The Way of the Cross and the Crisis in Syria: Homily for the Feast of the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos and the Sunday Before the Elevation of the Holy Cross in the Orthodox Church

                        We have a lot going on today in the Church with our liturgical calendar, parish activities, and response to world events.  I am wearing blue because it is the Feast of the Nativity of the Theotokos, the birthday of the Virgin Mary.  Since this coming Saturday is the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, our epistle and gospel readings…

Marking Time: Homily for the Ecclesiastical New Year in the Orthodox Church

                         Have you ever noticed the ways we mark the passage of time in our lives?   Since my “day job” is in a university, I usually think in terms of semesters and academic years.  Many of us may look back to “the good old days” when we remember life being better or look ahead to a time when we are done…

Offering Loaves and Our Lives: Homily for the 8th Sunday After Pentecost and the Sunday After the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos in the Orthodox Church

                          This Thursday we began celebrating a great feast of the Church, the Feast of the Dormition of Mary the Theotokos.    When we think of the Virgin Mary, we cannot help but marvel at the unique and glorious role that she plays in our salvation.  For the Son of God to humble Himself to the point of becoming a human being,…

Humility and Mercy as Opposed to Condemnation: An Eastern Orthodox Interpretation of Pope Francis’ Comments on Whether to Judge Gay People

              It has been interesting to see all the attention given to Pope Francis’  “Who am I to judge?” comment on how he responds to gay people.  His reaction indicates that it is one thing to maintain Christianity’s historical—and apparently unanimous at least before the 1960’s—teaching that physical intimacy between persons of the same sex is sinful and quite another to judge particular people as though…

Christ Heals our Paralysis: Homily for the Sixth Sunday of Matthew During the Dormition Fast in the Orthodox Church

Matthew 9:1-8              Romans 12: 6-14                          I am sure that we have all felt stuck, trapped, or paralyzed in one way or another at some point in our lives.  Whether we were physically ill or caught in an unhealthy relationship or an unfortunate situation at work, life is full of circumstances where we seem to…