Category Archives: Youth Submission

Those with Ears to Hear

by Catherine Andreadis

This special youth submission was originally a speech delivered at the 2018 St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival hosted by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. The speech was delivered in response to the prompt: “Christ said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear” (Mark 4:9). The Lord said this with reference to the way we hear the word of God. What is our response?

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Obviously, it is quite easy to identify the source of irony in this quote: We all have ears don’t we? So we should all be able to hear the word of God. This is often on the contrary, as today more so than ever it is harder to hear and revel in God’s word cogently. In order for us to be able to soak in Jesus’ teachings to the same extent as devout followers were able to thousands of years ago, we must be all the more aware and committed. We live in a world full of seemingly endless knowledge and opinions that have the potential to distract us from God’s simple message, while in Christ’s time, there was a seemingly definite wrong and right (in other words, the existence of a gray zone was negligible). It is harder for us to hear God’s word with the same conviction because our minds are so cluttered with the noise of physical society. That’s not to say that knowledge is bad—much of human discovery has allowed us to understand the world more complexly—but we have to change the way we think and hear the word of God in order for it to resonate with us.

God’s word is universal, both in its meaning and its adaptability, which has allowed for its longevity. Continue Reading…

YOUTH SUBMISSION: What is our political time?

by Stefan Kleinhenz

Ronald Reagan and Tip O'Neill

The following essay was originally delivered as part of the 2017 St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival, an annual youth event hosted by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

Jesus said, Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesars, and to God the things that are Gods(Matthew 22:21). When no political party represents genuine Christian teaching, how does an Orthodox Christian navigate political conversations and make political judgments?

A political party that represents genuine Orthodox teachings does exist–it exists in the true nature of humanity, instilled in each of our hearts by the breath of life, and the Word of God–we must rediscover it in the face of our neighbor. Throughout the course of history the Orthodox Church has served as a vessel of hope amidst the raging waters of the fallen world, never ceasing to revert our course back to Christ and our true nature. This is our political party, it is not Republican or Democrat, but a way of life that fulfills the message of Christ. We are the greatest threat, and the greatest hope that our modern world faces. Will we prove to be His faithful servants–the examples that our world so desperately needs? Continue Reading…