Focus on Our Foundation, Not the Wind and the Waves: Homily for the Ninth Sunday After Pentecost and the Ninth Sunday of Matthew in the Orthodox Church

1 Corinthians 3:9-17: Matthew 14:22-34      It is easy to think that we are spiritually strong and healthy when life is good and things are going our way.  It is a very different matter, however, when things are falling apart and we find that we have no place to stand.  Life’s challenges can make hard truths quite obvious and call into question what we had previously taken for granted about ourselves…

We Must Offer Ourselves in Order to Live Eucharistically: Homily for the Eighth Sunday After Pentecost and the Eighth Sunday of Matthew in the Orthodox Church

1 Corinthians 1:10-17; Matthew 14:14-22             As we face the great problems of our society and world today, it is understandable that we may feel like the disciples when the Lord said concerning the thousands of hungry people who had followed Him into the wilderness, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” Since it had been obvious to the disciples that there was no way they could provide…

Bearing Witness by Speaking of Neighbors, Not Enemies: Homily for The Holy Righteous Martyr Paraskeva of Rome and the Seventh Sunday of Matthew in the Orthodox Church

Galatians 3:23-4:5; Matthew 9:27-35           Especially in stressful times like the ones we face today, it is tempting to define ourselves over against other people with whom we disagree.  There is obviously a lot about which people argue today, and too many view others who see this or that issue differently as their enemies, not as their neighbors.  Doing so often leads us to insult and condemn people…

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

Titus 3:8-15; Matthew 5:14-19    “Often disappointed, but seldom surprised.” That phrase describes how we must respond to most of what passes for Christianity in our culture today.  Some corrupt the faith in order to gain power and status according to the standards of kingdoms that are very much of this world.  Others hypocritically distort the Gospel in order to condemn the people they love to hate for sins that they themselves…

Becoming Our True Selves Through Faith in Christ: Homily for the Fifth Sunday After Pentecost and the Fifth Sunday of Matthew in the Orthodox Church

Romans 10:1-10; Matthew 8:28-9:1             The many challenges that we face today should open our eyes to uncomfortable truths about what it means to be a human person in the world as we know it.  The pandemic shows that we remain subject to death and disease in ways that no one can fully control.  Our social and economic crises reveal that no nation or culture embodies the fulfillment of the collective life…