BLUE RIBBON

At the recent county fair, there are several buildings dedicated to house the blue ribbon award winning pickles, pies, quilts, sewing, photographs, paintings, pigs, cattle, chickens, woodworking, you name it!! Folks from all around the area bring their best animal, works or crafts to the fair to compete with their neighbors to see who has entered the most prized works and will be judged the most perfect! These folks worked hard to achieve their blue ribbon.

We heard in the Gospel this morning about an even greater prize: “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?” [Mt. 19:16] The rich young man asks our Lord if he is doing enough to be awarded the ultimate prize of heaven. There is a difference being a rich man rather than a good steward. Blessed Theophylact makes a clear distinction between thetwo. A rich man is one who has funds, and properties, and lands, and houses, and he gives to no one. He steals: He is a thief, because he is stealing from the poor. A steward is a person who has substance also. He has money; He might have land and have houses, but he also has mercy and shares his riches with the poor. Then he is a good steward of his wealth.

The young man had virtues and a strong inclination to abide by the law and he had worked hard. But he also had a love of things more than his love for God. He did not understand that everything he had is God’s and seemed to covet his possessions! There is certainly not a thing wrong with having wealth, but there is a thing wrong with being stingy!  If we chose to be comfortable and have all kinds of toys but we chose not to tithe our church and help the poor and those suffering from tragedies, we will briefly enjoy the wealth of the world but our soul will sink in the depth of poverty where the worms never cease. (Mark 9:48)

Some of us also struggle with attachment to things. We over extend our budgets in pursuit of material things we believe will bring us happiness and starve the poor and the needy and only give what is left-over to our church and His ministry. We have trained ourselves to serve an idol, a demi-god which is increasing our vanity in the world and making our salvation harder to obtain. We have become rich with stuff but lost the ultimate prize! Sometimes we get so obsessed with stuff and that buzz we get when we purchase something; it seems almost as an award for ourselves, for our efforts. Some of these demi-gods of stuff consume our precious time as well replacing our prayer time with hell. The thief uses our attachment to things to get his foot wedged squarely in the door as an unwanted intruder, ready to harm us and our families and steal our salvation!

We remember the profit Malachi saying: “Bring the entire tithe into the storehouse so that there may be food in my temple. Test me in this matter,” says the Lord who rules over all, “to see if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until there is no room for it all. (Malachi 3:10) And also our Lord’s parable in St. Luke: And he spoke a parable to them, saying, “The land of a certain rich man produced well. “And he was considering within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, because I have no room where I shall gather together my fruit?’ “And he said, ‘This will I do: I will take down my storehouses and build greater ones; and there will I gather together all my produce and my good things. “‘And I will say to my soul, “Soul, thou hast many good things being laid up for many years; be taking thy rest; eat, drink, and be merry.”’ “But God said to him, ‘Fool, this night they demand thy soul from thee; and what thou didst prepare, for whom shall it be?’ “Thus is the one who treasureth up for himself, and is not rich toward God.” [Lk 12:16-21]

So where is that line of division that separates putting away for our future retirement and being a poor steward? The ability to define the difference between ownership and stewardship is one of the hardest lessons to understand. Each and every one of us is unique and has been given free will of all of God’s creation. But our time here is limited and everything here is on loan from the Creator. Give Him His tithe and prove that you can be a good steward of talents and He will increase you. Our tithe is our best offering first, our blue ribbon achievement, with total trust in He who created it all, and we will always have enough for our families and for our future. And in that pursuit with our very best effort and His abundant grace we remember: “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” [Mt. 19:26]

 

Fr. Gabriel Weller 9-7-2019

UNBELIEF

In the midst of trials and tribulations I reflect upon the plea of the father we heard today in the Gospel: “I believe, O Lord; help Thou mine unbelief.”[Mk. 9:24] We exist here on this Earth for a very short time. We are perishables! Maybe Tupperware, refrigeration or vitamins may help preserve our human bodies but our time here is limited. Some folks desire to spend their time enjoying all the world has to offer and neglect preparing for the judgment which follows our Earthly death. After all, how do we who are so hell-bent have hope for salvation? How do we who do not know God well enough to make Him our priority, have hope?

You know that even as a child when I screamed and cried I was fed or my britches were cleaned or whatever I needed was attended to. I depended on others but now, I am independent. Every day I decide how I am going to spend my awaken hours and my somewhat limited amount of energy. Every day I decide either to be distracted from my salvation or attracted to my Creator.

The pure Virgin chose to be obedient to God! “And Mariam said, “Behold, the slave of the Lord; may it be to me according to thy word.”[Lk. 1:38] We see today in the Feast of the Annunciation that God made the impossible possible because He has not given up on us! We see how Genesis 3:15 comes to life in that the head of the evil snake will be crushed by the seed of this obedient Virgin, death to the world through the life blossoming from the blood stains of the Holy Cross.

The head of the deceptive Satan is also crushed by our acts of humility as we put others needs ahead of our own. The serpents head is crushed when we make it a priority to attend church, pray, repent and confess, offer our tithes and talents every day and every week. Be obedient, there is nothing in the world that is worth losing our soul for. Lord, help our unbelief!

We find our hope in the very way God came into human-form, lived His life, suffered and died on the cross, descended to Hades and freed the captives and rose again on the third day. It is never too late to unlock the chains of sin and be obedient to His needs!

When you leave here today we may never see each other again, things happen, life happens! Are you ready? Are you still a dictator or are you a true slave of God? Do you believe in only tangible things, things you can create or touch with your own hands or see with your own eyes? What is it going to take to surrender all that you are for all that He is? Become dependent on Him as a child in need! Lord, help our unbelief!

Fr. Gabriel Weller 4-7-2019

Go Around!

Many times as we are traveling we are asked to go around an obstacle, whether it is a fender-bender, road construction, stalled vehicle, loose cattle or whatever. In order for us to get to where we need to be, we need to detour a bit before we can get back on the path that leads to where we really need to be.

On this the second Sunday of Lent, we hear the story of the healing of the Paralytic. Not all the healings of our Lord were written about because there were so many, but this story was deemed important enough to be heard again and again. The paralytic wanted to be healed but there were obstacles in his way. Fortunately he had surrounded himself with like-minded folks going the same way and willing to help.

Many times as I try to move closer to God obstacles spring up from out of nowhere like Spring Daffodils in March! Some of these derailments seem to be life itself but many are the choices I have made. Sometimes the obstacles in our way can be seen more clearly when we gaze into the mirror and see the greatest obstacle, the one standing there looking back at us, the great stained image of lacking. This lackey is one lacking to love God more than self and laziness or allowing stuff to obstruct us on our path, the only bridge across the great divide; the road to salvation. (Zechariah 14)

St. Gregory Palamas taught that our soul or nous has an appetite directed towards God “the only good one, the only judge, the only one who provides pleasure unmixed with any pain. “But when the nous is in the unnatural state, when it departs from God and is darkened, then desire is dispersed into many self-indulgent appetites: “drawn on the one hand towards a desire for foods that are not needed, secondly towards the desire for unnecessary things, and thirdly towards the desire for vain and inglorious glory”.

Where is it that we really need to be? Listen to St. Gregory: “We who are in Christ’s ranks should long for the world above. Let our desire be directed towards the kingdom He promised us. Let us shun enjoyments which drag down our soul, fear the hell-fire with which pleasure-lovers are threatened, flee self-indulgence, drunkenness, fornication, prodigality(extravagance), greed, injustice, vanity, pride, hatred, anger and inhumanity. These are the things which give the evil one power, alas, over ourselves and the world. We should escape from the world’s deception and from its prince, and show through our good works that we are the work of God’s good hands. By so doing, we shall make best use of the present, and enjoy the promised eternal benefits when the time comes.” (St. Gregory Palamas – Homily 33)

Which path are we on? The crippled paralytic knew the path to take. With each step we take and each detour we make we should constantly be checking our compass as we head towards the Eastern Gate and the return of our Savior. May the prayers of all the Saints and the Blessed Theotokos help and guide us on our journey. Glory to Thee!

Fr. Gabriel Weller 3-24-19

CAR-WASH

I felt the need earlier this week to wash my car unknowingly just days before our next winter weather event. It had warmed up outside a little, the early spring birds had been chirping in the morning hours and the grey days of winter seem to be loosening their grip a little. I chose the automatic bay as I swiped my frequent washers card only to be rejected. I had no available credit left so I used another piece of plastic and into the wash I went, minus nine plastic dollars. It is nice to have a clean car but it is also important to wash away all the abrasive ice-melting chemicals that have attached themselves to the sensitive metal parts of my vehicle. Those chemicals are great for melting ice but really bad for rotting away metal. So without leaving the comfort of my heated seat, the exterior of car would be cleaned! And then when I got home with a little effort, I used our shop-vac that sucked out all the loose dirt and debris on the inside of my car.

I got on this topic of clean because this upcoming week is clean week for the Orthodox. We begin clean week with a time to ask forgiveness of our church family and friends. Lent is a spiritual growth time of self-examination, and it usually is a struggle with our pride, anger and at times our health, as we try to navigate the waters where we deny ourselves of our usual worldly habits and make more time for Him.

All of the Orthodox Lenten practices are done to help us grow closer to God and give up a little more of our control by changing our usual routines. Hopefully we will increase our Orthodoxy during this Lent and continue even when meat and cheese becomes our staples once again. We begin clean week with a wash-cycle of forgiveness. Blasting away at these sins that cling onto our hearts and rot away our love of Creation by showing great mercy on each and everyone, just as your Father has shown great mercy on you! Or as St Paul says: “Carry one another’s burdens, because it is the way in which you will have fulfilled the law of Christ.” (Gal 6:2)

It takes an effort, rather than choosing the auto-wash where we sit on our butts instead of taking action with a scrub brush of prayer, repentance and forgiveness. We see in the writings from the prophet Joel: “Now, therefore,” says the Lord, “Turn to Me with all your heart, With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.” (Joel 2:12)

The word “lent” is derived from the Germans and means “the beginning of life.” And so it is with us that just as a rose bush must be pruned before spring removing all the dead wood we too must sever our magnetic hold on the world and our love of ourselves! In order to love God intensely we must learn to love all of His creation. Not the kind of love where we have to agree with everyone and their choices but the kind of love that hopes for eternity for everyone.

And as for my clean car, of course it snowed once again and I will need to return to the car wash this week. Just like the dirt on my car, Lent it is a constant practice to clean ourselves. We have so many opportunities over the next several weeks here at the church to help us get clean, check out our calendar. Identifying as a Christian is not so much a word as it is a plan of action.

Fr. Gabriel Weller 3-10-2019

OLE GOAT

Who am I? My love-of-self tells me I am a knight in shining armor and should be very comfortable with my efforts thus far! But in reality, I am an ole goat! Let me take a moment to explain how I came to this rationality!

When I was a young man, I had land that was overgrown and out of control and so I purchased a young nanny goat that we named Geraldine. Geraldine became a pet and would follow me around like a dog and even go for a ride in my Ford Escort. As she grew older she became less of a pet and more like a goat. The overgrown lot was more than she could handle so I traveled to the stock sale and bought a Billy goat that we named Geronimo. As they grew I quickly learned not to turn my back on them, especially Geronimo, as I seemed to be invading his space. The Billy wreaked havoc on my brush and outside my fence line at the neighbors Christmas tree farm. Geronimo and I became a bit unpopular with the neighbors, although his efforts while he was inside the fence did clear the lot. The goats loved all the wild vines and shoemake trees, and of course the neighbors Christmas trees! Sorry Harry Lee, the Christmas tree farmer.

Now sheep on the other hand tend to stick together and follow their leader. There is strength in numbers where as my goats never backed down from anything and were very independent. Many times Geronimo would be standing on top of a stump like he was the king! I tried to negotiate with him and explain his place in life and in the pecking order of things but he was only listening to his own drummer. He became more and more hard-headed and eventually Geronimo and I took a ride back to the stock sale due to his neglect of my fence, his love of evergreen needles and his dominance over everything and everyone.

Well, this ole goat tends to be a bit like that hard-headed Billy goat that used to deny my fence and savor Christmas trees. We heard in the Gospel reading this morning about the sheep being on Christ’s right and the goats on His left. “Then shall the King say to those on His right, ‘Come, ye who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom which hath been prepared for you from the foundation of the world. [Mt. 25:34]

As a goat, I tend to neglect the needs of others because I am too busy with my own stuff. Archimandrite Thaddeus of Strabulovich said:”There are no atheists! They do not exist. Even the enemy believes and trembles; only he does not do good!”(Archimandrite Thaddeus Strabulovich of Vitovnica)

Righteous Martyr Maria, an Orthodox nun who helped many needy folks in Paris during WWII, including saving many Jews, was herself arrested and imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp because of her acts of love. Before she died, she stated: “At the last judgment I shall not be asked if I was successful in my ascetic exercises or how many prostrations I made in the course of my prayers. I shall be asked one thing: did I feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick and the prisoners; that is all I shall be asked.”

As the church moves into the nurture of lent, let us be more about seeing and helping with each other’s needs, performing acts of kindness, practicing patience and forgiveness and be about following the examples Christ gave us, and in that we will become more like a right-sided sheep and less like an independent ole hard-headed goat!

Fr. Gabriel Weller 3-3-2019

FREE-WILL

We hear in the Gospel Reading this morning the story of the son enticed by the world and its emptiness who realized he needed to find his way back to his father. (Luke 15:11-32) As I take a moment to reflect on the choices I have made thus far in my life, if I am honest I would have to say I wrestled with God for control of most of my life and still do.

In truth, if we let our free-will lead us away from God we are surrendering ourselves to the devil, becoming his slave and turning our backs on God. What seems like freedom only entraps us with addictions as we have less time for God and a false need for stuff or temporary pleasure where true happiness is not present. There is nothing normal about missing church services only abnormal temptations keeping us away. We become our own god with our self-love and its hate-potion that brings us more into solitude and separated from the flock of believers and to a place where the evil one will quickly corner and devour us.

Is the pig-slop the world is offering us really that good? Why do we keep eating it then? Our Father has prepared a great banquet for us, won’t you come? Every week we offer confession and communion and He is here, welcome home! Let us spit the rancid worldly slop out of our mouths and come home. He loves YOU! He wants to be your Father! Our Creator wants a son and a daughter, not a slave, and He will give your soul a place of rest when your time on Earth is finished. What does the world have to offer?

True freedom only comes from obeying God. A friend of mine some years ago asked me this simple question: If you’re not serving God, then who are you serving? St. Justin Popovich writes: “In truth there is only one freedom – the holy freedom of Christ, whereby He freed us from sin, from evil, from the devil. It binds us to God. All other freedoms are illusory, false; that is to say, they are all, in fact, slavery.” + St. Justin Popovich, Ascetical and Theological Chapters, II.36

Walking away from God enslaves us to death so we have the freedom to choose life in Christ or death in the world. Christ conquered death with His death so that you and I can choose a life of freedom, a life without end, a life lived in His will. “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matt 11:28-30)

In the kontakion we heard today: “I have recklessly forgotten Your glory, O Father; and among sinners I have scattered the riches which You had given me. Therefore, I cry to You like the Prodigal: “I have sinned before You, O compassionate Father; receive me a penitent and make me as one of Your hired servants.” (Kontakion of the Prodigal Son)

Come Home!

 

Fr. Gabriel Weller 2-24-2019

THE KING AND I

For over three years our Lord Jesus the Christ has gone city to city, village to village, field to field proclaiming the Kingdom of God is near, repent! And now, the Anointed One enters into the Holy City as a lowly servant to claim His Kingdom, surrendering His life for ours; “Behold, thy King cometh unto thee; he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.” (Zechariah 9:9)

 

In 1 Chronicles probably written 450 years before the birth of Christ We here God’s words to King David: “When your days are over and you go to be with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, one of your own sons, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for me, and I will establish his throne forever. I will be his father, and he will be my son. I will never take my love away from him, as I took it away from your predecessor. I will set him over my house and my kingdom forever; his throne will be established forever.” (1 Chronicles 17:11-14)

 

Early in the Book of Genesis writer records about the return of the rightful tribal leader, the Messiah: “The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs and the obedience of the nations is his.” (Genesis 49:10) Our Lord did not bring armies to seize His Kingdom by the shedding of blood, He brought humility and in His humble mindedness He offered His blood as the only sacrifice necessary to take away the sin of the world! 

 

As we enter into this drama this Holy Week, the last week of Christ’s earthly life, each day brings a new event. The first three days of Holy Week remind us of Christ’s last instructions with his disciples. Jesus enters into the Most-High temple and cleanses it! “My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations? But ye made it ‘a den of robbers.’” [Mk. 11:17] On Tuesday He teaches in the temple, Wednesday betrayed by Judas, Thursday the last Supper, Great and Holy Friday Jesus dies on the Cross, Saturday He descends into Hades, celebrated as the “First Resurrection” of Adam and the conquering of Death and frees the Saints from bondage, and then Great and Most Holy Sunday, He is Risen!!

 

 

This week is the most highly attended services of the year! People still come just as they did back then and they flock to Him wherever He goes! Folks are drawn to Him because His truth sterilizes our hearts. The truth is; I am a sinner in need of salvation! My human pride would rather have me not judged by a high king sitting on a throne, so our loving Father sends His Son riding on a lowly donkey and offers Him as a sacrificial lamb to cleanse my crimson stain (Isaiah 1:18). And yet I justifiably refuse to fast. I proudly refuse to forgive, after all, I am right and they are all wrong! I judge in blind arrogance and yet this is the fallen condition I find myself in or I chose to continue to wallow around in like a hog in filth. Hosanna set me free from the chains of hell that I continue lust after and make this unworthy, wounded man usable in your Kingdom!

Fr Gabriel Weller 4/1/2018

BILLY GRAHAM

“The thief does not come except that he might steal, and slay, and destroy. I came that they may have life, and may have it abundantly.” [Jn. 10:10]

 

In today’s world, information travels instantly. We have seen and heard live posts from an event or tragedy within seconds after they happened. We, as a nation, have never become so callused by the loss of innocent life as we are now. We literally see it hourly all around the world. Some of us have seemed to have formed a since of detachment from things that do not have a physical or financial affect directly on us. It is a coping skill to continue on with our tasks and lives and for some a realization that God will somehow bring about good, even out of the worst scenarios. But how can we make a difference?

 

In our daily struggles we find two choices. We can live every minute serving God, or we can choose to serve the thief! Saint Gregory Palamas writes: “…we are not without hope of salvation, nor is it at all the right time for us to despair. All our life is a season of repentance, for God ‘desires not the death of the sinner’, as it is written, ‘but that the wicked turn from his way and live’ (cf. Ez. 33:11 LXX). For, if there were no hope of turning back, why would death not have followed immediately on disobedience, and why would we not be deprived of life as soon as we sin? For where there is hope of turning back, there is no room for despair.”

 

Earlier this week we lay to rest a great example of someone who helped a lot of people into the Light of Christ, he made a difference! He spoke to me personally in a loving manor from across the arena at the Norfolk Scope when I was a preteen and touched a cancerous darkness that was hiding in my heart. Although as I matured, we did not agree on everything to do concerning God, but Billy Graham helped me realize that something was missing in my life and I needed Christ to conquer the darkness storming around inside me.

 

And as I remember the Orthodox Saints of the Church, I reflect upon all the times I could have helped someone but instead kept the light of Christ selfishly hidden, allowing the thief to steal, slay and destroy. And we all see the results daily of that selfishness in the news and social media. Helping one person seek the Light can literally affect millions of people. For we who believe, a genuine response to God involves faith, repentance and obedience. “Let not your heart be troubled; keep on believing in God, and believing in Me.” [Jn. 14:1] And we here: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations.” [Mt. 28:19] Why are you here on this Earth? “Faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”(James 2:17) Make a difference!

 

Fr. Gabriel Weller 3-4-18

SORRY or NOT

I’m sorry, was the response I murmured as I stood before my parental unit, saying the words, but not fully owning the repentance. I realized that in their eyes I had crossed the line of right and wrong by the look of displeasure on their faces; now aware, and now replaying my actions within my mind to decide wither I wanted to modify my behavior in the future or choose to accept the consequences!

 

I begin here with this reflection as we embrace the season of repentance and forgiveness. As Orthodox Christians, we need to self examine our behaviors and practice methods that help us modify our actions to increase our humility, loving our neighbors will never be easy. If we seek to a change a behavioral pattern to help us improve our flaws, we realize a since of discomfort, or a new unfamiliar behavioral pattern. And one way we help accomplish this is by fasting! We know that just within the contents of the four Gospels, fasting is spoken of in a constructive way, over twenty times.

 

From the Cheesefare Synaxarion we read: Since we have so suffered from Adam’s failure to keep the fast, this event is commemorated today at the beginning of Great Lent, so that keeping in mind the enormous evil brought about by Adam’s intemperance, we may make joyful haste to accept and keep the fast. And as Adam sinned in his desire to become godlike, we may thereby receive godliness through fasting, tears and humility until God visits us; for without these it is impossible to regain that which we have lost. For the sake of Adam’s greed the Lord fasted for forty days and was obedient. It was for this reason that the holy Apostles conceived this present forty-day fast, so that as Adam forfeited incorruption through his gluttony, we may regain it through abstinence. It was the intent of the Holy Fathers through the Triodion to relate in a condensed form all of God’s acts from the beginning to the end of the world. Since Adam’s transgression and fall through the eating of the fruit of the tree is the principal cause of the state of mankind, the Fathers urge us who are observing this remembrance to avoid Adam’s sin and to shun overindulgence in all things.

 

The church recognizes that some people have health concerns that prevent them from practicing a vegan fast and they are then expected to fast in other meaningful ways, giving up things that have become worldly distractions in their everyday life or lessening their earthly footprint and increasing their since of self-awareness! Perhaps we can consider these few healthy behaviors to improve on: time for morning and evening prayers, daily scripture reading and or daily readings of the lives of the saints, visiting the shut-ins and retirement homes, feeding the homeless, cleaning and volunteering at church, increasing our tithe and alms, more frequent confession and communion and self-examination.

 

In this Lenten season, it is also important that we turn our attention to the Cross, where our Savior died for our sins. We must admit that we choose to sin. Saint Simeon the New Theologian states: “let no one invent excuses for his sins and say that we, by virtue of the transgression of Adam, are entirely subject to the action of the devil and are dragged by force into sin.” In our course in life there are choices, and we have the freedom to be God-Seekers or stuck in the muck where the maggots never die. (Mark 9:44-48) All things of this world shall perish, but a relationship with God will remain. [Mt. 11:29-30] And Blessed Theophylact writes that:”The yoke of Christ is humility and meekness. For he who humbles himself before all men has rest and remains untroubled.”

 

Forgive me a sinner! Forgive me in the ways that I have failed as a man with my lack of love for mankind and forgive me in the ways I have failed you as a priest!

 

Fr. Gabriel Weller 2-18-18

HOG SLOP

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the greatest sinner of them all? We often check our outward appearance in the mirror before we go out into public. We want people to see us at our best and really not know our inner secrets and struggles! After all, mirrors don’t lie, or do they?

 

But who needs mirrors? Our outward and inward appearance can now be sampled on the new social media channels. Back before this reality social media, it was much easier to be two-faced, giving folks only what we wanted them to see. Now, there are hard-drives recording our thoughts, choices and actions just about all the time. Who are we working for, Christ our God or the great deceiver? St. Paul instructs us: “And everything, whatsoever ye may do in word or in deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to the God and Father through Him.” [Col. 3:17]

 

We’ve all heard the expression “You are what you eat!” In Luke 15 we read: “And he was longing to fill his belly from the husks, which the swine were eating. [Lk. 15:16] Back on the farm we called that hog slop and my impression at a young age was that only the hogs would eat it. And yet we all prodigally seek worldly death filling the last minutes of our lives with slop? After all, every minute could be our last minute! We continue rooting around in the bottom of the trough for substance when the end of our Earthly life in nearing.

 

Why do we look in the trough when our Creator has given each and every one of us great wealth? We are to inherit a great Kingdom with life never-ending! We just have to turn from our streak of independence just like the prodigal son and be about our Father’s business. Blessed Theophylact writes: [Lk. 15:17] “Then he came to himself, he became rational, and came to repent from his wanderings about outside.” [P.G. 123:407C (col. 953).]

 

A banquet has been prepared and the nutritional value is not of this world. Won’t you come? We read in the 23rd Psalm: “Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.” Won’t you come to the table that has been prepared? Turn away from the troughs of hog-slop, repent and come home. Your Father is waiting, He is longing for your embrace!

 

Fr. Gabriel Weller 2-4-18