Becoming “A New Creation” Through the Cross of Christ: Homily for the Sunday Before the Elevation of the Holy Cross and the Leave-taking of the Feast of the Nativity of the Theotokos in the Orthodox Church

Galatians 6:11-18; John 3:13-17           Even as we look ahead to the Elevation of the Holy Cross this coming week, we continue to celebrate today the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos. These commemorations remind us that the God-Man Who vanquished Hades through His Cross for our salvation had a human ancestry, which was necessary for Him to be both a human person and the particular human person…

Preparing the Way of the Lord in our Own Lives: Homily for the Feast of the Beheading of the Prophet, Forerunner, and Baptist John in the Orthodox Church

Acts 13:25-33; Mark 6:14-30           Those who think that religion is about helping people experience warm feelings and become better adjusted members of society will have their eyes opened by the event we commemorate today:  The Beheading of St. John the Prophet, Forerunner, and Baptist.  John was the last of the Old Testament prophets who prepared the way for the coming of the Messiah by calling the Jewish…

Without the True Foundation, We Sink Like Stones: Homily for the Ninth Sunday after Pentecost, the Ninth Sunday of Matthew, and the After-Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos in the Orthodox Church

1 Corinthians 3:9-17: Matthew 14:22-34           What is the true foundation of our life?  In what or in whom do we place our trust?  Where do we look for the fulfillment of the desires of our hearts?  How we answer these questions reveals a great deal about who we are.  We live in a time and place, however, that discourages us from acquiring the mindfulness necessary to attend…

Baptism, Chrismation, and Communion in the Orthodox Church on the Feast of the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos

Philippians 2:5-11; Luke 10:38-42; 11:27-28         It is entirely fitting that we have celebrated the holy mysteries of baptism and chrismation on this great feast of the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos.  We are baptized into the death of Christ in order to rise up with Him as we are illumined and reborn for eternal life.  We put Him on like a garment in baptism for restoration and fulfillment as those…

Opening Our Eyes and Mouths to the Glory of God: Homily for the Seventh Sunday after Pentecost, Seventh Sunday of Matthew, and the After-feast of the Transfiguration of Christ in the Orthodox Church

Romans 15:1-7; Matthew 9:27-35           It has never been hard to find people who view Jesus Christ in  many different ways.  Some use His name as a curse word or the punch line of profane jokes.  Some make Him in their own image as a symbol of whatever they happen to want most in this world.  Some view Him as a teacher or prophet to be admired, but…