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Eastern Christian Insights

Fr. Philip LeMasters and Ancient Faith Radio

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Homilies from St. Luke Orthodox Church in Abilene, Texas - Thoughtful homilies of an Orthodox priest who serves a small parish and teaches Religion full-time at McMurry University in Abilene, TX. Fr. Philip draws on his scholarly work in Christian theology and ethics, but most of all, these are the homilies of a pastor guiding his flock with insightful, practical suggestions on how to share more fully in the life of Jesus Christ.
 
Ambe is a Christian Creative, Minister, Evangelist and Meditation Teacher. She loves to share the Gospel and spread the Good Word about Jesus Christ for His greater glory and for you. She also creates Christian Meditations available on Insight Timer. May you always thrive on every level in Christ. Be inspired. Be encouraged. Be saved! Hallelujah! Insight Timer https://insighttimer.com/gospeltalk
 
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Due to pride, we often crave words and actions from others that distract us from seeing ourselves clearly and instead fuel illusions of self-importance and self- righteousness. When doing so becomes a settled habit, we can easily find ourselves attempting to use religion to serve our egos instead of being focused on offering ourselves to the Lord.…
 
Let us take the Theotokos as our great example of how to receive and follow Christ every day, even as we ask for her prayers for the healing of our souls. That is the only way to celebrate the great feast of her Dormition with spiritual integrity.על ידי Fr. Philip LeMasters and Ancient Faith Radio
 
The disciples offered to Christ what they had that day: five loaves of bread and two fish. He transfigured that tiny offering into a massive feast with far more leftover than what the hungry crowd could eat. This miracle shows that the key question is not what or how much we offer according to any conventional standard, but whether we offer all tha…
 
To rise up, take up our beds, and walk home requires obedience to Christ’s commands, but not a legalistic obedience in the sense of following a code for its own sake. Instead, this obedience is like following the guidance of a physician or therapist who makes clear to us what we must do in order to regain health and function for our bodies.…
 
By the grace of our Lord, we may become the light of the world as we do what the world does not prize: praying in secret; struggling to fast as we best we can; giving generously to the needy without drawing attention to ourselves; forgiving and praying for those who wrong us; mindfully rejecting the temptation to praise ourselves or to condemn anyo…
 
In today’s gospel reading, Christ teaches that the humble faith of the Roman centurion surpassed that of any of the Jews. Since the dominant expectation in Israel was for the Messiah to set them free from Roman rule by military victory, the Lord’s statement was surely perceived by many as terribly unpatriotic.…
 
If we want to know Christ’s peace, which conquers even the fear of the grave, we must become radiant with His Light, which means that we must unite ourselves to Him in faith, hope, and love from the depths of our souls.על ידי Fr. Philip LeMasters and Ancient Faith Radio
 
We have everything that we need to follow in the path of the apostles and saints in humbly obeying our Lord. That is how we can become radiant with the divine glory and obey the Savior’s calling: “Follow Me.”על ידי Fr. Philip LeMasters and Ancient Faith Radio
 
In light of what such atrocities reveal about the human condition, it is obviously not enough to affirm religious beliefs, to perform certain acts of outward piety, or merely to identify ourselves as Orthodox Christians. Indeed, it is entirely possible to do all those things while remaining blind, embracing the darkness, and becoming all too comfor…
 
Entering into the holy joy of Pascha is truly an eternal journey of sharing ever more fully in the healing mercy of Christ as we become more like Him in holiness. The only way to do that is to rise, take up our beds, and walk each day of our lives in obedience as best we can.על ידי Fr. Philip LeMasters and Ancient Faith Radio
 
The devotion of the Myrrh-Bearers, Joseph and, Nicodemus shows us what true faith looks like, and we will never acquire it by looking for ways to fit God comfortably into our lives in order to help us achieve our goals in and for this world, regardless of how noble we think they are.על ידי Fr. Philip LeMasters and Ancient Faith Radio
 
In order to follow our Risen Lord into the joy of the resurrection, we must also open our deepest personal struggles and wounds to Him for healing. Our bodies are not evil, but we have all distorted our relationship to them. Instead of pursuing a disembodied spirituality that ignores how God creates and saves us as whole persons, we must embrace th…
 
Today we celebrate that the Lord is at hand, coming into Jerusalem as the Messiah, hailed by the crowds as their Savior. He enters Jerusalem on a humble beast of burden, carrying no weapons and having no army, political machine, or media campaign to flatter the powerful and play on the fears, resentments, and hopes of the masses.…
 
Like St. Mary of Egypt, we must take up the cross of doing whatever it takes to find healing for our souls in the Lord Who offered up Himself for the salvation of the world. That was the path to holiness for St. Mary of Egypt, and it must be our path in the remaining days of this blessed season of Lent.…
 
“Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” These words from the brokenhearted father in today’s gospel lesson resonate with all of us who are honest about what the deep challenges of our lives reveal about our spiritual state.על ידי Fr. Philip LeMasters and Ancient Faith Radio
 
We do not adore the Holy Cross today because it is useful for serving any personal, cultural, or political agenda. We do so because the Savior has brought eternal life to the world through His victory over the corrupting power of sin and death.על ידי Fr. Philip LeMasters and Ancient Faith Radio
 
Whenever we pray, fast, and serve others with humility, we open ourselves to the healing light of the Lord and become more like Him. These practices are not reserved for those who have abandoned the world, but are necessary for all of us who remain weak before our passions with spiritual vision darkened by sin. The circumstances of our lives never …
 
As we celebrate the restoration of icons today, let us become more beautiful living icons of our Lord’s salvation and gain the strength to treat every neighbor accordingly as we live and breathe in this world. Remember: They are His living icons also.על ידי Fr. Philip LeMasters and Ancient Faith Radio
 
Lent calls us to “put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.” We must do so in order to accept the great dignity of beloved sons and daughters called to return to Paradise through His Passion.על ידי Fr. Philip LeMasters and Ancient Faith Radio
 
If we are ever tempted to think that the Lenten practices of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving are antiquated niceties for those removed from the cares of daily life, we must think again. They are absolute necessities for us to live faithfully in our world of corruption. They are not practices focused on individual spiritual gratification, but how we…
 
The coming Lenten season calls us all to come to ourselves as we gain a clearer recognition of the ways in which we have refused to live as the beloved sons and daughters of our Father. By humbly reorienting our lives toward Him and away from slavery to our passions, we will find restoration, blessing, and joy. Now is the time to leave behind the f…
 
We must devote ourselves to prayer, fasting, almsgiving, forgiveness, and other forms of repentance in the weeks ahead if we are to open the depths of our brokenness to the healing of our Lord’s humble, suffering love. That is the only way to become like the tax collector in spiritual clarity, for he was aware only of his sin and need for God’s mer…
 
Even as we recall the Three Hierarchs’ shining example of holiness, we remember today also someone whose life changed dramatically when he turned away from corruption in order to follow Christ. Luke’s gospel portrays the story of Zacchaeus in memorable and distinctive ways.על ידי Fr. Philip LeMasters and Ancient Faith Radio
 
Let us not despair even when the darkness threatens to overwhelm us, but instead mindfully open our hearts to the light of Christ as we trust that He will minister to us at our point of greatest need and make us participants in His salvation.על ידי Fr. Philip LeMasters and Ancient Faith Radio
 
Even as Jesus showed mercy by tangible actions such as healing a Samaritan from a dreaded and isolating disease, we must take the actions available to us, no matter how seemingly small or imperfect, to manifest His love to our neighbors, regardless of who they are.Find the book Syria Crucified at store.ancientfaith.com/syria-crucified.…
 
We are baptized into Christ’s death in order to rise up with Him into a life of holiness in which we regain the robe of light rejected by our first parents. In every aspect of our lives, we must become radiant with the divine glory shared with us by the New Adam.על ידי Fr. Philip LeMasters and Ancient Faith Radio
 
Those who have put on Christ in baptism and who receive the Communion of His Body and Blood must become epiphanies of His fulfillment of the human person in God’s image and likeness. As we prepare to celebrate Theophany, let us gain the spiritual clarity to behold the glory of Christ’s baptism by straightening the crooked areas of our lives.…
 
Our fundamental vocation remains the same: to undergo a change of mind such that we offer ourselves without reservation in obedience to God. As with the Theotokos, Joseph the Betrothed, and James, there is no telling what that will mean for the course of our lives, but saying “yes” in free obedience as we take the steps we have the strength to take…
 
In the remaining days before Christmas, let us embrace the radically disorienting calling to hope in nothing and no one other than the God-Man Who is born to heal and fulfill all who bear the divine image and likeness.על ידי Fr. Philip LeMasters and Ancient Faith Radio
 
As “the poor and maimed and blind and lame,” we must prepare to accept the extraordinary invitation that is ours in Jesus Christ by gaining the strength to make our daily responsibilities points of entrance to the heavenly kingdom. They are not reasons to shut ourselves out of the heavenly banquet, but opportunities to unite ourselves ever more ful…
 
As we pray, fast, give to the needy, and confess and repent of our sins this Advent, let us do so with the joyful hope of the woman who could finally stand up straight after eighteen years. For the Savior is born to deliver us from bondage in all its forms.על ידי Fr. Philip LeMasters and Ancient Faith Radio
 
Unlike the rich man, we must not walk away in sadness when our weakness before our passions becomes apparent, especially when we realize how far short we have fallen of the holiness to which Christ calls us.על ידי Fr. Philip LeMasters and Ancient Faith Radio
 
We must mindfully take the steps necessary to follow the Theotokos in becoming holy living temples of the Lord. That is the only way to celebrate this feast and to prepare to celebrate Christmas with integrity.על ידי Fr. Philip LeMasters and Ancient Faith Radio
 
The Lord used the story of the Good Samaritan to show us who we must become if we are truly uniting ourselves to Him in faith. The more we share in His life, the more we will overcome the spiritual blindness that so easily tempts us to justify ourselves in thinking that any person or group is somehow not worthy of our care and compassion.…
 
There is no point in pretending that all is well when it obviously is not; that was true for the bleeding woman and for Jairus, and it is also true for us. We must face the reality of our own brokenness with brutal honesty, if we are ever to acquire the humble faith necessary to enter into the joy of those who hear the Lord say, “Daughter, your fai…
 
There is simply no way around the truth that how we relate to other people reveals whether we participate in the life our Lord. What we do and refuse to do for neighbors who need our time, attention, and generosity in any form, we do or refuse to do for Him.על ידי Fr. Philip LeMasters and Ancient Faith Radio
 
We must remember who we are and find our true selves in Him, if we want to avoid the inevitable disintegration of personality and character that comes from slavery to our passions. Then we too will be able to obey with joy the Lord’s command to the formerly demon-possessed man: “Return to your home, and declare all that God has done for you.”…
 
Icons certainly beautify the church, but not simply in the conventional sense of being aesthetically pleasing. Instead, they manifest visually that the Son of God has called and enabled us to become His beautiful living icons. They show that the Savior has made us participants by grace in His deified humanity so that we may shine brightly with the …
 
If we want to know Christ as the beloved disciple did, then we must learn that our very life is in our brothers and sisters. Loving them and Christ in them is the only way to find liberation from fear in our world of corruption, for it is fear that separates us from one another and keeps us from becoming together the uniquely beautiful persons our …
 
John the Baptist was unspotted from the world due to the spiritual strength he gained from a life of asceticism and prayer, and he called people to follow him in preparing the way of the Lord as they bore “fruits worthy of repentance” and treated other people with the care appropriate to the children of God.…
 
The darkness roots deeply within us all, both personally and collectively, and nothing but the brilliant glory of the Lord can overcome it. Whether we know it or not, we inevitably sink like stones into the abyss whenever we make anything or anyone else the foundation of our lives.על ידי Fr. Philip LeMasters and Ancient Faith Radio
 
The feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos calls us to live faithfully as those who have put on Christ like a garment in baptism, been filled with the Holy Spirit in chrismation, and become guests at the heavenly banquet in the Eucharist.על ידי Fr. Philip LeMasters and Ancient Faith Radio
 
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