Retreating to the Desert for Our Salvation This Lent: Homily for the Fifth Sunday of Lent in the Orthodox Church

Hebrews 9:11-14; Mark 10:32-45      Today we commemorate Saint Mary of Egypt, a person whose remarkable path to spiritual health resonates with our struggles during this most unusual Lent.  She spent almost fifty years in complete isolation in the desert as she embraced Christ’s healing of her soul from the ravages of sin that had beset her as a sex addict.  She obviously did not attend church services during that time…

Confronting The Weakness of Our Faith in This Unusual Lent: Homily for the Fourth Sunday of Lent in the Orthodox Church

Hebrews 6:13-20; Mark 9:17-31           “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”  The father of the young man in today’s gospel lesson cried out these words with tears in response to the Lord’s statement that “all things are possible to him who believes.”  The father was not sure that the Savior could actually deliver his son from a condition that had threatened his life since childhood. He had seen…

Responding to the Global Pandemic in Light of the Cross This Lent: Homily for the Third Sunday of Great Lent and the Veneration of the Precious and Life-Giving Cross in the Orthodox Church

Hebrews 4:14-5:6; Mark 8:34-9:1             Today we venerate the precious and life-giving Cross upon which Jesus Christ offered Himself for the salvation of the world.  The God-Man conquered death by death through a public, torturous execution that was intended to strike fear in the hearts of any who would dare challenge the authority of the Roman empire.  He is our great High Priest who “sympathize[s] with our weaknesses,” for He entered personally…

Becoming Radiant with Light in a World Paralyzed by the Fear of Death: Homily for the Second Sunday of Lent in the Orthodox Church

Hebrews 1:10-2:3; Mark 2:1-12            Lent this year is not what any of us had anticipated.  Prudence about our own health and concern for the elderly and those with underlying conditions will lead to changes in our habits and routines.  Some of us will have to adjust to new schedules at work and school.  Many events and trips have been cancelled.  At least until further notice, the schedule…

Becoming Truly Human and More Like God in Holiness This Lent: First Sunday of Great Lent (Sunday of Orthodoxy) in the Orthodox Church

Hebrews 11:24-26, 32-40; John 1:43-51           We often overlook one of the most fundamental issues facing people today:  What does it mean to be a human person?  It is so easy to get caught up in worry about all kinds of lesser matters that we ignore the central one of who we are before God.  Of course, that is the central point, for we cannot even begin to…