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Healing Faith

While Jesus Christ was walking to Jerusalem with his disciples, he passed by the small village of Jericho, where a crowd started to gather around to see him.  There was a poor blind man whose mother had told him about Jesus Christ and his miracles.  He tried to approach Jesus to be healed, but because he couldn’t see, he started to scream “Son of David save me.”  Everyone was shouting at this blind man to be quiet.  Don’t be so loud.   ... Read More
Posted by Fr Theofanis Katsiklis at Sunday, February 13, 2022
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Holy Confession is a Part of Life

Today is the first Sunday of the Triodion, the period in the Church when we begin to prepare our souls and minds for the Holy and Great Fast. Over the next three weeks, the Church will encourage us to turn our minds and hearts to God, and to make a commitment to grow closer to Him. The Church will ask us to change for the glory of God, and change begins with Holy Confession. In the Epistle of Saint James we read, “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another,... Read More
Posted by Fr Athanasios Haros at Sunday, February 13, 2022
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Never Worry about Money Again

In the past fifteen years of my priesthood, and for the nearly fifteen years before I was a priest, I continue to come across people who are burdened with debt, even to the point of depression. Now, because of a generous gift of the Ladies Philoptochos Society, you don’t have to be worried about money every again Beginning last week, our Cathedral began rolling out a new program to help YOU take control of your finances, without forgetting your Christian faith. Dave Ramsey... Read More
Posted by Fr Athanasios Haros at Sunday, February 6, 2022
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You are the Light of the World

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”  We all have the light of God within us, but it cannot shine bright if we do not change our priorities.  We need to be focused on what is truly most important.  With everything we do in our daily routines, it is getting harder and harder for us to remember what that is.  Our society is built on economic success, so we work and stress our whole... Read More
Posted by Fr Theofanis Katsiklis at Sunday, January 30, 2022
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Blindness is a Matter of Choice

As Jesus approached Jericho, He passed near a blind beggar who noticed the commotion. Rather than keep begging, he asked what all commotion meant, and the crowd “told him that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by. And he cried out, saying, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!’” (Luke 18.37) His shouts were met with warnings from the crowd to keep quiet but their warnings did not persuade him. “He cried out all the more, ‘Son of David, have mercy on... Read More
Posted by Fr Athanasios Haros at Sunday, January 23, 2022
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Healing Faith

While Jesus Christ was walking to Jerusalem with his disciples, he passed by the small village of Jericho, where a crowd started to gather around to see him.  There was a poor blind man whose mother had told him about Jesus Christ and his miracles.  He tried to approach Jesus to be healed, but because he couldn’t see, he started to scream “Son of David save me.”  Everyone was shouting at this blind man to be quiet.  Don’t be so loud.   ... Read More
Posted by Fr Theofanis Katsiklis at Sunday, January 23, 2022
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How do you Give Thanks?

There are so many ways to say thank you. You can call. You can send a card or email. You can Facebook it. You can even Tweet it! But what’s the best way to say thank you to someone who has given you more than you ever imagined? How do you say thank you to that special person who gave you life? And I’m not talking about your mother. How do you say thank you to God for everything He has done for you? Is a card enough? Is it enough to list your Facebook status as “thanking... Read More
Posted by Fr Athanasios Haros at Sunday, January 16, 2022
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Where are the other nine?

In this Sunday’s gospel we hear the story of 10 lepers who ask Jesus to heal them.  He tells them to go to the priests and be healed.  After all ten were healed, only one praised God and came back to thank Jesus.  Jesus then questioned: Where are the other nine?   Jesus sent the lepers to the priests to test them to see if they had patience and if they would follow his request to go to the priests instead of needing to be healed immediately by Jesus.  And they... Read More
Posted by Fr Theofanis Katsiklis at Sunday, January 16, 2022
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Why do Orthodox Christians Bless Material Things?

Why Do Orthodox Christian Bless Material Things? Last week thousands of faithful men and women and many visitors gathered in our Cathedral and along the shores of Spring Bayou for the annual Cross Dive and Blessing of the Waters in honor of the Feast of Epiphany. During the special blessing service, the Holy Spirit was called down to bless the waters and those who partake of them or are sprinkled by them. This ancient custom of blessing water is celebrated throughout the world as... Read More
Posted by Fr Athanasios Haros at Sunday, January 9, 2022
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2022 New Year 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 from faithfully committing to improving their lives this year. In many cases, people... Read More
Posted by Fr Athanasios Haros at Sunday, January 2, 2022
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God Expects Nothing Short of a Full Church

In the Gospel we hear the Parable of the Great Feast (Luke 14.16-24) in which Christ calls us to fill His Church. The reality of poor church attendance is not a new phenomenon in the Church. For decades our national Church has struggled with the trend where half-full Churches have become the norm rather than the exception. In fact, just as in this parable, we have heard year’s worth of excuses from our brothers and sisters as to why they are not in Church. Excuses have ranged from... Read More
Posted by Fr Athanasios Haros at Sunday, December 12, 2021
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The tools of the Church are offered to us; it’s up to us to use them!

    When I was young growing up in Colorado, our family spent many hours outdoors skiing, hiking, camping, and just about anything we could enjoy in the mountains. As a boy all I was responsible for during these excursions was myself. I didn’t have to carry anything but myself. I didn’t have to watch anything but myself. And I have to be honest it was pretty fun….until I got older.   When I was a young adult working as a youth director, still... Read More
Posted by Fr Athanasios Haros at Sunday, December 5, 2021
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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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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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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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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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