Prophet Obadiah

We know nothing certain about the life of the Prophet Obadiah. The Synaxarion [the lives of saints] identifies him with the servant of King Ahaz, who left to become a follower of Elijah, but that is not possible, since Obadiah’s prophecy was against Edom, pointing to a time after the exile. He is one of several prophets commemorated in the Phillip’s Fast, and verse 21 can be related to the coming of Jesus into the world: “And deliverers will ascend Mount Zion to rule Mount Esau, and the kingship shall be the Lord’s. (Obadiah 21)”

When our Lord was born, he was given the name “Jesus,” our Savior or “Deliverer.” The Greek text, however, is “men saved.” Certainly the wicked Herod thought him a king to rival him, and so persecuted the innocents of Bethlehem. Obadiah tells us that the Lord alone is our true king, who told Pilate at his trial, ““My kingdom does not belong to this world. If my kingdom did belong to this world, my attendants would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not here. (John 18:36)”

Twenty-Second Sunday after Pentecost 2017

Healing upon Healing
Galatians 6:11-18; Luke 8:41-56

Many people are squeamish at the sight of blood, some even faint away. This is because of fear – we know that loss of blood can lead to loss of life. The blood flowing in our veins is life. In this Sunday’s Gospel, the Lord encounters a woman who has had a hemorrhage for twelve years – life is slowly seeping away from her. But death cannot remain in the presence of Christ, and merely by secretly touching his garment, she is healed by his power. Today’s Gospel contains this healing within a healing, a raising form the dead. Our Lord is on his way to raise the twelve-year old daughter of Jairus, where he redefines death as sleep, ““Do not weep any longer, for she is not dead, but sleeping. (Luke 8:52)” See that for God, time is without meaning, for the woman with the hemorrhage, twelve years seems an eternity, but for the little girl, twelve years is much too short. For the Jews at the time of Jesus, blood signified life. When animals were sacrificed, the blood was poured out as a libation, for the life belongs to God. While our Lord stopped the flow of the blood for the woman, and gave life to the little girl, he instead shed his own blood for the life of the world and died on the Cross to bring us all resurrection. He invites us to share in his blood, “Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, and they all drank from it. He said to them, ‘This is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed for many.’ (Mark 14:23-24)”

Soter Stephen Ortynsky presented by Father Ivan Kaszcak

Father Ivan Kaszcak, PhD, presenting on Soter Stephen Ortynsky (1866-1916), first bishop of Ukrainian Greek Catholics in the USA beginning when he received jurisdiction on 3 January 1913.

The lecture was sponsored by American Russian Citizens Club of Shelton, The Lemko Association of the U.S.A., and The New England Chapter of the Carpato-Rusyn which took place at the American Russian Citizens’ Club, Shelton, CT.

A Basilian monk, Ortynsky was ordained bishop on 12 May 1907, in St George’s, Lviv. His cathedral in Philadelphia at the time of his ministry was the former St James Episcopal Church; now a new cathedral has been built where the bishop is in repose, under the title of the Immaculate Conception. Ortynsky was the only Eastern Catholic bishop in the Western world at the time.

On the 7th Ecumenical Council

[be sure to watch the video linked below]

Why is the Seventh Ecumenical Council important to Christians? Is the consideration of the Council relevant to us today? This council was held in Nicaea, Asia Minor in AD 787 under the presidency of Empress Irene and history tells us that 367 bishops were present. It is also called Second Council of Nicaea.

The Iconoclast Controversy: The very heated debated centered around the use of icons in the Church and the controversy between the iconoclasts and iconophiles. The Iconoclasts (“icon-smashers”), started by the Emperor Leo III, were suspicious of religious art especially sacred art that depicted Trinity, saints, biblical acts, and humans; they demanded that the Church rid itself of such art and that it be destroyed or broken (as the term “iconoclast” implies). Philosophically, the Iconoclasts were very likely influenced by the Jewish and Muslim thinking that prohibits the creation and use of sacred images. For them, the fear was idolatry —the worship of things over the worship of God. And we ought to avoid wrong and false worship.

Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost

2 Corinthians 6:1-10; Luke 5:1-11

On this Sunday, we begin to read the Gospel of St. Luke, which will be the Word of God proclaimed to us in the Church Year from the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross to the coming Great Fast. It is fitting that this Sunday’s Gospel tells us what is involved in being a Christian. We all want to be called after Christ, but do we truly grasp what this will mean. One certain meaning of the Christian faith is that it is unexpected, that it brings great blessing out of the desert of the world: “After Jesus had finished speaking, he said to Simon, ‘Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.’ Simon said in reply, ‘Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing, but at your command I will lower the nets.’ When they had done this, they caught a great number of fish and their nets were tearing. (Luke 5:4-6)” This is the power of faith, which was again reaffirmed after Jesus’ resurrection: “When it was already dawn, [the risen] Jesus was standing on the shore; but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, ‘Children, have you caught anything to eat?’ They answered him, ‘No.’ So he said to them, ‘Cast the net over the right side of the boat and you will find something.’ So they cast it, and were not able to pull it in because of the number of fish. (John 21:4-6)”

The Lucan Jump

We make the Lucan jump today. That is, we move from reading the Gospel of Matthew to the Gospel of Luke.

We gain another view of our Salvation; we see Jesus and unfolding of God’s Kingdom.

St Luke, pray for us.

2016 Eastern Catholic Bible Conference

“A Holy Nation The Church in God’s Plan of Salvation”

St. John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Cathedral – Munhall, PA
November 4 – 5th, 2016, Friday 6:30 – 9pm and Saturday 8:30am-4:30pm ($30 per participant – See link to register below!)

The Church as God’s Holy People is at the heart of His unfolding plan of salvation that is ultimately fulfilled in Christ. The Bible relates how this plan for a universal covenant kingdom and a temple made of living stones for all the nations unfolds through particular stages in the history of God’s People.

Talks Include:
– Are Eastern Catholics “Bible Christians”?
– Reading the Bible in the Heart of the Church
– The Seven Ages of the Kingdom in the Bible
– Biblical Images of the Church
– Sacred Reading: How to Pray the Scriptures
– The Bible and the Domestic Church
– The Bible and the New Evangelization

Adult Faith Formation

adult-faith-logoOnline Faith Formation classes – Open to All!

Starting September 20, 2016, the Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Phoenix Department of Evangelization and Religious Education is hosting a series of online adult education classes.

There will be a series of talks on Tuesdays and standalone courses on some Thursdays. Anyone with a computer, phone or tablet can attend via online conference technology.

Click the link here to register for the event so you can receive connection details and reminders.

Courses are completely free!