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…

Healing for Holiness: Homily for the First Sunday of Great Lent (Sunday of Orthodoxy) in the Orthodox Church

Hebrews 11:24-26, 32-40; John 1:43-51   It is a common temptation to believe that religion is about subjective matters that have little to do with how we actually live in “the real world.” Many believe that, as long as a faith helps us to feel better about ourselves in light of our daily challenges, it has fulfilled its purpose.  Today we commemorate the Sunday of Orthodoxy and the restoration of the holy…

Transformed by Christ’s Mercy: Homily for Forgiveness Sunday (Cheese Fare Sunday) in the Orthodox Church

Romans 13:11-14:4; Matthew 6:14-21           Today we stand right on the edge of Great Lent, for the weeks of preparation to follow our Savior to His Passion begin tomorrow.  We have already been challenged to prepare with the Sundays of the Tax Collector and the Pharisee, the Prodigal Son, and the Last Judgment. Now it is the Sunday of Forgiveness, when we are reminded that we must forgive…

Fasting to Serve Christ in “The Least of These”: Homily for the Sunday of the Last Judgement (Meat Fare Sunday) in the Orthodox Church

1 Corinthians 8:8-9:2; Matthew 25:31-46          Today we continue to prepare to follow our Lord to His cross and empty tomb at Pascha.   Great Lent begins a week from tomorrow, and it is time for each of us to get ready to embrace the spiritual disciplines of the season in a way appropriate to our spiritual strength and life circumstances.  Since fasting from rich food and giving generously to the needy are…