Humble Faith, Not Legalism: Homily for the 12th Sunday After Pentecost, the 12th Sunday of Matthew, and the After-Feast of the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos

1 Corinthians 15:1-11; Matthew 19:16-26   A common temptation for religious people is to fall into a form of a legalistic self-righteousness.  It is appealing to assume that what God requires may be boiled down to a simple code of behavior such that those who obey it earn a reward, while those who do not merit condemnation.  People who are not religious may certainly have their own forms of legalistic self-righteousness, but…

Personal Transfiguration in Holiness: Homily for the 11th Sunday After Pentecost, the 11th Sunday of Matthew, and the After-Feast of the Transfiguration of Christ

1 Corinthians 9:2-12; Matthew 18:23-35   There is a lot going on the life of the Church this time of year.  Even as we continue to celebrate our Lord’s Transfiguration, we prepare by fasting to observe the Feast of the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos during the coming week.  In order to enter into the good news proclaimed through these feasts, the eyes of our souls must be cleansed so that…

Staying Grounded on our True Foundation: Homily for “St. Timon Sunday” in the Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America on the 9th Sunday After Pentecost and the 9th Sunday of Matthew in the Orthodox Church

1 Corinthians 3:9-17; Matthew 14:22-34           Many people today do not have a solid foundation for their lives.  We live in a time and place where it is very tempting to forget that there is more to life than getting what we want, on our own terms and when we want it. The problem, however, is that if we live simply to satisfy our own immediate desires, we…

The Importance of Being Faithful in Small Things: Homily on Saint Mary Magdalene for the Eighth Sunday after Pentecost and the Eighth Sunday of Matthew in the Orthodox Church

1 Corinthians 1:10-17; Matthew 14:14-22           It is very easy for us to overlook the importance of small, routine things that do not seem remarkable at all.  It is much more appealing to focus on larger matters that we think have great significance.  The problem, of course, is that it is in the seemingly insignificant details of daily life that our true character is formed and revealed.  If…

The World Needs Light, Not More Darkness: Homily for the Sunday of the Holy Fathers of the Fourth Ecumenical Council in the Orthodox Church

T Titus 3: 8-15; Matthew 5:  14-19           It is not hard to find examples of Christians whose behavior disappoints and scandalizes us.  Whether people we know personally or simply those we know about, it is easy to find ourselves thinking that others hardly seem to be “the light of the world.” There is a powerful temptation, of course, to point our finger at others for not beaming…