Preparing to Welcome Christ Like the Theotokos by Entering into the Nativity Fast: Homily for the 24th Sunday After Pentecost and the 9th Sunday of Luke in the Orthodox Church

Ephesians 2:14-22; Luke 12:16-21             It is now 36 days until Christmas, and there will soon be much in our culture trying to convince us that the season is really about indulging ourselves in food, drink, and whatever else money can buy.  Consequently, we will all face temptations to live the next several weeks as though there were no higher purpose to our lives than to find pleasure…

“Go and Do Likewise” as Our Response to Evil: Homily for the 8th Sunday of Luke in the Orthodox Church

2 Corinthians 9:6-11; Luke 10:25-37             In a world of mass shootings, terrorism, and constant strife between nations and competing groups of all kinds, it is tempting to narrow down the list of people we care about.  By limiting our concern only to those we think deserve it, we try to protect ourselves from going beyond the easy habit of loving only those who are like us and love us in return. …

Showing Others the Mercy We Have Received: Homily for the 22nd Sunday After Pentecost and the 5th Sunday of Luke in the Orthodox Church

Galatians 6:11-18; Luke 16:19-31           In Paris in the 1930s and early 40s, there was an unusual Orthodox nun whose ministry was focused on showing the love of Christ to destitute and broken people who lived on the streets in misery.  During the Nazis occupation of Paris, she and her companions risked their lives to save Jews from the Holocaust.  Eventually, they were arrested and sent to concentration…

Finding Healing Through the Humble Faith that Overcomes Shame: Homily for the 21st Sunday After Pentecost and the 7th Sunday of Luke in the Orthodox Church

Galatians 2:16-20; Luke 8:41-56           The lives of many people are shattered by the burdens that they carry due to their own sufferings and those of their loved ones.  When those closest to us are troubled, we are troubled also.  When our lives come to revolve around persistent problems that strike at our hearts, it is easy to lose our hope and trust in God. The woman who…

“Often Disappointed, but Seldom Surprised”: Thoughts on Sexual Harassment and a Culture of Depravity

“Often disappointed, but seldom surprised.”  That old saying came to mind upon hearing of allegations of sexual harassment and assault against a leading figure in the American film industry. Alas, it is commonplace for mainstream films today to present the bodies of women as visual commodities to be bought and sold for the voyeuristic pleasures of men.  Moviegoers are so used to nudity and “strong sexual content” that most have become desensitized…