Belief in the Resurrection Requires Commitment: Homily for the Sunday of St. Thomas the Apostle and St. George the Great Martyr in the Orthodox Church

John 20:19-31           As we continue to celebrate the glorious resurrection of our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ, we remember today how Thomas was transformed from a skeptic into a believer, and ultimately into a martyr who gave the ultimate witness for His Savior’s great victory over death.  Since Thomas was not present when the risen Christ first appeared to the disciples, he doubted their testimony.  That…

A Time to Offer Ourselves to the Savior Who Offered Himself for Us: Homily for Palm Sunday in the Orthodox Church

Philippians 4:4-9;John 12:1-18           Sometimes it is not enough to have ideas or speak words, no matter how true they are.   There are circumstances that require us to act in order to respond properly to them.  There are challenges in life that we must enter into personally if we are really going to engage them.    They require us to invest ourselves in them fully; otherwise, we end up…

Selfless Service Over Self-Centered Desire: Homily for the 5th Sunday of Lent in the Orthodox Church

Hebrews 9:11-14; Mark 10:32-45             Human beings have an amazing capacity to miss the point, to become blind to truths that should be obvious.  We often do that because we become so preoccupied and distracted with our own agendas and desires that we ignore everything else.  That is especially the case when the truth goes strongly against our inclinations by telling us what we do not want to hear. That is what…

A Challenge that Reveals the Truth: Homily for the 4th Sunday of Lent and the Leavetaking of the Annunciation in the Orthodox Church

Hebrews 6:13-20; Mark 9:16-30             We have all fantasized about what we would say or do in certain situations, and we probably all know that we often respond differently in real life than we do in our imaginations.  In fact, we never really know how we will act until we actually face the test. Reality has a way of revealing the truth in ways that surprise us.…

Killing the Fear of Death: Homily for the Third Sunday of Lent (Adoration of the Cross) in the Orthodox Church

Hebrews 4:14-5:6; Mark 8:34-9:1            Today we do something that goes against the strongest inclinations of fallen humanity:  We adore and celebrate the Cross.  Absolutely no one rejoiced about crosses in the first century, for crucifixion was the most horrible form of execution the Romans could devise.  When the Lord told Peter plainly that He would be killed, the head disciple was horrified and tried to correct Him. …