Preparing to Welcome the God-Man for the Healing of our Souls in the Nativity Fast: Homily for the Thirteenth Sunday of Luke in the Orthodox Church

Luke 18:18-27              As we continue to prepare to welcome Christ at His Nativity on Christmas, we must keep squarely in mind Who He is and why He was born in the flesh.  Contrary to popular opinion, we are not getting ready to celebrate the birth of merely a religious teacher or a figure of cultural significance.  No, we celebrate the eternal Son of God, Who spoke the universe into existence, becoming…

Overcoming “the Dividing Wall of Hostility” as the Living Temple of God: Homily for the Twenty-fourth Sunday after Pentecost, the Ninth Sunday of Luke, and the After-feast of the Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple in the Orthodox Church

Ephesians 2:14-22; Luke 12:16-21      Today we continue to celebrate the feast of the Entrance into the Temple of the Most Holy Theotokos. Her elderly parents Joachim and Anna offered Mary to God by taking her to live in the Temple in Jerusalem as a young girl, where she grew up in prayer and purity as she prepared to become the Living Temple of the Lord in a unique and extraordinary…

Loving Our Neighbors as Christ Has Loved Us: Homily for the 23rd Sunday After Pentecost and the 8th Sunday of Luke in the Orthodox Church

Ephesians 2:4-10; Luke 10:25-37             It is sobering how easily we can corrupt any good thing, including faith in Jesus Christ, into just another form of self-serving idolatry.   Some people fall into the delusion of thinking that they love God and neighbor, when in reality they use religion to serve only themselves and the false gods of this world.  One symptom of doing so is to narrow down the list of people…

Hope for Jairus, the Bleeding Woman, and Other People at the End of Their Rope: Homily for the Synaxis of the Archangels Michael, Gabriel, Raphael and All the Bodiless Powers of Heaven and the Seventh Sunday of Luke in the Orthodox Church

Hebrews 2:2-10; Luke 8:41-56            Some people think that pursuing the Christian life should be an easy endeavor of good feelings and success that requires little struggle.  If we think that everything is going our way in life, perhaps it could be very appealing to fall prey to the temptation of thinking like that. Of course, that kind of faith is actually very weak and cannot hold up when reality slaps us…

To Receive Mercy, We Must Become Merciful: Homily for the Holy Unmercenaries Cosmas and Damian of Asia and the Fifth Sunday of Luke in the Orthodox Church

1 Corinthians 12:27-13:8; Luke 16:19-31           There is simply no way around the basic truth that how we relate to our neighbors reveals how we relate to our Lord.  What we do for even the most miserable and difficult people we encounter in life, we do for Christ.  And what we refuse to do for them, we refuse to do for our Savior.  Our salvation is in becoming…