Gratitude Gives Rise to Faith: Homily for the 29th Sunday After Pentecost & the 12th Sunday of Luke in the Orthodox Church

Colossians 3:4-11; Luke 17:12-19      There is a lot of evidence that writing down five things for which you are grateful each day is good for your health, both mentally and physically.  Doing so is associated with lower rates of depression, anxiety, and pain and with a higher sense of well-being.  Perhaps that is because it is the very nature of the human person to be the recipient of God’s blessings. …

From the Darkness of Pride to the Light of Holiness: Homily for the Sunday After the Theophany (Epiphany) of Christ in the Orthodox Church

  Ephesians 4:7-13; Matthew 4:12-17           When we celebrated our Lord’s birth at Christmas, the humble and scandalous circumstances of His coming into the world became apparent. He was born in a cave to a family that lived under the oppression of Roman occupation.  They had to flee to Egypt at night as refugees in order to escape the murderous plot of a wicked king.  These circumstances reflect…

Christ’s Baptism as an Epiphany of the Salvation of the World: Homily for the Feast of Theophany in the Orthodox Church

Matthew 3:13-17; Titus 2:11-14; 3:4-7           Today we celebrate that Jesus Christ is truly the Son of God and One of  the Three Persons of the Holy Trinity.  At His baptism by St. John the Forerunner in the Jordan, the voice of the Father proclaims, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased,” and the Holy Spirit descends upon Him in the form of a…

Born to Share His Divine Life with Us by Grace: Homily for Christmas in the Orthodox Church

Christ is Born!  Glorify Him! Galatians 4:4-7; Matthew 2:1-12       We gather today to celebrate the birth of our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ for the salvation of the world.  No matter how often we have heard them, the details of His Nativity remain shocking.  The Child Who was born in a cave that served as a barn and had an animal’s feeding trough for His crib is fully divine…

Joy for the Imperfect People of the World: Homily for the Sunday Before the Nativity of Christ (The Genealogy) in the Orthodox Church

Hebrews 11:9-10, 32-40; Matthew 1:1-25      I listened to a podcast recently which stressed that comparing ourselves to other people tends to make us unhappy.   That is apparently one of the great problems with social media, since people normally post pictures and news about themselves that make them look as though their lives were perfect.  Since we know that our lives are not perfect, such images of others easily fuel a…