Sermons from St. Mary Church
December 20, 2015 - by Bishop JOHN
This morning's Gospel lesson is about the genealogy of Christ. Even though it is difficult to hear or read all of these names, it is a very important Gospel reading for our faith. The flesh that Christ took on from Mary was real flesh. The ancestors of God in Christ, were real characters. When you study them, you find that they were jews and non-jews; righteous and murderers; people who were faithful and people who betrayed God; there were slaves and there were free, and so on. So, none of us can claim that God can't understand us because of our circumstances, because of our lousy childhoods, because our parents weren't perfect.
December 13, 2015 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
The parable of the Great Banquet has a simple lesson for us. We are too busy. We are too distracted. The heavenly banquet is here and now and we do not, or will not see it. Alan Watts writes in his brilliant book of Christian theology, BEHOLD THE SPIRIT, that we are, 'Too busy to accept the invitation to enter the door to the Heavenly banquet that lays immediately before us.'
November 29, 2015 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Walking as children of the light is a process, a continual series of events not one grand transformation. The Gospel represents only one moment in the spiritual journey of the Rich Man. Jesus presented him with a challenge he could not meet and that didn’t mean no other such moments would come. Sometimes the truth cannot sink through the hard coverings that guard the heart so God permits a slow drip that eventually wears them away.
November 22, 2015 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Letting come and letting go is the heart of the spiritual life and a key to psychological well-being. It is an act of faith in the love and omnipresence of God to believe that what comes after we let go of this moment will be followed by grace over and over again in the next, no matter what shape it takes. And then life, lived with sacred mindfulness, becomes a miraculous journey to be met with curiosity, courage and compassion rather than a depressing pilgrimage to a fearful end.
November 15, 2015 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
This is the truth we must ignore every time we are cruel to one another, or ignore one another, or become defensive, or abuse ourselves or our neighbors in some fashion. Interconnectedness is the foundation of the Great Commandment to love for there is in truth no separation between us and God, between you and me, between us and them. All divisions are creations of our minds.
November 08, 2015 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Jairus’ 12 year old daughter was dead. Jesus, seeing the anguish of her father, brought her back to life. The Lord did not inquire about his or her worthiness or piety or anything else. Seeing the father’s anguish, Jesus responded with compassion. There were no conditions, no requirements, no legal hoops for Jairus to leap through. The Lord was not much for jumping through hoops.
November 01, 2015 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Fr. Antony tells us how important it is to share God's love and mercy with others. This is what the rich man was not able to do.
October 25, 2015 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Every person and situation Jesus met in the Gospels was unique and merited the Lord’s undivided attention and he gave it. I always wonder about the details scripture leaves out. What happened between the Gadarene man after his healing while the herdsmen were rushing after their pigs?
October 18, 2015 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
The true self, the image is free and unencumbered by anything. A true believer Jesus says is like the Spirit and the wind 'blows where it wills.' Utterly liberated from the things that hinder most of us - our past, our sins, our fears, our desires and the whole plethora of things that condition us from our youth up – the Samaritan does the work of God. When we experience this unmitigated freedom, we know that the Spirit of God is moving in us. When we feel ourselves constricted and unable to respond with compassion, we know that the false self is leading the way.
October 11, 2015 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
The Lord Jesus speaks to us today about soil. Soil represents the internal state of heart and mind. Are we open and receptive, which is another way to say are we 'empty', is there any room in us for God or are we too filled with ourselves to receive him?
October 04, 2015 - by Fr. Nicholas Manikas
Aristides, a greek pagan philosopher, in defending the Christians during the persecutions of Hadrian the emperor of Rome in the 2nd Century, said these words. He said, Christians love one another. They never fail to help widows. They save orphans from those who would hurt them. If a Christian person has something he gives to the person who has nothing.
September 27, 2015 - by Bishop John
Fisherman were simple people, but they weren't stupid. They knew from generations and generations of being fisherman when there are no fish. But the fish came and filled the nets in abundance because the creator called them, and the fish obeyed. The fish bore witness to the testimony of Jesus Christ.
September 20, 2015 - by Dn. Jeff Smith
To be honest, I never really liked sermons about the cross. They always went to dark places, and I was always more interested in the light. But the thing is, you can’t really get to the resurrection without the cross. It’s at the cross that we see God at his most humble and the living example of voluntary suffering.
September 06, 2015 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Jesus pointedly tells his disciples that the kingdom of heaven is within. And what do we usually find when we first look within? Chaos! In a work ascribed to St. Simeon the New Theologian entitled 'Three Types of Prayer' his readers are instructed not to become discouraged when they turn their awareness inside and find chaos! He encourages them to keep at it and watch as chaos gives way to open space.
August 23, 2015 - by Fr. Nicholas Manikas
What is the one thing that keeps you from coming close to God? What vice or fault is keeping you away? The rich man in today's Gospel refused Christ's challenge. He heard it, turned around, and then went home. He didn't take the challenge; he was not willing to take the risk. He decided to remain in the familiar surrounding of his own obsession.
August 16, 2015 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
The king in the Lord’s story is more like us than he is like God. He is merciful at first and then later on and at the point the majority of us would cheer as the evil servant gets what’s coming to him, a vengeful part takes over. So, instead of being like God the Always Compassionate, the king here is more like me, the sometimes compassionate.
August 09, 2015 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Right after the Transfiguration we are invited to contemplate the story of the father, his epileptic son and the faithlessness of the apostles. It is on the one hand a touching story of the father’s desperate love for his child. On the other it is about the inability of his apostles to comprehend the message Jesus had been trying to teach them.
July 05, 2015 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
On July 5, Fr. Antony presented the new Antimins to our congregation and spoke briefly about St. Raphael, whose relic is sewn into the Antimins. We then prayed a supplication service to St. Raphael to intercede on our behalf to God.
June 14, 2015 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
This statement intrigues me: 'they immediately left the boat and their father, and followed him.' Does that make any sense? They had families to provide for and, as we know, Middle Eastern families have very strong ties. But they left 'immediately' we are told. There must have been something special about these men that allowed for such spontaneity.
June 07, 2015 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
At every theophany from the creation to Pentecost, the Holy Spirit appears in ungraspable forms: wind, fire, smoke, earthquake. Even the famous dove at the Lord’s baptism is not a tangible, winged creature. He descended 'in the likeness of a dove.' It is impossible to cling to any of these forms. You cannot hold wind, or smoke, or fire, or the movement of the earth. The Holy Spirit is free, like the wind. We are to become free, just like the Spirit. To be free, we must let go of our attachments.