Mindfulness Bears Fruit: Homily for the Sunday of the Holy Fathers of the Seventh Ecumenical Council and the Fourth Sunday of Luke in the Orthodox Church

Titus 3:8-15; Luke 8:5-15           We live in an age of distraction with instant access to whatever entertainment we prefer.  Our attention spans have become short because we are used to quick and superficial encounters with sources of information and with other people.  We often use technology in a way that is simply a waste of our time, energy, and attention. Our habits are very different from those…

How the Worst Day of a Widow’s Life Became “The Day of Salvation”: Homily for the Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost and the Third Sunday of Luke in the Orthodox Church

2 Corinthians 6:1-10; Luke 7:11-16           The widow of Nain certainly had no expectation that the day of her son’s death was “the day of salvation.”  It was surely been the worst day of her life, for in that time and place a widow who had lost her only son was in a terrible state.  She would have had no one to provide for her or to protect…

Perseverance Despite Disappointment: Homily for the First Sunday of Luke in the Orthodox Church

St. Luke 5:1-11        We have all felt at some point in our lives like Peter, James, and John when Jesus Christ found them washing their nets after a long night of unsuccessful fishing.  They had worked hard for hours and had caught nothing.  Fishing was not a leisure activity for them, but their livelihood.  They were disappointed and frustrated to the point of giving up, but then the Lord…

The Struggle for Freedom from the Fear of Death: Homily for the Sunday After the Elevation of the Holy Cross in the Orthodox Church

Galatians 2:16-20; Mark 8:34-9:1           In celebrating the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, we do something that would have made no sense to anyone at the time of our Lord’s ministry in first-century Palestine.  The cross was then the most feared instrument of execution that the Romans used to discourage anyone who thought of rebelling against the military occupation of their homeland.  That is why Pontius Pilate had…

How a Barren Couple and the New Eve Prepared the Way for the Cross: Homily for the Sunday Before the Exaltation of the Holy Cross and Feast of the Nativity of the Theotokos in the Orthodox Church

Galatians 6:11-18; John 3:13-17           One does not have to know very much about the different religions of the world to know that they differ not only in how they answer spiritual questions, but in what questions they ask.  Who is God?  What is the nature of the human person?  What is our fundamental problem?  What is salvation? These are only a few key questions that quickly reveal…