My Podcast Homily for Third Sunday After Easter was uploaded yesterday.   Listen to the Podcast Homily.

By coincidence, the subject of Episodes 43 and 44 in the AIC Bible Study series on YouTube includes extensive discussion of Jesus use of words in reference to concepts concerning time, including hour, in a little while, and time, include the Third Sunday After Easter reading from the Gospel of St. John (John 16:11-22).  Owing to technical issues (there being only 24 hours in a day) I was not able to complete production and uploading of either episode.  Both should be available during the week of April 27th.

Second Sunday After Easter and Episode 42 – New Testament

A day or so late I produced and uploaded a Podcast Homily for Second Sunday After Easter and also uploaded Episode 42 in the New Testament: Gospels and Epistles series.  Second Sunday After Easter is popularly known as Good Shepherd Sunday, since both readings feature the concept of Jesus as our Shepherd.  Listen to the Podcast Homily

Good Shepherd-Icon001In my former parish I mounted the Greek Orthodox icon of Christ the Good Shepherd in the Narthex. SJVC-35-GoodShepherd-Inset  In Greek the name is O Poimen, O Kalos.  At the parish at St. Joseph’s Villa Chapel, Richmond, Va, we had a stained glass window depicting Christ the Good Shepherd surrounded by lambs, with a lamb over His shoulder.  At right is the central detail of the window.  This and other stained glass windows at the Chapel are pictured in the AIC Bookstore publication, Paintings on Light: the Stained Glass Windows of St. Joseph’s Villa Chapel, which is available from my Author Central page at Amazon:

Copyright Can Stock Photo, Inc./one pony
Copyright Can Stock Photo, Inc./one pony

In the research for the Bible Study series, I found a very fine 19th Century stained glass depiction of Jesus, which is mounted at an Anglican Church in Nova Scotia, Canada.  The original church was built in 1749.  The vendor did not identify the artist.

The Bible Study series continues with, as noted, the uploading of Episode 42, which continues my discussion of the Gospel of St. John with John’s unique treatment of Peter, Judas, Nicodemus and Mary Madgalene.

I’m wrapping up the final two episodes on St. John and will then turn to completing the You Tube video version of my verse-by-verse discussion of Revelation.

Watch Episode 42

Thanks so much for your support and interest.  This internet ministry is entirely supported by public contributions and book sales.  100% of the royalty for all books is contributed to the AIC checking account.

First Sunday After Easter

Corkie and I got back from our first trip in the Volvo XC90 AWD late yesterday.  This morning I put together a short Podcast Homily for the First Sunday After Easter based on the prayer book readings from 1 John 5:4-12 and John 20:19-23.  LIsten to the Podcast

John-RohanMaster-15thCThese two readings are both highly-spiritual, in which St. John shares his first hand experience as a Disciple and his own passionate understanding of the importance of the Christian virtue of Love (from the Greek, agape) and the equality of the Holy Spirit with the Father and the Son (or the Word in the Gospel of St. John).  In his epistle he once again indulgences in a preference for stressing the importance of the symbolic number 3.  Three stands for the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as well as for the three baptism-like symbols in his narrative:  the spirit, the water and the blood.  As he did in his Gospel account, he speaks of the Holy Spirit as witness of the Truth, meaning the Christian belief that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that through Him only can salvation be obtained.  In his Gospel, he frequently uses the comparison between Truth and Falsehood.  For those moderns who give advice on the need for inclusiveness, St. John offers unwanted stress upon the certainty that there is only one path to the Father:

And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.  He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

How much clearer can an Epistle be?

The Gospel account is unique in many ways.  It offers details of the appearance in the Upper Room, safely locked against possilbe intrusion by hostile Jews, including the granting to the faithful of the Peace of God, access by His breath to the Holy Spirit, and later, after the end of the reading, the comments of a skeptical Thomas, as well as providing the Scriptural basis for the Sacrament of Confession/Penance.  As I note in the Podcast Homily, the granting of the sacrament providing Absolution and Remission of sins is yet another example of God’s unqualified love, Agape, for His Creation.

Christ Is Risen From the Grave!

Christ is risen from the grave!
Response:  Indeed, He has risen from the grave!

These are the opening words spoken by a Deacon in the Eastern celebration of Easter, often called the Feast of Feasts, being the most important day on the Church Calendar.  For this occasion I have published a 13-minute Podcast homily on the AIC Web Site, in which I elaborate on the history of the Eastern celebration of Easter at Antioch, the meaning of Ranson and Propitiation, and, in modern life, the choice facing all Christians of being either Esau or Jacob.   Listen to the Podcast Homily.

The Harrowing of Hades, the Resurrection Day icon of Jesus Christ in the Russian Orthodox tradition.
The Harrowing of Hades, the Resurrection Day icon of Jesus Christ in the Russian Orthodox tradition.

In the Homily I refer to one of the most remarkable icons of the Eastern Church tradition, The Harrowing of Hades.  In this single icon are many theological messages of great importance to an understanding of traditional Christian teaching.  Since the Homily is sound-only, I have included for this Blog.

Jesus stands, surrounded by the blue aura, signifying the Glory of the Lord, with the golden disk behind His head in the traditional Eastern Church manner including the Greek equivalent letters for I AM  (Exodus 3:14, 15).  He stands upon the coffin lids symbolic of the gates of Hades, which by His Resurrection He has broken open.  With His right hand (left side of the icon) He lifts Adam, dressed in white, from Sheol (the Pit).  With His left hand (right side of the icon), He lifts Eve, dressed in Red.

In the Pit beneath the destroyed gates of Hades are the keys which are referred to in Revelation:  I hold the keys to Hades and Death.   Also in the Pit is a bound figure who is not raised from the dead, symbolic of those unrighteous who will not enjoy everlasting life in the Kingdom of the Father.

The figure at the left background (to the right of Jesus Christ) is John the Baptist, called the Last Prophet of the Old Testament, symbolizing the transition from the Old Testament to the New.

At my former parish of St. John Chrysostom, I always hung this icon on the front of the pulpit throughout Easter season, where the people could easily see it.  The same icon was held aloft in the Eastern Morning processional around the outside of St. Joseph’s Villa Chapel, Richmond, VA.  The full text of the Easter Morning service, based on a Syrian Orthodox Church model, is available in paperback and Kindle versions in the AIC Bookstore publication. Occasional Services for Anglican Worship at my author page at   (