Preparing for Lent with Humility: Homily for the Sunday of the Pharisee and the Publican in the Orthodox Church

2 Timothy 3:10-15; Luke 18:10-14             The Savior said, “He who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”  These words speak directly to each of us, for we all follow in the path of our first parents in refusing to live in a manner worthy of people created in God’s image and likeness due to our pride. Our great dignity means that we will become more…

Patient, Humble Faith for the Healing of our Souls: Homily for Hieromartyr Charalampos, Bishop of Magnesia and the 17th Sunday of Matthew in the Orthodox Church

2 Timothy 2:1-10; Matthew 15:21-28             Good parents know that, while it may be easier to do things for our children, it is often best to let them learn by doing themselves.  They will not do everything well the first time, but neither did we. Children whose parents make everything easy for them will not become mature, capable, or self-confident.  Part of growing up is learning to handle the frustration of not…

Presenting Our Talents in the Heavenly Temple: Homily for the 16th Sunday After Pentecost and 16th Sunday of Matthew in the the Orthodox Church

2 Corinthians 6:1-10; Matthew 25:14-30             Today we continue to celebrate the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple, when the Theotokos and St. Joseph the Betrothed took the forty-day old Savior to the Temple in obedience to the requirements of the Old Testament law.  This is a feast in which we celebrate how the Child born at Christmas has fulfilled the hopes of the children of Abraham and…

Tangible Holiness Through Personal Encounter with Christ: Homily for the Translation of the Relics of John Chrysostom and the 15th Sunday of Luke in the Orthodox Church

Hebrews 7:26-8:2; Luke 19:1-10 It is fair enough for people to ask why the Orthodox Christian faith inspires our loyalty.  There are so many other religions available to us, as well as non-religious perspectives according to which we could live our lives.  We are free to believe and live as we choose, so why should we identify ourselves with Jesus Christ and His Church? From the earliest years of the faith, the…

The Savior’s Healing of Whole Persons: Homily for the Twelfth Sunday of Luke and the Venerable Euthymios the Great in the Orthodox Church

2 Corinthians 4:6-15; Luke 17:12-19             Our generation is not alone in finding it difficult to appreciate the spiritual significance of the human body. Across the centuries, an abiding temptation for many is to believe that physical things simply cannot become holy.  Of course, that perspective often serves as an excuse to justify living as we please in daily life while giving God only our thoughts and feelings.  Whatever such a spiritual…