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The Shepherd's Guild

Welcome to the Guild's site !

Μετάφραση αυτής της σελίδας στα ελληνικά

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From St. Paul's Letter to the Galatians 5:22-26; 6:1-2

Brethren, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us have no self-conceit, no provoking of one another, no envy of one another. Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Look to yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

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The Chapel of Panagia Soumela, Paracletos Monastery

Matthew 8:5-10 (New King James Version)

The Faith of a Centurion
5 Now when Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, pleading with Him, 6 saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, dreadfully tormented.”
7 And Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.”
8 The centurion answered and said, “Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.
10 When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, “Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!

1 Peter 2:20 - 25
 
20 For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God. 21 For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps:
       22 “ Who committed no sin,
             Nor was deceit found in His mouth”;

 23 who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously; 24 who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed. 25 For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

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photo: Reuters/Eliana Aponte

1 Peter 5:2-3

New King James Version (NKJV)

2 Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly,[a] not for dishonest gain but eagerly; 3 nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock;

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Greece

John 15:18-21 (New King James Version)
 
“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me.

Mark 8: 34-38  (NKJV)
Take Up the Cross and Follow Him
34 When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 35 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. 36 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? 37 Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 38 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”

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Today's Western culture has become more materialistic and less communitarian. A culture of self-love, self-expansion, self-promotion and self-pleasure, so what will we do?

Will pick up our cross or will we look to the secular institutions and Hollywood for our morality. The pull between the secular and spiritual worlds is real.

In a sense today, Christ is speaking to us from the Cross, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do."

The Prince of the Earth wants us to turn our backs on The Shepherd of the shepherds, but the Shepherd will/have not left HIS flock. Our Lord is up all hours watching HIS sheep.

The secular humanists think man can save man. Adam will not save adam. With a world of conflicts, evil towards people and a moral decline in many parts of the world, of course only The Shepherd will save HIS sheep - but we must be cheerful members of HIS flock.

Lord have mercy on us!

James 2:14-26 New King James Version (NKJV)

Faith Without Works Is Dead
   14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your[a] works, and I will show you my faith by my[b] works. 19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?[c] 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? 23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”[d]And he was called the friend of God. 24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.
25 Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?
26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

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An Orthodox Christian boy holds a crucifix during an Epiphany rite at the Jordan River, near the West Bank city of Jericho, January 19, 2007. (Reuters/Yonathan Weitzman)

Matthew 20:20-28

New King James Version (NKJV)

Greatness Is Serving

20 Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Him with her sons, kneeling down and asking something from Him.

21 And He said to her, “What do you wish?”

She said to Him, “Grant that these two sons of mine may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on the left, in Your kingdom.”

22 But Jesus answered and said, “You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?”[a]

They said to Him, “We are able.”

23 So He said to them, “You will indeed drink My cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with;[b] but to sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it is prepared by My Father.”

24 And when the ten heard it, they were greatly displeased with the two brothers. 25 But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them.26 Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. 27 And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave—28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

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The Life of the Cross

“Christians obtain their inheritance from Christ when they meet certain conditions. They must seek the Kingdom of God, according to Christ’s statement: ‘Seek the Kingdom of God and all these things will be yours as well’ (Luke 12:31). They are obligated to love Christ and keep His commandments (John 14:23), pick up their Cross and follow Him (Matthew 10:38), do unto others as they would want to be done to them (Matthew 7:12), love their neighbors as themselves, and follow many other conditions that are written in God’s Covenant with the Church.”

[The Church’s Identity Established through Images according to Saint John Chrysostom, Patristic Theological Library 2, Orthodox Research Institute, Rollinsford, New Hampshire, 2006; pg. 163.]

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Church is not a museum for saints... it's a hospital for sinners.

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Holy Tradition is the very Church; without the Sacred Tradition the Church does not exist. Those who deny the Sacred Tradition deny the Church and the preaching of the Apostles. 

Before the writing of the Holy Scriptures, that is, of the sacred texts of the Gospels, the Acts and the Epistles of the Apostles, and before they were spread to the churches of the world, the Church was based on Sacred Tradition. The holy texts are in relation to Sacred Tradition what the part is to the whole. The Church Fathers regard Sacred Tradition as the safe guide in the interpretation of Holy Scripture and absolutely necessary for understanding the truths contained in the Holy Scripture. The Church received many traditions from the Apostles: The constitution of the church services, especially of the Divine Liturgy, the holy Mysteries themselves and the manner of performing them, certain prayers and other institutions of the Church go back to the Sacred Tradition of the Apostles. 

In their conferences, the Holy Synods draw not only from Holy Scriptures, but also from Sacred Tradition as from a pure fount. Thus, the Seventh Ecumenical Synod says in the 8th Decree: "If one violates any part of the Church Tradition, either written or unwritten, let him be anathema." 

~St. Nectarios Of Aegina

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St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Greenville, SC

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