Becoming Like Christ by Obeying His Commandments: Homily for the Second Sunday of Great Lent and Commemoration of Saint Gregory Palamas, Archbishop of Thessalonica, in the Orthodox Church

Hebrews 1:10-2:3; Mark 2:1-12              It is no surprise that many people today do not identify with any particular religion.  They can have friends, get help from counselors, follow a moral code, and become respected members of society without membership in any faith community.  If people lose interest in Christianity for those reasons, however, they have missed the point.  For Christ did not offer Himself on the…

Live Like the Icon You Are: Homily for the First Sunday of Great Lent (The Sunday of Orthodoxy)

Hebrews 11:24-26, 32-40; John 1:43-51             There are many ways to view ourselves as human beings.  All too often, we accept false definitions that we find appealing in light of our passions, weaknesses, and other forms of personal brokenness.   When we do so, we set our sights too low, for the Savior became one of us in order to make us perfectly beautiful icons of His salvation. …

Finding Fulfillment Through Fasting and Forgiveness in Lent: Homily for Forgiveness Sunday in the Orthodox Church

Romans 13:11-14:4; Matthew 6:14-21              As we prepare to follow our Lord to His Cross and empty tomb in Great Lent, we must learn to see ourselves in Adam and Eve, who stripped themselves naked of the divine glory and were cast out of Paradise into a world that remains enslaved to the fear of death.  We have all followed them in abusing God’s great blessings in order to fulfill our self-centered…

How We Relate to our Neighbors Reveals the Truth About How We Relate to God: Homily for the Sunday of the Last Judgment (Meatfare) in the Orthodox Church

1 Corinthians 8:8-9:2; Matthew 25:31-46             On this Sunday of the Last Judgment, the Church calls us to see the ultimate meaning and purpose of our lives before God.  As we begin the last week before Great Lent, the Savior reminds us in today’s gospel reading that the path to eternal life runs through our neighbors, especially those we are inclined to overlook, disregard, and even despise.  How we treat the hungry…

Find Restoration as a Beloved Child of God This Lent : Homily for the Sunday of the Prodigal Son in the Orthodox Church

1 Corinthians 6:12-20; Luke 15:11-32           As we continue preparing for our Lenten journey this year, the Church directs our attention to the Parable of the Prodigal Son.  This story presents profound truths both about God and about us as His beloved children who have become so enslaved to corrupt desires that we make ourselves and others miserable, becoming at times virtually unrecognizable as those who bear the…