Sermons from St. Mary Church
November 14, 2010 -
When St. Paul preached on Mars hill introducing Athens to the God they called “unknown” he said, “He is not far from each one of us. In him we live and move and have our being.” (Acts 17:27-28) Thus we swim in a veritable ocean of grace. God is in us and around us everywhere and in everything. How do we miss Him?
November 07, 2010 -
Last Friday, through the invitation of Ann Bezerides (thank you Ann), I had the opportunity to attend an extraordinary conference on Prison Ministry at Boston College, and Fr. Antony has asked me to speak about it. So this is my chance to announce that St. Mary Orthodox Church already has an active Prison Ministry and there are many easy ways for you to help out.
But first, let me share what is happening in the field, and report from the Conference on the Church in 21st Century.
When prisons were first established in this country, they were conceived as places of rehabilitation. A penitentiary system involved penance and repentance, the opportunity for change and growth.
October 10, 2010 -
Sermon Preached by Fr Antony Hughes on Sunday, October 10, 2010
The Reading is from Luke 7:11-16
At that time,
Jesus went to a city called Nain, and his disciples and a great crowd went with
him. As he drew near to the gate of the city, behold, a man who had died was
being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow; and a large
crowd from the city was with her. And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion
on her and said to her, "Do not weep." And he came and touched the
bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, "Young man, I say to you,
arise." And the dead man sat up, and began to speak. And he gave him to
September 12, 2010 -
The Lord said, “No one has ascended into heaven, but he who has descended from heaven, the Son of Man who is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.” For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. For God sent the Son into the world not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.
September 05, 2010 -
There are two great commandments. Love God and love your neighbor. But we shouldn’t see them as two separate commands. To fulfill one is to fulfill the other. Not to fulfill one is not to fulfill the other. They are one and the same for us who follow Jesus Christ.
August 29, 2010 -
St. John knew who he was. Self-knowledge, say some of the Holy Fathers, is the greatest of all the spiritual gifts. He was the Forerunner, the last prophet of the coming Messiah, that is, of the Old Testament. Most of all he knew who he was not. He was not the Messiah.
July 25, 2010 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Jesus came to his disciples walking on the water of the Sea of Galilee at the fourth watch of the night. They had left him alone in the wilderness at his request and started across the sea in a boat.
June 27, 2010 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
But are we so different? I think not, for we all have to some degree forgotten or lost a conscious connection with the deepest truth about ourselves: the inherent dignity of being made in God’s image.
April 25, 2010 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Many people over the long span of history have been afraid of God. It was not at all clear that God loved his creation and cared for humanity for the large majority of people throughout history.
March 31, 2010 - by David Vermette
In our Gospel reading for the bridegroom matins last night, I noticed that the Evangelist St. John the Theologian says that although Jesus had done so many signs before the people of that generation, they did not believe in him. In this connection the Evangelist quotes the Prophet Isaiah, “He has blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; lest they should see with their eyes, lest they should understand with their hearts, and turn, and so that I should heal them.” St. John Chrysostom comments that this passage should not be taken to mean that God does not will all to be healed, or that he has reserved some for salvation and others for destruction arbitrarily, as some quite mistakenly have taught.
March 21, 2010 - Melissa Nassiff
Today is the fifth Sunday in Lent, the day we commemorate St. Mary Of Egypt. Since we focus on her every year toward the end of Lent, I’m sure most of you are familiar with her story, but to summarize it briefly, Mary’s early life was decidedly un-saintly.
March 07, 2010 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
This is the Sunday of the Adoration of the Holy and Life-Giving Cross, the mid-point of the spiritual journey we call Great Lent and a turning point in our Lenten effort. From this point on we begin to look intently to the Crucifixion of our Lord and embrace its power in our own lives as we continue to make our way to the Empty Tomb. Before this we were getting accustomed to the disciplines of Lent, settling in to a new rhythm of life.
January 31, 2010 -
Sermon preached on Sunday, January 31, 2010
Luke 19:1-10 (15th Sunday of Luke)
In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, one God. Amen.
The Lord does not see things as we do. We like to categorize people, but Jesus did not. That is why he could go to Zaccheus’ house and not blink an eye while folks in the crowd criticized and complained. That is why he consorted with prostitutes and tax collectors and Samaritans and women and remained perfectly at ease. For Jesus there were not bad people and good people, there were simply people. The way of thinking that breaks everything into categories - blacks and whites, goods and bads, righteous and sinners, men and women, Jews and Gentiles - is called dualistic thinking.
December 13, 2009 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
The invitations have been sent. The table is set. The dinner is prepared. All that remains is for the guests to arrive. But this is a party for which guests are required to prepare. This is no ordinary event. It is the heavenly and eternal banquet! All that is necessary for our salvation has been accomplished, except one: we must accept or refuse the invitation. The last, necessary element is our decision.
November 22, 2009 -
What does it mean to be "rich towards God"? All human beings are intrinsically "rich towards God" because we are made in His divine image and likeness. The problem is that we have forgotten who we are. Abraham Heschel once wrote, "Man is a messenger who has forgotten the message."
November 08, 2009 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Which miracle do you suppose is the greatest? The greatest work, I propose, happens within. Why else would St. John Climacus say it is a far greater miracle to repent than to raise the dead? Everyone healed by Christ will once again get sick and die. Everyone raised from the dead by Christ will die again. But the soul that is enslaved by the anguish of sin can suffer far longer than the body.
November 01, 2009 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Orthodox Christianity is forever and always about hope in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. The Holy Trinity did not give up on creation in the face of the fall. The Lord Jesus did not give up in the face of the Cross. Nothing can defy the compassion of the Almighty, nothing (in the end) can thwart his purposes, certainly not our paltry little, earth-bound perspectives, our pious, little certainties...and certainly not death.
October 18, 2009 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
We seem to think that the disciples understood what the Lord taught them without a problem. We think we can too. The truth is, although the words are simple, the meaning is far deeper than the words and demand a complete reorientation before they can be understood. Take today's Gospel as a good example.
September 27, 2009 - by Dn. Jeffrey Smith
To be called. To be called to serve, perhaps as a priest. I have often ruminated. How are we called? How do we serve? Am I called to be a priest as many have asked? Am I holding a part of myself back by not responding to this call?
September 13, 2009 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
It is so simple a message that it is difficult to grasp. In our weakness of mind it is hard to understand how God can love everyone; his enemies, unrepentant sinners and the righteous all the same. We cannot bear to admit that God loves even those whom we cannot dream of loving. Even our enemies!