It’s Not About Getting What We Want: Homily for Palm Sunday in the Orthodox Church

Philippians 4:4-9; John 12:1-18           Sometimes we have to wonder what people mean when they call themselves Christians.  So much is said and done today, and has been across the centuries, by those who identify themselves with the Lord with their words, but not with their deeds.  As a guard against self-righteousness, we must criticize ourselves first along these lines, not others.  If the spiritual of disciplines taught us…

How to Say Yes to God: Homily for the Feast of the Annunciation to the Most Holy Theotokos in the Orthodox Church

Hebrews 2:11-18; Luke 1:24-38             Today we celebrate the very best example of how to live faithfully as a human being before God with the feast of the Annunciation.  When the Archangel Gabriel announced to the Virgin Mary that she was to become the Theotokos, she freely accepted this extraordinary calling when she said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me…

Lent is About Offering, Not Achieving: Homily for the 4th Sunday of Lent in the Orthodox Church

Hebrews 6:13-20; Mark 9:16-30                         The most dangerous temptations are usually the most subtle ones because we think we are doing something good even as we are not. When it comes to the spiritual disciplines of Lent, we must be especially on guard against the temptation to make the season simply about ourselves.  If our focus is simply on the quality of our prayers, our…

On Not Being Ashamed of the Cross: Homily for the Adoration of the Holy Cross (3rd Sunday of Lent) in the Orthodox Church

Hebrews 4:14-5:6; Mark 8:34-9:1           Today we do something that makes no sense at all apart from the resurrection of our Lord, for we adore the Cross on which He died.  The Romans executed traitors on crosses in order to make an example of what happened to people who dared to oppose them.  Death on a cross was a long, painful process in which the victim was helpless…

Overcoming Paralysis Through Humble Repentance: Homily for the Second Sunday of Lent in the Orthodox Church

Hebrews 1:10-2:3; Mark 2:1-12             Imagine how you would react if you went to the doctor to be cured of a disease and were told in response “Your sins are forgiven.”  You would probably look for another physician pretty quickly.  We seek medical care in order to regain our health, not to be forgiven for wrongs we have done.  How sad, then, when we approach Christ wanting only forgiveness without the healing…