Finding Healing Through the Humble Faith that Overcomes Shame: Homily for the 21st Sunday After Pentecost and the 7th Sunday of Luke in the Orthodox Church

Galatians 2:16-20; Luke 8:41-56           The lives of many people are shattered by the burdens that they carry due to their own sufferings and those of their loved ones.  When those closest to us are troubled, we are troubled also.  When our lives come to revolve around persistent problems that strike at our hearts, it is easy to lose our hope and trust in God. The woman who…

“Often Disappointed, but Seldom Surprised”: Thoughts on Sexual Harassment and a Culture of Depravity

“Often disappointed, but seldom surprised.”  That old saying came to mind upon hearing of allegations of sexual harassment and assault against a leading figure in the American film industry. Alas, it is commonplace for mainstream films today to present the bodies of women as visual commodities to be bought and sold for the voyeuristic pleasures of men.  Moviegoers are so used to nudity and “strong sexual content” that most have become desensitized…

On Overcoming the Fear of Becoming our True Selves: Homily for the Sixth Sunday of Luke in the Orthodox Church

Luke 8:26-39             We have probably all been surprised at some point by a family member, friend, or acquaintance who behaved out of character. We get to know people and have some idea of who they are, but then they say or do something that makes us wonder if we really know them.  If we are honest, we will acknowledge that the same is true of each…

Sacrificing in Order to Bear Fruit: Homily for the Holy Fathers of the 7th Ecumenical Council and the 4th Sunday of Luke in the Orthodox Church

Titus 3:8-15; Luke 8:5-15             In last Saturday’s football game at McMurry University, the home team was behind at half-time even though they were favored to win.  The coach had noticed that the players had not seemed to enjoy playing during the first half and told them to remember to have fun in the remainder of the game.  He reminded them that ultimately that was why they played their sport:  to go…

Sharing the Mercy We Have Received as God’s Temple: Seventeenth Sunday After Pentecost & Second Sunday of Luke in the Orthodox Church

2 Corinthians 6:16-7:1; Luke 6:31-36            How we see ourselves plays a very important role in how we live.  Many people define themselves in light of their own weaknesses in ways that keep them chained to whatever shattered personal history they may have.  It is easy to weigh ourselves down with ways of thinking that hold us in bondage, especially when we think that there is no possibility…