The Creation Fulfilled and Restored: Homily for the Sunday After Theophany (Epiphany) in the Orthodox Church

Ephesians. 4:7-13; Matthew 4:12-17           Some people think of religion as a way of escaping the problems of life in the “real world.” They may view our physical bodies and their weaknesses, as well as all the problems that people and societies have in relating to one another, as evil or pointless realities from which they hope God will deliver us.  Perhaps they want an imaginary spiritual bliss…

Purifying the Heart: Homily for the Feast of the Circumcision of Christ in the Orthodox Church

Colossians 2:8-12; Luke 2:20-21, 40-52         The great mystery of the Son of God becoming a human being shines brightly today as we celebrate the feast of the Circumcision of Jesus Christ.  Like any other Jewish male, He endured the procedure that was the mark of becoming an heir to the promises to Abraham.  He is not, of course, simply another child of Hebrew heritage, but also the eternal Word…

The Good News of Christmas: Christ is Born! Glorify Him!

Christ is Born!  Glorify Him! The glorious feast of Christmas is finally here, and what a mysterious blessing it is.  For the Eternal Word of God becomes a human being, a helpless babe born in a barn with a manger for His crib. Angels sing in His honor.  The lowly shepherds and the foreign wise men worship Him.  A young virgin becomes a mother, not simply of a son, but of the…

The Scandalous Good News of Christmas: Homily for the Sunday Before the Nativity of Christ in the Orthodox Church

Hebrews 11:9-10, 32-40; Matthew 1:1-25             Some things are so familiar to us that we no longer take them seriously.  We can become so accustomed to thinking about people, events, and ideas in the same old way that we become blind to their true character and significance.  When that happens, they lose their ability to shock us. Unfortunately, it is very easy to view Christmas in precisely that way.  For too many,…

On Getting Ready for the Banquet: Homily for the Sunday of the Forefathers of Christ in the Orthodox Church

Colossians 3:4-11; Luke14:16-24 It is easy to accept illusions about ourselves when we have not been tested, when there is no crisis to which we must respond.  We usually think that all is well until we find ourselves falling short of meeting a goal that we thought we could achieve.   Great challenges judge us because they reveal the true state of our ability and character.  They often open our eyes to…