Shocking, Holy, and Humble Love for the Whole World: Homily for the Feast of the Nativity of our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ (Christmas) in the Orthodox Church

Christ is Born!  Glorify Him! Galatians 4:4-7; Matthew 2:1-12       We gather today to celebrate the birth of our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ for our salvation.  The details of His Nativity are important and shocking.  The Child Who was born in a cave that functioned as a barn and had an animal’s feeding trough for His crib is fully divine and fully human.  He did not appear with worldly…

Born to Fulfill the Hope of the Righteous and to Save Scandalous Sinners: Homily for the Sunday before the Nativity of Christ (The Genealogy) in the Orthodox Church

Hebrews 11:9-10, 32-40; Matthew 1:1-25 Now that the great feast of Christmas is almost here, the Church directs our attention to the family tree of Jesus Christ. Today’s gospel reading from St. Matthew is our Lord’s genealogy, which traces the Savior’s human ancestry back through many generations to Abraham.  It shows that He has the correct heritage to be the Messiah, the Anointed One in Whom the ancient promises are fulfilled. The…

The Poor, Maimed, Blind, and Lame Fill God’s House with Glory: Homily for the Sunday of the Forefathers of Christ in the Orthodox Church

Colossians 3:4-11; Luke 14:16-24           Earlier this morning in Orthros, we heard the following reading from the Synaxarion for the Sunday of the Forefathers of Christ: “We remember all the holy Patriarchs of the Old Testament who prefigured or foretold Christ: Adam the first Father, Enoch, Melchizedek, Abraham, the friend of God, Isaac, the fruit of the Promise, Jacob and the twelve patriarchs. We then commemorate those who…

Liberated from Bondage and Barrenness: Homily for the Conception of the Theotokos by Righteous Anna and the 10th Sunday of Luke in the Orthodox Church

Galatians 4:22-27; Luke 13:10-17           A few months ago I pulled a muscle in my back that hurt for six weeks.  It happened when I bent over just a bit to pour water in our cat’s dish.  That was just a nuisance in the larger scheme of things, but it complicated everything from standing up to sitting down or even walking around.  Even small ailments can be very…

Fighting Our True Enemies as We Prepare for Christmas: Homily for the 27th Sunday After Pentecost & the 14th Sunday of Luke in the Orthodox Church

Ephesians 6:10-17; Luke 18:35-43             We often fall into the trap of blaming other people for our problems.  That is true whether we are upset with someone in particular or with a group or organization.  It is tempting to think that if others would do what we want or at least leave us alone, then all would be well.  It does not take too much spiritual insight to see, however, that things…