Opening Our Eyes and Mouths to the Glory of God: Homily for the Seventh Sunday after Pentecost, Seventh Sunday of Matthew, and the After-feast of the Transfiguration of Christ in the Orthodox Church

Romans 15:1-7; Matthew 9:27-35           It has never been hard to find people who view Jesus Christ in  many different ways.  Some use His name as a curse word or the punch line of profane jokes.  Some make Him in their own image as a symbol of whatever they happen to want most in this world.  Some view Him as a teacher or prophet to be admired, but…

How to Take Up Our Crosses and Be Transfigured in the Dormition Fast: Homily for the Sixth Sunday After Pentecost, the Sixth Sunday of Matthew, and the Procession of the Precious and Life-Giving Cross in the Orthodox Church

Romans 12:6-14; Matthew 9:1-8           Today we enter a very rich period in the life of the Church, for we are beginning the Dormition Fast as we process with our Lord’s Cross and prepare to celebrate the feast of His Transfiguration.  “Dormition” means “falling asleep” and every year at this time we commemorate the end of the earthly life of the Mother of God, after which she followed…

On Offering Our Blessings Back to God for Fulfillment According to His Purposes: Homily for the Dormition of Righteous Anna, Mother of the Theotokos, and the 5th Sunday of Matthew in the Orthodox Church

Galatians 4:22-27; Matthew 8:28-9:1           Conventional family ties are certainly a blessing from God, but they are easily corrupted by our common inclination to make matters of less than eternal significance our ultimate concern.  The story of the Old Testament is largely an account of the family of Abraham and Sarah from generation to generation.  It is shockingly realistic about their myriad failings to follow the blessed path…

Becoming the Light of the World Through the God-Man: Homily for the Sunday of the Holy Fathers of Fourth Ecumenical Council in the Orthodox Church

Titus 3:8-15; Matthew 5:14-19    “Often disappointed, but seldom surprised.” That old saying describes how we must respond to much of what passes for Christianity in our culture today.  Instead of manifesting the deified humanity of the Savior as “the light of the world,” many commit the idolatry of using Him as a mascot for seeking first the kingdoms of this world.  In doing so, they make Christ merely an icon of…

We Can All Bear Faithful Witness by the Power of the Holy Spirit: Homily for the Sunday of All Saints in the Orthodox Church

Hebrews 11:33-12:2; Matthew 10:32-33, 37-38; 19:27-30            On this first Sunday after Pentecost, we commemorate all those who are so filled with the Holy Spirit that they shine brightly with holiness as saints of God.  It is fitting that we do so right after Pentecost, for it is by the power of the Holy Spirit that we may become “partakers of the divine nature” in fulfillment of the…