Even Small Offerings Produce Abundant Blessings: Homily for the Eighth Sunday after Pentecost, the Eighth Sunday of Matthew, and the After-Feast of the Transfiguration of Christ in the Orthodox Church

1 Corinthians 1:10-17; Matthew 14:14-22           In one way or another, we are all pretty good at letting ourselves off the hook.  There are pressing matters that require our attention, but we would rather ignore them so that we do not have to go to the effort of actually doing something about them.  We easily find ways to justify leaving it to others to do the heavy lifting…

Transfigured Sight and Speech: Homily for the Seventh Sunday after Pentecost and the Seventh Sunday of Matthew 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 a many different ways.  Some use His name as a curse word or otherwise mock Him.  Some make Him in their own image as an advocate of whatever agenda they prize most in life.  Some view Him as a teacher or prophet to be admired, but not as the Son…

Learning from the Example of Saint Timon and the Orthodox Christians of Syria: Homily for the Sixth Sunday after Pentecost and the Sixth Sunday of Matthew in the Orthodox Church

Romans 12:6-14; Matthew 9:1-8           Today is “St. Timon Sunday” in our Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America, when we make an offering in support of our brothers and sisters in the Archdiocese of Bosra-Hauran in Syria. Under the guidance of His Eminence, Metropolitan Saba, the Archdiocese does all that it can to show the love of Christ to the victims of the brutal conflict of the last several…

On Serving One, Not Two, Masters: Homily for the Great Martyr Kyriaki of Nicomedia and the Third Sunday of Matthew in the Orthodox Church

Galatians 3:23-4:5; Matthew 6:22-33           Today we celebrate the memory of the Holy Great Martyr Kyriaki, who gave the ultimate witness for Jesus Christ by refusing to worship pagan gods and giving up her life after suffering brutal persecution from the Roman Empire.  A beautiful young virgin, Kyriaki came from a wealthy family, but she refused the offer of marriage to the son of a magistrate who wanted…

Receiving and Giving Freely, Like the Apostles: Homily for the Synaxis of the Twelve Apostles in the Orthodox Church

1 Corinthians 4:9-16; Matthew 9:36-10:8             Today we commemorate the twelve apostles, looking to them as examples of faithfulness to the Savior.  As with many aspects of our faith, we may be so familiar with them that we take their ministry for granted and do not see how their witness has much to do with us.  After all, they were our Lord’s disciples during His earthly ministry and did not fully understand…