Lazarus and the Rich Man: Homily for the 22nd Sunday After Pentecost in the Orthodox Church

St. Luke 16: 19-31                  I bet that every one of us can name some famous people who seem to be famous mostly because they are famous.  Some people make the news simply by being who they are for reasons that are beyond us.  For whatever reason, the names of celebrities are always well known.             But it’s not the same for the humble and…

Jairus and the Bleeding Woman: Homily for the 21st Sunday After Pentecost in the Orthodox Church

          Luke 8:41-56           Sometimes we think that everyone has to approach God in exactly the same way.  After all, we are Orthodox Christians.  The Divine Liturgy and other services are set; they don’t change and are celebrated in by the Orthodox around the world.  Our beliefs were defined through ancient councils.  Our spiritual practices have been passed down over the centuries by countless…

Sometimes It’s Best to Stay at Home: Homily for the 20th Sunday After Pentecost in the Orthodox Church

Epistle to the Galatians 1:11-19 Gospel According to St. Luke 8:27-39            It’s usually more exciting to go off on a trip than it is to stay at home.  Travel gives us at least a bit of adventure, a change of scenery, that gets us out of our usual routine.  Sometimes if we stay in the same place too long, we get restless and long for something new.…

The Parable of the Sower: An Orthodox Homily for the Sunday of the Holy Fathers of the Seventh Ecumenical Council

                      Mark Twain is supposed to have said that “it’s not the parts of the Bible I don’t understand that bother me; it’s the parts that I do understand.”  In other words, we have more than enough already to stay busy with in the Christian life—we don’t need to go looking for new challenges.              Christ Himself reminded the Apostles that He had…

High School Football and Orthodox Christian Asceticism

            Where I live in West Texas, there is no shortage of asceticism, especially during the terribly hot month of August.  That’s when high school football players and band members spend several hours each day practicing in the blazing sun.  Members of the tennis team, cheerleaders, and other athletes do the same.  They want to become better at what they do, so they accept a good measure of discomfort without much complaint…