The Importance of Being Faithful in Small Things: Homily on Saint Mary Magdalene for the Eighth Sunday after Pentecost and the Eighth Sunday of Matthew in the Orthodox Church

1 Corinthians 1:10-17; Matthew 14:14-22           It is very easy for us to overlook the importance of small, routine things that do not seem remarkable at all.  It is much more appealing to focus on larger matters that we think have great significance.  The problem, of course, is that it is in the seemingly insignificant details of daily life that our true character is formed and revealed.  If…

The World Needs Light, Not More Darkness: Homily for the Sunday of the Holy Fathers of the Fourth Ecumenical Council in the Orthodox Church

T Titus 3: 8-15; Matthew 5:  14-19           It is not hard to find examples of Christians whose behavior disappoints and scandalizes us.  Whether people we know personally or simply those we know about, it is easy to find ourselves thinking that others hardly seem to be “the light of the world.” There is a powerful temptation, of course, to point our finger at others for not beaming…

What We Have in Common with the Great Martyr Procopius and the Paralyzed Man: Homily for the Sixth Sunday After Pentecost and the Sixth Sunday of Matthew in the Orthodox Church

Romans 12:6-14; Matthew 9:1-8            It is tempting to fall into pessimism about ourselves.  We know our own personal failings quite well and often find it difficult to sustain hope for our own healing.  One of the many reasons that the example of the Saints is so important is that they are living proof that there is hope for us all in Jesus Christ. Just as He enabled…

Freely Receive, Freely Give: Homily for the Unmercenaries Cosmas and Damian, Martyrs in Rome, & the Fifth Sunday of Matthew in the Orthodox Church

1 Corinthians 12:27-13:8; Matthew 8:28-9:1              It is understandable why many people are tempted to think that the quality of their lives boils down to how much money they have.  The necessities of life are not free, and we have to be good stewards of our resources in order to care for ourselves and our families. Too often, however, this truth is taken out of context and securing our livelihood becomes a…

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

          Today we celebrate the birthday of one of the most unusual and important people in the history of our faith:  St. John the Baptist.  He has the titles of prophet, forerunner, and baptist because he fulfilled all three roles, speaking the word of the Lord as he prepared the way for the coming of Christ, calling God’s people to repentance and baptism, and even baptizing the incarnate…