Sermons from St. Mary Church
December 11, 2011 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
To understand the point Jesus means to make in today’s Gospel reading we need to look at the rest of chapter 14. There is an important little detail to remember about it. Most of it takes place at a dinner party in the house of a Pharisee. Evidently, it takes place on the Sabbath just like our reading last week when the Lord healed the old woman. This time he heals a man of dropsy.
December 04, 2011 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
In this little, story, Jesus reveals his cosmic nature. His presence is a healing presence to both the woman and the leader and its nature is, as always, Love. To one, his loving presence is paradise, to the other it is hell. The woman receives healing, the leader gets clobbered, but in his chastisement, he too is healed.
November 14, 2011 -
St. Theophan the Recluse compared what is going on inside our minds to the buzzing of flies. To begin an authentic spiritual practice, we must begin here…with the mind and with our thoughts. This is where repentance begins which is why the first sermon Jesus preached was, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." Repentance, metanoia, means to change one’s minds. Specifically, it means to quiet the noise, to exterminate the flies.
November 06, 2011 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
The life of Christ is entirely about two things, service and love. He came not to be served, but to serve. He came to give love unconditionally to all. Even when people did not respond in kind, and he knew they would not, he still gave. As one Gospel writer wrote, "He went about doing good."
October 17, 2011 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
There are at least two ways to look at the teaching of Christ about "the seeds of the Word of God" we heard about in today's Gospel. There is the big picture and there is the little picture. They are inseparable really, not two things, but one. The first is about how everything was made and the second about how we relate to it. It is important to touch on both this morning because without an understanding of one we cannot understand the other.
September 26, 2011 -
Simon Peter and his companions had been up all night fishing and had caught nothing. This was no little tragedy for fishermen whose families depended on the fish they caught. Frustrated and defeated they sat on the shore early in the morning mending and washing their nets for the next evening’s work.
September 19, 2011 -
There is no other way to be a follower of Jesus Christ than to follow Him on the road of the Cross. The Narrow Road is paved with stones like these: love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, love others more than yourself, give expecting nothing in return, turn the other cheek, give away your possessions to the poor, be willing to die for the sake of the Gospel or for the life of another, love your enemies, pray without ceasing, be peacemakers, rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep, lift up the oppressed, love justice, show mercy, deliberately and consciously and continuously choose the narrow path, be humble, “flee from the company of men”, control the tongue, put on the mind of Christ and repent of everything that is not His mind, nurture and love silence, love without condition, become pure in heart and mind, do everything necessary to think and to live in a way that pleases God.
July 17, 2011 -
We, the Lord says, are the Light of the world just as He is the Light of the World. What can this mean? It means that what He is, we are. The One who made us has made us like Himself. “You are the light of the world,” does not mean from this moment you will be light which is something you were not before. It means that you are and always have been the light of the world and how very tragic it is when that light cannot be seen.
April 10, 2011 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
One of the very first things we learn as we begin to pursue the spiritual life is that everything we can see and touch is temporal. Everything is changing and everything that changes eventually passes away, including us. There is no security or lasting happiness in anything that passes away so it makes no sense to attach to them as if there is.
March 20, 2011 - by Nadia Kaldas
In the Old Testament anointing was used to set people apart for God’s service. Each Priest, Prophet and King of Israel was anointed with oil. This commissioned them as God’s representative to the nation.
March 13, 2011 - by Melissa Nassiff
This is the second in a series of homilies on Christian Initiation. This is especially relevant today, since this is the first Sunday of Lent, and Lent is traditionally the time when new catechumens prepare for their initiation into the church, into the body of Christ.
March 06, 2011 - by Tiffany Conroy
Our themes today are forgiveness and preparation. Forgiveness, because it’s Forgiveness Sunday; preparation, because that’s the chosen theme for our Women’s Month sermons. In addition to today’s Epistle and Gospel readings, we are considering the Mystagogical Catecheses of St Cyril of Jerusalem, which are the written records of a series of sermons he gave to initiate the catechumens in his flock back in the 4th century.
February 20, 2011 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
The story of the Prodigal Son reflects the same theme as that that of the Pharisee and Publican. The difference is that the character of the long-suffering and compassionate father and the intransigent elder son bring some deeper elements.
February 06, 2011 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Often when I read stories from Scripture like this one a bout the Canaanite Woman I wish we knew more about the characters. Who was this woman? We know that she was not Jewish. She was Syrian-Phoenician, a Canaanite. This, in fact, was the only time Jesus went outside of Jewish lands north of the Sea of Galilee into the Gentile district of Tyre and Sidon.
January 16, 2011 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
On the Feast of Theophany we celebrated the revelation of God as Trinity when Jesus the Son of God was baptized, the Holy Spirit descended visibly, and the Father spoke the immortal words, “This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.”
January 02, 2011 -
The Gospel according to St. Mark begins not with an infancy narrative like Matthew's and Mark's, but about thirty years after the Lord's birth with the story of the final Old Testament prophet. Isaiah prophesied that God's messenger would appear first and prepare the way for the Messiah. That messenger was John the Baptist.
December 25, 2010 -
There is a great contrast between King Herod and the Wise Men. Herod represents the power of this world, the grandeur and might of Rome, the heights to which we are taught by society to aspire to be successful on earth. The Wise Men are presented as gentle, kind and well ... wise. They were men of great learning and devotion. Wealthy, but generous. Powerful, but kind. Self-sufficient, yet humble.
December 19, 2010 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Genealogies don’t mean the same to us as they did for ancient peoples, so the first part of this morning’s reading may be tedious to modern ears. Most people will remember the list of strange names and forget the ending probably because a majority check out somewhere around “Amminadab” if not before. By the time we get to the story of Christmas at the end people are a little glassy-eyed. I actually look forward to it. I like this reading!
December 05, 2010 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
God reaches out to everyone personally. He knows what we need and how to meet our needs. We have no need to be afraid. God is always near. All He had to do was speak a few words in today’s Gospel and the woman was healed. God loves each of us. He knows us better than we know ourselves. Every wound, manifest and secret, is known to Him.
November 21, 2010 -
We all know the story of Jesus’ first visit to the house of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. Jesus is invited to the house, Martha is busy doing what a good Middle Eastern hostess would do, she is serving mazza and, more than likely preparing a nice meal for their special guest. Her sister Mary is sitting quietly at the feet of Jesus listening to his words attentively.