The reality of the Kingdom of Heaven begins when we stop calculating, doing statistics, playing number and word games, analyzing, dividing, and dissecting. The life of the Church begins when we enter into a deeper experience that unites us together.
They rejected the success of imperial Rome and the “Roman Peace” based in worldly power and might. They understood the ways of the world could be more efficient but they believed the means must be consistent with the end rather than that the ends justified the means.
Every grace that the bishop receives, he receives primarily because he is an Orthodox bishop and because his Orthodox faith is true. He does not receive grace because his works are glorious, his thoughts are good, and his testimonies are great.
It seems at first glance that this gospel reading is about fishing. In truth it is about no such thing.It is a test of faith. It is about honestly assessing the obstacles and hindrances that are between us and a life that is dedicated to God.
The puzzle is solved when we back away from the English translation of the Hebrew which our current book provides and use the Greek translation of the Septuagint instead, which was almost certainly the version used by whoever chose this psalm for the koinonikon for the day.
St. John the Baptist was a preacher of repentance. He warned that the axe is already laid to the root of the tree, and any tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and caste into the fire. This means that the axe is already in position to start hacking away at the roots, and to chop the tree down, but there is still an opportunity for repentance.