Presenting Our Talents in the Heavenly Temple: Homily for the 16th Sunday After Pentecost and 16th Sunday of Matthew in the the Orthodox Church

2 Corinthians 6:1-10; Matthew 25:14-30             Today we continue to celebrate the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple, when the Theotokos and St. Joseph the Betrothed took the forty-day old Savior to the Temple in obedience to the requirements of the Old Testament law.  This is a feast in which we celebrate how the Child born at Christmas has fulfilled the hopes of the children of Abraham and…

Tangible Holiness Through Personal Encounter with Christ: Homily for the Translation of the Relics of John Chrysostom and the 15th Sunday of Luke in the Orthodox Church

Hebrews 7:26-8:2; Luke 19:1-10 It is fair enough for people to ask why the Orthodox Christian faith inspires our loyalty.  There are so many other religions available to us, as well as non-religious perspectives according to which we could live our lives.  We are free to believe and live as we choose, so why should we identify ourselves with Jesus Christ and His Church? From the earliest years of the faith, the…

The Savior’s Healing of Whole Persons: Homily for the Twelfth Sunday of Luke and the Venerable Euthymios the Great in the Orthodox Church

2 Corinthians 4:6-15; Luke 17:12-19             Our generation is not alone in finding it difficult to appreciate the spiritual significance of the human body. Across the centuries, an abiding temptation for many is to believe that physical things simply cannot become holy.  Of course, that perspective often serves as an excuse to justify living as we please in daily life while giving God only our thoughts and feelings.  Whatever such a spiritual…

Joseph the Betrothed, a Model of Obedience: Homily for the After-Feast of & Sunday After the Nativity of Christ in the Orthodox Church

Galatians 1:11-19; Matthew 2:13-23 Christ is Born!  Glorify Him! As we continue to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ for the salvation of the world, we should acknowledge that we are probably so familiar with the Christmas story that we often imagine it happened in a world quite different from our own.  We tend to make His Nativity a sentimental event that we celebrate yearly with various cultural customs before going back…

Shocking, Holy, and Humble Love for the Whole World: Homily for the Feast of the Nativity of our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ (Christmas) in the Orthodox Church

Christ is Born!  Glorify Him! Galatians 4:4-7; Matthew 2:1-12       We gather today to celebrate the birth of our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ for our salvation.  The details of His Nativity are important and shocking.  The Child Who was born in a cave that functioned as a barn and had an animal’s feeding trough for His crib is fully divine and fully human.  He did not appear with worldly…