, and the female donkeys were feeding beside them. 15.  Then raiders came and took them captive and killed the servants with the sword; and I alone have escaped to tell you!” 16.  While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said to Job, “Fire fell...

info_outline
Homily - What is a Home? show art Homily - What is a Home?

OrthoAnalytika

Homily Notes on Zacchaeus Sunday: What makes a home? Walk in – can you tell (that a place is a home)? The feeling? ·       Feelings and intuition are unreliable; generally, they are the way the subconscious mind puts together other indicators ·       But to the sense our feelings are reliable, some places are haunted by memories of being home  “The clutter?” There is something to this. ·       Imperfect indicator (museums have lots of stuff… & I hear there are homes with no...

info_outline
Bible Study - Job 2:6-12 [ show art Bible Study - Job 2:6-12 [

OrthoAnalytika

Bible Study – Job Class Two: Job 1: 6-12 From the Orthodox Study Bible. Satan is Permitted to Test Job 6.  Then as it so happened one day that behold, the angels of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and the devil also came with them.  7. The Lord said to the devil, “Where did you come from?” So the devil answered the Lord and said, “I came here after going about the earth and walking around under heaven.” 8. Then the Lord said to him, “Have you yet considered my servant Job, since there is none like him on the earth: a blameless, true, and God-fearing...

info_outline
Homily - Evangelism is Messy (in a messy world) show art Homily - Evangelism is Messy (in a messy world)

OrthoAnalytika

Homily – Bringing Grace to a Messy WorldSt Luke 18:35-43.  The healing of the blind beggar. Three points: Jesus did not stay in one place. Jesus Christ is and was God.  It is fitting that He reside in the throne room of God, surrounded by the cherubim and seraphim, with His holiness reflecting off all the angels and archangels around Him.  But as the being of perfect love, He had to act on behalf of his beloved children (US!).  So He took flesh and became man. Some would have expected Him to take up residence in the Temple or in the Governor’s House.  But instead...

info_outline
Bible Study - Job 1:1-5 [Job is Righeous] show art Bible Study - Job 1:1-5 [Job is Righeous]

OrthoAnalytika

Bible Study – Job Class Two: Job 1: 1-5 From the Orthodox Study Bible. 1.  Faithful Job and His Children 1 There was a man in the land of Austis, whose name was Job.  That man was true, blameless, righteous, and God-fearing, and he abstained from every evil thing. 2 Now he had seven sons and three daughters, 3 and his cattle consisted of seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred female donkeys in the pastures.  Moreover he possessed a very large number of house servants.  His works were also great on the earth, and that...

info_outline
Homily - Gratitude and the Ten Lepers show art Homily - Gratitude and the Ten Lepers

OrthoAnalytika

On Gratitude (with thanks to St. Nicholai Velimirovich) Luke 17: 12-19 (The Ten Lepers, only one of whom returned) [Started with a meditation on the virtues of hard work and gratitude; hard work so that we can be proud of what we have done and foster an appreciation for the amount of effort that goes into the making and sustaining of things. This makes us grateful for what we have, and especially the amount of effort that goes into gifts that we receive from others. But what if these virtues break down? What if there was a society where hard work was not required and gratitude was...

info_outline
 
More Episodes

Ephesians 5: 8 – 19

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light. (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. Therefore He says: “ Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light.” See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.

An Exposition on Today’s Epistle Lesson
We have chosen the light over the darkness – therefore we have to walk as children of the light; as St. Paul puts it, “finding out what is acceptable to the Lord”
What is acceptable to the Lord?  God does not hide this from us; nor do we have to search for it.  He reminds us every single day…  through the rituals He has prescribed for us through the Church.
The Psalm we recite in our morning prayers says that it is not burnt offerings, but rather a “broken and contrite heart” that God does not despise. Surely this is primal.  I say this not only because of the prominent place this Psalm has in our morning prayer, but the way this theme is reinforced by all the penitential prayers that accompany it.
Continual repentance is acceptable to the Lord – to use the imagery of today’s epistle, we must “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them”: repentance requires opening up all the hidden closets – all the secret dark places – to the Light of Christ. And as this Light exposes the things that lurk in these places, we pull them out and offer them to the Lord in confession by name.
As we do this, as we find, expose, and sacrifice all the dark secrets, sins, habits, and histories that have blighted our souls; we walk more surely as “children of the light”, enjoying the blessings and joy that God has promised to those who follow Him.
God reminds us of this every day not just to tell us how important it is, but also because He knows how hard it is for us.  Yes, it is hard for us to change bad habits and patterns of thought, but often it is hard for us to even recognize that we have a problem.  The Light of Christ is pure and illuminates all of our sins, but our vision is still clouded.  God is working with our faith to heal our vision, as in today’s Gospel, but in the meantime there are things in our lives that we just don’t see – or perhaps see but do not think are important.
This brings us to a difficult but vital part of today’s reading: we don’t just expose the darkness in our own lives, but the darkness in the lives of those with whom we share love and trust and are thus able to hear us.  As St. John Chrysostom puts it;
You call God, “Father”, and those whom you love “brother;” but then when you see your beloved committing unnumbered wickednesses, you care more about his feelings and what he thinks about you than what is good for him?  I beg you, don’t think this way.  The stronger the bond, the more we are obliged to speak about sin.
Are those you love at enmity with one another? Reconcile them. Did you see them being jealous or coveting? Call them on it. Did you see them wronged? Stand up in their defense. This is why the bonds of love and friendship exist: so that we may be of use one to another. A man will listen in a different spirit to a friend than to someone he doesn’t know. He may regard a stranger or someone he isn’t close to with suspicion; he may not even trust a teacher; but a friend?  A friend he may trust..
Today’s reading stops just short of making this even clearer when St. Paul writes; “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.”  The relationship of mutual submission provides the mechanism of discernment and accountability.  The people who love us can help us see things that we need to work on and will share this information in a way that we can hear; without manipulation or aggression.  After the line on mutual submission, St. Paul provides marriage as the ideal setting for such a relationship and then points to marriage as a type, with the Church as its prototype.  
We need each other, but only to the extent we are willing to love and be loved.  Within such a relationship, figuring out what is acceptable to God is a natural part of the relationship.
In conclusion, God made the world good and made us to thrive in it. This can only happen if we dedicate ourselves to this cause – and do so with purpose and resolve. Practically, this means avoiding taking pleasure in those things that God despises: deceit, hatred, darkness, etc. and reveling in those things that He has given us for our enjoyment and edification (community, light, joy, selfless service, charity, pursuit of truth, dedication to honest craft and creation).
And listen to these words St. Paul finishes with today as he describes what the conversations look like between people who are in love with the light and despise the darkness; we speak “to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.” 
Let all of our thoughts, all of our conversations, and all of our actions become hymns expressing our joy of being in and growing in the Love of Our Lord together.