Father John was born in Southampton N.Y. He served as an altar boy during his youth at the Kimisis Tis Theotokou Greek Orthodox Chruch. He is a graduate of Hellenic College with a B.A. and received his Master of Divinity degree from Holy Cross School of Theology in Brookline, MA in 2012. He is supported in his ministry by his wife Abigail. He was ordained to the priesthood in August 5th, 2012 and assigned to Saint Demetrios as the assistant priest.
The Gospel of Matthew
Matt 7:1-12: On Judging; God’s Answering of Prayer
Opening thoughts and basis for discussion
- How easy is it for us to judge? Much easier when we are biased towards one party vs. the other.
- Are we ourselves the Holy People of God? Do we strive to make ourselves holy, move away from evil, so that we are not the dogs and swine which the Holy Gifts are given to?
- How often are we discouraged because we think that God has not heard our prayer?
The Error of Judgment
- People may seem unlovely simply because we do not know the whole person. We are not to look simply for the superficial unlikeliness of a person but to look for their underlying beauty.
- A human being cannot be an impartial judge because we are swayed again and again by instinctive and unreasoning reactions to people. Only God can judge.
- The world is full of people who claim the right to criticize by words, and yet feel totally exempt from action.
- “Preach the gospel at all times and when necessary use words.” St. Frances of Assisi.
“The holy gifts for the holy people of God.”
- It is within the context of the Eucharist that we are given the full understanding of Matt 7:6. “We should not give that which is holy to dogs.”
- The church is willing to give the message that is Christ, but if we are not willing to receive it, to align our wills with the will of God, become His disciples, then how can we take offence and misconstrue that this verse is in fact not a statement of exclusiveness but a statement of practical difficulty of communication?
God will never refuse our prayers, and God will never mock our prayers.
- God is a father to us all who will never hate His children. He will never trick us nor avoid us. He is always quick and ready to hear.
- God will always answer our prayers in His way, in wisdom and love; and we must bring to God an undiscouraged life of prayer.