Blog

January 16, 2021 - Reflections from Father Simeon

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, It is interesting to note that Saturday’s Gospel Reading (John 21:14-25) is mistranslated. What the Greek actually says is the following: At that time, Jesus revealed himself to his disciples after he was raised from the dead, and he said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?" He said to him "Yes, Lord; you know that I'm your friend." He said to him, "Feed my lambs." A second time... Read More
Posted by Fr Simeon Pardalis at Saturday, January 16, 2021
Share |

Are You Prepared to Share Your Light?

Last week, after months of preparations and weeks of negotiations with city and county officials, our parish once again celebrated the Feast of Lights, the Theophany of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Even in the midst of a pandemic when such celebrations were cancelled throughout the country, we came together, albeit much fewer of us, and prayed for God’s Light to shine upon the world. The eyes of the world were watching to see, not only if we followed the pandemic rules, but to watch... Read More
Posted by Fr Athanasios Haros at Sunday, January 10, 2021
Share |

January 9, 2021 Reflection from Father Simeon

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, In today's Gospel Reading the Devil attacks Christ directly as he know that Jesus of Nazareth was and is the Messiah. Plus, had the Devil gone with the intent to tempt Christ secretly, Christ being God incarnate, who had created all things including the devil before his fall from Heaven, would have looked right at the devil and the devil would have had no to place to hide. But with us, the devil and or his demons, comes in secret and uses deceit to... Read More
Posted by Fr Simeon Pardalis at Saturday, January 9, 2021
Share |

New Year's Resolutions!

This week is the week that everyone focuses on improving something about life in the New Year. As clocks hit midnight all across the globe last week, good intentioned men and women rushed to confirm New Year resolutions. Of course many if not most if not all New Year resolutions end up in the garbage pail by the end of the first week of the New Year, but that didn’t stop millions across the globe for faithfully committing to improving their life this year. By no means am I against... Read More
Posted by Fr Athanasios Haros at Sunday, January 3, 2021
Share |

January 2, 2021 Father Simeon Reflection

St. John the Baptist and Forerunner came out of the Wilderness of the Holy Land preaching that the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. We should look at this prophetic statement carefully. He does not say that the Messiah or Christ is coming. He does not say that the King of Israel was born and has now reached the age of maturity (which at that time was considered roughly about 33 years of age). He says the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. In the Gospels the phrases Kingdom of God and Kingdom of Heaven... Read More
Posted by Fr Simeon Pardalis at Saturday, January 2, 2021
Share |

We Can Learn from our Ancestors

On the Sunday before Christmas the Church commemorates the earthly ancestors of Christ from Abraham to Joseph. The long list of names brings into our mind not only the righteous men and women of the Old Testament, but their spiritual struggles as well. The hearing of Christ’s ancestors, which are our ancestors, is never just an exercise in biblical knowledge. Today’s commemorations have a purpose. First of all we know they were real human beings, not just literary... Read More
Posted by Fr Athanasios Haros at Sunday, December 20, 2020
Share |

December 19, 2020 Reflections from Father Simeon

The Jewish Historian Flavius Josephus in his Antiquities of the Jews, tells us that Adam, the first man, had prophesied that the world would be destroyed twice, once by water and once again by fire. But Adam did not make it clear which would happen first, the fire or the water. So the Ancients, Josephus tells us, built two monuments to preserve all of their knowledge. The first monument, in Egypt, was built of stone and was designed to survive should the world be destroyed with a Flood.... Read More
Posted by Fr Simeon Pardalis at Saturday, December 19, 2020
Share |

The Invitation from God is Freely Given - December 13, 2020

The Invitation from God is Freely Given and Should be Freely Accepted One of the most difficult things about living the Christian life is free will, not our free will, but the free will of others. It isn’t difficult to exercise our free will. We do that every time we leave the house. But when we are expected to honor the free will of others, it can be incredibly difficult. It could mean, and often does, that people will behave in ways that we do not want. It could mean, and often does,... Read More
Posted by Fr Athanasios Haros at Sunday, December 13, 2020
Share |

December 12, 2020 Reflections from Father Simeon

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, Saturday's Reading from the Gospel of John quoted our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ as having said that "... the good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep" (John 10:11). In another place the same Gospel also quotes the Lord as having said that, "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends" (John 15:13). This is who Christ is to us, He is our True Shepherd, who is our True... Read More
Posted by Fr Simeon Pardalis at Saturday, December 12, 2020
Share |

Don’t Allow Your ‘Christmas Preparations’ to Stop You from Preparing for Christmas

The so-called Christmas Season for many can be weeks of anxiety, guilt, gluttony, depression, and all-around hectic atmosphere. Have you asked yourself why it has to be this way? The answer is simple yet profound. We normally spend the weeks leading up to Christmas shopping, cleaning, decorating, going over our ‘to do lists’ and in a constant state of panic that we won’t get everything accomplished in time for Christmas (at this point) a WHOLE TWO WEEKS away. ... Read More
Posted by Fr Athanasios Haros at Sunday, December 6, 2020
Share |

December 5, 2020 Reflections from Father Simeon

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, It is easier to do good than it is to do evil. It is a lie of the evil one that it is easier to give up to his temptations. But there are two ways to do good, one way is on our own and the other way is with God. Since something broke when humanity fell in paradise, and again when we fell personally for the first time (I.e. when we commit our first sin), things do not work correctly as they should and thus it is extremely difficult to do good deeds on our... Read More
Posted by Fr Simeon Pardalis at Saturday, December 5, 2020
Share |

We Need Help

When we are young children it is easy for us to acknowledge we need our parents. One of the realities of growing up into adults is learning that we no longer need our parents for everything, and eventually realizing standing on our own. We start families and we enjoy professional carriers. Every now and then we encounter a situation for which we need help. Whether it be a health issue, a legal issue, or any number of personal relationship issues, as adults we appreciate that there are... Read More
Posted by Fr Athanasios Haros at Sunday, November 29, 2020
Share |

November 28, 2020 Reflections from Father Simeon

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, Somethings must be said about this Saturday's Epistle and Gospel. Saturday's Epistle, from Apostle Paul to the Galatians, warns us against about receiving, accepting or presenting a false version of the Gospel. Saturday's Gospel, from Apostle Luke, rejoices though for the one who has received the correct Gospel as if they were young children or babes. How can we, through our behavior, preach a false Gospel? By not following the commandments... Read More
Posted by Fr Simeon Pardalis at Saturday, November 28, 2020
Share |

Give Thanks unto the Lord

This week on the mind of every American is whether or not to gather for a celebration on Thanksgiving Day. The spreading of the pandemic in recent weeks has created a new dilemma for politicians and Church leaders. Should we gather or should we stay home this year for Thanksgiving? Each and every Divine Liturgy is a Feast of Thanksgiving in the Orthodox Church, whether or not it is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November. As Orthodox Christians we gather, as our ancestors gathered... Read More
Posted by Fr Athanasios Haros at Sunday, November 22, 2020
Share |

November 21, 2020 Reflections from Father Simoen

The Three Choices in Life: Good, Evil, and God's Will Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, There are always three or more choices in life, but the Enemy who is the Father of all lies (John 8:44), does his utmost to only let you see the two choices. He shows us two options, two extremes: to do good entirely on our own or to give up and do his will. Christ God tells us clearly that without Him, we can do nothing [good] on our own (John 15:5). We live in and are born in a fallen... Read More
Posted by Fr Simeon Pardalis at Saturday, November 21, 2020
Share |

And who is my Neighbor?

The Gospel tells of a certain lawyer who “stood up and tested” Jesus trying to trick Him. He asked a question many of us ask either directly or in the secret of our prayers, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” (Luke 10.25) Our contemporary society seems to be preoccupied with this question. In hospital waiting rooms every day, family members of terminally ill patients are asking doctors, “What can we do to save his life?” Hundreds of millions... Read More
Posted by Fr Athanasios Haros at Sunday, November 15, 2020
Share |

November 14, 2020 Reflections from Father Simeon

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, Saturday, November 14th, is the day before the 40-day fast of Christmas. On this day we also we celebrate the memory of our Holy Apostle Philip. Apostle Philip was called by our Lord just after Apostle Peter. As we are told in the Holy Gospel of John, Philip was from the same city as the Apostles Andrew and Peter; Bethsaida. (John 1: 43) Philip started his Apostleship even before our Lord send him and the other Apostles to preach the Good News! He... Read More
Posted by Fr Simeon Pardalis at Saturday, November 14, 2020
Share |

Change Your Expectations of God

In our daily prayers, many times we ask God for a variety of blessings. The blessings we ask from God have a wide range, from relationship issues to employment issues to physical issues, all in need of healing. These issues are very personal to us, and as the saying goes, we know what we want. We go to God in prayer, hoping and sometimes even expecting, to receive exactly what we want from God. And as the saying goes, you can’t always have what you want.  In the Gospel for 7th... Read More
Posted by Fr Athanasios Haros at Sunday, November 8, 2020
Share |

November 7, 2020 Reflections from Father Simeon

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,  The Daily Readings of the Gospel and Epistle and even the readings from the night before for Vespers, are all interconnected and combined are a centralized teaching that the Church Fathers wanted to present to us. Saturday morning's Epistle and Gospel are an excellent example of this. The Epistle, for Saturday, teaches us the concept that "So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please..." our Lord Jesus Christ (2... Read More
Posted by Fr Simeon Pardalis at Saturday, November 7, 2020
Share |

The World Needs More UNmercenaries

Today the Orthodox Church commemorates the memory of the Saints Cosmas and Damian, the Unmercenaries. Trained in medicine, they treated people FREE OF CHARGE in the NAME OF CHRIST. In today’s political environment it has become almost second nature to hear someone speak about the need for universal health care. For sure the cost of healthcare in our nation has gotten out of control with premiums so high that many families hold down a second job JUST for health insurance, and if the... Read More
Posted by Fr Athanasios Haros at Sunday, November 1, 2020
Share |

What is truth?

“What is truth?” Is a question that many have asked. Christ has given us the exact definition of Truth, Himself (John 14:6). The Truth is not something that belongs to us. We cannot own truth. The only way to have some ownership of the Truth is by sharing it with others. The Truth is the Light of Christ that we cannot hide under a basket (Luke 8:16) as Saturday’s Gospel Reading tells us. If we hide an open flame under a basket, the basket will catch flame. In the same way, we... Read More
Posted by Fr Simeon Pardalis at Saturday, October 31, 2020
Share |

Don’t Allow Greed to Send Christ Away

After Jesus cast out legion demons from someone, the demons entered a herd of swine. As a reaction to having the demons enter, the entire herd ran off a cliff and drowned. The demons were so violent and oppressive, the swine just couldn’t handle the presence of so many demons. Demons have a nasty effect on people, but there is always a limit to their abilities. During the exorcism prayers of every baptism, the Church recalls this Gospel story, as the demons are cast out of the... Read More
Posted by Fr Athanasios Haros at Sunday, October 25, 2020
Share |

God is Speaking to You

It is a fairly common question especially when we are struggling with something in our lives. “Is God speaking to me? If He is, why can’t I understand? Why can’t this struggle end? Why can’t I change?” In our struggle, when we can’t seem to hear God, we presume the answer to these questions is, “No. God is not speaking, He isn’t even listening to me.” There is nothing that could be further from the truth. In the Gospel lesson for today we... Read More
Posted by Fr Athanasios Haros at Sunday, October 11, 2020
Share |

When You Least Expect It

If you’re like me, you spend every day wondering what the future has in store for you. If you’re like me, you spend a great deal of energy planning for a future you want, but acknowledge may never actually happen. If you’re like me, every now and then, you look up to heaven and ask, “When Lord, when?” If you’re like me, the answer eventually comes when you least expect it. That is one of the many lessons of the Gospel today. God has a great opportunity... Read More
Posted by Fr Athanasios Haros at Sunday, September 27, 2020
Share |

What Have We Learned from the Pandemic

The past six months have been quite a struggle for us, both our Cathedral Community, and for us as citizens in general. Whether we agree with one side or the other about the proper precautions and safety measures put in place by the Church, or our local, State and Federal governments, one thing is certain; we have been forced to place the needs of others before our own. In the Gospel for the Sunday after the Holy Cross we hear Christ’s invitation to the Chrstian struggle.... Read More
Posted by Fr Athanasios Haros at Sunday, September 20, 2020
Share |

How Does the Church Grow?

The Gospels are filled with moments when Jesus warned the Jews that if they were not willing to bear fruit for God, He would remove them from the Church, and invite others to enter the Kingdom. As Christians, we are thankful that God has invited us to enter into His Church to become the New Israel, and receive the adoption as sons and daughters of God. But we should be careful not to become too comfortable with our entrance into the Church. In the Parable of the Vineyard (Matthew... Read More
Posted by Fr Athanasios Haros at Sunday, September 6, 2020
Share |

When God Loves

On the Sunday before Holy Cross, the Church again reminds us of God’s love, and the great sacrifice that love exemplifies. On this Sunday we hear what is arguably the most quoted verse of the New Testament. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3.16) We see this quote in the stands at all sorts of sporting events, in crowds, on highways, just about anywhere we see people... Read More
Posted by Fr Athanasios Haros at Sunday, September 6, 2020
Share |

End of Summer; End of Self

September 1st is the first day of the New Ecclesiastical Year, and with it a sense of newness. A new calendar, a new series of Gospel lessons, a new cycle of Feast of Christ and the Theotokos, but most of all it brings us a sense of reflection on the end, not of summer but of our time on earth. The Gospel lessons at the end of summer are filled with reference to the end of time, the kingdom of heaven, and eternal life. “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal... Read More
Posted by Fr Athanasios Haros at Sunday, August 30, 2020
Share |

Forgiveness Demands Forgiveness

The Gospel lessons we hear each Sunday don’t often include Christ’s direct warnings about the future judgement. More often we hear the Lord teach in parables, as He does today, but the lesson is often left in poetic terms for our hearts to peel back the layers of the parable to determine which part is for our inspiration. Today’s lesson is different because it ends with a very clear warning from Christ, “So My heavenly Father also will do to you, if each of you,... Read More
Posted by Fr Athanasios Haros at Sunday, August 23, 2020
Share |

Faith Requires Time to Grow

When faced with not being able to heal a man of a demon, the Apostles “came to Jesus privately and said, ‘Why could we not cast it out?’” His answer was a rebuke of their faith. “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move.” (Matthew 17.19-20) A mustard seed is among the smallest seeds, but in time it produces a... Read More
Posted by Fr Athanasios Haros at Sunday, August 16, 2020
Share |

The Eye of the Storm

Living in Florida we know the meaning of the eye of the storm, that calm moment when a hurricane passes directly overhead. Surrounded by sometimes horrific conditions, the eye is that brief moment when we can catch our breath, sometimes literally, before the storm returns. I think maybe that might have been the experience of St Peter in today’s Gospel lesson. We hear the story each year around this time, fittingly during hurricane season, so we have become familiar with the... Read More
Posted by Fr Athanasios Haros at Sunday, August 9, 2020
Share |

What Keeps You Up at Night?

What Keeps You Up at Night? It is a common problem. We retire to sleep, only to lay there with our minds panicked about the next day. The unresolved issues of the past day combined with the anticipated obstacles of the next, cause us to toss and turn all night long, barely getting enough sleep to think we ever closed our eyes. We did of course, then only to set the stage for a night filled with anxious dreams. The morning comes only to remind us of the stress of yet another day, and... Read More
Posted by Fr Athanasios Haros at Sunday, June 28, 2020
Share |

A New Way of Thinking

As Jesus was beginning His public ministry, He called upon several individuals to follow Him. These men we know as His Disciples and Apostles. Each of them had unique talents they had received from God, and each of them had personally been praying and preparing for the arrival of the Messiah. When Jesus called them, they immediately dropped what they were doing and followed Him, sometimes even leaving their family behind. Some of these men were fishermen, and in calling them, Jesus... Read More
Posted by Fr Athanasios Haros at Sunday, June 14, 2020
Share |

In the World but not Of the World

Today is the Sunday of All Saints, the day which the Church commemorates all the holy men and women, known and unknown, that have lived lives dedicated to God. The saints and the Saints, all have one thing in common. They all lived in the world but did not live according to the ways of the world. That is the definition of the word, “holy.” To be holy, based on the Greek word άγιος (agios) means to be “not of the earth.” How can this be when... Read More
Posted by Fr Athanasios Haros at Sunday, June 14, 2020
Share |

Rivers of Living Water

When our Lord stood up on Pentecost before His Passion, He declared, “He who believes in Me, as the scripture has said, out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water.” (John 7.38) He was speaking about the Holy Spirit, which we as Orthodox Christians believe we received at our baptism. We also believe the Holy Spirit has been guiding the Church “into all truth.” (John 16.13) Today, the Feast of Pentecost is the celebration of the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the... Read More
Posted by Fr Athanasios Haros at Sunday, June 7, 2020
Share |

The Promise of Unity

Shortly before our Lord was crucified, He prayed to the Father, “I am praying for them; I am not praying for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Mine; all Mine are Yours, and yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them. And now I am no more in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to You. Holy Father keep them in Your name, which You have given Me, that they may be one, even as we are one.” (John 17.9-11)   This promise for unity from... Read More
Posted by Fr Athanasios Haros at Sunday, May 31, 2020
Share |

Blinded by Judgment

One day Jesus encountered a man who had been born blind. Before healing this man, Jesus had a discussion with his disciples. They wanted to know if he was born blind because maybe he sinned in the womb, or maybe his parents had sinned. Christ says, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed.” (John 9.3) After the man had been healed, the conversation shifted to the crowd of witnesses. They couldn’t believe their eyes, so they brought... Read More
Posted by Fr Athanasios Haros at Sunday, May 24, 2020
Share |

Now it is Our Turn

When Our Lord Jesus Christ spoke with a woman named Photini at Jacob’s Well, He lowered Himself on more than one level. First, she was a Samaritan, and second, she was a woman. “For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans,” (John 4.9) and it was unheard of in those days for men to meet with women in this way. In this encounter we see the love of God put into action through condescension. He lowered Himself to her level, but He never changed who He was. Instead, He began the... Read More
Posted by Fr Athanasios Haros at Sunday, May 17, 2020
Share |

Honoring Motherhood

Each year on Mothers’ Day, we honor the women who bring life into the world. These women, our mothers, sisters, daughters, cousins, and friends possess a unique and God-given power to become co-creators with Him and bring all human life into the world. Without motherhood, we would be lost. Without motherhood, we would not know love. Through the God-given stewardship of motherhood and by example, our mothers teach us to love one another, to sacrifice for each other, to serve each other,... Read More
Posted by Fr Athanasios Haros at Sunday, May 10, 2020
Share |

It Takes Courage

On the third Sunday of Pascha, known as the Sunday of the Myrrhbearing Women we commemorate not just the ministry of women, but the joy that comes from courage. In the Gospel for this Sunday, we hear two stories about courage and faith. In the first story, Joseph of Arimathea takes up his courage and requests the body of Jesus from Pilate. Joseph was a wealthy man that was willing to risk his prestige and wealth to bury the body of His Lord. He was rewarded by God, and Pilate... Read More
Posted by Fr Athanasios Haros at Friday, May 1, 2020
Share |

Christ is Risen! Don't Waste It

Last week at the AGAPE Vespers, which we celebrated on Pascha morning, we heard the story of when Christ first appeared to His Disciples after His Resurrection. While they were gathered, locked in a room by themselves “for fear of the Jews,” Christ appeared to them. We too were, not quite locked up but, in our homes for fear of a virus. Unfortunately, Saint Thomas was not present to see Christ for Himself, so he refused to believe the word of his friends, the other Disciples. ... Read More
Posted by Fr Athanasios Haros at Tuesday, April 28, 2020
Share |

An Important Message from the Parish Council President

Dear Parishioners,  As we approach the most important and joyous celebration of our Lord's resurrection, we must also endure our greatest challenge since World War II.    As our parents and grandparents survived and kept our Holy Orthodox Church viable, we must also do the same. Our enemy is an invisible one, thus making our fight a difficult one.    We must be prepared to sacrifice. This Pascha will be one we have never experienced before. We... Read More
at Tuesday, April 14, 2020
Share |

Pascha 2020 Message from Fr Athanasios

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in the Risen Lord, Christ is Risen! The past several weeks have been stressful on everyone, not just in our Cathedral Community, but throughout the globe. The current global situaiton has truly shaken humanity to its core. We are daily, sometimes more than once per day, being expected to react to news from our political leaders. This has created additional stress for us as we attempt to plan for the holiest season of the year. Great Lent this... Read More
Posted by Fr Athanasios Haros at Saturday, April 11, 2020
Share |

What does it mean to be great?

When Saint James and Saint John, the Apostles of Christ, ask Jesus to honor their commitment with special seats in heaven Jesus said, “Whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all.” (Mark 10.33-34) He said this to show the difference between how the world acts toward others as opposed to how God wants us to act toward others. We Christians are not supposed to desire seats of honor. We Christians are not... Read More
Posted by Fr Athanasios Haros at Sunday, April 5, 2020
Share |

Unexpected Benefit

I’ve been a priest for thirteen years, a clergyman for fifteen, and worked for the Church for nearly twenty-seven years. In all my years in Church work, one common frustration I hear is, “Between work and the kids’ schedules, I don’t have enough time to pray like the Church wants.” During Great Lent, the Church invites us to get more intense in our spiritual struggle. We are asked to go to Church more, say our prayers more, fast more, and help other people more.... Read More
Posted by Fr Athanasios Haros at Sunday, March 29, 2020
Share |

Today is About History AND Faith

The Church has never been afraid of history. History is filled with happy events as well as sorrowful events, but it cannot be unwritten or changed. As human beings, we study history to learn of our past and to improve our future, as the old saying goes, “He who does not know history is doomed to repeat it.” Church history is important not only so we can avoid repeating the “bad parts”, but so that we can emphasize the good parts. Today is one of those days. The first... Read More
Posted by Fr Athanasios Haros at Sunday, March 8, 2020
Share |

Judgment is Coming

On the Second Sunday of the Triodion, the Church commemorates “Judgment Sunday” during which we hear the Last Judgment as found in Matthew 25.31-46. We all know the story, “I was hungry and you fed me….” But do we know WHY the Church offers us THIS story on THIS particular Sunday? Many people believe that God is going to judge using a scale with “sins” on one side, and “good deeds” on the other. So long as the “good deeds”... Read More
Posted by Fr Athanasios Haros at Sunday, February 23, 2020
Share |

Don't Confuse Permission with Approval

On the second Sunday of the Triodion, the Church calls our attention to the Parable of the Prodigal Son, and the beauty of repentance. In the story, just to remind you, the younger son felt that he deserved his inheritance early, before his father’s death. He approached his father and said, “Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.” (Luke 15.12) The father gave the son permission to take his inheritance and journey “to a far country,” in which he... Read More
Posted by Fr Athanasios Haros at Sunday, February 16, 2020
Share |

How to Train Your Mouth

Since today is the first day of the Triodion (what we call PreLent) we heard in today’s Gospel lesson the story of the Publican and Pharisee. As I wrote before, and have often said from the pulpit, getting into heaven isn’t about whether or not we follow all the rules. Getting into heaven requires a loving and Christ-like heart, and a life lived in communion with Christ. Since the Pharisee in today’s Gospel lesson made such a big deal about following all the rules, including... Read More
Posted by Fr Athanasios Haros at Sunday, February 9, 2020
Share |

Download Our App

Download on the App Store    Get it on Google Play
{# #}