Entering into Eternal Joy Through Obedience and Receptivity to Christ: Homily for the Feast of the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos in the Orthodox Church

Philippians 2:5-11; Luke 10:38-42; 11:27-28           There is nothing more fundamental to our faith as Orthodox Christians than the good news that Jesus Christ is risen from the dead.  Our Lord entered fully into our world of brokenness and pain and was as dead and buried as anyone else lying in the grave; but since He is God, Hades and the tomb could not contain Him.  Because He…

Transfigured by Offering and Obedience: Homily for the Eighth Sunday after Pentecost, the Eighth Sunday of Matthew, and the After-feast of the Transfiguration of Christ in the Orthodox Church

1 Corinthians 1:10-17; Matthew 14:14-22             We gather today during a very rich period of the life of the Church. Even as we continue to celebrate our Lord’s Transfiguration on Mount Tabor, we continue in the Dormition Fast in preparation to commemorate the falling asleep in Christ of the Theotokos and her assumption into heaven as a whole person.  When something is transfigured, it is changed into a more beautiful or glorious…

Opening our Eyes and our Mouths to the Glory of God: Homily for the Seventh Sunday After Pentecost and the Seventh Sunday of Matthew in the Orthodox Church

Romans 15:1-7; Matthew 9:27-35           We often overlook the simplest and most important things because we want to achieve our desired results quickly and on our own terms.  In any worthwhile endeavor, however, there is no alternative to taking our time as we get a solid grounding in the basics before trying to take more advanced steps.  Illusions of being more advanced than we really are will lead…

Embracing the Therapeutic Mercy of Christ Through Repentance and Humility: Homily for the Sixth Sunday After Pentecost and the Sixth Sunday of Matthew in the Orthodox Church

Romans 12: 6-14; Matthew 9: 1-8           Many people today probably think of Christianity as a collection of religious rules that tell us what to do and what not to do.  The problem with a religion of law is that, while it points us in the direction of how we should behave, it does not give us the spiritual strength necessary to follow the rules. A faith that…

Becoming the Light of the World Through the God-Man: Homily for the Sunday of the Holy Fathers of Fourth Ecumenical Council in the Orthodox Church

Titus 3:8-15; Matthew 5:14-19             Not long ago, I got on a treadmill at the gym, set the pace and incline as usual, and was then amazed at how easily I began to walk on it.  For a moment, I thought that my physical fitness had reached a new height and that I would need to find ways to challenge myself further, for what I had been doing now felt too easy…