Spiritual Reflections of Fr John Brian

A web place for epistles, sermons, homilies, and other spiritual and pastoral reflections of Fr John Brian Paprock, including Sunday sermons from Holy Transfiguration Chapel in Madison Wisconsin and links to articles published on-line. All images are from the archives of Fr John Brian. Most of them are photographs taken by him. Permission to use any of the content of this blog needs to be requested - frjohnbrian@gmail.com

Friday, April 24, 2015

Forgiving Genocide


Forgiving Genocide

Is it possible to forgive a GENOCIDE? Is it possible to forgive the massacre of family, friends, those bound to us by any social or sacred means?

Fr. John Brian brings a heart felt sermon about the problems of US vs Them and the ultimate place of our salvation and the redemption of the
"others"

This sermon was given in special commemoration of the centennial remembrance of the Armenian genocide that included Christians from Syria and Greece.

Fr. John Brian talks about the importance of memory in our Christian journey.

Please pray for Fr. John Brian who remains committed to us in the continuing development of Christian Spirituality.

This sermon uses and refers to scripture readings appointed by the Syriac Orthodox calendar and was given on Sunday April 18, 2015 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission service at St. Ignatius Orthodox Church in Fitchburg, Wisconsin.
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Books by Fr John Brian available through Holy Transfiguration Publications

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Martyr Love

Martyr Love

The love and power of Christian martyrs is discussed in this Lenten sermon. Fr John Brian gives a sermon that can be listened to at all seasons.

Martyrs have always been considered among the greatest of saints as they are tested servants, but they also demonstrate the great power of God's love.

How is that? Listen to this thoughtful sermon that can help us in our own spiritual growth.

Please pray for Fr. John Brian who remains committed to us in the continuing development of Christian Spirituality.

This sermon uses and refers to scripture readings appointed by the Syriac Orthodox calendar and was given on Sunday March 21, 2015 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission service at St. Ignatius Orthodox Church in Fitchburg, Wisconsin.

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Books by Fr John Brian available through Holy Transfiguration Publications

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Truth and Deception

Truth and Deception

Are we deceived? Fr John Brian suggests we are all easily deceived in America. In this thoughtful sermon, he gives us the Orthodox Christian way of discerning truth and how important this is for our spiritual growth.

Fr. John Brian uses the seasonal readings from the beginning of Matthew to talk about the keys to understanding the truth, even in our dreams.

Then, Fr. John Brian uses a selection for the Epistle of Peter to further assist our discernment. He gives us historical Orthodox Christian grounding to make our spiritual foundations secure.

"Always follow the truth. Find the truth. Trust that God will bring the truth to you," said Fr John Brian

Please pray for Fr. John Brian who remains committed to us in the continuing development of Christian Spirituality.

This sermon uses and refers to scripture readings appointed by the Syriac Orthodox calendar and was given on Sunday December 13, 2014 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission Chapel, Madison, Wisconsin.

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Books by Fr John Brian available through Holy Transfiguration Publications

Reflection on Martyrdom

"... it is a privilege for a Christian to die a martyr, because none but a martyr can, at the last judgement, take his stand in front of God's judgement seat and say, 'According to Thy word and Thy example, I have forgiven. Thou hast no claim against them any more.' Which means that the one who suffers martyrdom in Christ, whose love is not defeated by suffering, acquires unconditional power of forgiving over the one who has inflicted the suffering. And this can be applied on a much lower level, on the level of everyday life; anyone who suffers a minor injustice from someone else can forgive or refuse to forgive. But this is a two-edged sword; if you do not forgive, you will not be forgiven either."

Bishop Anthony Bloom in "Living Prayer"


Books by Fr John Brian available through Holy Transfiguration Publications

Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Spiritually Vulnerable: Exposing Religious Abuse (excerpt)

Many years ago I was quoted in an article that can be found on the internet. I cannot reproduce the entire article here. So here is the relevant excerpt: 


"The Rev. Fr. John-Brian Paprock, an Orthodox Christian priest, certified pastoral counselor and director of Inroads Ministries (an organization dedicated to spiritual recovery and renewal), has noticed the same thing Stephen has. “I started Inroads because I was encountering so many people who were suffering from religious trauma,” he says. “And almost all the cases were familial in some way.

“Maybe the father beat the kids because ‘God told him to do it’ and forced their hands together to make them pray, or maybe a religious trauma has resulted in a dysfunction that has gone down the family generations like a curse,” says Paprock. “Perhaps, due to family dysfunction, a young adult entering college is unable to discern a healthy religious group from an unhealthy one. In counseling survivors, I often have to deal with family of origin issues.”

[...]
The entire article can be found at the link below:

Books by Fr John Brian available through Holy Transfiguration Publications

Friday, January 16, 2015

Reflections on 15 Years of Mission Ministry

When I became a teenager, I had served around the altar of Holy Orthodoxy for years as an altar boy, though without consistency. Like many Orthodox children, my parents, although deeply spiritual and devout in their own way, rarely took us to the Divine Liturgy. There were, as there often are, other issues that were obstacles to attendance. Not the least of these excuses was the lack of English in the services. We were fortunate to find services with English and kind clergy that were willing to push me around the altar in on-the-job training to serve.  About forty years ago, a barely-teenager boy, I was asked if I could read the Epistle during the Liturgy. I agreed and was given the Episcopal blessing (and tonsure) to be a reader in the Holy Orthodox Church. I read in English. 


Thirty years ago, I was ordained to Holy Orders (the diaconate) when I was a young man in my 20s. I volunteered to serve an English speaking mission. A few years later, I was ordained to the priesthood and continued serving Holy Church and the mission for Americans.  I have been blessed with bishops and elders who have given me kind and compassionate attention and required a deeper spirituality. Perhaps they knew, even before I did, how much wounded-ness from childhood I carried. Maybe, they were completely in compliance with the love of God. They taught me and encouraged me even in dark and difficult times. I continued to volunteer for small mission parish work through the years.  (continued below photo collages)

Over past years, I have been blessed with the incidental (and, occasionally ,official) company of Bishops and future Bishops (and a couple of future patriarchs!). I have been honored by their company and blessings. Most of these photos have been taken in the last fifteen years, since I have been part of the Syriac (Malankara) Orthodox Church.

Over the years, I have enjoyed the fellowship, love and friendship of fellow clergy: Malayalee, Coptic, Armenian, Greek, Ukrainian, American, and others. I have been honored to be pictured with some of them here in these photos. 

Here are some photographs of me from my ordination to public talks at the state capitol, from scouting to fatherhood, from contemplative devotion to fun-filled travels. In all, I have been honored by those that took these photos of moments of my life in ministry spanning over 25 years of priesthood - 15 of those years in continual mission service.

There are stories to tell of those that joined the mission through sacramental truths of Holy Orthodoxy and of those that died in the hope that Holy Orthodoxy is a sure bridge to the eternal kingdom. We have prayed for so many that have begun their journey in the Church and those that have joined the heavenly abodes. I have been an honored witness of infants who became students who have become adults. I have bid bon voyage to those that have visited this country for a while and then have returned to their homeland after blessing our little mission with their love and wisdom. And the Lord continues His blessings even through difficulties and tragedies. There are joys of church festivals and struggles with fasts. Over the years over 500 meals and fellowship with some of the most special unique and loving people I have ever encountered.

Humbled and honored by such an anniversary that I gratefully share with you, dear reader, I decided to share pictures rather than just sentiment.  And even as I contemplate the past and the moments frozen in these photographs, I still reach back to defining words that I wrote after a period of inactivity after my son was born - a return to active ministry. I have put a link to those words below.

I humbly request your prayers for me, an unworthy and undeserving servant. May the Lord give me strength and courage, peace and love enough for the next decades of ministry.

Return To Active Ministry
A sermon delivered on the evening of August 5th, 1999  by Reverend Father John-Brian Paprock 
http://frjohbrian.blogspot.com/2009/08/ten-years-ago-return-to-ministry.html

Books by Fr John Brian available through Holy Transfiguration Publications

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Power of Spiritual Community

Spiritual Community

The power of spiritual community is explored in this inspirational sermon of Fr. John Brian.

Fr. John Brian talks about spiritual community from an Eastern Christian perspective, using Galations 3 and 1 John 3 for scriptural insight and clarity.

He begins by quoting the Holy Fathers about the Nativity feast and the profound community of God and man manifest by Emmanuel "God with us."

Please pray for Fr. John Brian who remains committed to us in the continuing development of Christian Spirituality.

This sermon uses and refers to scripture readings appointed by the Syriac Orthodox calendar and was given on Sunday November 30, 2014 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission Chapel, Madison, Wisconsin.

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Books by Fr John Brian available through Holy Transfiguration Publications

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Finding the Cross

Finding the Cross

The Cross has a central place in Christian life. And so we should look for places it can be a source of hope and healing, protection and providence for us.

Fr. John Brian talks about the Cross and the post-crucifixion story from an Eastern Christian perspective.

This inspirational sermon can bring us the Cross of Light to our lives so that we can easily find and use it as a direction for good in the world.

Please pray for Fr. John Brian who remains committed to us in the continuing development of Christian Spirituality.

This sermon uses and refers to scripture readings appointed by the Syriac Orthodox calendar and was given on Sunday September 21, 2014 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission Chapel, Madison, Wisconsin.

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Books by Fr John Brian available through Holy Transfiguration Publications

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Mother of Life and Death

Mother of Life and Death

Mary, the Mother of God, is a deep mystery and one that does not easily lift its veil. Fr. John Brian gives some insight into the mystical and the practical in another thought provoking sermon.

Fr. John Brian talks about the Mother from an Eastern Christian perspective - how the maternal is a key to our life and our death.

This inspirational sermon can bring us closer to Mary the Mother God, asking her to intercede or us with her son, our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Please pray for Fr. John Brian who remains committed to us in the continuing development of Christian Spirituality.

This sermon uses and refers to scripture readings appointed by the Syriac Orthodox calendar and was given on Sunday August 24, 2014 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission Chapel, Madison, Wisconsin.

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Books by Fr John Brian available through Holy Transfiguration Publications

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Mystical Transfiguration


The Mystical Transfiguration

Some of the mystery and the mystical is given in this thought provoking sermon.

Fr. John Brian gives us insight into the symbolism and Luke's gospel account of the Transfiguration from an Eastern Christian perspective. This inspirational sermon can bring us closer to God in this life and in that to come.

Please pray for Fr. John Brian who remains committed to us in the continuing development of Christian Spirituality.

This sermon uses and refers to scripture readings appointed by the Syriac Orthodox calendar and was given on Sunday July 13, 2014 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission Chapel, Madison, Wisconsin.

PODCAST OR DOWNLOAD: http://feeds.feedburner.com/frjohnbrian or http://frjohnbrian.hipcast.com/rss/spiritual_reflections_or_fr_john_brian.xml
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Books by Fr John Brian available through Holy Transfiguration Publications

Monday, July 14, 2014

A Lonely Place with Five Thousand

A Lonely Place with Five Thousand

This is another sermon given for this modern time during the festal time of the Holy Apostles.

In the Gospel of Luke 9:10-17, we are given a story of a miracle, but it begins with Jesus going to a lonely desolate place with his apostles.

When a multitude of the needy come to him there, he heals them and teaches them.

Then we are told that with 5 loaves of bread and two fish, the multitude is fed.

Fr. John Brian gives us insight into the symbolism and the spiritual instructions of this passage from an Eastern Christian perspective. This inspirational sermon can bring us to greater service and greater connection to God in this life and in that to come.

Please pray for Fr. John Brian who remains committed to us in the continuing development of Christian Spirituality.

This sermon uses and refers to scripture readings appointed by the Syriac Orthodox calendar and was given on Sunday July 13, 2014 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission Chapel, Madison, Wisconsin.

Please pray for the mission chapel and all who attend services there.

PODCAST OR DOWNLOAD: http://feeds.feedburner.com/frjohnbrian or
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LISTEN ON-LINE HERE:

Books by Fr John Brian available through Holy Transfiguration Publications

Saturday, July 12, 2014

If ... in This Life

If ... In This Life
This is a sermon given for this modern time during the festal time of the Holy Apostles.

"...For if in this life of the flesh, my efforts bear fruit." (Philippians 1:22) Yes, St. Paul actually says "IF." He writes that he is unsure of the results of his efforts. The great apostle, the great builder of the church, the great teacher, St Paul was unsure of the results of his efforts, even though he definitely saw congregations form and seek spiritual food - indeed we have that evidence in his amazing spiritual instructions in the letters he wrote to them.

It was the Holy Spirit that continues to give life to these teachings and to us. Fr. John-Brian gives important teachings about the Holy Spirit and its place in Apostolic Succession.

The Spirit is like a breath or a wind. See Genesis 2:7 and Ezekiel 37:9 in addition to the gospel ordinations and the Holy Spirit coming to the Apostles by Jesus after the resurrection and at Pentecost and Acts records the Spirit coming to them again.

"As long as breath is in me, the Spirit of God is in me." Job 27:3

In this sermon, Fr John Brian describes the Trinitarian formula for restoration, a transformative understanding of the Trinity to bring us to our created purpose and essence.

Please pray for Fr. John Brian who remains committed to us in the continuing development of Christian Spirituality.

This sermon uses and refers to scripture readings appointed by the Syriac Orthodox calendar and was given on Sunday June 29, 2014 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission Chapel, Madison, Wisconsin.

Please pray for the mission chapel and all who attend services there.

PODCAST OR DOWNLOAD: http://feeds.feedburner.com/frjohnbrian or
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LISTEN ON-LINE HERE:

Books by Fr John Brian available through Holy Transfiguration Publications

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Not Afraid of Those Who Kill

Not Afraid of Those Who Kill

This expository sermon discusses one of the most significant scriptures for the early church; Matthew 10:23 - "do not be afraid of those who kill the body, but cannot kill the soul."

Fr John Brian starts by speaking to the essence of honor and words. It is good to be like our leaders, masters, teachers - we show that honor by using their words and examples in our leading and teaching.

Fr. John Brian reminds us that "fear will take you away from love" and so we should not be afraid of others, treating them with fear. We ought, as Fr. John Brian says, "to treat them with respect and honor because it is the potential of every person to be redeemed at the end of time." So we should treat them as though they can reach that potential.

So how can we get to the point of trust as the early Christians, who went to martyrdom praying for thought that would "kill the body."

"Love God more," says Fr. John Brian.
"Make God's love and mercy our priority is how we grow and development spiritually." This is the wisdom of Christianity.

Please pray for Fr. John Brian who remains committed to us in the continuing development of Christian Spirituality.

This sermon uses and refers to scripture readings appointed by the Syriac Orthodox calendar and was given on Sunday June 22, 2014 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission Chapel, Madison, Wisconsin.

Please pray for the mission chapel and all who attend services there.

PODCAST OR DOWNLOAD: http://feeds.feedburner.com/frjohnbrian or
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LISTEN ON-LINE HERE:

Books by Fr John Brian available through Holy Transfiguration Publications

Friday, June 20, 2014

Continuing New

Continuing New

This important sermon discusses what St Paul calls "walking in newness of life" (Romans 6:4)

Starting with Apostolic Succession and moving into our personal lives, Fr. John Brian enhances understanding of our spiritual genealogy.

"We walk in newness of life. " says Fr. John Brian, "as though we have been resurrected from the dead."

This sermon discusses how we can do this walk or as Fr John Brian puts it:

"Rather than a lump of was without a wick, each of us has a wick in the core of us to be lit... We have always been part of the truth and reality of God - that newness of life - the activity of being-ness."

Fr. John Brian closes with insight into Matthew 11:28-30" Come to me [says Jesus] all who are heavy laden and I will give you rest... for my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

Fr. John-Brian continues to speak to our further spiritual development.

Please pray for Fr. John Brian who remains committed to us in the continuing development of Christian Spirituality.

This sermon uses and refers to scripture readings appointed by the Syriac Orthodox calendar and was given on Sunday June 15, 2014 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission Chapel, Madison, Wisconsin.

Please pray for the mission chapel and all who attend services there.

PODCAST OR DOWNLOAD: http://feeds.feedburner.com/frjohnbrian or
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LISTEN ON-LINE HERE:

Books by Fr John Brian available through Holy Transfiguration Publications

Thursday, June 05, 2014

A Holy Waiting

A Holy Waiting

This sermon elaborates on the Gospel stories of holy waiting for us to consider the pauses in our lives as opportunities:
to work our spiritual work
to practice spiritual principles
to be ready for the time to come
to be ready for the eternal life
to be ready for the return of Christ

Fr. John-Brian continues to speak to our further spiritual development in another inspirational sermon.

Please pray for Fr. John Brian who remains committed to us in the continuing development of Christian Spirituality.

This sermon uses and refers to scripture readings appointed by the Syrian Orthodox calendar and was given on Sunday June 1, 2014 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission Chapel, Madison, Wisconsin.

Please pray for the mission chapel and all who attend services there.

PODCAST OR DOWNLOAD: http://feeds.feedburner.com/frjohnbrian or
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LISTEN ON-LINE HERE:

Books by Fr John Brian available through Holy Transfiguration Publications

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

All of What is Human

All of What is Human

"All of what is human," says Fr John Brian in this sermon, "meets Jesus at the Cross, or rather through the Cross to the Resurrection."

"...not just the embrace of a physical life with spiritual attributes, but the spiritual life that embraces even the death of the physical body on the cross." - Fr. John Brian

We need to become willing to let Christ raise us together, integrated fully in life which is the Spirit moving in the denseness of matter. This is our own work individually and collectively. This divine work is what moved the apostles to people they had never known, places of distant lands.

Fr. John Brian uses the Second Chapter of the Epistle to the Ephesians to help us and remind us that it is the actual effort of God in this world to bring us together. .

Fr. John-Brian continues to speak to our further spiritual development in this inspirational sermon.

Please pray for Fr. John Brian who remains committed to us in the continuing development of Christian Spirituality.

This sermon uses and refers to scripture readings appointed by the Syrian Orthodox calendar and was given on Sunday May 18, 2014 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission Chapel, Madison, Wisconsin.

Please pray for the mission chapel and all who attend services there.

PODCAST OR DOWNLOAD: http://feeds.feedburner.com/frjohnbrian or
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LISTEN ON-LINE HERE:

Books by Fr John Brian available through Holy Transfiguration Publications

Thursday, May 29, 2014

All the Grace and Mercy

All the Grace and Mercy
Christ is Risen!

"All the grace and mercy of God has been given to humanity," says Fr John Brian, "so that we may also rise from the dead."

IN this resurrection time, we are reminded in today's sermon that death has no more power over us. By living dedicated to fear and survival, we actually can end up separated from the eternal mercy available to all.

Fr. John Brian uses the Epistle of Hebrews Chapter 10:1 to help us by showing there is a second and re-newed way of being that helps us reach for the holy sanctification of this auspicious time.

Fr. John-Brian continues to speak to our further spiritual development and he encourages us another inspirational sermon.

Please pray for Fr. John Brian who remains committed to us in the continuing development of Christian Spirituality.

This sermon uses and refers to scripture readings appointed by the Syrian Orthodox calendar and was given on Sunday May 11, 2014 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission Chapel, Madison, Wisconsin.

Please pray for our mission chapel and all our spiritual helpers.

PODCAST OR DOWNLOAD: http://feeds.feedburner.com/frjohnbrian or
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LISTEN ON-LINE HERE:

Books by Fr John Brian available through Holy Transfiguration Publications

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Fix the Broken in Our Lives

Fix the Broken in Our Lives
Christ is Risen!

This sermon focuses on the Resurrection Gospel reading - John Chapter 21.

We may have felt the joy of the resurrection, that God has defeated death and given hope for our limited lives. But are we ready for God to be in our everyday life?

If we can see how we have separated ourselves from Him, how can we truly be reunited with HIm? We are taught in the gospels that He revealed Hmself to His Apostles after His return from death. And in John 21. He is embraced and joins the dinner.
But how do we follow His example of coming back from death?

How do we removed the lingering doubts we have in our relationship with God? We need to make amends. We need to fix that which was broken. When we acknowledge our sins, our separateness, we have only begun a process that is given to us for strength in our conviction that God is good and there is nothing that will keep His goodness, love and mercy from us.

Fr. John Brian explains why the post-resurrection conversation of Jesus and Peter is a demonstration of the way we can fix the brokenness in the world around us - that begins with mending our own brokenness. This brings the talk to the healing of the resurrection continues into our present age.

Fr. John-Brian continues to speak to our further spiritual development and he encourages us another inspirational sermon.

Please pray for Fr. John Brian who remains committed to us in the continuing development of Christian Spirituality.

This sermon uses and refers to scripture readings appointed by the Syrian Orthodox calendar and was given on Sunday May 4, 2014 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission Chapel, Madison, Wisconsin.

Please pray for our mission chapel and all our spiritual helpers.

PODCAST OR DOWNLOAD: http://feeds.feedburner.com/frjohnbrian or
http://frjohnbrian.hipcast.com/rss/spiritual_reflections_or_fr_john_brian.xml
LISTEN ON-LINE HERE:

Books by Fr John Brian available through Holy Transfiguration Publications

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Christ Lives In Me!

Christ Lives In Me!
Christ is Risen!

This sermon focuses on Galatians 2:20 in harmony with the resurrection celebration of Pascha (Easter).

The fullness of the Christian experience is the resurrection of Christ. Fr. John Brian talks bout why this was so important. He asks how do we overcome the separation from God? How do we attain complete relationship with God?

Fr John Brian explores why several key events were not enough: the incarnation, epiphany, crucifixion... These are all important to show God's willingness to be with us completely.

But it is the resurrection that gives us the path to be with God completely!

St. Paul writes in Galation (2:20) "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me."

This leads Fr John Brian to talk inspirationally about our journey as Orthodox Christians - how Easter is echoed in every Sunday liturgy throughout the year.- so that our journey with Christ IN us will lead us beyond death and into union with God.

Fr. John-Brian continues to speak to our further spiritual development and he encourages us another inspirational sermon.

Please pray for Fr. John Brian who remains committed to us in the continuing development of Christian Spirituality.

This sermon uses and refers to scripture readings appointed by the Syrian Orthodox calendar and was given on Saturday Night (in anticipation of Paschal Sunday), April 19, 2014 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission Chapel, Madison, Wisconsin.

Please pray for our mission chapel and all our spiritual helpers.

PODCAST OR DOWNLOAD: http://feeds.feedburner.com/frjohnbrian or
http://frjohnbrian.hipcast.com/rss/spiritual_reflections_or_fr_john_brian.xml
LISTEN ON-LINE HERE:



Books by Fr John Brian available through Holy Transfiguration Publications

Wishing and Striving are Not Enough

Wishing and Striving are Not Enough

This sermon is a homiletic of Romans 9:16 with the Hosannas that lead to the Passion of Christ.

St. Paul writes of the blessings of God, that in the scriptures there are those that are favored. IN the Gospel of Mark, Jesus curses a fig tree in Jerusalem that bears no fruit. He then casts out the money-changers from the temple.

This leads Fr John Brian to talk compassionately about the acceptance of what is beyond our reach.

St. Paul divides this up for us in verse 16 of Chapter 9, writing that the blessings are NOT in reach of our wishing nor of our striving. No earthly human plan has worked of itself.

St. Paul finishes the verse by writing that IT IS within the reach of the merciful God.

Fr. John-Brian continues to speak to our further spiritual development and he encourages us another inspirational sermon.

Please pray for Fr. John Brian who remains committed to us in the continuing development of Christian Spirituality.

This sermon uses and refers to scripture readings appointed by the Syrian Orthodox calendar and was given on Sunday, April 13, 2014 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission Chapel, Madison, Wisconsin.

Please pray for our mission chapel and all our spiritual helpers.

PODCAST OR DOWNLOAD: http://feeds.feedburner.com/frjohnbrian or
http://frjohnbrian.hipcast.com/rss/spiritual_reflections_or_fr_john_brian.xml
LISTEN ON-LINE HERE:


Books by Fr John Brian available through Holy Transfiguration Publications

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Christian Enough

Christian Enough

Sometimes it seems that we got it all sewn up and we can easily tell who is Christian. But we cannot know everything about anyone, not even ourselves - we cannot know who is Christian enough. This is something only He who knows the heart can know.

People have been harshly judgmental lately, as though life was some sort of a team sport, where wearing the proper colors lets everyone know you root for the home team. Bur Fr. John Brian reminds us, "our self interest ought to become less and less selfish."

The two blind men, healed in the Gospel of Mark, follow Christ when they are given the gift of sight. There is no record of these former blind men using there ability to see judging others and harshly criticizing others. All they do after being healed is follow Christ. Fr. John Brian notes, "Being able to enumerate and talk about another's sins does not make you holy or even superior. It certainly does not make you less sinful. It does make you a person with great interest in another person's sins."

"I would prefer'" he continues, "people come to church as rampant sinners - so they can truly come to know the love of God for them."

Fr. John-Brian continues to speak to our further spiritual development and he encourages us in this inspirational sermon.

Please pray for Fr. John Brian who remains committed to us in the continuing development of Christian Spirituality.

This sermon uses and refers to scripture readings appointed by the Syrian Orthodox calendar and was given on Sunday, April 6, 2014 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission Chapel, Madison, Wisconsin. Please pray for our mission chapel and all our spiritual helpers.

PODCAST OR DOWNLOAD: http://feeds.feedburner.com/frjohnbrian or http://frjohnbrian.hipcast.com/rss/spiritual_reflections_or_fr_john_brian.xml
LISTEN ON-LINE HERE:


Books by Fr John Brian available through Holy Transfiguration Publications

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

We are People of the Mud

People of the Mud

We are all People of the Mud, of the dirt. We are one humanity with one hope.

God got muddy with us and showed us that, even though the dirt and dust remain, we may all rise from the dirt and have new life.

This sermon uses the spring weather in the Midwest with the mud that still seems lifeless as analogy of the Lenten season that is coming to a close with hope in all humanity.

Fr. John Brian gives a very short sermon (under 10 minutes) on the issues that the season brings to our humanity and our spiritual development.

Fr. John-Brian continues to speak to our further spiritual development and he encourages us in this inspirational sermon.

Please pray for Fr. John Brian who remains committed to us in the continuing development of Christian Spirituality.

This sermon uses and refers to scripture readings appointed by the Syrian Orthodox calendar and was given on Sunday, March 30, 2014 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission Chapel, Madison, Wisconsin.

Please pray for our mission chapel and all our spiritual helpers.

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Books by Fr John Brian available through Holy Transfiguration Publications

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Servant of All

Servant of All

On March 21, 2014, HH Moron Mor Ignatios I Iwas, Patriarch of Antioch and all the East departed from this world. At the request of the Patriarch, memorial prayers were said in all churches.

This memorial focus gave an opportunity to talk about the need, purpose and the nature of hierarchy in the Christian Church from the beginning centuries.

In Holy Orthodoxy, the hierarchy in its form, substance, spirit and symbolism have been kept intact to the present era.

Fr. John Brian gives a short sermon on the issues of leadership, paraphrasing the great work of St. John Chrysostom "On the Priesthood" which was written from St. John's refusal to be consecrated Patriarch of Constantinople in the 4th Century.

May the memory of LL HH Moron Mor Ignatios I Iwas be eternal! May he pray for us, asking for the Lord's mercy and the fruits of faith in all our lives.

Fr. John-Brian speaks to further spiritual development and encouragement in another short inspirational sermon.

Please pray for Fr. John Brian who remains committed to us in the continuing development of Christian Spirituality.

This sermon uses and refers to scripture readings appointed by the Syrian Orthodox calendar and was given on Sunday, March 23, 2014 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission Chapel, Madison, Wisconsin.

Please pray for our mission chapel and all our spiritual helpers.

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Books by Fr John Brian available through Holy Transfiguration Publications

Whom Does It Serve?

Whom Does It Serve?

If Lent is the great preparation, whom does it serve?

Fr. John Brian gives a short sermon on the issues of service and temptation. "Selfishness is the major source of our struggles," he says.

He brings up the temptations of Jesus Christ during the 40-day fast after His baptism.

"May God fill us His love. For whom? For self? No for serving others," Fr. John Brian encourages us.

Fr. John-Brian speaks to further spiritual development and encouragement in this short inspirational sermon.

Please pray for Fr. John Brian who remains committed to us in the continuing development of Christian Spirituality.

This sermon uses and refers to scripture readings appointed by the Syrian Orthodox calendar and was given on Sunday, March 9, 2014 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission Chapel, Madison, Wisconsin.

Please pray for our mission chapel and all our spiritual helpers.

PODCAST OR DOWNLOAD: http://feeds.feedburner.com/frjohnbrian or
http://frjohnbrian.hipcast.com/rss/spiritual_reflections_or_fr_john_brian.xml
LISTEN ON-LINE HERE:

Books by Fr John Brian available through Holy Transfiguration Publications

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Great Preparation

The Great Preparation

Lent is the great preparation for the renewal of the entirety of creation through the coming resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The Lenten spotlight in Holy Orthodoxy for this preparation is not only a physical culinary change, but also the clarification of our inner life. Is our focus on being with God or on how others may judge us? And then, we have to come to terms with our judgment of others.

So, Lent begins with forgiveness, with reconciliation, with reparation among those that should and ought to love one another.

Yet often we base our inner life on the outer world rather than engage the inner life in all our worldly activities.

Fr. John Brian uses our instant judgment of a church by its outward appearance as an indicator of how we get stuck in our desire for oneness with God.

Sacred places are places where God dwells and Lent is preparing a sacred place in our hearts. Yet, so often the outward appearance of a person seems to be more important than their heart and soul.

"However, many of us feel more welcomed by an empty church," says Fr John Brian, "than in a church full of people." This is a real problem in our modern Orthodox churches and congregations.


Fr. John-Brian speaks to further spiritual development and encouragement in this short inspirational sermon.

Please pray for Fr. John Brian who remains committed to us in the continuing development of Christian Spirituality.

This sermon uses and refers to scripture readings appointed by the Syrian Orthodox calendar and was given on Sunday, March 2, 2014 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission Chapel, Madison, Wisconsin.

Please pray for our mission chapel and all our spiritual helpers.

PODCAST OR DOWNLOAD: http://feeds.feedburner.com/frjohnbrian or
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LISTEN ON-LINE HERE:

Books by Fr John Brian available through Holy Transfiguration Publications

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Ready for Christian Purpose

Ready for Christian Purpose

As we get ready for the Feast of Feasts, the Day of all Days, the day that our entire relationship with the created universe changed - when Jesus Christ rises from the dead.

We prepare with a Great Fast at Lent. And we prepare for this Great Fast with a smaller fast, examining the mission and purpose that God gave us.

In this examination, inwardlly, we are asked to come to terms with our willingness to work in God's fields. We also come to terms with how we do not trust God.

It is the Prophet Jonah and the scripture story that is our guide and example for the Great Fast.

Fr. John-Brian speaks to the guidance, example and spiritual encouragement of Jonah in this short inspirational sermon.

Please pray for Fr. John Brian who remains committed to us in the continuing development of Christian Spirituality.

This sermon uses and refers to scripture readings appointed by the Syrian Orthodox calendar and was given on Sunday, February 9, 2014 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission Chapel, Madison, Wisconsin.

Please pray for our mission and help us as you are able.

PODCAST OR DOWNLOAD: http://feeds.feedburner.com/frjohnbrian or
http://frjohnbrian.hipcast.com/rss/spiritual_reflections_or_fr_john_brian.xml
LISTEN ON-LINE HERE:

Books by Fr John Brian available through Holy Transfiguration Publications

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Honorable Vessels and the Song of Simeon

Honorable Vessels and the Song of Simeon

Simeon is a prophet who is a witness of Jesus as messiah, the savior of all. He was told by God that he would not die until he saw the messiah.

When he saw the baby Jesus presented in the temple, he knew he could die. And he sang a song - praising God as he let go of this life for the life to come. God's will is fulfilled.

Sometimes he is pictured bearing a candle in each hand, one to be a light for Israel and the other to illuminate the Gentiles. So, we bless candles on this day of Christ's presentation in the temple.

In the Second Epistle to Timothy, St. Paul talks about different vessels that are used in a household. Fr. John Brian uses this analogy to emphasize our spiritual need to embrace the way God made us - with three clear characteristics to be of purpose, as an honorable vessel.

Fr. John-Brian speaks to this blessing and this illumination in this short inspirational sermon.

Please pray for Fr. John Brian who remains committed to us in the continuing development of Christian Spirituality.

This sermon uses and refers to scripture readings appointed by the Syrian Orthodox calendar and was given on Sunday, February 2, 2014 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission Chapel, Madison, Wisconsin.

Please pray for our mission and help us as you are able.

PODCAST OR DOWNLOAD: http://feeds.feedburner.com/frjohnbrian or
http://frjohnbrian.hipcast.com/rss/spiritual_reflections_or_fr_john_brian.xml
LISTEN ON-LINE HERE:

Books by Fr John Brian available through Holy Transfiguration Publications

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Illumination - The Gift of Timket

Illumination - The Gift of Timket

Timket is Ge'ez (the Ethiopian liturgical language) for Epiphany.

The Baptism of Jesus Christ by St. John the Baptist is a seminal event in Christianity. It is the event that ends the Old Testament.

In Ethiopian tradition, it is the feast of the Ark of the Covenant that prefigured the appearance of the Trinity at the Baptism - the Illumination of the Word by the descent of the Holy Spirit as a dove (which links this to the Ark of Noah).

At this festival, the Ark (or the representation of the Ark) is carried forth to the place where the waters are blessed.

Fr. John-Brian speaks to this blessing and this illumination in this short inspriational sermon.

Please pray for Fr. John Brian who continues to encourage us in the continuing development of Christian Spirituality.

This sermon uses and refers to scripture readings appointed by the Syrian Orthodox calendar and was given on Sunday, January 19, 2014 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission Chapel, Madison, Wisconsin.

Please pray for our mission and help us as you are able.

PODCAST OR DOWNLOAD: http://feeds.feedburner.com/frjohnbrian or
LISTEN ON-LINE HERE:

Books by Fr John Brian available through Holy Transfiguration Publications

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Living in the Cold and Dark

Living in the Cold and Dark

Sometimes we underestimate to the power of the world arounds us - the powerful influence of cold and dark. Through human ingenuity and practical application of the created laws of nature, we are able to combat both of the cold and the dark with heat and electricity. However, not everyone benefits.

In the opening of John's Gospel and his First Epistle, there is discussion of darkness and light. There is a symbolic understanding of cold and dark as applied to our awareness in consciousness and our moral conscience, our inner guidance system.

Fr John Brian talks about these opposing forces in our spiritual development.

Please pray for Fr. John Brian who continues to encourage us in the continuing development of Christian Spirituality.

This sermon uses and refers to scripture readings appointed by the Syrian Orthodox calendar and was given on Sunday, January 5, 2014 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission Chapel, Madison, Wisconsin.

Please pray for our mission and help us as you are able.

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Books by Fr John Brian available through Holy Transfiguration Publications

Thursday, January 09, 2014

For That Which Does NOT - Praise God



For That Which Does NOT - Praise God

Any step in the right direction is progress. And we all know to be gracious and grateful for any progres we can make in this life.

We often do not even consider the potential or terrible things that might have happened - when bad things do not happen to us.

After Nativity of Jesus Christ, we are told that Herod, out of fear of losing his earthly kingdom, wealth and power, sought to kill Jesus as a baby. When he found that Bethlehem would be the birth place, he ordered the death of all male infants under a year old. These are considered the first martyrs - the Holy Innocents. We ask them to pray for us.

And the three kings and Joseph were both warned. Joseph, by an angel.

Fr. John Brian talks about the need for the prayers of others. "By prayer," he says, "we hold each other up."

Please pray for Fr. John Brian who continues to encourage us in the continuing development of Christian spirituality.

This sermon uses and refers to scripture readings appointed by the Syrian calendar and was given on Sunday, December 29, 2013 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission Chapel, Madison, Wisconsin.

Please pray for our mission and help us as you are able.

PODCAST OR DOWNLOAD: http://feeds.feedburner.com/frjohnbrian or
http://frjohnbrian.hipcast.com/rss/spiritual_reflections_or_fr_john_brian.xml
LISTEN ON-LINE HERE:

Books by Fr John Brian available through Holy Transfiguration Publications

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Christmas Lump of Clay

Christmas Lump of Clay

Preparing for Holy Nativity, we ask God, who has done the extraordinary things with the ordinary, what may His purpose, His intention, be for us?

Even so, everything is done with our consent. The whole of the nativity story told over the weeks before the Holy Nativity are filled with the confrontation of God's plan and human consent.

"He calls us to be more of what we are," says Fr. John Brian. With our permission, He forms us into the true being we were created to be.

Romans 9:21 "Does not the potter have the power over his clay..." We consent to be that lump of clay. The best form is already present. It only needs to be brought forward, revealed. It is the best person we can be.

Mary is given an impossible idea - a virgin to give birth. It is a confrontation with an incredible notion: God will bring about the restoration of divinity in all of His creation through the consent of a young woman.

"Nothing is impossible for God," says Archangel Gabriel in the Gospel of Luke. Mary responds as a lump of clay, "Here I am...let it be to me according to your word." (Luke 1:38)

Please pray for Fr. John Brian who continues to encourage us in the continuing development of Christian spirituality.

This sermon uses and refers to scripture readings appointed by the Syrian Malankara calendar and was given on Sunday, November 24, 2013 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission Chapel, Madison, Wisconsin.

Please pray for our mission and help us as you are able.

PODCAST OR DOWNLOAD: http://feeds.feedburner.com/frjohnbrian or
http://frjohnbrian.hipcast.com/rss/spiritual_reflections_or_fr_john_brian.xml
LISTEN ON-LINE HERE:


Books by Fr John Brian available through Holy Transfiguration Publications

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Ready to Listen

Ready to Listen

Preparing for Holy Nativity with Story of Zechariah, the father of St. John the Baptist (as recorded in Luke Chapter 1), are we listening?

In Holy Orthodoxy, the rules and fasts are not meant to create an atmosphere of failure. Rather, it is an understanding of our limits and knowledge that God does not have our limitations.

The rituals and festivals of Holy Orthodoxy are intended to bring us closer to God.

"We are limited," says Fr. John Brian in this sermon, "but God calls us beyond our limits - nothing beyond our ability to move closer to God."

Fr. John Brian also examines the ability of Zachariah to listen to the angel who visited him. Zachariah could only hear the news through all his limitations. We need to listen to the urgings of God outside these limitations - for with God all things are possible.

Please pray for Fr. John Brian who continues to encourage us in the continuing development of Christian spirituality.

This sermon uses and refers to scripture readings appointed by the Syrian Malankara calendar and was given on Sunday, November 17, 2013 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission Chapel, Madison, Wisconsin.

Please pray for our mission and help us as you are able.

PODCAST OR DOWNLOAD: http://feeds.feedburner.com/frjohnbrian or
http://frjohnbrian.hipcast.com/rss/spiritual_reflections_or_fr_john_brian.xml
LISTEN ON-LINE HERE:

Books by Fr John Brian available through Holy Transfiguration Publications

Friday, November 29, 2013

Great is This Mystery

Great is This Mystery

"Truly great is this divine mystery of righteousness..." 1 Timothy 3:16

Fr. John Brian's mentor Archbishop John passed from this earthly existence on October 26, 2013. This sermon includes tribute and reflections on "Bishop John."

As Fr. John Brian relates, "He helped me understand the importance of Orthodox ministry in this world."

This is tied into the Gospel reading from Matthew 5 and 1 Timothy Chapter 3.

"Mystery is profound understanding that we are inadequate to comprehend all of what God is and all of what God does.... IN the sacraments of the Church, we participate in this [divine] mystery.... This mystery is revealed to us in the flesh." Listen to more of Fr. John Brian says in this sermon

Please pray for Fr. John Brian who continues to encourage us in the continuing development of Christian spirituality.

This sermon uses and refers to scripture readings appointed by the Syrian Malankara calendar and was given on Sunday, October 27, 2013 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission Chapel, Madison, Wisconsin.

Please pray for our mission and help us as you are able.

PODCAST OR DOWNLOAD: http://feeds.feedburner.com/frjohnbrian or
http://frjohnbrian.hipcast.com/rss/spiritual_reflections_or_fr_john_brian.xml
LISTEN ON-LINE HERE:

Books by Fr John Brian available through Holy Transfiguration Publications

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Kingdom of Heaven is for Children


The Kingdom of Heaven is for Children
 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock
 
From the Sermon delivered Sunday, July 28, 2013 at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission Chapel, Madison, Wisconsin
 

photo by JBP 2013 - all rights reserved
In the Gospel of Matthew Chapter 18, there is a simple little moment when Jesus talks about children. He talks about children and about us the same way.
 
He says, “truly I say to you...” and whenever He says “truly” in the Bible that means “pay attention, this is much more important than anything else.” He is also saying “truly” to say that it is of the truth.
 
In Matthew’s Gospel, He says, “Truly I say to you, unless you change, and become like little children, you shall not enter” you shall not enter, “the Kingdom of Heaven. And whoever, therefore, will humble himself like this little child shall be great in the Kingdom of Heaven. And he who will welcome one like this little child in my Name welcomes me.”

He is saying three different things here that I want to point out: two of which are about us, and one is about others. Notice that He doesn't take away, or suggest we treat other people differently than we would ourselves.

This first point that He makes is: unless we change and become like little children, we will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven. This idea of changing and becoming like little children is not easy. We know what it is to change and become adults. We know what it is to grow up, and we often have different experiences that tell us, or clarify for us - either through our society, our culture, or in our own lives. There's always this point at which we can say, “now I'm an adult.”

In America, we have a legal standing of adulthood, which is when one is eighteen years old.  But that's not necessarily the same thing as feeling like you're an adult, with all the responsibilities, living independently, and maybe even being married and having kids, etcetera, and etcetera.

Jesus says in Matthew, rather than grow up in this world and become an adult in this world, we need to change and become like little children. Little children are innocent, but they also have great joy as they live in the present moment. They're not worried about the future, and they don't dwell on the past.
 
So, to get to the Kingdom of Heaven, we have to be in the present. I have brought this teaching to you previously, which is the idea that we cannot meet God any other place than in this present moment. This present moment becomes precious full of life and spiritual goodness, and all the other things we seek. In other words, it is the time of Kingdom of Heaven.

And another place, early on in the Gospel, both John the Baptist and Jesus proclaim, “repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!” [Matthew 4:17, NCSB]. Repent, in Greek, means 'metanoia' which literally means “change your mind.” So, another translation could be: “change your mind, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” And, as I have taught before, there is your hand. How close it is indeed.

The second thing that Jesus points out in the Gospel reading (as if it wasn't totally clear about what it means to become like a little child): “therefore whoever will humble himself like this little child shall be great in the Kingdom of Heaven.”
 
A little child is completely dependent upon others for everything. That is a humility that understands how dependent they are, and how precious the people around them help them. That's the humility that's being spoken of by our Lord. So again, this humility will make us great in Heaven.

What is meant by “great in Heaven?” When you're large in Heaven, you feel as though you are part of the entirety of everything. That you are one with God, and instead of just being a little small body that houses a little heart area, you become like a big cathedral that can be filled with God, filled with the Spirit. And that's what is meant by “great in the Kingdom of Heaven,” not that you have greatness like a king, a pope, or a president, but that you have greatness in a spiritual way. But you need to be humble like a little child.

The third thing Jesus teaches is related to other people.  Jesus says, “one that welcome this little child in my name welcomes me.” In other words, when we treat other people as though they are children in need of care, concern, patience, tolerance, love, and even guidance perhaps, we will find that we are actually not just treating them that way, and welcoming them, we are also welcoming Jesus.

Now often people say they don't want to welcome children because “child are noisy,” and they just don't want to be worried about children, and distracted by children. But what Jesus is saying is one who “welcomes one like this little child,” not that bad child behaviors are part of it at all. That means welcoming those people who are living the God-ward way.
 
Then He says, in Matthew’s account, another point which is similar: “and whoever misleads these little ones who believe, it would be better for them that [they just go basically die - my paraphrasing, of course].”  His point there is simply that the little ones and children need trust, they need to be in trustworthy places, and around trustworthy people.
 
So Jesus is saying that if you're not going to welcome them, then don't be untrustworthy. Don't mislead them. Don't let them believe things that aren't true. Take care of them, but, if you're not going to take care of them, then it is better that you just go away and die.

That seems kind of harsh, but then Jesus says something a little bit later to clarify this. In verse ten of Matthew 18: “See to it that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you, their angels always see the face of my Father in Heaven.”
 
So, for those who act in that way, and are able to humble themselves in that way, and if you welcome those who are like that, you will be able to see God in them. And angels, that is to say those powers that help us in our day to day activities, and those who intervene for us, can see God, and those people who humble themselves are like those little children with the face of God. And so in our welcoming of them, we will be able to see God clearly.

Then Jesus goes on to say, in verse eleven: “for the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.” And many people in America and in the world today, as they get older, becoming more adult, they lose the very thing that they need to be with God, which is a certain innocence, and humility.
 
God calls us to be in the present moment with Him; so we can have the joy, peace, well-being, and goodness that exists in the present moment with God, or Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. By doing so, by welcoming them, we also welcome God into our lives.

So here I am, a very weak and sinful servant of God who, of myself, am nothing. I understand the Spirit of God sustains me, and whatever ministry I am able to do is by the grace of God alone. This mission has been here all these years, by the grace of God, and it is God's mission. So I come before God, and ask, “God what is your Will? This is Your mission. Help me who am weak. Help me who am sinful. Help me who falls short of all the good things that You wish to do.”
 
And, very often, I hear a small voice that says, “be like a little child. Trust. Be innocent as best you can. Keep trusting in the way that a child trusts. And keep understanding that you are incomplete without God. You cannot do this alone. You cannot even live your life without God's help, let alone do any ministry, or any kind of good without His help.”
 
It comes down to a simple choice, am I willing to be with God in the present moment? Or do I give up God to be an adult in this world?

I think there may be a way to do both. But if it comes down to a choice between the two, we should always choose to be like a little child in the present moment, in the awe and wonder of what God has given to this world, both in His creation and to all of us. And be filled with His love by being in the present moment. Even as I say this, I can hear an echo of children giggling in the goodness of God’s love, because they're so willing to be in the present moment.

And so we are called by God to be as little children: to be with Him as His children; to view Him as Father; to be filled with His love. So that we may have joy and peace, and know that we are safe and sound as long as we trust in Him.
 
+ + + 

Books by Fr John Brian available through Holy Transfiguration Publications