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Mark Smith is a priest of the Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece under the Omophorian of Metropolitan Kirykos of Mesogaias and Lavreotikis. He lives in Chilliwack, BC, Canada
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Apr. 24th, 2019 @ 07:05 pm This evening we heard (Holy Thursday):


The purpose of the Jews who sought to kill God fitted with the action of Judas in his avarice: they armed themselves for murder, and he was tempted by the money. But in misery he lost his life, preferring a noose rather than repentance.

...and also...

Christ, the divine and heavenly Bread, gives food to all the world. Come, then, O lovers of Christ, and in our mouths of clay but with pure hearts let us receive in faith the Passover that is sacrificed and offered in our midst.


The Lenten Triodion, Holy Thursday
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Apr. 20th, 2019 @ 08:01 pm This evening we heard (Entry into Jerusalem):


Prefiguring for us Thy holy Resurrection, loving Lord, by Thy command Thou hast raised up from death Lazarus Thy friend, who was without the breath of life, and after four days in the tomb he had begun to stink.  Then, O Savior, mounted on a foal, and as though riding in a chariot, Thou has given a sign unto the Gentiles.  Therefore also Israel Thy beloved offers Thee praise out of the mouth of innocent babes and sucklings, as they behold Thee, Christ, enter the Holy City six days before the Passover.


The Lenten Triodion, Sunday of the Entry into Jerusalem (Palm Sunday)
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Apr. 19th, 2019 @ 08:40 pm Whatever a man now has hidden within him will come out into the open in that day



Whatever a man now has hidden within him will come out into the open in that day. Just as in winter the fruit of trees is latent within them, but at harvest time they display the same fruit outside, so it is with the soul; whatever fruits it has struggled to acquire here it will then display on the outside of the body. In the saints, the divine, spiritual and heavenly image which has been formed interiorly in the present age will then make the body exteriorly radiant, heavenly and capable of bearing the sight of God. In the unworthy and sinners, however, who have covered their souls with the dark veil of the spirit of the world, and who in this age have made their souls without beauty through the acts of the passions and evil deeds, the body also will appear externally dark, ugly and shameful in that day, as it covers the soul. Similarly, Adam heard the voice of God saying, In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die (Gen 2:17), and he died in his sin; but this first affected the soul of our forefather. Its intellectual and immortal faculties ceased to grow and were deadened because of their separation from God and from His spiritual and heavenly sweetness; its senses were covered by darkness; and finally, after nine hundred thirty years, the death of the body followed. Afterwards, God once more took pity on the human race; He took flesh, He suffered crucifixion and death for our salvation, and He rose again, according to the good will of the Father. Now, in His unutterable goodness, He brings to ineffable mysteries and the reception of heavenly enlightenment the soul which truly believes in Him and fulfils His holy commandments, and He does so while it is yet in the flesh. He frees it from the darkening veil of the passions by the communion of the Holy Spirit; He illumines its intellectual faculties with divine light; and He purifies and beautifies it by grace. These things will accompany the body to the resurrection, as it enters the blessed life of immortal and unfading glory. In that day the body also will be clothed in heavenly light and beauty, and will enjoy eternal blessings together with the soul. Let us understand, then, brethren, how during the short time of the present age each one of us must strive and labour and suffer and be zealous, with pure and shining faith and the fulfilling of the Lord’s holy commandments, and may secure the removal of the dark covering of our souls. Thus, on the day of the resurrection to come, our bodies will be glorified by the illumination and communion of the Holy Spirit, together with our souls whose glorification was begun in this life; arrayed in heavenly beauty, we shall reign together with Christ, body and soul, in the same Christ Jesus our Lord, to whom be glory and dominion unto endless ages of ages. Amen.

The Gospel Commentary, Compiled and written by Saint Philotheos, Patriarch of Constantinople ✠1377, On Lazaros Saturday, pp. 128-134

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Apr. 19th, 2019 @ 07:52 pm This evening we heard (Lazaros Saturday):
Having completed the forty days that bring profit to our soul, let us cry: Rejoice, city of Bethany, home of Lazaros. Rejoice, Martha and Maria, his sisters. Tomorrow Christ will come, by His word to bring your dead brother to life. Hearing His voice, bitter hell that is never satisfied will tremble and groan aloud, and it will release Lazaros bound in his graveclothes. Amazed by this miracle, a multitude of Jews will come to meet Him with palms and branches; though their fathers look on Him with malicious envy, yet shall the children praise Him, saying: Blessed is He that comes in the Name of the Lord, the King of Israel.


The Lenten Triodion, Lazaros Saturday
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Apr. 13th, 2019 @ 08:15 pm This evening we heard (5th Sunday of Lent):


The desires of thy soul and the passions of thy flesh thou hast cut down with the sword of abstinence; thy sinful thoughts thou hast choked with the silence of the ascetic life. With the streams of thy tears thou hast watered all the wilderness, and caused the fruits of repentance to spring up for us: therefore, O saint, we celebrate thy memory.


The Lenten Triodion, Saint Maria of Egypt, Fifth Sunday of Great Lent and April First
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Mar. 30th, 2019 @ 08:01 pm This evening we heard (Third Sunday of Great Lent):


Rejoice life-giving Cross, the fair Paradise of the Church, Tree of incorruption that brings us the enjoyment of eternal glory: through thee the hosts of demons have been driven back; and the hier­archies of angels rejoice with one accord, as the congregations of the faithful keep the feast. Thou art an invincible weapon, an unbroken stronghold; thou art the victory of kings and the glory of priests. Grant us now to draw near to the Passion of Christ and to His Resurrection.


The Lenten Triodion, Third Sunday of Great Lent, Veneration of the Life-giving Cross
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Mar. 30th, 2019 @ 07:28 am This is the wisdom and power of God . . .

Such is the word of the Cross (cf. 1 Cor. 1:18). It was and is, therefore, a great and truly divine mystery, not only in the time of the prophets before it was accomplished, but also now after it has been fulfilled. Why is this so? On the face of it, anyone who lowers and humbles himself in all respects seems to be bringing dishonour on himself, anyone who flees carnal pleasures appears to be causing himself toil and grief, and anyone who gives away his possessions looks as though he is making himself poor. But by the power of God this poverty, grief and dishonour give birth to inexhaustible riches, inexpressible delight and eternal glory, both in this world and in the world to come. Saint Paul ranks those who do not believe this, and prove their faith by their actions, with the lost, or with the Greeks. “We preach”, he says, “Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block”, because they do not believe in the saving passion, “and unto the Greeks foolishness”, as they value transitory things above all else because of their complete disbelief in God’s promises, “but unto them that are called, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God” (1 Cor. 1:23).

This is the wisdom and power of God: to be victorious through weakness, exalted through humility, rich through poverty.

The Homilies of Saint Gregory Palamas – Homily 11, On the Precious and Life-giving Cross, pp. 74-86

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Mar. 23rd, 2019 @ 07:56 pm This evening we heard (2nd Sunday of Lent):


With what words shall we who dwell on earth praise the holy bishop? He is the teacher of the Church, the herald of the light of God, the initiate of the heavenly mysteries of the Trinity, the chief adornment of the monastic life, renowned alike in action and in contemplation, the glory of Thessalonica; and now he dwells in heaven with the great and glorious martyr Demetrios, whose relics flow with holy oil.


The Lenten Triodion, Second Sunday of Great Lent, Saint Gregory Palamas
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Mar. 23rd, 2019 @ 07:38 am God is good and loving not only when He gives us gifts

We, the brethren, having understood what happened with the paralytic, ought to tremble and fear that, insofar as we have committed many sins and have not been punished in this life, our torments and punishments will be even greater in the next life for our not having been punished here out of God’s longsuffering. It is good, my brethren, to be chastised now, and to be purified in this life, rather than to be handed over to torture in that day, when it will be time for judgement, not purification. And to suffer in this life is not bad; what is bad is to be found deserving of torment hereafter. Therefore, I beseech you, brethren, let us not complain about anything difficult and sorrowful that happens to us; let us not be angry at God, but let us bear all things thankfully, and let us go on with a proper understanding of those things which come to us from God. For He knows that He arranges all things for our good, and He allows afflictions and hardships to befall us for our improvement. For God gives us good gifts and favours, in order that we might ever look to Him, thank Him, glorify Him and exalt His holy name, but we are lazy and negligent in applying ourselves to His confession and praise; we are not conscious of His good gifts and countless favours which we receive; instead, we spurn His divine will and commandments; we become arrogant and haughty, and walk according to the will of our own hearts, and by sinning shamelessly and brazenly in His sight, we grieve and anger God. Therefore, He gives us wounds and stripes, and tries us with various temptations, captivities, woes and afflictions, so that we may come to our senses, and run to Him, and trust in His saving power, His great goodness and His providence, and that we may ever seek His kingdom and its righteousness, and believe that He will abundantly bestow upon us all things good and salutary. For God is good and loving not only when He gives us gifts; He is good even when He punishes us. His punishments are also good gifts and partake of great grace.

The Gospel Commentary, Compiled and written by Saint Philotheos, Patriarch of Constantinople ✠1377, pp. 76-87

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Mar. 16th, 2019 @ 08:10 pm This evening we heard (Orthodoxy Sunday):


Advancing from ungodliness to the true faith, and illumined with the light of knowledge, let us clap our hands and sing aloud, offering praise and thanksgiving to God; and with due honour let us venerate the holy icons of Christ, of the all-pure Virgin and the saints, whether depicted on walls, on wooden panels or on holy vessels, rejecting the impious teaching of the heretics. For as Basil says, the honour shown to the icon passes to the prototype it represents. At the prayers of Thine undefiled Mother and of all the saints, we be­seech Thee, Christ our God, to bestow upon us Thy great mercy.


The Lenten Triodion, Sunday of Orthodoxy - Restoration of the Holy Icons
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