Monthly Reflections from Fr. Antony Hughes

Fr. Antony reading the Gospel In every edition of our parish's newsletter, Fr. Antony offers a short, but inspiring message to complement the activities, minsitries, and current events of the life of the church.  Below is a collection of these messages.

January 2013

Stop and think for a moment or two during the Christmas Season about what the Incarnation means. First it means that God loves us so much that he does not leave our salvation up to prophets and scriptures. As wonderful as they are and essential, that is still love at arms length. Instead God gives himself arms and embraces us. Read more »
 

December 2012

Here in this Advent Season we turn our thoughts to Bethlehem, the house of bread, the place where our Lord Jesus who is the Bread of Life was born. Nine months prior to Christmas was the Feast that began it all when we commemorate the coming of the angel Gabriel to the house of the Virgin Mary to announce that she had been chosen to be the Mother of God. She did not have to say yes. Read more »
 

October 2012

We have witnessed in recent days the horrors that can come on account of religion. We must never be a part of that. The commandment to love is always in effect for followers of Christ. One of the Great Desert Fathers once remarked that the true sign pf the disciple is how much we love our enemies. Read more »
 

September 2012

The Christian life is a life of new beginnings. Every day is the beginning of a new life and therefore, ofnew possibilities. Repentance is a new beginning. It is the leaving behind of all hope of a better past and awakening to the overwhelming reality of God's infinite and unconditional Compassion right now. The only reason we have anything to fear is that we refuse to embrace the fact that he is so merciful and gracious. Read more »
 

August 2012

The early Church made the mistake of taking the Lord's warning about his Second Corning in much too literal a fashion. There is a much more subtle and psychological way to see these scriptures. Obviously, sitting on housetops waiting for the Second corning, which people have been doing since the Lord's time on this earth ended, was (and is) misguided. We are directed by him specifically not to do that, but to live each moment as if it were THE moment, because, in a real sense, every moment IS the moment of his corning. Read more »
 

June 2012

The Gospel is about God's love for his creation, For God so loved the world .. . This godly love is different than other kinds of love. It is unlimited, boundless, and unconditional. This is what Christianity was known for in the early days, not so much now I'm afraid. We are known more, according to recent polls, by what we are against. This is unfortunate because it deviates from the message Christ came to bring. Read more »
 

May 2012

We enjoyed a truly wondrous Holy Week again this year at St. Mary's. There were several significant firsts to mention. It was Bishop JOHN'S first Holy Week in his Diocese and the blessing of having such a kind and compassionate hierarch among us became apparent as he joined us for the entirety of Great and Holy Friday. Read more »
 

April 2012

Greetings to all as we continue to celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ. The message of the Resurrection is that God's love is stronger than death. Read more »
 

March 2012

The Lord's first sermon was simple. Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. This means that our way of thinking about the kingdom of God must change. The kingdom is present, it is not far away. It is here and it is to come, but we have to be able to see it here, within us, around us, present at this moment, or we will not ever be able to see it. Wherever God is, there is the kingdom. And he is everywhere. Read more »
 

February 2012

The Lenten Spring is not far off; the time of concentrated effort in the work of repentance. This is a time of light rather than darkness. Through repentance we emerge as from a dream into the full light of day. There is nothing to fear. It is God's will that all be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth, so why should we let anything stop us from coming to the Father who is love and only love? Read more »
 

January 2012

What kind of father would not sacrifice himself for his child? What kind of father would not visit his daughter in her affliction? What kind of father would not move heaven and earth to rescue his son from danger? What kind of God could observe the deterioration of his creation without acting to restore it? Read more »
 

December 2011

We must understand that spiritual transformation does not happen by accident. A consistent spiritual practice is necessary to bring about the change we so desperately need and desire. St. Paul rightly calls us co-workers with Christ and that, of course, means we have to make some real effort to do our part. Read more »
 

November 2011

If, as St. Paul says, Christ dwells in our hearts through faith, and all the treasures of wisdom and spiritual knowledge are hidden in him, then all of them are also hidden in our hearts. They are revealed to the heart in proportion to our purification Read more »
 

October 2011

Now that summer is past and school has begun the parish is filling up with college students, many of them new to the community. We also have a number of new families who have moved to the area who have been attending. Welcome them! Make a special effort to be on the lookout for faces you do not recognize and greet them with the warmth St. Mary's is known for. Read more »
 

September 2011

This interesting note has been making the internet rounds and, as they usually do, made its way into my email. It is telling. A young Orthodox seminarian writes in response to a quotation Andrew Sullivan posted on his blog for Atlantic Monthly. It is relevant and most timely. Read more »
 

Summer 2011

I want to bring your attention to a new charity we are adopting at St. Mary's. Shannon and Panayiotis Sakellariou were once missionaries in the country of Albania. They have started a book drive to help an Orthodox-sponsored elementary school in the capital Tirana. Read more »
 

May 2011

The Paschal Season is for celebrating the goodness of God and giving thanks for all He has done for us. But that does not mean our spiritual efforts should stop. Read more »
 

April 2011

Orthodox theology is a beautiful thing. It speaks of God as a loving Creator and of humanity as destined for union with Him. The Holy Fathers and Mothers were not academics, although many of them were highly educated and brilliant in their own rights. Read more »
 

March 2011

Antiochian Women's Month (March) is here and once again we will be inviting our women to participate in the Divine Liturgy in ways they may not normally: reading the Epistle, taking the collection, offering a homily/reflection on our chosen theme, and holding a bread basket or kalima (red cloth) during Holy Communion. Read more »
 

February 2011

With great sorrow we greet the news that Christians in both Iraq and Egypt have been targeted by Muslim extremists resulting in the creation of many new martyrs. We will remember them in prayer during our services and Divine Liturgies from now through Great Lent and at Holy Pascha. Read more »
 
 
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