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Saturday, October 21, 2017

XX Pentecost! Tradition and the Called!


   
                                   

Greetings in Christ Jesus

Sunday October 22, 2017


Epistle: II Thessalonians 2: 13-3:5
Gospel: Luke 13: 18-30
Psalm:  Psalm 110/111

Friends,

(Hold the traditions that you have learned. Not all men have faith, but God has faith. “And the Lord direct your hearts, in the charity of God, and the patience of Christ.”) What are we seeing here in this scripture? Before I expound on it I will place another one here that according to many is contradictory to what the church teaches; 2 Timothy 3:16-17 KJV, all scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

Two sides of the argument are presented here; what are they? The first scripture is held by all of Catholicism even back through the Church Fathers as instruction in holding onto the oral traditions taught by the apostle as well as the written word. The second scripture from 2 Timothy is used by all non-catholic to say that once scripture was completed it contains everything needed including proper tradition that is to be followed and that if it isn’t in the Bible then it isn’t true.

So, does scripture contradict scripture? According to the argument from two sides it does but is this really Christian? No! Why does the Body of Christ argue with one another and slap our Lord Jesus in the face with this nonsense? There are many written words that contain truth that are not placed in these sets of books that most call a Bible, so why do we have the ones that we have? Scripture has gone through many changes throughout time but the reason that it even exists in the first place is to be a guide. This Bible was put together to serve the worship practice of the church which was and is liturgical.

The worship service has prayer, praise, singing, reading, and expounding and it follows an order of teaching, this teaching is liturgical; which means it follows a particular pattern in method of praise and in teaching throughout the year in which all of the people join in. It is a public worship centered around the Eucharist or Holy Communion of the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. The method or tradition of worship is not defined in the Bible, it is spoken of and alluded to but not specifically defined. This is tradition, this is how it has been and is done.

Holy Scripture was placed where it is in order to follow this tradition of worship and teaching, there is no contradiction. The scriptures give us truths that we are to live by and the worship and the use of this scripture is from tradition. In worship we stand before Almighty God Himself, the entire heavenly host stands with us in worship, the communion of the saints is not just a phrase to be bandied about, it is truth. We do not tap dance on stage for entertainment when worshiping God. We do not entertain the people as worship. We face almighty God as one people and we worship, praise, petition, sing songs to, and partake of the Body and Blood as one body, one mind in Christ.

Hear the words of our Lord when He says that the kingdom of God is like a grain of mustard seed; think on this, Jesus is that grain of mustard seed buried in the tomb for three days and then rising. He became a tree when He ascended into heaven and He overshadows all of creation in the branches where all of the birds of heaven rest; these are the powers of heaven and all who raise themselves up by good works as commanded by our Lord. The apostles are the branches to where we take our flight on the wings of Christian virtue; we sow this seed of Christ in our hearts so that the grace of good works may flourish. Or like leaven hid in three measures of meal or flour till the whole was leavened; we as Christians are the flour who receive the Lord into the inner parts of our soul till we are all inflamed with the fire of His heavenly wisdom.  Try to enter by the narrow gate; Jesus also said that  many will come from the east, together these words are saying that many indeed shall be saved through the narrow gate but the true numbers as compared to all who have dwelt upon the earth shall be small.

There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth…last that shall be first; and they are first that shall be last. Understand that many came to Christ early in life but through time they have lost some virtue and some have lost all virtue, they are saved, they have become complacent with their station in life and they believe that they have a great reward because they have been in the church since the cradle, others came late in life, some even in very old age or near death, these latter will also receive the reward of eternal life because they did indeed come and they came with all of their heart whereas those who have been around had a less full heart through pride and complacency. We must strive to the very end, all are called at different times, as St. Paul said; when it pleased Him who separated me from my mother’s womb. When did it please god to call Paul? When Paul was ready to be called as our Lord does with each and every one of us, He calls when we are ready to hear. The call never stops throughout time but to the individual it comes when he is ready to hear.

So let us along with the psalmist say; “I will praise Thee, O Lord, with my whole heart: in the council of the just, and in the congregation. Great are the works of the Lord: sought out according to all His wills. His work is praise and magnificence: and His justice continues for ever and ever. He has made a remembrance of His wonderful works, being a merciful and gracious Lord: He has given food to them that fear Him…” 

If one does not have love for the soul of mankind and the desire that all come to the truth than one does not have Christ in them fully.

Little children, love one another; because this is our Lord’s command and if you fulfill this, nothing else is needed. Through love and because of love we will follow all of the commandments that we have been given. They are written on our hearts by the hand of Almighty God. We simply need to see them within us and follow.

Remember; if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all iniquity.


In Christ.







   
























Member of the Autocephalous Orthodox Catholic Church of the Americas

Many Blessings!

+William

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Pentecost XIX! Pray without Ceasing!













      
     Greetings in Christ Jesus
            Sunday October 15, 2017



Epistle: 1 Thessalonians 5: 9-28
Gospel: Luke 12: 2-12
Psalm: Psalm 108/109



Friends,

God has not made us for wrath, but purchasing of salvation through Jesus Christ; whether we watch or sleep we may live together with Him. [Pray without ceasing] Jesus Christ is faithful to you and will do it. Friends what does it mean ‘whether we watch or sleep’? Scripture is speaking of the living and the dead here. Whether Christ comes while we live or are in the grave doesn’t matter, if we are His then we are His eternally.

Understand that there is order in the church, this epistle tells us to rebuke the unquiet, and that is those who are disorderly. Another reading is to rebuke the unruly, so within the church there are those who call themselves Christian and yet their lives are disorderly or unruly and not conformed to the teachings of our Lord, for these we are to rebuke. It is up to those Christians to heed the rebuke, love everyone; as this epistle says to comfort the feebleminded or fainthearted, support those who are weak; this could be said for both the physically weak but even more so for those who are spiritually weak. We all have faults and we need to support one another.

Do not commit an evil act to someone because that one has committed an evil act against you. Follow that which is good towards one another, rejoice always, and be constantly in prayer and do not extinguish the spirit that was given to you. Prove and hold fast to that which is good, in today’s world just as in the days of the apostles the false prophets abound, many people are deceived or end up in endless debates that are fruitless and waste time that should be spent seeking Jesus, these endless debates are most often things that have nothing to do with salvation and serve no real purpose but are given some purpose by the deceiver and spread throughout Christendom as a means to take up that precious time.

Hear the prophets but investigate and prove all things whether they are true. Give thanks for all things and stay away from anything that even has the appearance of evil. How many Christians do this today? We have so many excuses and we can come up with any number of reasons why something is o.k. that has every appearance of evil. We are told to stay away. May the God of peace Himself sanctify you in all things: that your whole spirit, and soul, and body, may be preserved blameless in the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. How will this happen when we do not abstain from the evil?

There is nothing covered that shall not be revealed. Do not fear those who can kill the body. But I will shew you who you shall fear: fear him, who after he has killed, has power to cast into hell. Yea, I say to you, fear him. Confess me before men, him shall the son of Man also confess before the angels of God. And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him: but to him that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven. The Holy Spirit shall teach you in the same hour what you must say.

How much is needed to be explained here? Confess Jesus and Jesus will confess us. Be careful in one’s judgment, as the Pharisees claimed that Jesus was working through the spirit of the evil one they were condemned. Be very careful in one’s condemnation of another and of the words used; choose one’s words carefully as we all shall answer for every word spoken by us. If we do indeed depend on the spirit alone then we shall be given wisdom and the words that we must speak. There are many among us who earn a good living by condemning others and calling them the antichrist. Be careful. Those who constantly speak in this manner may very well be condemning themselves. I am speaking of the condemnation of those who claim to be speaking in the name of Jesus. Truth and falseness must be proven not just conjectured by and through prejudice and pride.

O God, be not silent in my praise: for the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful man is opened against me. As this Psalm states; God will take care of all who would speak against the spirit. God will have mercy on all who call upon His name in truth and love, all others will be as dead, even now as they attack the Holy Spirit by attacking Jesus they are already dead, they are a dead man walking until such time as they repent and confess, on the other hand it is us who must pray for them so that by the mercy of God they may believe and become saved through Christ.

If one does not have love for the soul of mankind and the desire that all come to the truth than one does not have Christ in them fully.

Little children, love one another; because this is our Lord’s command and if you fulfill this, nothing else is needed. Through love and because of love we will follow all of the commandments that we have been given. They are written on our hearts by the hand of Almighty God. We simply need to see them within us and follow.


Remember; if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all iniquity.


In Christ.







Member of the Autocephalous Orthodox Catholic Church of the Americas







Monk Michael's videos; http://www.youtube.com/user/HieroMonkMichael

Many Blessings!
+William

Friday, October 6, 2017

Walk Worthily of God!

XVIII Pentecost! Walk Worthily of God!
                                      






Greetings in Christ Jesus

Sunday October 8, 2017


Epistle: 1 Thessalonians 2: 9-19
Gospel: Luke 11: 14-26
Psalm:  Psalm 106/107

Friends,

In our epistle today we see that we are to walk worthily of God. Friends, this is not simply mere belief, our very life should reflect Jesus Christ. Everything that we say and do should reflect Jesus. What are we told? Avoid cursing, flee from fornication, do not lie, do not cheat, love God first and love our neighbor as our self. These things are necessary for us who claim to be a friend of Jesus. We also see in this epistle that even this great apostle, St. Paul, was hindered by Satan. We see that those who choose to follow the way will be persecuted; the world is becoming even more insane, slowly spiraling downhill into the pit.

This is a planned and a well executed strategy to bring mankind into complete degeneration of spirit, mind, and body. Far too many people simply close their eyes and continue to be concerned with comfort and games, excitement, the things that we somehow deserve and while we are doing this the world is destroying humanity while humanity is accepting this with open arms and an excited mind because of all of the great creature comforts that it will have and the completely free lifestyle that it may live without fear of chastisement or ridicule.

This wickedness is not new to the world; it has been around since the beginning. It shows itself in many different ways but always with the same goal in mind. Almost immediately after Paul preached the persecutors would arrive, the persecutors followed Jesus Himself around ridiculing and questioning. None of this is new. The church allowed the evil in even in the beginning; Paul’s letters are proof of this. The body of Christ is so split that it mocks Jesus simply by its existence. There are many who come to believe of course but there are many who refuse to believe and many who leave because the Body of Christ is so divided that there are those who will kill others simply because they have a different manner of worship.

In our gospel today Jesus is accused of casting out demons by the power of Beelzebub, can you imagine that the savior of the world who came to His own people who were expecting Him to come would be accused of using the power of darkness? This is still happening today and far too many people believe it. What are the words of the Lord in today’s gospel? Every kingdom divided against itself, shall be brought to desolation, and house upon house shall fall. And if Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand?

Is this any different for the church? No it is not. We must destroy our pride, we must become humble and truly seek the truth, and we cannot simply determine that we already know all truth because obviously we do not. There are too many different doctrines taught, too many false prophets followed, too many accusations of heresy, yes there is true heresy; if one denies that Jesus is God then that one is a heretic but if one understands the Holy Trinity, if one believes that Jesus is from God and is God who came in the flesh and truly loves Jesus and is also making every attempt to live as Jesus would have him to live, how can this one be called a heretic.

We all have error in our understanding; the Body of Christ needs to begin acting like the Body of Christ. Far too many are concerned with riches in this world by making money on their attacks on another. Admire who you want but our every action and our every word will be held accountable. There will be no one to blame but ourselves for this.

It is good, as we learn in today’s Psalm; that God is good and merciful. He will forgive us of our sins if we repent of them and give thanks and glory to God. But this is what we must do. The idea of loving our neighbor is not simply a New Testament concept but something that is from the beginning. The so called Old Testament is full of the same teaching and understanding, one just has to simply read it to see and understand it. This is the true law of God, love. Until one understands this then one will always be in error.

If one does not have love for the soul of mankind and the desire that all come to the truth than one does not have Christ in them fully.

Little children, love one another; because this is our Lord’s command and if you fulfill this, nothing else is needed. Through love and because of love we will follow all of the commandments that we have been given. They are written on our hearts by the hand of Almighty God. We simply need to see them within us and follow.

Remember; if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all iniquity.

In Christ.




   

































Member of the Autocephalous Orthodox Catholic Church of the Americas









Many Blessings!

+William

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Be Instant in Prayer!



                    
  

XVII Pentecost! Be Instant in Prayer!

         







  


Greetings in Christ Jesus

Sunday October 1, 2017


Epistle: Colossians 4: 2-18
Gospel: Luke 9: 57-62
Psalm:  Psalm 104/105

Friends,

How does today’s Epistle apply to us in this day and age? Read the first few verses; 2 Be instant in prayer; watching in it with thanksgiving: 3 Praying withal for us also, that God may open unto us a door of speech to speak the mystery of Christ (for which also I am bound;) 4 That I may make it manifest as I ought to speak. 5 Walk with wisdom towards them that are without, redeeming the time. 6 Let your speech be always in grace seasoned with salt: that you may know how you ought to answer every man.

What wisdom is here in these few words alone? Be instant in prayer; friends just look around you, we live in a world that embraces faithlessness, a total lack of loyalty not only to our nations but to even our own families and to Jesus Christ Himself even among those who call themselves Christian. How many truly meditate on the word of God and make attempts at living it? I say attempts because we will and do fall flat on our faces every day. This is a struggle, run the good race as we read in the scriptures, why does it say that? Because it is a fight between the flesh and the spirit and between the spirits of good against the spirits of evil, it is a daily struggle, and a moment by moment struggle, do not remain passive in this.

Even sports figures and entertainers are idolized and everyman is a god unto himself. The world chooses to be entertained rather than to seek God. One who calls himself Christian yet chooses entertainment everyday and only one hour per week doing his duty to worship God is only fooling himself. Yet this is the way it is today, people have become self righteous, proud, all believing that somehow we deserve some luxurious living, comfort and expensive, fancy lifestyles, elegant and regal because we are so special in our own eyes.

We are a world of foolish people who have forgotten our Creator and our Lord. Think about where we are headed and cut this off within ourselves immediately. Be instant in prayer; guard you heart, your soul, and your mind from the evil that is prevalent throughout the world. Watching in it with thanksgiving; do not forget to thank the Lord for the good that He has in fact done for and to us.
But pray not only for yourself but for others also so that they may have a guarded heart, soul, and mind so that all may gain the wisdom from the Lord that all may speak wisely to others the truth without fear, seek that peace and learn to also remain silent when it may be prudent to do so. Remember the words of our Lord; greet others with peace and if they do not accept this peace, if they do not choose to hear your words; walk away and shake the dust off of your feet. Not all want to hear the truth and it cannot be force fed to anyone. But protect your own heart and maintain that peace within you.

Our gospel tells us how to make this all happen; we are to first of all seek God above all worldly understanding and knowledge as well as pleasures, seek the Kingdom of God first, learn to do His will first and then we shall be capable of walking about in wisdom knowing that many if not most will choose not to hear, but through our own lifestyle; living the truth, living the peace, loving the soul of another and remaining in constant prayer and worship of Almighty God; there will be those who shall be converted. Preach Jesus Christ by the way that we live and then use words when appropriate.

As the Psalmist says; 1 Alleluia. Give glory to the Lord, and call upon his name: declare his deeds among the Gentiles. 2 Sing to him, yes sing praises to him: relate all his wondrous works. 3 Glory in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord. 4 Seek the Lord, and be strengthened: seek his face evermore.

If one does not have love for the soul of mankind and the desire that all come to the truth than one does not have Christ in them fully.

Little children, love one another; because this is our Lord’s command and if you fulfill this, nothing else is needed. Through love and because of love we will follow all of the commandments that we have been given. They are written on our hearts by the hand of Almighty God. We simply need to see them within us and follow.

Remember; if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all iniquity.

In Christ.



   


































Member of the Autocephalous Orthodox Catholic Church of the Americas

Many Blessings!

+William

Friday, September 22, 2017

Calling Sinners to Repentance!


XVI Pentecost! Calling Sinners to Repentance!









                                      


Greetings in Christ Jesus,

Sunday September 24, 2017


Epistle: Philippians 1: 12-20
Gospel: Luke 5: 27-32
Psalm:  Psalm 102/103

Friends,

People say that the Lord works in mysterious ways. This is in fact truer than many realize. In today’s epistle we see that the Apostle St. Paul is writing while in chains. While imprisonment was meant to stop his preaching it only allowed him to continue and along with his continuing while in chains others received courage to begin preaching as well as others continuing their own preaching. Some preach the gospel out of love for Jesus and the preaching of the gospel while others preach the gospel out of envy and contention not from sincerity but under the idea that their preaching will only infuriate the authorities even more against Paul. But what does Paul think about this? His heart is glad about it, he rejoices in this, if those who are preaching out of contention are preaching the truth then in fact the truth is still being preached which continues to spread the true gospel.

In today’s gospel we see that Jesus has called a publican, a tax collector, a position that was much hated by most Jews and considered these people to be great sinners. Yet Jesus calls this man to follow Him. So the man does, we can see that we cannot ever judge the heart of any one person by this example. We do not know at any time who will hear and take the word to heart and who will not hear and take the word to heart. We are not the ones who decide this. We preach the word for al to hear but as Paul says to the Corinthians; I give you milk still because you are not yet ready for meat. We are told to not cast our pearls before the swine. This does not mean that we do not simply preach the truth to all, but there is meaning in depth here; in the Eucharist or Holy Communion, in the partaking of the Body and Blood we need to be careful. Those who hear but do not understand, those who refuse to believe the truth as in the fact that Jesus was indeed the Word of God in the flesh, true God of true God, begotten not made, has no part in the Body and Blood. They participate to their own downfall. These pearls we do not cast before the swine who are those in this saying are the ones who preach that Jesus is not God from God.

So in today’s Psalm we see that we are to bless the Lord in all things with all that we have, our very being is to bless the Lord. Regardless of our circumstances we are to bless the Lord. Paul blessed the Lord and continued preaching and serving even though in persecution, chains, and in prison. What is our excuse today? The world continues to degenerate, spiraling downhill and going out of control. How many will believe or who will believe? We do not know these answers. We know only this; in living out our lives here we are to be examples of the love of Almighty God. When the opportunity is there we are to speak on the saving grace of our Lord Jesus the Christ. Back biting in the Body of Christ is not acceptable. It is a disgrace and needs to stop. Love for humanity is the only way.
If one does not have love for the soul of mankind and the desire that all come to the truth than one does not have Christ in them fully.

Little children, love one another; because this is our Lord’s command and if you fulfill this, nothing else is needed. Through love and because of love we will follow all of the commandments that we have been given. They are written on our hearts by the hand of Almighty God. We simply need to see them within us and follow.

Remember; if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all iniquity.

In Christ.



   


















Member of the Autocephalous Orthodox Catholic Church of the Americas









Many Blessings!

+William

Friday, September 15, 2017

Stand Strong in the Lord!

XV Pentecost! Stand Strong in the Lord!  








                                    


Greetings in Christ Jesus,

Sunday September 17, 2017


Epistle: Ephesians 6: 10-24
Gospel: Mark 13: 14-37
Psalm:  Psalm 100/101

Friends,

Stand strong in the Lord Jesus Christ. Today’s epistle says:

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 

Be strong friends, the devil has many schemes running at once even within the church, the Body of Christ. So many teachings, so many denominations and doctrines. So many groups claim to be the one true church while they espouse their own peculiar doctrine.

Whosoever calls upon me I will in no wise cast out. What can this mean? Calling on Jesus is not a one time event but all of the day and night we call upon and rely on Jesus. He is our salvation, He is our life and we must put on the whole armor to understand this. Faith, Hope, and Charity or Love that is active. We do not rely on our physical eyes or senses to see the truth or to live the truth for our battles are spiritual and not physical, even the one who attempts to mug you or rape you is guided spiritually by a demon. This is what we must recognize.

We will fight these battles until the coming of the Lord even though He is among us in spirit guiding us He will return alive in the new body in which we shall all receive. His angels are also among us guiding us, I have seen them, I have seen their protection in times of distress and danger. However, we must also take action starting with our faith because it is our faith that allows the us to get through the trying times of the world.

Our gospel today speaks of prophecies, some of which has come true, the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, the Abomination of Desolation standing where it does not belong; these things have taken place. But do not be deceived, we do not know when the return of our Lord will be. You must stay away from anyone who predicts a time or day or hour of the return. Jesus said to watch for you do not know. Jesus is the final word on any subject. Watch for we do not know. Prophets do not speak in timelines, often they can be mixed up with the immediate future and a future that is centuries away. In the reading of these prophecies they may give the appearance of following some time order or to be very near.  

Jesus said to not be fooled; there will be no doubt when Jesus has returned, anyone else who comes and performs what appear to be miracles and says that he is the Christ is a liar and a thief. We will know, we will not have to be told, we will not need to see any miracles, there will be no doubt, and the whole world will know and bow to His majesty immediately.

As in the psalms; sing to the Lord, praise His name regardless of circumstances in life. Praise the Lord. Never cease to pray and above all; love. God is love and my brothers and sisters we must love one another. Do not be put off by those who claim to be the only true ones. Love, this is from Almighty God.

Little children, love one another; because this is our Lord’s command and if you fulfill this, nothing else is needed.

Remember; if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all iniquity.

In Christ.



   













Member of the Autocephalous Orthodox Catholic Church of the Americas














Many Blessings!

+William