Frustrated Fishermen and Barren Old Couples: Homily for the Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost and the Conception of the Prophet and Forerunner John the Baptist in the Orthodox Church

Epistle to the Galatians 4:22-27The Gospel According to St. Luke 5:1-11                          Probably everyone who has a job or is in school has felt at some point like the disciples did when Jesus Christ found them washing their nets.  They had fished all night and caught nothing.  Things hadn’t turned out as they had hoped, and they were disappointed and frustrated to the point of giving…

On Taking up the Cross: Homily for the Sunday After the Elevation of the Cross and for the Commemoration of the Holy Great Martyr Euphemia in the Orthodox Church

  Saint Mark 8:34-9:1     Epistle to the Galatians 2:16-20               We think of the cross as the great symbol of our Christian faith.  We wear it around our necks and otherwise display it proudly. But during the first century it was nothing of the sort; it was a cruel instrument of execution used by the Romans to make a statement:  unfortunate people died long,…

“For God So Loved the World”: Homily for the Sunday Before the Exaltation of the Cross in the Orthodox Church

                                 If you go to a football game, you’ll see fans hold up signs, waving towels, and wearing the colors of their team.  And you might even see someone holding up a sign with a Bible verse, a sign that says, “John 3:16.”  That’s because this verse is such a clear summary of the very heart of…

Of Vineyards and Cornerstones: Homily for the Thirteenth Sunday After Pentecost in the Orthodox Church

St. Matthew 21:33-42 1 Corinthians 16: 13-24             There probably are not many vineyards close to Abilene, but we can all still understand what Jesus Christ was talking about in today’s gospel reading.  A vineyard is a place where grapes are grown.  The Lord told a parable about a landowner who had workers take care of his vineyard.  When the grapes were ready, he wanted the fruit and sent servants to get…

Not in Praise of Single Motherhood: An Orthodox Christian Response to Katie Roiphe

              Only a small dose of common sense should be required to see that children tend to flourish when men and women rear them together through permanent family units sustained by marriage.  There are many examples of single, divorced, and widowed mothers—and fathers and other people—who struggle successfully to bring up children in other familial settings.  It’s no insult to them to point out the misguided nature of arguments that praise single…