Rick Warren, “The Daniel Plan,” and Fasting

                  Time reports that the members of Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church have lost over a quarter of a million pounds on “The Daniel Plan.”  After becoming exhausted from baptizing hundreds of hefty parishioners in a few hours, the pastor found inspiration in the Old Testament story of Daniel and the Jewish youths who refused the rich food of Nebuchadnezzar’s table and instead subsisted on vegetables…

Gentiles, Demons, and Pigs: Homily for the Fifth Sunday after Pentecost

             Fifth Sunday After Pentecost St. Matthew 8:28-9:1 Epistle to the Romans 10:1-10 St. Luke Orthodox Church, Abilene, TX             It may be hard for us to relate to today’s gospel passage.  We are not possessed by demons, living in a cemetery, and so frightening that no one will come near us.  And probably none of us have ever seen a whole…

Homily for Fourth Sunday after Pentecost and Sts. Cosmas and Damian

            Matthew 8: 5-13 I Cor. 12:27-13:8           So much in our world today seems to boil down to money and power.  So many will sacrifice everything for those false gods.  But today we are reminded that God’s ways are not our ways, that His love, mercy, and blessing are not the prisoners of the false boundaries that we have constructed between  ourselves and others—and between ourselves and Him.    That was…

Homily for the Nativity of St. John the Forerunner, Prophet, and Baptist

Today we celebrate the birthday of one of the most unusual and important people in the history of our faith:  St. John the Baptist.  He has the titles of prophet, forerunner, and baptist because he fulfilled all three roles, speaking the word of the Lord as he prepared the way for the coming of Christ, calling God’s people to repentance and baptism, and even baptizing the incarnate Son of God at the…

Orthodox Response to Surrogate Motherhood

                           I heard a radio report today that described single men becoming fathers through the services of surrogate mothers.  The report discussed the practice as though it were a perfectly normal and healthy way for a man to have his own biological children without the trouble of getting married.  On yet another issue involving the relationship between men and women,…