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English Language Resources for Ukrainian Greek Catholics

The Risen Christ

by Brent Kostyniuk When our daughter Victoria was quite young, one of her favourite Bible stories was that of Jesus roasting fish by the shore of a lake and calling Peter over to join him. It remains one of my favourite images of the Risen Christ. It is a very...

Weddings and Wine

Feb. 14, Tuesday: Mt. Tabor – Cana – Nazareth Drive to Cana of Galilee to visit the wedding Church, where Jesus performed the first of his signs, changing water to wine. Possibility of renewing Wedding Vows. Continue drive to Nazareth and visit the Basilica of...

Royal Doors

by Brent Kostyniuk One of the most distinctive features of the interior of a Byzantine church is its iconostasis, a richly decorated icon screen which establishes the altar area. Far from being a wall which isolates the nave from the sanctuary, theologically...

Preaching in Capernaum

And he went down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee. And he was teaching them on the Sabbath- Luke 4:31 This past Sunday the lesson was from Mark 2:1-12, about the healing of the paralyzed man at Capernaum and how the crowds were so great they had to take the man...

Genesis 10:32–11:9- Back to Babbling

Glory be to Jesus Christ! I love science. When I was a boy I spent a lot of time reading about astronomy and different natural phenomena in geology and the other natural sciences. I was fascinated by many of the inventions that had been designed by famous...

Genesis 9:18–10:1- Do We Cover Nakedness?

Glory be to Jesus Christ! Think back to the first time you heard about nakedness in the Bible. Not very far in right? After Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil they discovered they were naked. Not because they had become more...

Isaiah 25:1-9- Who are you Waiting For?

Glory be to Jesus Christ! I enjoy superhero stories very much. When I was a boy I wanted very much to be Spiderman and use my powers to make the world a better place. The idea of someone who cares and “saves the day” simply because it is the right thing to do...

Genesis 8:21-9:7- My Brother’s Keeper

Glory be to Jesus Christ! What do you think Hell is like? There have been many different analogies used for Hell throughout the Scriptures and by contemporary authors. Our Lord used the garbage dump just outside the city of Jerusalem, Gehenna, where trash was...

Unto Us a Son is Given

Feb. 17, Friday: Bethlehem – Ein Karem This morning we drive to Bethlehem to visit the place of birth of our Lord, The Basilica of the Nativity. We will visit the Grotto of Nativity and the Church of St. Catherine where the Midnight Mass is celebrated and the...

Genesis 8:4-21- A New Creation

Glory be to Jesus Christ! God made a reboot of creation. Having seen the wickedness that the world had descended into, and regretting His creation of the world, God begins again.  We often focus on the death and destruction which ensues in this story, and...

Blessed Martyrs of Pratulin

Today is the anniversary of the massacre of thirteen peasant men and boys who died defending a little Greek Catholic church in what is now Poland. They gathered, with their families and neighbors, to prevent the Russian Imperial government from imposing an...

Mark 10:46-52- You Gotta Want It

Christ is Born! It’s always very disheartening to see a person who has been incredibly gifted with natural ability- whether in music, sports, intelligence etc.- but lacking the drive to do anything with it. This is often noticed especially with teachers who...

Mark 11:11-23- I Don’t Give a Fig!

Christ is Born! Bible quiz- What type of leaves did Adam and Eve sew together to make themselves clothes in the garden of Eden? That’s right, fig leaves! We actually see fig trees in many places in Scripture. The fig tree came to be recognized as a symbol of...

Mark 11:23-26- Mind Your Manners

Christ is Born! I have heard it said, that when you ask the Lord to move a mountain, don’t be surprised if He hands you a shovel. Whatever the method of moving mountains, we need faith to see it through. In today’s reading our Lord reminds us of His amazing...

Mark 11:27-33- The Truth!? You Can’t Handle the Truth!

Christ is Born! Remember when you were younger and there was something you didn’t understand and so you brought it to your parents who realized how long it would take to try to answer the question, and how you wouldn’t get it anyway, and so they said “we’ll...

John 10:9-16 What’s My Motivation?

Christ is Born! “What’s my motivation?” I remember this becoming a half joke among my drama friends back in High School. As an actor struggles to play a character, and to really understand that character from “the inside out,” they would continually ask...

Mark 12:18-27 – Eternal Memory

Christ is Born! What’s your earliest memory? It’s always interesting to ask people this question and see what event stood out in their mind when they were just a little kid. Some people can remember events when they were very young, others have memories which...

Mark 12: 28-37- Shema

Christ is Born! When I was a teacher, I taught a student named Shema. This is the Hebrew word for the Greatest Commandment which is referenced by our Lord in our reading today- to love the Lord with all your heart, with all your soul, all your mind and all your...

Matthew 5:14-19 – Life in the Fishbowl

Christ is Born! Fish seem to be the only pet we can really take care of as a family. Although my kids desperately want a dog, I recently broke and allowed them to get a beta fish which they named dizzy. Dizzy lives in a little bowl on our shelf in the living...

Trust

by Brent Kostyniuk As Christians, one of the things we most strive for is to trust God. Most of us are familiar with the image of Christ with His arms extended towards us, offering His Divine Love and Protection—Jesus, I trust You—this holy image admonishes us....

Mark 10:17-21- Ask the Photographer

Christ is Born! What is the one thing you will never find in the photo? The photographer of course. In our reading today from the Gospel of Mark we encounter the Rich Young Man, a would-be disciple of the Lord who asked what he must do to inherit eternal life....

Luke 16:17-23- Blessed are the Needy

Christ is Born! Are you one of those “needy people?” I sure hope so. If we had to describe the people who come to the Lord in today’s reading with one word it would certainly have to be “needy.” They had diseases. They were troubled by evil spirits. They needed...

Mark 9:33-41- Chicken or egg? Faith or Works?

Christ is Born! During our largest season of communal repentance- Great and Holy Lent- one of the ascetical practices we practice are prostrations. Over and over and over again we bow completely to the floor touching our heads on the ground. After the canon of...

Mark 9:10-16- A Little Foolishness [Spoilers: Rogue One]

Christ is Born! From the outside looking in there are many situations which appear as though the good guys have lost because they are silenced. The latest Star Wars Movie “Rogue One” is a great story of standing up to evil and inspiring hope- a story filled...

Matthew 3:13-17- A Community of Persons

Christ is Baptized! At the World Meeting of Families, during the Papal visit to Philadelphia in 2015, a little boy asked Pope Francis what “God did with all His time before He created the world.” The Holy Father paused for a few seconds and then responded “He...

Luke 3:1-18- On the Road to Meet the Saviour

Christ is Born! My grandfather spent many years as a draftsman working to design our highways. Years later my father would work with the construction crews which would actually level the ground and imprint the road not only on the map, but on the earth itself....

Luke 21:5-7, 10-11, 20-24- Missionaries, Not Tourists

Christ is Born! I remember the drastic change in mood in the story “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” when Lucy has tea with Mr. Tumnus. To that point in the story she had accidentally slipped into what seemed a private magical world in an upstairs wardrobe...

Matthew 21:33-42 We’re Servants, not Owners

Christ is Born! It happens time and time again throughout history, as well as in literature. From Hamlet to Narnia to Gondor one constant theme is the story of a steward, who by lies and treachery, tries to steal the throne for himself. The lure of power can...

Mark 12:28-38: We CAN Get Satisfaction!

Christ is Born! Glorify Him! What is the meaning and purpose of life? Many people ask this question, looking for fulfillment, direction and purpose, especially today in our confused world. A collective and hungry cry can be heard from our world, which is...

Theotokos – She Who Bore God

CHURCHES AND INDIVIDUAL CHRISTIANS of many traditions are displaying Nativity scenes this season. All of them will include an image of the Virgin Mary, although there are serious differences in how these Christians view her. The historic Churches, Eastern and...

Mark 11:27-33- Turn your Back…for Their Sake!

Glory be to Jesus Christ! I remember when I was young and at the orchestra for the first time being awed and amazed at the amazing music and the pomp and majesty of all the instruments playing together. It was all so magical and inspiring. The one thing that...

The Virgin Has Conceived

WITH THE FIRST SCENT of cooler weather in the air, merchants begin marketing potential Christmas gifts. As the holiday nears, the shopping frenzy intensifies with music, parties and decorations all telling us “Hurry up and buy something.” Our Church, on the...

Mark 11:23-25- Forgiveness: A Prerequisite to Prayer

Glory be to Jesus Christ! Nothing causes more disturbance in a household than when children fight with one another. A silly squabble often spreads ill will and hostility to other members of the family. The blame game begins and quickly spreads to other...