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Are You a Reflection of God?

When Jesus was called “good” by the rich ruler He said, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God.” (Luke 18.19) He of course is good because He is God, but He is also a reflection of the goodness of the Father. In that moment with the rich ruler, Jesus was teaching us the truth of the incarnation of God in the Son – Jesus Christ. And as a Son is a reflection of the Father, so Jesus is a reflection of the Goodness that is in the Father. The... Read More
Posted by Fr Athanasios Haros at Sunday, November 28, 2021
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Happy Thanksgiving

We have many blessings as a Christian community. We have a beautiful Church. We have many supportive and loving members. We just celebrated our “Friendsgiving” with over 300 people last week. As individual families we also have many blessings. We have jobs despite our struggling economy. We have our health and we have food on our tables. We have a great deal for which to be thankful this year. I'm sure we can all agree. But HOW will we thank God for the blessing that He... Read More
Posted by Fr Athanasios Haros at Sunday, November 21, 2021
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Be the Good Samaritan

We’ve all been there before. We all remember in school how our teacher would help us remember that we already knew the answer to a question. With the wise guidance of our teacher, we all know how to search our minds and our hearts to find the right answer for a variety of questions. But no question is as important as, “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” (Luke 10.25) The Gospel tells us a story of a certain lawyer who wanted to test Jesus by asking a question for... Read More
Posted by Fr Athanasios Haros at Sunday, November 14, 2021
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Together as One

Last week, I was surprised by the Parish Council with a celebration of OUR five year anniversary. It was just five years ago that you received me as your new Dean. It seems like yesterday that we were meeting each other for the first time. Since that day five years ago, we have celebrated hundreds of liturgies together, laughed and cried together countless times, danced together, and even survived hurricanes together. Five years ago, I stood in front of you and promised that, together we would... Read More
Posted by Fr Athanasios Haros at Sunday, November 7, 2021
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Serving the Poor Helps YOU, not the Poor

In the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus (Luke 16.19-31) the un-named rich man was in the torment of Hell because he refused to serve the sick and poor man named Lazarus. Many times we think that it is the poor that benefit from our charity, but according to the Gospel, this is not the case. When we feed the hungry, their stomach might be filled, but it is our soul that fills with the love of God and enjoys unity with Him. As an alternative, when we refuse to help the poor, while their stomach... Read More
Posted by Fr Athanasios Haros at Sunday, October 31, 2021
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The Tradition of Spiritual Father

Many times I am approached by parishioners and even visitors with questions about faith and the Orthodox Christian way of life. Questions range from how and when to fast, how often to receive Holy Communion, and a large variety of questions about life choices. While I am always ready to have such conversations, I also understand that not everyone understands why we even bother to ask the priest such questions.   The tradition of spiritual father in the Church is as old as the church... Read More
Posted by Fr Athanasios Haros at Sunday, October 24, 2021
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We All Have Demons

We All Have Demons We have heard many Gospel stories of Jesus casting out the demons from within possessed people.  The man in today’s Gospel reading was possessed by many demons for a long time which forced him to live a terribly lonely, destructive, miserable life among the tombs.  Today, we may not experience demons the way they were described in the Bible.  We may not be possessed the way this man was.  But we all certainly have some demons that are preventing... Read More
Posted by Fr Theofanis Katsiklis at Sunday, October 24, 2021
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Don't Be Stingy with God's Message

In the Gospel we hear one of the great Parables of Our Lord about the “Sower.” This is the only parable where Christ also gives an explanation of the meaning of the parable. We are encouraged to be good fertile soil to allow the Word of God to take root in our hearts so that we can bear fruit with great abundance to the glory of God. There is another aspect to the parable that the Fathers of our Church bring to our attention. Saint John Chrysostom teaches, “For as... Read More
Posted by Fr Athanasios Haros at Sunday, October 17, 2021
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Be Devoted to Good Works

Be Devoted To Good Works In today’s Epistle Reading, Apostle Paul is emphasizing the importance of doing good deeds and helping others to do good deeds.  We might think that doing good deeds will bring us closer to God, but Paul tells us something different.  He is helping guide those who already have faith in the Lord, so that they will be devoted to doing good works.   But what does this really mean? We all already know that we should be doing good deeds throughout our... Read More
Posted by Fr Theofanis Katsiklis at Sunday, October 17, 2021
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A Resurrection Can Happen Today

A Resurrection Can Happen Today In today’s gospel we hear the story of a grieving widow at her son’s funeral.  During the funeral procession, Jesus approached the mother and said to her “Do not weep.”  He then resurrected the young man and gave him to his mother.  Thousands witnessed this miracle and glorified God.  My beloved brothers and sisters, the worst tragedy we can experience in our lives is the loss of a child.  It is an unimaginable... Read More
Posted by Fr Theofanis Katsiklis at Sunday, October 10, 2021
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The Importance of Religious Education

The Importance of Religious Education Today is the first day of Sunday School, so I thought it would be good to share with you my thoughts about the importance of religious education. It is something we all think and talk about, but unfortunately our conversation is often limited to Sunday School. And when we think about Sunday School, we normally think about children sitting in a classroom learning facts about God and the Church, much in the same way we learn about world history.   ... Read More
Posted by Fr Athanasios Haros at Sunday, October 10, 2021
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Beware What You Desire

Beware What You Desire   Today’s Gospel begins, “As you wish that men would do to you, do so to them.” (Luke 6.31) We know this as the Golden Rule, but it isn’t always a good thing. I know that at first this sounds the opposite, but it is true. How we behave to others, whether we want it or not, expresses how we want to be treated. That is, if we believe Christ in today’s Gospel.   I am blessed to hear many confessions from young and old. In these... Read More
Posted by Fr Athanasios Haros at Sunday, October 3, 2021
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Don't be afraid to ask for help

Don’t be afraid to ask for help Is sadness the same as sorrow?  My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ, the Epistle reading today gives us the opportunity to discuss the difference.  We may feel sadness in our daily lives.  Sadness is a feeling we get when we experience or witness something unhappy, or maybe when we feel like something just isn’t going quite right.  We can usually push through the sadness by overcoming whatever caused it.  Sorrow,... Read More
Posted by Fr Theofanis Katsiklis at Sunday, October 3, 2021
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Theology Matters

If you have ever had a discussion about religion with your friends, you know it can be very complicated to explain the difference between the human and divine nature of Jesus Christ. It is such a difficult topic, we have been arguing with the Oriental Orthodox for more than 1500 years. You may be tempted to say, “What does it matter if I believe in Jesus Christ?” It does matter, because the answer affects who God is. As of 2015 there were more than 45,000 denominations of... Read More
Posted by Fr Athanasios Haros at Sunday, September 26, 2021
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Love Casts Out Fear

Love Casts Out Fear! What is love? God is Love!  In the Epistle reading today, John teaches us about God’s perfect love.  John tells us that God will love us if we love Him and if we love each other.  And we all claim to love God and each other, but what does that really mean?  And do we love with the kind of love God is asking from us?   Love is not as simple as: I love you or I don’t love you.  In today’s society, the word love is... Read More
Posted by Fr Theofanis Katsiklis at Sunday, September 26, 2021
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Carry Your Cross

We are all faced with many obstacles throughout our lives.  We strive to be our best and to succeed in reaching our goals.  But how much are we really willing to work and fight to overcome all the difficulties we are faced with?  This is exactly what this Sunday’s gospel is about.  The Lord said “If anyone wishes to come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” These words are read to us at our baptism as we begin our lives as... Read More
Posted by Fr Theofanis Katsiklis at Sunday, September 19, 2021
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It's Time for a Change

It’s Time for a Change Sometimes in life we have to change the way we look at things. This is true not only in the arrangement of furniture in the Den, but our spiritual lives and September is an excellent opportunity to do this. When we look differently at our furniture sometimes we see things we never noticed before; and sometimes this can be a scratch in the sofa or a stain in the carpet. Whenever we take the chance to look at things from a different angle we are able to... Read More
Posted by Fr Athanasios Haros at Sunday, September 5, 2021
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The Price of Pride

Today we are honoring the gruesome martyrdom of “the greatest man ever born of a woman,” (Matthew 11.11) as a warning against pride and greed. John the Baptist stood as a bold and public defender of truth and morality when he reminded Herod, "It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife." (Mark 6.18) Later as Herodias’ daughter danced for Herod, he was so taken by her beauty that he swore to give her anything she wanted. Since it was Herodias that Herod... Read More
Posted by Fr Athanasios Haros at Sunday, August 29, 2021
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Why are we fasting today?

Why are we fasting today?   This Sunday, August 29th, we mourn the beheading of the Holy and Glorious Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist John.  This feast day is a strict fast day, which usually means no oil, wine, meat, fish or dairy.  There is some exception today, because it is Sunday, we are allowed oil and wine.  There are additional fasting traditions throughout the Orthodox world which help Christians remember and grieve the violent death of St. John the... Read More
Posted by Fr Theofanis Katsiklis at Sunday, August 29, 2021
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Why the Church has Services

It happens all the time. “Father, I saw there was church last night. What holiday was it?” Sometimes there was no holiday at all, but there were services in the Cathedral. I understand this can be confusing, so this week, I will answer the question, “Why does the Church have so many services?”   Ever since God commanded Moses to build the Temple, the House of God has been at the center of life for the People of God. The priests of the Temple, following... Read More
Posted by Fr Athanasios Haros at Sunday, August 22, 2021
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You Are God’s Temple

“Your body is a temple.” I’m sure most of you have heard this saying before, but have you thought about how important it truly is?  When we hear this saying, most times we think of our physical health.  Someone is always telling you not to smoke, or not to eat that chocolate cake because your body is a temple and you should take care of it.  Don’t fill your body with poisons because the damage done to your body is many times irreversible.  It is true... Read More
Posted by Fr Theofanis Katsiklis at Sunday, August 22, 2021
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It isn’t about Being Busy

In every Feast of the Theotokos, we hear the same Gospel lesson. We hear the story of Martha and Mary, two sisters who hosted Jesus Christ in their home for dinner. When Jesus arrived, Mary ran to meet him while her sister Martha remained working in the kitchen. While Mary sat at the feet of Christ listening to His every word, Martha grew more frustrated that she had been left to work alone in the kitchen.   She complained, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left... Read More
Posted by Fr Athanasios Haros at Sunday, August 15, 2021
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It’s cool to be “All In”

As our children get older, it becomes harder and harder for them to find a balance in their lives between what is the cool thing to do and what is the right thing to do.  Even as adults, we face the same problem in our daily lives trying to balance what we should be doing with what brings us more success or fame.  While we were at the Diakonia Center summer camp last week, many of the campers had this question: “How can we be cool and look cool but at the same time be humble and... Read More
Posted by Fr Theofanis Katsiklis at Sunday, August 15, 2021
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Open Your Eyes

It seems like every time we hear about Jesus healing someone in the Holy Scriptures there are two types of people watching the miracle. There are those who love God and see the miracle as a gift of His grace, and those who for some reason refuse to accept what their eyes see. In each of these stories, we are invited by the Church to make a choice. Will we open our eyes to see God’s love, or will we remain blind to His grace. In today’s Gospel, as Jesus was walking, two blind men... Read More
Posted by Fr Athanasios Haros at Sunday, August 8, 2021
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Forgiveness and Healing

One day our Lord was traveling to His own city and a paralytic was brought to Him. Instead of healing the man from his illness, Christ dared to say, “Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven.” (Matthew 9.2) In return for this great gift the crowd accused Christ of blasphemy. Can you imagine a group of people worrying more about physical health than the forgiveness of sin? Fortunately for the crowd, Christ loved them enough to provide what they needed to believe in Him.... Read More
Posted by Fr Athanasios Haros at Sunday, August 1, 2021
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“You are the light of the world”

“You are the light of the world” In this past week, on July 12th, we celebrated the feast day of Saint Paisios the Athonite of Mount Athos (1924-1994).  He is the newest saint of our Church, canonized on January 13, 2015 by the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.  Elder Paisios was a humble monastic who lived most of his life in Mount Athos helping others.  Throughout his life, tens of thousands of people visited him asking for healing and guidance in their... Read More
Posted by Fr Theofanis Katsiklis at Sunday, July 18, 2021
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Keep the Light On

Keep The Light On Today’s gospel shows us how to keep the light of Christ in our lives.  We have all heard the saying: “Our eyes are the windows to our soul.”  Today, Jesus explains the importance of our inner light and how we can achieve and maintain it.  How many times have you seen someone, and just by the look in their eyes, you knew something was wrong?  Or the opposite: you saw someone glowing with joy for no specific reason.  It is this inner... Read More
Posted by Fr Theofanis Katsiklis at Sunday, July 11, 2021
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Answer His Call

Jesus saw Peter and Andrew fishing and said, “Follow Me.”  They immediately left their lives and followed Him.  He then saw James and John and also called out to them.  They too went with Him without hesitation.  These four men, the first disciples of Jesus, were called by the Lord to serve the Him, spread the word of God, and to help His people.  When the Lord calls upon you, will you be willing to answer His call? Jesus does not discriminate when He... Read More
Posted by Fr Theofanis Katsiklis at Sunday, July 4, 2021
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Yes...you are called to be a Saint

Today is the Feast of All Saints, the day on which the Orthodox Church celebrates all those who dedicated their lives to Christ, whether we know their name or not. Today we honor those holy men and women, no matter their social status, no matter their wealth, no matter their rank, no matter their race. Today we are called to something beyond the worldly categories. Today we are called to be saints, and live our lives as those who are honored today. It is too easy to dismiss sainthood with,... Read More
Posted by Fr Athanasios Haros at Sunday, June 27, 2021
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The Saints Among Us

“Many that are first will be last, and the last first.”  This is what The Lord said to His disciples, but what does it mean? Before we answer this question, we must first ask ourselves: “What does it mean to be a good Christian?”  The answer may not be as simple as just be a good person and follow the rules.  We might think we have reserved a place in Heaven simply because we believe we haven’t done anything wrong.  Well, that’s not... Read More
Posted by Fr Theofanis Katsiklis at Sunday, June 27, 2021
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Learn the right language

How can we spread the word of God if we do not understand each other?  Fifty days after Passover, the Apostles were gathered together to celebrate the Jewish Feast of Pentecost, which at the time was a big harvest festival, the Festival of Weeks.  Then suddenly, during the celebration, a loud sound filled the room: “the rush of a mighty wind.”  And tongues of fire appeared and one lay on top of the head of each Apostle.  In that instant, the Holy Spirit gave... Read More
Posted by Fr Theofanis Katsiklis at Sunday, June 20, 2021
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The Gift of Truth

It has been fifty days since we celebrated the Resurrection of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The Feast of Pentecost today for us is the celebration of the Descent of the Holy Spirit to the Holy Apostles and the Church. We learn about the feast in chapter two of the Acts of the Apostles. The Holy Apostles were gathered together in Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came upon them as tongues of fire, but what were the Holy Apostles celebrating on Pentecost if... Read More
Posted by Fr Athanasios Haros at Sunday, June 20, 2021
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United to God

A few days ago, the Church celebrated the Great Feast of the Ascension of Our Lord and Savior Jesus, the day that Christ returned to His Heavenly Throne forty days after His Glorious Resurrection. I was blessed last year to visit the spot believed to be where Christ ascended which made a profound impression on my faith. In fact, on every stop during my pilgrimage to the Holy Lands last year, I was constantly reminded in a tangible way that we are united to God physically, not just spiritually.... Read More
Posted by Fr Athanasios Haros at Sunday, June 13, 2021
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We Believe in One God

This Sunday is the Sixth Sunday after Pascha, the Sunday of the Holy Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council.  This week we remember and celebrate the day that St. Constantine gathered 318 Fathers of our Church in Nicaea in 325 A.D., to discuss the issues threatening the unity of the Church.  The biggest issue was the threat and heresy of Arianism.  Arius, a priest in Alexandria, began to speak against Jesus, claiming that He was not equal to God. Jesus was just His son, a lesser... Read More
Posted by Fr Theofanis Katsiklis at Sunday, June 13, 2021
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Blindness

There was a time, many years ago, when I was graduating from high school that I thought I knew everything about life. Then as I grew older, I realized that at 20 I thought I knew everything, then again at 30 and 40 I always figured, “NOW I know everything!” Now in my 50’s I’m realizing I still have much to learn. What I thought I knew when I was 20, 30, and 40, was just the beginning. I was blind to my own ignorance, and I am thankful to God that He has opened my eyes.... Read More
Posted by Fr Athanasios Haros at Sunday, June 6, 2021
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Sing Loud!

Sing Loud! In the Epistle reading this Sunday, we are again shown the power of God. Apostle Paul and Silas were traveling in Philippi, spreading the word of God, when they met a slave girl who had a “spirit of divination.” In Greek, before translation, she had pneuma pythonos, directly meaning the spirit of the python. The python was the symbol of the prophetesses at the oracle of Apollo at Delphi.  The slave girl followed Paul and Silas around, telling everyone that they... Read More
Posted by Fr Theofanis Katsiklis at Sunday, June 6, 2021
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Escape is not the solution

Escape is not the solution The Samaritan woman in Sunday’s gospel, at first, was trying to escape from the difficulties in her life. But this time, when Jesus approached her, the Samaritan woman did not feel shame or try to hide the truth of her sins.  Instead, when Jesus revealed to her the details of her life, she was so excited to find out to who she was talking to. But why was she so excited? Because she was thirsty for the truth and for salvation. This is why Jesus started to... Read More
Posted by Fr Theofanis Katsiklis at Sunday, May 30, 2021
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Looking to the Future

It is hard to imagine that just one year ago we reopened the Cathedral for public worship after being closed for nearly three months. Everything seemed strange that day, while at the same time being familiar. We were back in the Church, but life had changed due the pandemic. Looking back on that day, I recall the emotions I felt turning around during Divine Liturgy and blessing ACTUAL people rather than a camera. It was a good feeling. Today one year later, things are slowly getting back to... Read More
Posted by Fr Athanasios Haros at Friday, May 28, 2021
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We Have THE Man to Help Us

During Holy Week we heard Pontius Pilate, when he had given Christ over to be crucified, say to the people, “Behold the Man,” (John 19.5) and they took and He was crucified, ultimately saving us from death. In this simple phrase, unknowingly Pilate offered each of us a solution and an example. Christ is THE Man, the perfect human example for us to live our life in sacrifice for each the salvation of others, and in total harmony with the will of God. Things are a bit different for... Read More
Posted by Fr Athanasios Haros at Sunday, May 23, 2021
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Do you believe in miracles?

Do you believe in miracles? The Apostle Peter traveled around the villages from Jerusalem and beyond, where the first Christian communities had formed. He supported them and provided spiritual guidance. When he visited Lydda, he met a paralyzed man named Aeneas.  Naturally, St. Peter felt compassion for him and sensing Aeneas’ faith, he said to him: “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you; rise and make your bed.” Aeneas immediately rose and was healed. Through the power of... Read More
Posted by Fr Theofanis Katsiklis at Sunday, May 23, 2021
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2nd Sunday after Pascha

This Sunday we are celebrating the Second Sunday after Pascha.  We remember and celebrate the brave myrrh-bearing women.  The myrrh-bearing women we know of were the most Holy Virgin Mary, Mary Magdalene, Joanna the wife of Chouza the Commissioner of King Herod, Mary the wife of Cleopas, Salome the mother of the Apostles James and John, Mary and Martha the sisters of Lazarus, and Susanna.  These were very brave women.  They were with Jesus throughout His life.  They... Read More
Posted by Fr Theofanis Katsiklis at Saturday, May 15, 2021
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The Resurrection didn’t “Just Happen”

As Orthodox Christians we spent ten weeks preparing our souls for the Feast of Feasts we call Pascha, the Resurrection of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Week after week the Church asked us to consider a life of repentance, a life of prayer, a life of forgiveness, a life of sacrifice, a life of constant preparation to encounter Christ. Week after week, the Church invited us to rededicate our lives not only to thinking about Christ, but to living united to Him in communion with Him. All... Read More
Posted by Fr Athanasios Haros at Friday, May 14, 2021
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A Mother’s Love

A Mother’s Love   Happy Mother’s Day! In the gospel reading this Saturday, we are told the story of when Mary saw Jesus on the cross. John, one of Jesus’ disciples, took Mary, the mother of Jesus; her sister; Mary, the wife of Clopas; and Mary Magdalene to Jesus.  Jesus tells his mother “Here is your son,” referring to John.  And he tells John “Here is your mother,” referring to His mother.  At that moment, Jesus is telling them... Read More
Posted by Fr Theofanis Katsiklis at Monday, May 10, 2021
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Keep the Flame Bright

Only one week ago, we were sitting in the darkness when the Church invited us to “Come receive the Light! Δεῦτε λάβετε φῶς!” One by one, we lit our candles and the Cathedral was filled with the Light of Christ. As the night went on, again one by one, we went home carefully holding our lit candles to bring the Light into our home and bless our home. It seems like so long ago when we began our... Read More
Posted by Fr Athanasios Haros at Sunday, May 9, 2021
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Time for a Pilgrimage

Today is Palm Sunday, the day the Church commemorates the Triumphant Entrance into Jerusalem of Our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ. Today marks the beginning of His final journey for our salvation. Today He begins His final pilgrimage to Golgotha. The idea of pilgrimage is ancient as the first books of the Old Testament. Ever since God established His relationship with people, human beings have participated in spiritual pilgrimages. In the ancient world, people would travel days,... Read More
Posted by Fr Athanasios Haros at Sunday, April 25, 2021
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Saturday of Lazarus

Saturday of Lazarus On this Saturday before Holy week, we remember the miracle of the resurrection of Lazarus.  When Lazarus was very ill, his sisters Martha and Mary sent word to Jesus, hoping that He would come quickly to heal His close friend, Lazarus. But Jesus waited two days before beginning His journey and then said to His disciples, “Let us go into Judea that I might awake My friend who sleepeth.” His disciples did not know that Lazarus had already passed away, and... Read More
Posted by Fr Theofanis Katsiklis at Saturday, April 24, 2021
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The Tradition of Lazarakia

The Tradition of Making Lazarakia We make Lazarakia, or little Lazarus breads, to honor the miracle of resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  It is a tradition that began in Cyprus because after his resurrection, Lazarus traveled to Cyprus and became the first bishop there.  These little Lenten breads, or cookies, are made in the shape of a man with his arms crossed and eyes decorated with cloves, to look like Lazarus wrapped in his funeral shroud.  Some Lazarakia... Read More
Posted by Fr Theofanis Katsiklis at Friday, April 23, 2021
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Keeping the Proper Perspective

Today is the final Sunday of Great Lent, and the Church continues to teach us about Christian humility within the proper context. As Christ was preparing His Disciples to understand what was soon about to happen in Jerusalem, rather than acknowledging the great blessing they were receiving, they could only think about themselves. The Disciples had just been told, in clear concise language, that Jesus was the Son of Man, that He was going to be betrayed, judged, mocked, beaten, condemned,... Read More
Posted by Fr Athanasios Haros at Sunday, April 18, 2021
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Saint Mary of Egypt

On the fifth Sunday in Lent we remember Saint Mary of Egypt. She was a sinner, publicly known, a temptation and a scandal to men. One day she came to a church and she felt that she couldn’t enter it.  There was some miraculous force that was preventing her from entering.  She realized that it was all her sins that were keeping her out. This was her wake-up call. All her past was darkness, and she knew only one way to get out of it. She needed to shake off all the evil and to... Read More
Posted by Fr Theofanis Katsiklis at Saturday, April 17, 2021
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