Loaves and Fish – Understanding the Reading through the Eyes of the Church

Matthew 14:14-22

14 And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick. 15 And when it was evening, his disciples came to him, saying, This is a desert place, and the time is now past; send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves victuals. 16 But Jesus said unto them, They need not depart; give ye them to eat. 17 And they say unto him, We have here but five loaves, and two fishes. 18 He said, Bring them hither to me. 19 And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. 20 And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full. 21 And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children. 22 And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away.

The Gospel reading of the Five Loaves and Two Fish, also known as the Feeding of the 5000, is one of the most popular Gospel stories and frequently preached on.  The problem is, when you engage in self-interpretation, you can imagine so many lessons that might be intended here.  But was that the intent of the author of the Gospel?  In this homily, we will look at the historic understanding of this miracle, and why self-interpretation can lead us away from truth and the important questions raised by this account.

To see the rough draft of this homily, click "Read More" […]

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On the Faith of the Fathers and Infant Baptism

This is a message I wrote prior to my ordination.  It was shared on the 8th Sunday after Pentecost in 2015. Glory to Jesus Christ!  Glory forever! In today’s first epistle reading, the reading designated for the 8th Sunday after Pentecost, Paul discusses the ancient sacramental practice of baptism, as it existed in the early Read more about On the Faith of the Fathers and Infant Baptism[…]

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On the Genuine Orthodox Church and the World Orthodox

Although I am a priest of the Genuine Orthodox Church (also sometimes called “True Orthodox” or “Old Calendarist”) I try not to devote much in this blog to the disagreements we have with the “world orthodox”, those jurisdictions which utilize the new calendar or hold communion with new calendarists.  The reason I don’t do this Read more about On the Genuine Orthodox Church and the World Orthodox[…]

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Orthopraxy – Blessings

From the weekly bulletin of St. Andrew Orthodox Church     It’s said that the Orthodox will bless anything!  Houses, icons, horses, cars, soldiers, guns, and of course, people!  The blessings are usually accompanied with formal prayers and the sprinkling of Holy Water that was, itself, blessed on the Feast of Theophany.  And of course, Read more about Orthopraxy – Blessings[…]

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Bishop or Bridge Builder? EP Denies Unique Truth of Orthodoxy

The article linked below is from a Roman Catholic publication, but it was proudly shared by the Chicago archdiocese of the GOA without correction. Speaking the day before Pope Francis, Bartholomew “offered a blueprint for the future of inter-religious dialogue based upon recognizing the central role religion plays in human life.” In it the ecumenical patriarch Read more about Bishop or Bridge Builder? EP Denies Unique Truth of Orthodoxy[…]

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Of Faith and Works – Part 1

This subject recurs with sufficient frequency that I anticipate there will be a second installment at some point.  In this initial treatment, I wish to demonstrate that the Orthodox treatment of works is not as a means to merit salvation, but rather is an honest assessment of the importance of works as the fruits which prove Read more about Of Faith and Works – Part 1[…]

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The Church Fathers on 2 Thessalonians 2:15

Those who hold to sola scriptura carefully avoid any mention of 2 Thess. 2:15, where the apostle Paul does no less than command the faithful to hold fast to the oral teachings of the Apostles, and not just the written word: Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether Read more about The Church Fathers on 2 Thessalonians 2:15[…]

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A Real “Bible Church”

Ah, the common attack on Orthodoxy from so called “Bible believers” – they propogate the lie that the Orthodox Church does not believe in Holy Scripture.  Nothing of course could be further from the truth.  Not only did we canonize the Scripture (you’re welcome), but an Orthodox service contains more Scripture than most evangelical Churches Read more about A Real “Bible Church”[…]

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Is the Bible All There Is?

The following article was written on spec for submission to the faith section of local newspapers.  It is aimed to an audience unfamiliar with Orthodox Christianity.  I am posting it as submitted. Citations appear below the article. IS THE BIBLE ALL THERE IS? By Fr. Irineos Placek   Among Christians, and certainly among those of the Read more about Is the Bible All There Is?[…]

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Homily on the Entry of the Theotokos into the Temple

Listen to “Homily on the Entry of the Theotokos into the Temple” on Spreaker. Fr. Irineos discusses the background of this Feast of the Church and how the role of the Theotokos (the Virgin Mary) was prefigured in the Old Testament scriptures appointed for reading during this Feast Day. It's only fair to share…FacebookTwitterGoogle+Pinterestemail

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