In Communion with Christ and One Another: Homily for the Leave-Taking of and the Sunday After Theophany (Epiphany) in the Orthodox Church

Ephesians 4:7-13; Matthew 4:12-17            It is certainly possible to have a letdown after the holiday season.  Though it has its own stresses, a time of year filled with parties, rich food, and visiting with loved ones appeals to most people, if only as a cultural observance. The same is surely true for those of us who celebrated the Savior’s birth at Christmas and His baptism at Theophany. …

Homily for the Synaxis of the Holy Prophet, Forerunner, and Baptist John in the Orthodox Church

Acts 19:1-8; John 1:29-34             In one way or another, we all struggle with the temptation to be self-centered.  Even helping others can become primarily a way to draw attention to ourselves or to meet our own emotional needs.  Many view religion in this way, trying to use even God to help them get what they want.  That, of course, is simply a form of idolatry. Today we commemorate someone who completely…

Born to Raise the Image that Had Fallen: Homily for the Sunday Before Christmas in the Orthodox Church

Hebrews 11:9-10, 32-40; Matthew 1:1-25            In spite of what we may like to think, the story of our lives did not begin on the day of our birth, but extends back across the generations to those from whom we have inherited so many traits that make us who we are.  Knowing about the heritage of our families can give us a sense of rootedness, a healthy acceptance…

Choosing to Enter the Banquet: Homily for the Sunday of the Holy Forefathers of Christ in the Orthodox Church

Colossians 3:4-11; Luke 14:16-24             Think for a moment about the choices that we make.   Each day of our lives, we decide to do this instead of that.  Sometimes we are pleased with our choices, but other times we look back on our decisions and wonder what we could possibly have been thinking at the time.  All too often, we choose poorly and end up the worse…

Putting on “The Whole Armor of God” in Order to be Set Free: Homily for the 27th Sunday After Pentecost and the 10th Sunday of Luke in the Orthodox Church

Ephesians 6:10-17; Luke 13:10-17 There are times when we do as little possible in order to meet a requirement that is not very important to us.  There are other times when we do our very best because it really matters.  Some requirements can be checked off easily with little effort and do not change us in any significant way.  Those that require dedication from the depths of our souls, however, will transform…