True Faith Requires Devotion Despite Disappointment: Homily for the Sunday of the Myrrh-Bearing Women in the Orthodox Church

Mark 15: 43-16:8            Christ is Risen! It is easy to assume that we have strong faith when it seems like everything is going our way.  All too often, that means that we have come to trust in ourselves for following a religion that we imagine will give us what we want.  When difficult struggles come, however, the truth about our weak souls is revealed.  Then we come to see that real faith…

Seeing our Neighbors and Ourselves in Light of Christ’s Bodily Resurrection: Homily for Thomas Sunday 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:  Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life!  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 illumined even…

Only the One Who Destroys Death Can Bring Peace: Homily for Palm Sunday in the Orthodox Church

Philippians 4:4-9; John 12:1-18           On this great feast of Palm Sunday, our epistle and gospel readings call us to respond to even our most severe challenges with the peace that passes understanding.  When the Savior raised His friend Lazarus from the tomb after four days and showed that He is the resurrection and the life, corrupt religious leaders concluded that they had to find a way to…

Christ’s Healing Extends Beyond Self-Help or Willpower: Homily for the Fifth Sunday of Great Lent and Commemoration of our Righteous Mother Mary of Egypt in the Orthodox Church

  Hebrews 9:11-14; Mark 10:32-45             As we near the end of our Lenten journey this year, we should have all gained at least a measure of insight into our souls’ need for healing beyond what we can accomplish merely by our own willpower in obeying religious or moral laws.  Our difficulty in taking even small steps to embrace prayer, fasting, almsgiving, and other spiritual disciplines reveals how weak we are before…

Acquiring Honest Faith is Never Easy: Homily for the Fourth Sunday of Great Lent in the Orthodox Church

Hebrews 6:13-20; Mark 9:17-31             Some people speak of faith as if entrusting our lives to God were as effortless and relaxing as soaking in a warm bath.  If we have pursued prayer, fasting, and almsgiving with integrity this Lent, we will know better than to make such a silly assumption.   The more we have struggled to take even small steps toward the healing of our souls, the more our disordered desires…