The Dormition of the Mother of God

Transcript from remarks given by Fr. Evan on the feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God. Sermon 8.15.14 – The Dormition of the Theotokos In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. Many years to all of you on this Great Feast Day, that of the Dormition or the Falling Asleep of the Mother of God. To many of you who celebrate your name day, we wish God’s blessings upon you. This morning, the Church assigns to the liturgy, a reading that may seem a bit … [Read more...]

Types of Mary in the Old Testament

From the Orthodox Study Bible (Old Testament): Types of both Christ and Mary, His Mother, fill the Old Testament. Indeed, most of the Old Testament types of Mary – a natural consequence of her essential role in the Incarnation of her Son, Jesus Christ – reveal the awesome marvel of her womb which contained the almighty God. Referring to Genesis 2:9, the hymnography of the Church sees the garden of Eden as a type of Mary: “Rejoice, . . . O living Paradise, having the Lord, the Tree of Life, in … [Read more...]

Saints of the Old Testament

From the Orthodox Study Bible (Old Testament): Immediately after quoting the Lord’s proclamation to Moses, “I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob,” Jesus asserts, “God is not the God of the dead, but of the living” (Mt 22:32). Thus He affirms that the great patriarchs of the Old Testament still live, as do all the righteous men and women of old who lived in anticipation of the coming Messiah. Hebrews 11 reviews the wonderful deeds of many of these Old Testament saints, … [Read more...]

The Seventy

From the Orthodox Study Bible: In Luke 10:1 the Lord appointed seventy men to go out as missionaries-as apostles. Though not so prominent as the Twelve, the Seventy carried out their missions with fervor and enthusiasm. The tradition of the Church confirms that the Seventy remained true to the Lord and their calling, fulfilling a vital role in the spread of the gospel. These were not random choices or accidental volunteers but true disciples, true apostles, whose labors carried the message of … [Read more...]

The Eternal Kingdom

From the Orthodox Study Bible: Few saints have been blessed with a vision of heaven while still in this life. Isaiah was one who saw heaven (Is. 6:1-8), as did Ezekial (Ezek. 1:1-28), and the Apostle John saw a new heaven-God’s eternal Kingdom revealed as a city (Rev. 21:1-25:5). When we read these passages, we note an abundance of mystical, apocalyptic imagery, but the strong similarities between these passages suggest an inspired consistency of reporting on the visions. The living … [Read more...]

Mary

From the Orthodox Study Bible: “For behold, all generations will call me blessed.” (Luke 1:48) For two thousand years the Church has preserved the memory of the Virgin Mary as the prototype of all Christians-the model of what we are to become in Christ. Mary was truly pure and unconditionally obedient to God. The tradition of the Church holds that Mary remained a virgin all her life (see note on Matt. 12:46-50). While lifelong celibacy is not a model for all Christians to follow, Mary’s … [Read more...]

John the Baptist

From the Orthodox Study Bible: “John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins” (Mark 1:4). John the Baptist plays a crucial role in the history of salvation. Chosen before his birth to be the herald and forerunner of the Messiah (Luke 1:13-17), he knew his Lord from the beginning. Luke writes of the miraculous conception of John (Luke 1:24). He then records that when the Virgin Mary visited Elizabeth, who was then six months pregnant with … [Read more...]