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Reflections by Father Luke Veronis

2021

Friday, October 15, 2021

Rev. Fr. Luke A. Veronis

My father tells me about his mother, my yiayia, who was a very pious woman and who loved her Lord Jesus, the Virgin Mary and His saints above all else. Continue Reading »

Friday, October 08, 2021

Rev. Fr. Luke A. Veronis

Death is all around us, even though we often try to ignore it. Whether natural disasters like we’ve seen in our country that bring unexpected tragedy. Or long-term illnesses that numerous people in our Church family are battling. Or this ongoing pandemic. Every day we can read about tragedies and death happening throughout the world. Continue Reading »

Friday, October 01, 2021

Rev. Fr. Luke A. Veronis

This week seven young men from my church and I visited St Nektarios Greek Orthodox Monastery in Roscoe, NY. I’m sure most people have never visited a monastery and have no clue of what Orthodox Christian monks and nuns do. Why do these men and women renounce the world and go off to live in a secluded monastery? Continue Reading »

Friday, September 17, 2021

Rev. Fr. Luke A. Veronis

I recently read about the life of Maximillian Kolbe, the Polish Catholic priest who died in the Auschwitz Nazi death camp during WW2. His story is one of truly “denying yourself, taking up one’s cross, and following Jesus Christ.” Continue Reading »

Friday, September 10, 2021

Rev. Fr. Luke A. Veronis

On January 13, 1982, Air Florida Flight 90 smashed nose-first into the rock-solid ice covering the Potomac River just outside Washington, D.C. To horrified onlookers, it seemed impossible that anyone could be alive inside the mangled steel carcass slowly vanishing into the water. But one by one, six survivors gasped to the surface and grabbed desperately at the tail of the plane. Continue Reading »

Friday, September 03, 2021

Rev. Fr. Luke A. Veronis

We get an understanding of this in today’s Gospel story of the Unforgiving Servant. Jesus describes a servant who owed a king an insurmountable debt. Continue Reading »

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Rev. Fr. Luke A. Veronis

In our society today, how often do we compromise the “Truth,” whether consciously or unconsciously, in order to appease public opinion? How often do we allow opinion polls to sway our understanding of right and wrong, instead of relying on the unchangeable truth of the Gospel and the Church? Continue Reading »

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Rev. Fr. Luke A. Veronis

"If it were possible for me to climb up into the sky and shout with a great voice, to preach to the entire world that only our Christ is the Son and Word of God, true God and life of all, I would have done it.  But because I can't do such a thing, I do this small thing of walking from village to village and teaching my brothers and sisters as I can, not as a teacher but as a brother." Continue Reading »

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Rev. Fr. Luke A. Veronis

“Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things but one thing is needful and Mary has chosen the better part and this shall not be taken away from her.” Continue Reading »

Sunday, August 08, 2021

Rev. Fr. Luke A. Veronis

“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.”  These words offer a summary of the life of the Virgin Mary, because they show how she lived a life totally dedicated to serving God and proclaiming the Good News of the Savior of the world. Continue Reading »

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Rev. Fr. Luke A. Veronis

How many of us prefer to ignore the demons in our lives? When I’m talking about demons, I’m talking about certain passions we can’t we get under control? Our temper. Our pride. Our anger. Our greed. Our lust. Our laziness. What about certain addictions or daily habits that control us? It’s so easy to get used to many of these demons and to simply accept certain habits as a part of who we are. Continue Reading »

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Rev. Fr. Luke A. Veronis

What can we learn from a nonconformist, chain-smoking, twice divorced Russian nun who scandalized many people with her non-traditional behavior? People in church circles sometimes found it hard to relate to Mother Maria Skobtsova, better known as St Maria of Paris, whose feastday we celebrate  this week on July 20th. Continue Reading »

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Rev. Fr. Luke A. Veronis

Why worry about anything? Instead, seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all your worries will be taken care of by Your Father in Heaven! Continue Reading »

Sunday, July 04, 2021

Rev. Fr. Luke A. Veronis

“Come and follow me!” On one hand it seems like such a simple invitation, and yet, when one understands the implications, it demands a radical response! Continue Reading »

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Rev. Fr. Luke A. Veronis

How many times we pray at every Divine Liturgy: “Remembering the most holy, pure blessed Lady the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary, with all the saints, let us commit ourselves, and one another, and our whole life to Christ our God.” Continue Reading »

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Rev. Fr. Luke A. Veronis

How many of us try to do something but don’t have the discipline we need? We want to change certain things in our lives but simply don’t have the strength or fortitude to do it. We realize we are weak or undisciplined or maybe a bit complacent or lazy and can’t accomplish certain goals or changes in our lives. Where do we find strength? Where can we discover a Source of power? Continue Reading »

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Rev. Fr. Luke A. Veronis

Greatness inspires! Think of someone who has inspired you in your life, someone who has pushed you to strive for greatness. Continue Reading »

Sunday, June 06, 2021

Rev. Fr. Luke A. Veronis

In part 2 of this sermon series of “Why Believe and What to Believe?” I want to turn to another commonality among the world’s religions and the experiences of all peoples throughout every culture. Throughout history we have seen how all humanity strive to discover answers to the existential questions about the world we live in, about our experiences in life, and what is ultimate reality. Continue Reading »

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Rev. Fr. Luke A. Veronis

I recently had the opportunity to sit with 13 young adults between the ages of 16-30 and talk about faith issues. I asked them “What do you believe? Why do you believe or don’t believe? And what do you think about the Church? Is it something necessary or unnecessary, helpful or unhelpful, for someone’s journey of faith?” Continue Reading »

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Rev. Fr. Luke A. Veronis

How many of us struggle with certain issue in our lives? Maybe they are issues which we think can never change. It could be an illness, or a bad habit we have had since forever, or some personality or character flaw. Some of us have gotten so used to our weaknesses or brokenness that we think there’s nothing we can do about it; there’s no hope for change or renewal. Continue Reading »

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Rev. Fr. Luke A. Veronis

Christ is Risen! And with His Resurrection, Christ changed the world! That’s a bold statement, and yet when one studies world history and understands the impact of Christians throughout the centuries, there’s no denying the influence of Christianity on a global scale. Christ, and His followers, changed the world for the better. We can also point to the fact that one out of every three people who live on planet earth claim to be followers of Jesus Christ. This means that more than 2.3 billion people would say that Jesus Christ has played some role in their identity, and of course, for those who are serious in their commitment to Christ, surely His Resurrection has touched them and fundamentally influenced their worldview! As bold as this statement is – that Christ changed the world - it’s truly not an exaggeration. Continue Reading »

Sunday, May 09, 2021

Rev. Fr. Luke A. Veronis

What does this statement imply when we say it with faith. “My Lord and my God.” Thomas the Apostle, whose memory we celebrate today, was the first to proclaim these words a week after our Lord’s Resurrection. We heard his story in the Gospel reading of today. First, the Risen Christ appeared to Mary Magdalene outside the tomb, then to Peter and 10 of the 12 disciples in the upper room, as well as to Cleopas and Luke on the road to Emmaus. Jesus had truly risen from the dead, and numerous people had encountered the Risen Lord, much to their astonishment and delight. Continue Reading »

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Rev. Fr. Luke A. Veronis

If we learned anything from our journey through Holy Week, it should be this. Nothing happens outside the knowledge and will of God. No matter how dark and unsettling things appeared during the Passion of Christ – especially with the betrayal of Judas, the rejection of Jesus by His own people, the hypocrisy and blindness of the religious leaders, the cruelty of the Roman soldiers, and the unfairness of the perfect man becoming a sacrificial lamb crucified on the Cross for an ungrateful world – nothing happened outside the knowledge and will of God. Continue Reading »

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Rev. Fr. Luke A. Veronis

After traveling and living with Jesus for three years, listening to all his inspiring words, witnessing his amazing miracles, observing his life of love for all people, everything seems to culminate in the events of yesterday. For the Apostles, going to Bethany where Jesus’ dear friend Lazarus had died and been buried in a tomb four days prior, they thought that the Lord would simply comfort the sisters Martha and Mary, giving them words of hope and strength in the midst of their mourning. Yet Christ not only shocked everyone with his greatest miracle – giving life to a man who had been dead four days – but he reaffirmed His divine identity to His followers. “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in Me, though they may die, they shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.” (John 11:25-26) Continue Reading »

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Rev. Fr. Luke A. Veronis

How strong is your faith? Have you thought about how your faith has changed over the years? Have you nourished it and has it grown over, say, the last 10 years, or has it weakened and withered and become more uncertain? Of course, for you who come to Church, you obviously have nourished your faith to at least some degree, and that’s why you’re here on a Sunday. How sincere, though, are we in cultivating a living, vibrant faith and relationship to God? Continue Reading »

Sunday, April 04, 2021

Rev. Fr. Luke A. Veronis

“May God bless you with a life of sacrifice, a life of struggle, maybe a short-lived life and a life denying your own desires and serving others?” Continue Reading »

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Rev. Fr. Luke A. Veronis

Why do we find it so hard to forgive others? Continue Reading »

Sunday, March 07, 2021

Rev. Fr. Luke A. Veronis

Recently I spoke with a 62 year old woman who is dying. Several months ago her doctors told her that she has six months to live due to a rare form of cancer. Of course, this woman is extremely sad at her prospects. Yet she is preparing herself for what may happen much sooner than she ever dreamed about. She is making her funeral arrangements. She called me up to talk about the funeral service. She’s confronting the likelihood that she will die soon. Obviously, life takes on a radically new perspective when confronted with such reality. Continue Reading »

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Rev. Fr. Luke A. Veronis

How many of us think we’re better than some others? Honestly, how many of us have judged someone else, thinking that we’re not like them because we’re better? We condemn others, while we praise ourselves before God! Continue Reading »

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Rev. Fr. Luke A. Veronis

How many of us think we’re better than some others? Honestly, how many of us have judged someone else, thinking that we’re not like them because we’re better? We condemn others, while we praise ourselves before God! Continue Reading »

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Rev. Fr. Luke A. Veronis

The Bible teaches us, “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you can move mountains.” Christ encourages us to “Ask and you shall receive; seek and you shall find; knock and the door will be open to you.” A central element of our understanding of Orthodox Christianity has to do with FAITH. If we believe, not in ourselves, but in God, then nothing can limit or hinder us. St. Paul even writes, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Continue Reading »

Sunday, February 07, 2021

Rev. Fr. Luke A. Veronis

Jesus told to his disciples, “You did not choose me, but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit that will last” (Jn 15:16). Understanding this foundation of faith helps us see today’s Gospel lesson from a new perspective. Continue Reading »

Sunday, January 31, 2021

Rev. Fr. Luke A. Veronis

Distractions. How many of us find ourselves distracted? From our phones? Social media? 24/7 News? Never-ending sports? Constant distractions all around us. Distractions that don’t allow time to sit in silence, reflect or meditate, or even focus in prayer. Continue Reading »

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Rev. Fr. Luke A. Veronis

Who are we? And how do we identify ourselves? In fact, what would we say is our primary identity in our lives? Which identity do we value most? Continue Reading »

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Rev. Fr. Luke A. Veronis

“Give thanks in all circumstances!” This was the response that an amazing prisoner gave me, when I asked him how he maintained such a grateful spirit inside the medium security prison where he lived. I met this man over a three year period when I would weekly visit a prison during my seminarian years. Throughout my friendship with this man, he shared with me how he was serving a life sentence with no chance of parole. Yet, while in prison he encountered Jesus Christ and had a radical conversion of faith. Continue Reading »

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Rev. Fr. Luke A. Veronis

A new year has begun and the entire world is happy to say goodbye to 2020 and to welcome 2021 with hope for a better year! We all pray that this will be the year that we put the global pandemic behind and start to normalize our lives once again. Yet, take care and reflect on what “normal” is. Should we go back to what our “normal life” was? Continue Reading »

Sunday, January 03, 2021

Fr. Luke A. Veronis

“There is more to life than being happy.” How many people agree with that statement? As we enter into a new year, I want to draw our attention to this challenging statement – “There is more to life than being happy.” What do you think could be more important than a “happy life?” Or maybe the question should be, how do we understand what a truly happy life is? Continue Reading »

 

2020

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Fr. Luke A. Veronis

Following the fall of communism in Albania, there was a state-run orphanage where 100 boys and girls lived under squalid conditions. With the freedom of religion came the opportunity for the Church to be more involved in these state institutions, and to bring such children the joy and good news of Christmas. A priest and some of his parishioners happened to go to this orphanage and share the Christmas Story with all the children. He told them about the Virgin Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem finding no room in the inn. How the holy family found refuge in a cave, where the baby Jesus was born, and how they placed Him in a manger among the animals. Continue Reading »

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Fr. Luke A. Veronis

“The people walking in darkness has seen a great light… The Light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it… I am the light of the world, whoever believes in me shall not walk in darkness but will walk in the light of life.” (Isaiah 9:2; John 1:5; John 9:5) Continue Reading »

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Fr. Luke A. Veronis

A few years ago Tony Campolo, a sociologist and professor from Eastern University, flew to Hawaii to speak at a conference. He tells the story of how he checked into his hotel and tried to get some sleep. Unfortunately, his internal clock wakes him at 3:00 a.m. The night is dark, the streets are silent, the world is asleep, but Tony is wide awake and his stomach is growling. Continue Reading »

Sunday, December 06, 2020

Fr. Luke A. Veronis

Sinter Klaas, the Dutch name that we Americans transliterated into Santa Claus, obviously refers to Saint Nicholas, one of the most beloved of all saints throughout the world, and whose memory is actually celebrated today on December 6th. Travel across Europe and you can literally find thousands of churches named in honor of St. Nicholas. Greece and Russia look upon St. Nicholas as the patron of their country. In fact, in almost every port throughout Greece you will find a St. Nicholas Chapel, signifying him as the patron of sailors. And not only sailors, but orphans and children turn to St. Nicholas as their patron and protector. Continue Reading »

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Fr. Luke A. Veronis

Lord, help me to have a continual “Attitude of Gratitude.” Continue Reading »

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Fr. Luke A. Veronis

Being “Rich Towards God.” What does that mean? Are you “Rich Towards God?” Continue Reading »

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Fr. Luke A. Veronis

As we continue to deal with the contentious aftermath of our presidential election, I really want to challenge all of us to take a step back and look deeply and honestly at ourselves and our actions over these past weeks and months. Whether supporting the left or right, whether rejoicing with Biden or sympathizing with Trump, or simply agonizing over the sad reality of our broken country and its uncertain future with our divisive and angry spirit, as Christians we need to pause and reflect, and then deeply repent! We need to sincerely repent over the ways we’ve given in to fear and turned away from trusting in God. We need to soberly repent for allowing ourselves to fall into the many ways of worshiping and trusting in the idols of our society, idols we’ve created with our political leaders and even the idolatry of our ideologies! Continue Reading »

Sunday, November 08, 2020

Fr. Luke A. Veronis

“Reach out and touch someone!” Do you remember that advertisement for a telephone company many years ago? I think it must have been when I was a youngster back in the 1970s, but I still recall the ad encouraging us to pick up the phone and call someone. “Reach out and touch someone!” Continue Reading »

Sunday, November 01, 2020

Fr. Luke A. Veronis

In the midst of these angst-filled days following our presidential election, our society is filled with fear. Fear about the future. Fear about the opposing presidential candidate. Fear about those who don’t see the world as we do. Fear of the strangers. Fear of the foreigner and immigrant. Fear of the extremists, whether right-wing or left-wing. Fear of our former friends who have now become our enemies because they are voting differently than ourselves. Continue Reading »

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Fr. Luke A. Veronis

”Who are you?  and What is your name?”  The name of every individual is very important to the identity of who someone is.  A name, in past times, often told us something about a person – whose son or daughter they were, what family they came from, what profession they held, and what their cultural or religious tradition is. Names are very important. How many parents tell their children, “Be careful of what you do or how you behave, because we don’t want you to embarrass the family name.”  Names are a sacred part of who we are. Continue Reading »

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Fr. Luke A. Veronis

“My brother is my life,” noted St. Silouan. Think about that for a moment. My brother or sister is my life. The other, my neighbor, my co-worker, my acquaintance, the person I encounter on the street or in my daily routine, is my life. As individualistic as we Americans can be, our Orthodox Christian faith runs radically counter to this autonomous spirit. Continue Reading »

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Fr. Luke A. Veronis

Good news that offers love and joy. Good news that fills us with strength and hope. Good news that overcomes all darkness and even death itself. Good news that ushers in the kingdom and reign of God. Good news that renews our lives. Continue Reading »

Sunday, October 04, 2020

Fr. Luke A. Veronis

Jesus teaches us in his famous Sermon on the Plain “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. Do to others as you would have them do to you.” (Luke 6:27-30) Continue Reading »

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Fr. Luke A. Veronis

How many of us truly want Jesus Christ to live in us, to know that God is always with us, dwelling in us? Shouldn’t that be the goal of our Christian lives? Isn’t that the Good News we try to proclaim week after week – that God wants to live in each one of us, and He wants us to live in Him?!? Continue Reading »

Sunday, September 06, 2020

Fr. Luke A. Veronis

As we approach our political elections two months from now, we all hear plenty of political ads. Unfortunately, many of these ads are filled with fear, negativity, half-truths and distortions, along with outright lies of what the other candidate said. All this in an attempt to influence and even manipulate the voters. Continue Reading »

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Fr. Luke A. Veronis

Think about this comment Jesus offered to the rich young ruler who approached him. “If you want to ENTER INTO LIFE, keep God’s commandments.” Continue Reading »

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Fr. Luke A. Veronis

How often do I have to forgive someone who hurts me? That’s a pretty common thought all of us have had at one time or another. And when we look for answers, we can get all kinds of responses. Some will tell us not to forgive. Others will limit forgiveness. Continue Reading »

Sunday, August 09, 2020

Fr. Luke A. Veronis

How many of us have ever had some type of spiritual “mountain top” experience in our lives? Each summer when I take a mission team to Project Mexico, everyone who goes typically has such an experience. Being around 100 volunteers from various parts of the United States, along with the summer interns and long-term missionaries living in Tijuana is always an inspiring and renewing experience. Continue Reading »

Sunday, August 02, 2020

Fr. Luke A. Veronis

When we look at people in need – a poor family that can’t take care of their children, a lonely person with no one to turn to, an elderly person who has no one to help them, scenes of the horror from war and poverty around the world – whatever the situation, when we see people in need, how do we feel? What do we think? But most importantly, how do we respond? Continue Reading »

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Fr. Luke A. Veronis

“Rejoice in hope; be patient in tribulation; continue steadfast in prayer.” (Romans 12:12) Continue Reading »

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Fr. Luke A. Veronis

Demon possession. We heard about it in today’s Gospel story when Jesus cast out demons controlling two men. In the other Gospels, we read about legions of demons possessing a single man. Too often, when we contemporary people hear about demon-possession, we simply roll our eyes. Continue Reading »

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Fr. Luke A. Veronis

How many of you have ever had a conversation about your Orthodox Christian faith with a friend? How about with a co-worker, or even a stranger? Have any of you ever had the experience of talking about your faith, and someone looks perplexed at what Orthodoxy is, and they ask, “Are you Jewish?”  Or “Do you Greeks still worship the Greek gods?” What is Greek Orthodoxy, or Orthodox Christianity? Do you even believe in Jesus?” Continue Reading »

Sunday, July 05, 2020

Fr. Luke A. Veronis

The Statue of Liberty has always been a symbol of hope for millions and millions of immigrants who have come to this country, often fleeing poverty, oppression and the harsh realities of their homeland. “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breath free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shores. Send these, the homeless, the tempest-tost to me, for I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” We children of immigrants understand these words better than most and should always thank God!!! Continue Reading »

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Fr. Luke A. Veronis

“What is life all about?” the man asked me as he watched his 41 year old brother die. “How do I understand what is happening? What lesson am I supposed to learn from all of this? Tell me, please, what is life all about?” Continue Reading »

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Fr. Luke A. Veronis

We see such terrible extremism today, and the psychology of ideological extremists is the same, whether on the far right or the far left. Continue Reading »

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Fr. Luke A. Veronis

Our Church calendar is filled with names of saints - kings, bishops, priests, monks, martyrs, as well as common people like you and me, men and women, old and young from every walk of life. One unique factor about all these saints, however, which may differ from our own lives, is their total and absolute dedication to and love for Jesus Christ and His Church. They all had such a strong desire for the Kingdom of Heaven, that they placed this passion before all else! Continue Reading »

Sunday, June 07, 2020

Fr. Luke A. Veronis

Our country is so bitterly divided. We all face the common danger of a pandemic. This past week we have been confronted with the greater and more insidious virus of racism and hatred, whose historic wounds have once again reopened. Our protests for justice and change have been met by chaos and confusion. And through it all, we choose to remain divided. Bitterly divided. Continue Reading »

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Fr. Luke A. Veronis

In a fairly recent study published in Psychological Science, evidence was given to show that the human brain categorizes people within the first second after seeing a face. In other words, our brain very quickly will separate people according to groups, typically in the “us” verses “them” category. This separation most often occurs according to race. Even infants as young as 3 months old showed a preference for their own racial group, over some other racial group. Continue Reading »

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Fr. Luke A. Veronis

Jesus sees a man blind from birth and tells his followers, “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” (Jn 9:5) In other words, He says, “I have come to bring light to those who live in darkness!” This promise of light shining in the darkness repeats what Jesus proclaimed earlier in the Gospel of John after his encounter with forgiving a woman caught in adultery, when he stated - “I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows Me shall not walk in darkness but shall have the light of life.” (John 8:12) Continue Reading »

Sunday, May 03, 2020

Fr. Luke A. Veronis

The first Christians continued steadfastly in the apostles TEACHINGS. They SHARED ALL THINGS in common, even selling their possessions to help those in need. They PRAYED DAILY in the temple and in each others’ houses. They ate their food with GLADNESS and SIMPLICITY OF HEART. They were FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT and SPOKE THE WORD OF THE LORD with BOLDNESS. With great power they GAVE WITNESS TO THE RESURRECTION of the Lord Jesus. When they were beaten for speaking in the name of Jesus, they REJOICED that they were counted WORTHY TO SUFFER SHAME for Christ’s name. Daily and in every house THEY DID NOT CEASE TEACHING and PREACHING Jesus as the Christ! And GREAT GRACE was upon them as the Lord added to the church daily those being saved. (Acts 2:42-46; 4:31-34; 5:40-42) Continue Reading »

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Fr. Luke A. Veronis

When one is dying, typically the final words of a dying person are among the most cherished. They often will give you a unique perspective into what the dying person values, and what he most wants to pass on as his/her legacy. I know that if I was dying, I would think very carefully about what I wanted to say, and how I would want my children and friends to remember me. Continue Reading »

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Fr. Luke A. Veronis

In some parts of Greece, there is a tradition that the day after Pascha is a day devoted to telling jokes. This tradition came about because they said that during Holy Week God pulled the greatest joke on Satan himself, when Christ willingly accepted to die on the Cross. Satan thought he won - that he had defeated Jesus, that darkness had conquered light, evil had conquered good, and death had conquered life – Satan thought he had won only to find out that when Christ entered the devil’s domain, hades, he could not contain the Eternal One. Continue Reading »

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Fr. Luke A. Veronis

“God is my help.” That is what the name Lazarus means. “God is my help.” And truly, God was the help of his friend Lazarus. Imagine, Lazarus died. He was buried in a tomb for four days. Lazarus tasted the terrible mystery of death. He witnessed the horrors of the evil one in His glory in Hades. He did not know for how long he would suffer in this terror of darkness. Yet after only four days, in the midst of all hopelessness, he hears a voice calling him – “Lazarus, come forth!” Continue Reading »

Sunday, April 05, 2020

Fr. Luke A. Veronis

The other day I watched a nurse gently take the socks off of an elderly patient and begin to massage their feet and then carefully rub them with lotion. The tender way in which the nurse spoke with her patient, carefully taking off the socks, lovingly addressing her patient the entire time so that she would not feel embarrassed, and truly making the patient feel that she really wanted to be doing what she was doing, touched me in a special way. I got the sense that the nurse truly cared about what she was doing. This was not simply a job to her, but a tender act of love. Continue Reading »

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Fr. Luke A. Veronis

Suppose there was a king who loved a humble maiden.  The king was like no other king.  Every statesman trembled before his power.  No one dared breathe a word against him, for he had the strength to crush all opponents.  And yet this mighty king was melted by love for a humble maiden.  How could he declare his love for her?  In an odd sort of way, his very kingliness tied his hands.  Continue Reading »

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Fr. Luke A. Veronis

These times in which we live seem so uncertain. What will tomorrow bring? What will the social, spiritual, financial and global impact look like a month from now? Six months from now? Although this crisis may appear unprecedented, if we study world history, we know that there have been countless forms of “unprecedented” calamity and insecurity from man-made and natural causes in every generation. Continue Reading »

Sunday, March 08, 2020

Fr. Luke A. Veronis

Who am I? When one hears the question, “Who am I?” some may respond with their name or may tell where they are from. Some may talk about their parents or children, and the family from which they came or which they have. Or they may talk about their work because they find their self-identity in their professional life. Or someone may talk about what they like to do, since they connect their life with their hobbies or pleasure. Continue Reading »

Sunday, March 01, 2020

Fr. Luke A. Veronis

“May God forgive the killers. We don't have hatred towards them. This is Christianity. God forgives the sinners. So shall we." These are the words of Fifi Shehata, whose father Maged was one of the 21 Coptic Christians beheaded by ISIS back in 2015. Continue Reading »

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Fr. Luke A. Veronis

In his book “The Brothers Karamazov”, Dostoevski describes well the tremendous responsibility and influence a Christian has on his neighbor.  Continue Reading »

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Fr. Luke A. Veronis

I was in district court this week for several hours and had an opportunity to watch a variety of cases which exemplified fallen humanity. Continue Reading »

Sunday, February 09, 2020

Fr. Luke A. Veronis

“Better is the person who has sinned, if he knows he has sinned and repents, than the person who has not sinned and thinks himself righteous.” This advice came from the Desert Fathers, who were holy saints of the 4th century and to whom thousands of people flocked for spiritual wisdom during their time. Continue Reading »

Sunday, February 02, 2020

Fr. Luke A. Veronis

How many of us have ever waited a long time for something special? Continue Reading »

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Fr. Luke A. Veronis

“I don’t have time to go to church.” “I can’t find the time to pray, or to read the Bible every day.” “I don’t have time to visit the nursing homes, to help some family in need, or to visit someone in the hospital. I just don’t have time!” Continue Reading »

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Fr. Luke A. Veronis

One day a man who thought he had too many problems in his life went to see his priest. He felt overwhelmed with the challenges he faced, and began complaining about how unfair life was. “Why did this happen,” he lamented, “What did I do to deserve all this? It’s just not fair!” The priest patiently listened as the man went on and on with his list of complaints. Continue Reading »

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Fr. Luke A. Veronis

In today’s Gospel reading, we hear the Evangelist Matthew describe the beginning of Jesus’ ministry by saying, “The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light… Light has dawned.” (Matthew 4:16) Continue Reading »

Sunday, January 05, 2020

Fr. Luke A. Veronis

Hatred, anger, and violence. Cheating, corruption and greed. Impurity, lust and uncontrolled sex. Self-centeredness, self-love, and self-interest. These all seem to be a part of our so-called progressive, “enlightened” society. Although we live in an age of unbelievable technological, medical and scientific advances, and live in a world where we have greater freedom than ever before in history, still the same centuries-old vices of humanity continue to plague us - the darkness of greed, hatred, anger, lust, self-righteousness, self-centeredness and self-love. Continue Reading »

 

2019

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Fr. Luke A. Veronis

Having just celebrated the entrance of God into the world at Christmas, can we return back to our normal routine of life and our typical schedule? If we have sincerely experienced Christ’s birth, and invited Him to be born anew in our hearts and lives, no one can enter the new year the same! We should be changed people! Or at least be people who are in the process of change! Encountering Jesus, and allowing Him to be born anew in our lives should transform our motives, our values, our attitudes, and our entire worldview! Continue Reading »

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Fr. Luke A. Veronis

Christmas day – how will you celebrate? Will you gather with family and friends, eating a great feast, listening to music, and enjoying one another’s company? Think of the happiest moments of your life and reflect on the type of celebrations you had. One thing we can say about all humanity, the world over, and that is we all love to celebrate. Continue Reading »

Sunday, December 01, 2019

Fr. Luke A. Veronis

There is a beautiful story about one of the greatest world leaders, Abraham Lincoln.  One day an elderly woman made an appointment to see the president.  When she entered his office, he welcomed her and asked, “How may I help you?” The woman responded in a quiet voice, “Mr. President, I know that you must be very busy.  I didn’t come to ask anything of you. I simply came because I heard that you liked certain cookies, and I decided to bake some for you.” Continue Reading »

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Fr. Luke A. Veronis

Today we hear about a man terrorized and paralyzed with a legion of demons, and yet Jesus simply casts them aside and offers new life to a pathetic, broken man! Continue Reading »

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Fr. Luke A. Veronis

Every day has 1440 minutes. If we sleep eight hours a day, that leaves us awake 960 minutes a day. What do we do with those minutes? How do we pass the precious time that God gives us each day of our lives? Continue Reading »

Sunday, October 06, 2019

Fr. Luke A. Veronis

How many of us are deeply disturbed and greatly saddened by the political circus we continually watch in the news. No matter what political side one defends, I think many Americans are dismayed and depressed about the anger, bitterness, callousness and even hatred that people feel for others who disagree with their own opinion or political view. Is anyone actually listening to those who are politically opposite themselves, and trying not only to understand the other perspective, but to see and feel what the other side is experiencing. The vitriol comments thrown at people from the other side, and at those who disagree with our own opinion, is extremely disturbing. Continue Reading »

Monday, September 23, 2019

Fr. Luke A. Veronis

What does Jesus expect from us? Do you ever think about that? What does our Lord want us to do in our lives, and what does He expect us to offer back to Him? Continue Reading »

Monday, September 16, 2019

Fr. Luke A. Veronis

“Learning How to Exert Self-Control.” I read this interesting article by Pamela Druckerman, in which she talks about Dr. Walter Mischel, a professor at Columbia, who is known as the “Marshmallow Man” for a test he did 50 years ago with pre-school kids. He tested how long 5 year old kids could sit at a table with cookies on it. If these children could resist eating the sweets for 15 minutes, they would get double the sweets; otherwise they would just get one. Future studies followed these children and showed that those who waited longest for the sweets went on to have higher SAT scores, and later in life were healthier, earned more advanced degrees, and coped better with stress. In some ways, one could say they ended up more successful. Continue Reading »

Monday, September 09, 2019

Fr. Luke A. Veronis

God doesn’t want to condemn us, He wants to love us! Think about that statement. God doesn’t want to condemn us. He’s not looking to punish us. He’s not sick and tired of us, wanting to reject us. NO! We need to understand God for who He is and what He really wants from us. And that is, He wants to love us! Continue Reading »

Monday, September 02, 2019

Fr. Luke A. Veronis

Imagine this setting. Jesus has lived in Nazareth for 30 years. Of course he’s well known in the village. Everyone knows one another in Nazareth. People like Jesus because he’s lived a quiet, humble, and pious Jewish life. Everyone thinks of him as the son of Joseph the carpenter. They know Mary his mother as well. Some would surely remember the scandal of Mary’s pregnancy three decades earlier, and the strange stories that circulated about his birth, but 30 years have passed since all those events, and now everything seemed pretty normal. Of course for a Jew, it was a little unusual that Jesus was a grown man and still unmarried. Yet everyone overlooked that because they liked Jesus and his kind, gentle, loving demeanor. Whenever he was around, he encouraged people and lifted them up. Whenever he was around, his presence seemed to bless people. He was a hard worker, quiet, humble, and in the eyes of all a good Jewish man. Continue Reading »

Monday, August 26, 2019

Fr. Luke A. Veronis

In 1924, the Englishman George Mallory and a group of men tried to be the first people to climb to the top of Mt. Everest, the tallest mountain in the world. After enduring unbelievable hardships, they reached the 25,000 feet mark. From this point Mallory and his partner set out for the summit, but their heroic attempt failed. They were buried in the snows of the Himalayan peak. When their colleagues returned to England to tell their story, one of them gave a report before a large audience in London. At the end of his talk, after describing the difficulties and tragedies of their expedition, he turned before a picture of Mt. Everest projected on a screen, and spoke to the mountain, “Everest, we tried to conquer you once, but you overpowered us. We tried to conquer you a second time, but again you were too great for us. But Everest, I want you to know that we are going to conquer you, for you can’t grow any bigger, but we can!” Continue Reading »

Monday, August 19, 2019

Fr. Luke A. Veronis

What happens when an eagle, flying in the sky, meets a storm? Well, the eagle does not try to fly away from the storm. Instead, as the storm sweeps in, the eagle sets his wings at the proper angle so that the winds will lift him above the storm. While the storm is punishing the earth below, the eagle is soaring above it, using the very winds of the storm itself to propel it above the storm! Continue Reading »

Monday, August 12, 2019

Fr. Luke A. Veronis

There is a story of a simple monk who one day was praying in his cell. As this humble man prayed, suddenly a bright light began shining in his room. He looked up and saw Christ in all his glory, surrounded by the angelic powers. The monk gazed at this vision filled with awe and exaltation. He felt himself richly blessed to see such a vision, and his heart was humbled with love and thanksgiving that the Lord should show such a revelation to a humble monk. Continue Reading »

Monday, August 05, 2019

Fr. Luke A. Veronis

Why do we come to Church each week? What are we seeking from our Christian faith? Or maybe we need to ask, are we consciously and seriously seeking anything from our faith? Ultimately, what is our goal as Orthodox Christians in this brief life here on planet earth? Continue Reading »

Monday, July 29, 2019

Fr. Luke A. Veronis

How many people have a past sin that still haunts them? How about some hidden secret that you want no one to know about? Is there anything from your past that you are not proud of, or which lays heavy on your heart? I know people who are broken and hurting, who have made past mistakes and poor choices, and who can’t get beyond them. In fact, I see how some people allow their past to actually paralyze their present and future. Continue Reading »

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Fr. Luke A. Veronis

Do you realize that the very first thing we do in the Sacrament of Baptism, which is our entrance into the Christian way of life, is to renounce Satan and all his works and all his worship and all his angels and all his pride? In other words, we begin our Christian life by acknowledging the reality of the devil and his demons, and then declaring an all out war upon them by renouncing them. Even by spitting upon them! We totally and absolutely reject Satan’s demonic side of life! Continue Reading »

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Fr. Luke A. Veronis

“The criminal in your community may be less guilty for his crime than you, his Christian neighbor,” the great Russian writer Dostoievski wrote in his book The Brothers Karamazov. “For you could have been a light to the evil doer, yet you were not. For the man remained beside you in darkness. Had you been the kind of example you ought to have been and allowed your light to shine on that lost man’s path, perhaps he might not have stumbled into his crime. If you had loved your neighbor as yourself and lavished upon him some of the care you generously lavish upon yourself, shared some of the warmth God has privileged you to possess, that criminal might have changed in time.” Continue Reading »

Thursday, July 04, 2019

Fr. Luke A. Veronis

“Fr. Arseny helped so many people that we, looking at him, began helping others. How did I become a believer?” noted a former communist atheist, “After watching Fr. Arseny for a long time, how could I NOT become what he was! He was a light in unbearable darkness!” Continue Reading »

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Fr. Luke A. Veronis

Who wants to be considered a fool? Anyone? Foolishness is not a virtue that we admire, or strive to attain, and yet, today as we celebrate the Holy Apostles, the first followers of Jesus Christ, and a day after we honored the Apostles Peter and Paul, the foremost leaders of the Apostles, we hear in St. Paul’s Epistle about the “foolishness” of the first Christians. Continue Reading »

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Fr. Luke A. Veronis

The saints of the Church represent quite a wide range of fascinating people. Some were apostles, prophets and martyrs; bishops, priests and ascetics; men and women; rich and poor; old and young; some who were murderers and thieves early in their lives; others were prostitutes and quite immoral in their behavior; all who were sick and broken to some degree, whether physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually; many who were quite lost in their lives. Continue Reading »

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Fr. Luke A. Veronis

In today’s Gospel lesson, we get a glimpse into the problem of suffering. Many people often ask me, “Why do people suffer? Why does God allow pain and problems in the world? The disciples posed this question to Jesus today in the Gospel lesson. Continue Reading »

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Fr. Luke A. Veronis

Someone once asked a famous doctor, “What is the most devastating disease among people today.” He immediately replied, “Loneliness. The longer I practice medicine, the surer I am that no condition is so painful and universal as loneliness.” Continue Reading »

Friday, April 26, 2019

Fr. Luke Veronis

On this glorious feast of Pascha, let us not listen to the voices of society that try to ridicule and reject the resurrection as some myth. Instead, let us rejoice in hope! Christ is Risen and He offers new life to all the world! We no longer fear anything, even death itself! Continue Reading »

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Fr. Luke Veronis

It’s easy to join a crowd and go along with the masses. And we often see how easy it is to get hyped up with mass hysteria. Yet to make a commitment is something quite different. To commit to following a path, despite what the majority say or do, is quite a challenge. Continue Reading »

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Fr. Luke Veronis

How many of us wish to be great in the eyes of God?  I would hope that any serious believer would make this a central goal in life – to be considered great in the eyes of God. And yet, how should we understand such spiritual greatness? What makes someone great? Continue Reading »

Monday, April 08, 2019

by Fr. Luke A. Veronis

I rarely preach politics from the pulpit. I realize in our congregation we have Democrats and Republican; we have those who may be more conservative and others more liberal. Our country is so divided, and if we talk politics, our own church family will quickly become divided. That is, we will become divided if we forget that our ultimate leader is Jesus Christ, and His call is for us to live under the reign of His Kingdom. Continue Reading »

Wednesday, April 03, 2019

Fr. Luke Veronis

“O Faithless generation. How long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you?” (Mk 9:19) Continue Reading »

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Fr. Luke Veronis

Let us use these tools of the Lenten season – fasting, discipline, ascesis – to help us cultivate more the essence of our faith – CONCRETE LOVE THROUGH SIMPLE ACTIONS TO ALL PEOPLE! Continue Reading »

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Fr. Luke Veronis

“Today is the beginning of our salvation, and the revelation of the mystery of ages, 
for the Son of God becomes the Son of the Virgin.” Continue Reading »

Monday, March 04, 2019

Fr. Luke Veronis

Let us use these tools of the Lenten season – fasting, discipline, ascesis – to help us cultivate more the essence of our faith – CONCRETE LOVE THROUGH SIMPLE ACTIONS TO ALL PEOPLE! Continue Reading »

Monday, February 18, 2019

Fr. Luke Veronis

“Better is the person who has sinned, if he knows he has sinned and repents, than the person who has not sinned and thinks himself righteous.” Continue Reading »