How to Respond When the Weakness of Our Souls is Revealed: Homily for the 23rd Sunday After Pentecost and 13th Sunday of Luke in the Orthodox Church

Ephesians 2:4-10; Luke 18:18-27             As we prepare to welcome Christ at His Nativity, we must open our hearts and minds in order to confront the astounding truth that the eternal Son of God has become one of us.  His incarnation reveals that we need more than a teacher, a prophet, or a political or cultural leader to find the healing of our humanity in God.  Only One who is both fully…

Preparing for Christmas by Offering Ourselves as Holy Temples: Homily for the Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple in the Orthodox Church

Hebrews 9:1-7; Luke 10:38-42; 11:27-28           Today we celebrate the feast of the Entrance into the Temple of the Most Holy Theotokos. Her elderly parents Joachim and Anna offered Mary to God by taking her to live in the Temple in Jerusalem as a young girl, where she grew up in prayer and purity as she prepared to become the Living Temple of the Lord in a unique…

We Must Not Narrow Down Our List of Neighbors to Love: Homily for the 8th Sunday of Luke in the Orthodox Church

Luke 10:25-37             It is sobering how easily we can corrupt any good thing, including faith in Jesus Christ, into just another form of self-serving idolatry.   Some people fall into the delusion of thinking that they love God and neighbor, when in reality they use religion to serve only themselves and the false gods of this world.  One symptom of doing so is to narrow down the list of people who count…

The Humble Faith of Those Who Face the Truth: Homily for the Seventh Sunday of Luke in the Orthodox Church

Luke 8:41-56              There are times when reality slaps us in the face and reveals the weakness and brokenness of our lives.  There are many different ways to respond to such challenges that range from ignoring them to wrestling seriously with how to find strength and healing.  Today’s gospel reading provides us with examples of how to use such situations to help us share more fully in the…

Embracing or Rejecting Christ’s Mercy in How We Treat our Neighbors: Homily for the Nineteenth Sunday After Pentecost and the Fifth Sunday of Luke in the Orthodox Church

2 Corinthians 11:31-12:9; Luke 16:19-31           A common theme of St. Luke’s gospel is that God’s Kingdom reverses the usual expectations of this world. Some who are last now will be first in His Kingdom, while some who are first will be last.  (Luke 13:30) Luke records the Magnificat in which the pregnant Theotokos proclaims that God “has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He has put…