August 09, 2020

Kept in Perfect Peace
Sunday Sermon

- Fr. Paul Costopoulos -

It is no mystery we are living in troubled times. The maladies we are contending with have caused us to live in an era of fear. The opposite of fear is courage and peace, the latter of which comes from above and is something we pray for at every Divine Liturgy. Today on the 9th Sunday of Matthew the Gospel lesson comes to us from Matthew 14:22-34. In this pericope the disciples find themselves alone in a boat and fearful of the storm that is threatening their lives. Jesus comes to His disciples walking on the water during the fourth watch of the night. They are frightened thinking Him to be a ghost. Our Lord comforts them and says, “Take heart, it is I; have no fear”.  Peter steps out of the boat and walks toward Jesus on the water only to lose his focus on Christ, succumbing to his fear of the storm and calling out to Jesus, “Lord save me”. Father Paul reassures us that we can be kept in perfect peace overcoming fear and adversities, if we have a mind stayed on Christ. He shares with us four components that constitute the Christian life and allow us to have a mind stayed on Christ. These include faith, which justifies, saves and makes it possible for us to move mountains and find peace. Prayer, which is essential to the spiritual life and helps when our faith fades. Coming to the church that Christ established allows us to receive blessings and peace.  And finally, we must subject our will to the will of God. Yes, we are living in troubled times but the Good News is that if we keep our focus on Christ, we will be able to walk on water and traverse the storms of life.

Father Paul Costopoulos was born in and grew up in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. He is one of 6 siblings. A graduate of Gettysburg College (1967) and Holy Cross Greek Orthodox

307 19th Street South, Birmingham, AL 35233 | Fr. Gregory Edwards, Dean | 205.716.3080

Photography Credits: Beth Hontzas - Music: Presbytera Katerina Makiej


Father Paul Costopoulos was born in and grew up in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. He is one of 6 siblings. A graduate of Gettysburg College (1967) and Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Theological School (1970), Father Paul has served as a priest of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America for over 41 years. He has served as Dean of our Holy Trinity-Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Birmingham, AL since September, 1996. He also served Greek Orthodox parishes in Huntsville, AL (1975-1978), Jacksonville, FL (1978-1991), and Denver, CO (1991-1996). In addition to his work as a Parish Priest, Father Paul has served and continues to serve our Church in various capacities both at the Archdiocesan and Metropolis levels. He worked 2 years at the Archdiocese in New York as Director of the Campus Commission, served for a number of years on the Archdiocesan Council and Metropolis Councils of Denver and Atlanta, for 13 years served as a member and former President of the Orthodox Christian Mission Center, and in 1987 led a mission team of 25 to Kenya to build a church. Since 1999, he has served as Vicar of the Central Conference of our Metropolis. Father Paul is married to the former Penny Clemson, also from Carlisle, Pennsylvania. They have 2 daughters (Nina and Niki) and 6 grandchildren, all of whom live in Birmingham, AL. Father loves to read, travel, workout, spend time with the family, and watch his grandkids play soccer.