Overcoming the Paralysis Caused by the Fear of Death: Homily for the Sunday of the Paralytic in the Orthodox Church

Acts 9:32-42; John 5:1-15 Christ is Risen! We all face difficult circumstances in our lives that we are tempted to think will never change.  Sometimes we lose hope of gaining health and strength when we have been sick and weak in body or soul.  Problems in marriage, family life, or other relationships may seem beyond healing or repair.  Before the difficulties of our lives, let alone the persistent problems of the world,…

Bearing Witness to the Resurrection in our Bodies: Homily for Thomas Sunday in the Orthodox Church

Acts 5:12-20; John 20:19-31 Christ is Risen! Today we continue to celebrate the glorious resurrection of our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ on the third day.  He is our Pascha, our Passover, from death to life, for Hades and the grave could not contain the God-Man Who shares with us His victory over death.  He has made even the tomb a pathway to the glory of life eternal. As He said…

Accepting the Tension Between Our Expectations and God’s Fulfillment : Homily for Palm Sunday in the Orthodox Church

Philippians 4:4-9; John 12:1-18           In religion or anything else, we get used to whatever we get used to.  We tend to take for granted whatever becomes normal, expected, and routine in our lives.   Once we learn to see ourselves and the world in a certain way, it is easy to become blind to even the most obvious truths that challenge our perspective. The chief priests and Pharisees…

There is No Shame in Repentance: Homily for the Commemoration of St. Mary of Egypt and the 5th Sunday of Great Lent in the Orthodox Church

Hebrews 9:11-14; Mark 10:32-45           It has never been hard to find examples of people using religion to get what they want in this world.  It is usually easy to see when others do that, but much harder to recognize when we fall prey to the temptation of trying to use God to fulfill our self-centered desires.  The harsh truth is that doing so is simply a way…

Brutally Honest Humility, Not Self-Reliance: Homily for the Fourth Sunday of Great Lent in the Orthodox Church

Hebrews 6:13-20; Mark 9:17-31               Self-reliance has its place, but also its limits.  Deep problems that we cannot overcome by our own abilities show us that we are not as powerful as we had imagined.  The father in today’s gospel reading had learned through bitter experience that he could not relieve his son’s suffering, which was why he asked Jesus Christ to cast out the demon. The man was apparently not sure…