Prayer, Fasting, and the Good Life: Homily for the 10th Sunday After Pentecost in the Orthodox Church

1 Corinthians 4:9-16 Matthew 17:14-23 It’s easy to become annoyed by some of the distortions of Christianity that are so common in our culture.  Some preach on television and elsewhere that truly faithful Christians will become rich and have no problems.  Many seem to assume that following Jesus Christ is just a little religious icing on the cake of worldly comfort, part of an easy way to a happy marriage, a model…

Walking on the Water: Orthodox Homily for the Ninth Sunday After Pentecost

I Corinthians 3:9-17 Matthew 14:22-34  Our family visited the Grand Canyon a few years ago.  It is magnificent and awe-inspiring,  but  when hiking a trail or standing on an overlook, I recall that you have to pay careful attention because you are often just a few feet away from a very steep drop off.   Unfortunately, people have fallen to their deaths in the canyon simply because they didn’t pay attention to what…

Fast Food or Fasting?: Holy Eating and Drinking Instead of Self-Centered Indulgence

Have you ever noticed that food is often at the center of controversies?  Whether it’s eating meat sacrificed to idols in Corinth, figuring out how early Christians from Jewish and Gentile backgrounds could eat together, or even responding to the current hubbub about a chicken chain, what we put in our mouths and stomachs can easily involve us in disputes.  Leaving those celebrated cases aside, our diets and eating habits have profound…

St. Timon Sunday: Homily for the Eighth Sunday After Pentecost in the Orthodox Church

1 Corinthians 1:10-18 St. Matthew 14:14-22    http://www.antiochian.org/hauran   St. Luke Orthodox Church, Abilene, TX                         We sometimes get so caught up with our own schedules and problems we forget who we are, where we came from, and how closely we are connected spiritually even to people whom we have never met.  Today is “St. Timon Sunday Day” in our Diocese, when we…

St. Mary Magdalene and the Shooting in Aurora, Colorado: Homily for the 7th Sunday After Pentecost in the Orthodox Church

St. Matthew 9: 27-35 Epistle to the Romans 15: 1-7 There are times when terrible tragedies occur that no one can explain or make sense of.  The shooting in the movie theater in Colorado is one of those senseless, unbelievably bad events.  Though far removed from us geographically, the graphic reports of this crime have surely impacted us all.  They remind us that we do not have the luxury of living in…