Tag Archive for: Sacrifice


Armodoxy for Today: Goals

The entrepreneurial spirit was defined yesterday by risk. The parable of the talents, offered by Jesus (Matthew 25), illustrated the importance of risking talents and resources with which God has entrusted you. We ended yesterday by pointing to the prize, which was the Kingdom of Heaven. It is not enough to work or labor unless the goal is worthy of that toil and effort.  The goal of our efforts must always be in our focus.

Goals may be devious. In the parable of the talents, it is easy to assume that the monetary riches are the goal of their managerial skills, but on closer inspection, it is obvious that the monetary amount is the reward, and not the goal itself.

With the world in turmoil and with fighting close to home, it is imperative that we zoom in on the goal that sits before us. Jesus sets it as the “Kingdom of Heaven.” This is not a place or a time to come, but in Orthodox understanding, it was enacted with Jesus. It is a state of mind. It is, within and without us. It is, as Jesus says, “…Like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.” (Matthew 13:45-46)

When our efforts and actions have purpose beyond the temporal plane, meaning comes to our life.

Today, there is a blockade of food and medical supplies to the Armenian population of Artsakh. The government of Azerbaijan has targeted the Armenians for annihilation, in other words, they are in the  process of committing the second Armenian Genocide. Like the expressive monkeys – see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil – the world has closed its eyes, ears and mouth to the plight of the Armenians.

So, what now?

Today, His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, the Primate of the Western Diocese will announce a 24 hour fast for solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Artsakh. This is a simple effort by which a huge goal can be accomplished by a small group of people. It is an effort in which everyone can participate. Most importantly, the goal of the effort benefits others. Jesus says, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. (John 15:13) It is in sacrifice that love is revealed and the Cross as the symbol of suffering transforms to the symbol of Love. Make the connection with the Parable of the Talents and now we understand that if the end goal is the Kingdom of Heaven, then it is expressed by the love we have for one another.

Tomorrow we will look at the power of fasting to overcome the worst evil. For today, accept the challenge to fast. (*The fast will be announced at 5PM PDT, at the Azerbaijan consulate in West Los Angeles.) Obstain from eating for 24 hours. It’s hopeful to expect that the Azeris will have a change of heart because of your fasting, but have no worries, because something remarkable will happen as a result of your fasting. You will have a change of heart. You will understand the power that is within you to bring about change. You will not need to look elsewhere for solutions that are within you. The Kingdom has been enacted!

We pray the prayer that the Lord Jesus taught us,

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For yours in the kingdom and the power and the glory. Amen.


Armodoxy for Today

A veteran is a person who has had long experience in a particular field. Generically, we use the word to refer to military personnel, especially those who actively served in the military. The veteran is someone who loves country much more than his or her life. That is, the veteran is willing to lay down his or her life for the country, for something that is greater than the self.

In the Gospel of John (15), Jesus say, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” He is referring to his own sacrifice, and his words define true love as a function of selflessness. He places value on friendship (harmonious living with one another). That value is measured by life itself – a willingness to sacrifice life for the benefit of the greater good. The sacrifice made by veterans has the greatest value of anything or any action, because the measuring “currency” is more precious than silver, gold and even platinum. That’s why we refer to it as paying the ultimate price: life itself.

Veteran’s Day is celebrated today. It is yet another chance for self-evaluation. There is a simple test to take on this day. Ask yourself, What are the things that are most important to me? What are the things for which I would be willing to give up my life. Now ask yourself, if I’m willing to die for it, am I willing to live for it?

If we are willing to die for Christ, then the more important question we must ask ourselves is, am I willing to live for Christ? Armodoxy is the proof that living out Christian principles is much harder than dying for them.

We pray Psalm 27, “The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shalI I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after, “That I may dwell in the house of the Lord, that will I seek after; That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple.” Amen.

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Discovery of Cross (Sermon Excerpt)

October 26 – Daily Message

Today’s Daily Message is from last Sunday’s (October 23) sermon, “Discovery of the Cross,” offered at St. Gregory the Illuminator Armenian Church, Pasadena, California. This is an excerpt, the entire sermon can be viewed at https://youtu.be/f-4rsLZzvw0

Why to Steps

Next Step with Fr. Vazken #701: Veteran’s Day is the backdrop for this edition: the cost of freedom, sacrifice and belief. Personal reflection on Fire and devastation, singular or plural, it all burns and then thanksgiving? Up close and personal and finding some answers: beyond “why” to the answer.
Fire report
Toy Drive: tiny.cc/IHS-wishlist
Holiday Outreach Programs
Jethro Tull www.jethrotull.com
Cover: Memorial Park, Sierra Madre, 11.11.2021
Produced by Suzie Shatarevyan for InHisShoes.org
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Easter Respect and Living

Next Step #670: After Easter, how the message “Christ has risen” moves from idea and story to inspire us to action. Primal Scream: Where is my mother? The sacrifice of the grain. Crucifixion: if not for Christ’s sake, then for who? Ken Nalik tribute (NS 2008-2021) Vazgenian Seminarians at Lake Sevan.
Passion of the Christ, Mel Gibson
Smoking Cessation through time
WD168 this week
Luys Vocal Quintet
Produced by Suzie Shatarevyan for InHisShoes.org
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Listen via Stitcher Radio on demand!
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Stinkin’ Badges & Some Nice Animals

Next Step #387: Function over form: Going beyond the wrapper to look what’s inside. Here is an explanation of madagh in the Armodox tradition. Thanksgiving replaces sacrifice through Madagh. Candid talk about tragedy-response through the practice of giving, sacrifice and walking in the shoes of others. A Prelude to the Thanksgiving season, Advent and Christmas. Luke 14 – invitees to the banquet and the Matthew 25 judgement.
Khandi Yerk – Armenian Traditional Songs
Relief for Richard Pananian’s Family
Back Door Angel: www.JethroTull.com
Neil DeGrass Tyson on Late Show
LA Times Sensationalizes the news
Cover photo: Moush Garden by Fr. Vazken
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Engineered by Ken Nalik
Produced by Suzie Shatarevyan for InHisShoes.org
Look for The Next Step on blubrry.com
Listen via Stitcher Radio on demand!