The Light Shining in the Darkness: Homily for the Sixth Sunday of Pascha, The Sunday of the Blind Man in the Orthodox Church

Acts 16:16-34; John 9:1-38   Christ is Risen!              As we near the end of our celebration of Pascha, the Church directs our attention today to how the brilliant light of our Lord’s glorious resurrection overcomes the darkness of sin and death.  The man in our gospel reading whose sight the Lord restored had been blind from birth, having known only darkness throughout his life.  He symbolizes us all, for until the light…

The Powerful Witness of the Great Martyr Photini: Homily for the Sunday of the Samaritan Woman and After-Feast of Mid-Pentecost in the Orthodox Church

Acts 11:19-30; John 4:5-42 Christ is Risen! Today we continue to celebrate our Lord’s great victory over death by remembering the Great Martyr Photini, also known as the Samaritan woman at the well.  At first glance, she would  seem an unlikely saint and evangelist.  The Jews had nothing to do with Samaritans, whom they considered heretics.  She had had five husbands and was then with a man to whom she was not…

The Weak Receive Strength Through Obedience: Homily for the Sunday of the Paralytic in the Orthodox Church

Acts 9:32-42; John 5:1-15 Christ is Risen! On the previous two Sundays, the Church called us to focus on how particular people responded to our Lord’s death and resurrection.  Thomas did not believe until he saw and touched the wounds of the Risen Savior.     Joseph of Arimathea took Christ’s body down from the Cross and, with the help of Nicodemus, buried Him.  The myrrh-bearing women went to the tomb very early in…

Set Free from the Fear of Death to Serve and Love: Homily for the Sunday of the Myrrh-Bearing Women, Pious Joseph of Arimathaea, and Righteous Nicodemus in the Orthodox Church

Acts 6: 1-7; Mark 15:43-16:8 Christ is Risen! Today we commemorate those who, in moments of profound crisis, did not think only of themselves, but instead cared for the dead body of their Lord as a sign of their love for Him.  With broken hearts and in terrible shock and grief, the Theotokos, Mary Magdalen, two other Mary’s, Johanna, Salome, Martha, Susanna, and others whose names we do not know, went early…

What Does It Mean to Believe that “Christ is Risen!” ?: Sunday of Thomas the Apostle, Called “The Twin” in the Orthodox Church

Acts 5:12-20; John 20:19-31 Christ is Risen! Today we continue to celebrate the most fundamental and joyful proclamation of our faith:  The resurrection of our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ on the third day.  He is our Pascha, our Passover, from death to life, for Hades and the grave could not contain the God-Man Who shares with us His victory over death.  He has made even the tomb a pathway to…