Embodied Holiness: Homily for the First Sunday of Great Lent (The Sunday of Orthodoxy) in the Orthodox Church

Hebrews 11:24-26, 32-40; John 1:43-51   Some people think that the point of religion is to strengthen families and societies by giving people a motive to be moral.   They want to put the fear of God in us so that we will do the right thing and make the world a better place.  As laudable as those goals are, they are not why our Lord died on the Cross and rose on…

Wearing “The Armor of Light” Requires Forgiveness: Homily for the Sunday of Forgiveness (Cheesefare) in the Orthodox Church

Romans 13:11-14:4; Matthew 6:14-21            When the prodigal son returned home, he was surely filthy, malnourished, and at least half-naked.   The father restored him to the family by clothing him with a robe, a ring, and sandals, and then celebrated his return with a great banquet.  As we prepare to begin the Lenten journey tomorrow, we recall today how Adam and Eve stripped themselves naked of the divine…

How We Treat Others Shows the Health of our Souls: Homily for the Sunday of the Last Judgment in the Orthodox Church

1 Corinthians 8:8-9:2; Matthew 25:31-46           We live in a time when it is tempting to make everything about us.  Even as we have the liberty to think, speak, and spend our money according to our desires, we are free to approach religion in the same way. Unfortunately, we are often so consumed with getting what we want for ourselves that we distort the Christian life into a…

The Long Journey Home of Repentance: Homily for the Sunday of the Prodigal Son in the Orthodox Church

St. Luke 5:11-32           The relationship between parents and their adult children can be difficult, especially when young people assert their independence for the first time.  Though it is not always the case, tensions often seem strongest between parents and children of the same sex; that is, between fathers and sons and between mothers and daughters. Perhaps that is because they often have so much in common and…

Preparing for Lent with Humility: Homily for the Sunday of the Pharisee and the Publican in the Orthodox Church

2 Timothy 3:10-15; Luke 18:10-14             The Savior said, “He who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”  These words speak directly to each of us, for we all follow in the path of our first parents in refusing to live in a manner worthy of people created in God’s image and likeness due to our pride. Our great dignity means that we will become more…