The Courage to Face the Truth: Homily for the Sunday of the Samaritan Woman in the Orthodox Church

John 4:5-42 Christ is Risen! It is strangely appealing to define ourselves by our failures, especially when others know that we have stumbled and treat us poorly as a result.  As well, our own pride often causes us to lose perspective such that we obsess about how we do not measure up to whatever illusion of perfection we have accepted.  People are often their own harshest critics in ways that are not…

Healed to Rise Up and Walk: Homily for the Sunday of the Paralytic in the Orthodox Church

Acts 9:32-42; John 5:1-15 Christ is Risen! We do not like to be dragged down or held back by problems that we cannot solve.  Whether it is our own health, a broken relationship with others, or a complex set of circumstances over which we have little control, it is very frustrating to know our weakness before seemingly insurmountable challenges. That is surely how the invalids, blind, lame, and paralyzed felt as they…

Serving Even When We Do Not Get What We Want: Homily for the Sunday of the Myrrh-Bearing Women in the Orthodox Church

Acts 6: 1-7; Mark 15:43-16:8 Christ is Risen! We live in a time in which it is easy to think of ourselves as isolated individuals whose purpose in life is to get whatever we happen to want. Personal freedom is a great blessing from God, but since Adam and Eve we have abused it by thinking and acting as though fulfilling our immediate desires is the only thing that really matters. Our…

Belief in the Resurrection Requires Commitment: Homily for the Sunday of St. Thomas the Apostle and St. George the Great Martyr in the Orthodox Church

John 20:19-31           As we continue to celebrate the glorious resurrection of our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ, we remember today how Thomas was transformed from a skeptic into a believer, and ultimately into a martyr who gave the ultimate witness for His Savior’s great victory over death.  Since Thomas was not present when the risen Christ first appeared to the disciples, he doubted their testimony.  That…

A Time to Offer Ourselves to the Savior Who Offered Himself for Us: Homily for Palm Sunday in the Orthodox Church

Philippians 4:4-9;John 12:1-18           Sometimes it is not enough to have ideas or speak words, no matter how true they are.   There are circumstances that require us to act in order to respond properly to them.  There are challenges in life that we must enter into personally if we are really going to engage them.    They require us to invest ourselves in them fully; otherwise, we end up…