The Blindness of Blame – Sunday’s Homily

On this Sunday of the Blind Man, it’s time to confront our mistake in assigning blame. The tragedies of our society strike us in such a way that we are tempted to knee jerk blame this or that person, or group, or ideology. We insist we want justice or we want to make things better and yet we start that process by saying it’s “their” fault. Blaming others won’t solve the problems…

The Son MUST Be Lifted Up!

Christ is risen! In our nihilistic age, with all the turmoil of our society from pandemics to politics to violence in the streets, we moderns seem to be having a crisis of purpose, a crisis of meaning! I was having a conversation the other day with a dear, educated man, who also happens to be an ordained clergyman in one of the many Protestant denominations in our fair city, and the conversation…

To Remember – Memorial Day 2022

Jesus looked at His disciples gathered around the table at His Last Supper and told them “Do this in remembrance of me.” And so the unbroken Eucharistic Mystery begins as we “remember” the Lord Jesus in His salvific labor to redeem humanity and the whole Universe. But what does “remember” really mean? The original Greek word is “anamnesis” and it defies a simple meaning. In fact, I recall as a boy growing…

Your Story Isn’t Over!

Christ is risen! Have you ever heard of the story of the donkey who saved a prophet’s life by talking to him? And you thought your dreams were strange! Seriously, this powerful story in the First Testament is worth your time! Read the whole story in Numbers 22. To make a long story short, Balaam is something of a prophet and some enemies of the Jews in the area want to hire…

The Suspense Is Killing Me!

Christ is risen! The great American author Lewis B. Smedes once said “Seeing reality for what it is is what we call discernment. The work of discernment is very hard.” And the Orthodox Fathers would agree. In fact, it is the gift of discernment that we are constantly called to develop and embrace in the writings of the Orthodox Fathers. Being able to tell reality from delusion isn’t nearly as easy as…

Humility And Repentance

Christ is Risen! This thought haunts me. All I’ve preached, all I’ve taught, and all I’ve said, will one day be used as a comparison with the way I’ve lived, the choices I’ve made, and the priorities I’ve set. No wonder the Church teaches me to say over and over again “Lord, have mercy!” But I won’t seriously learn how to truly repent and change the way I think if I ignore…

Don’t Let Doubt Win!

Christ is risen! Paul Tillich once said, “Doubt is not the opposite of faith; it is one element of faith.” Interesting! Too many times, moments of doubt are used by the enemy of your soul to cause you to give up or hide in shame. But doubt has never been fatal if it’s dealt with in wisdom and patience. On this day when we recall the ministry of St. John the Baptizer, doubt can…

Sunday’s Homily – Curiosity And Then Some

On this Sunday of the Samaritan Woman, we learn just what it takes to be rescued from a life stuck in the slavery of passions. And these three characteristics we learn today will not only set this woman free but a whole village. What is so amazing is the lack of curiosity that seems to exalt my own opinions above centuries of wisdom. And that is too shallow to make you a…

Plain Talk Got Their Attention!

Christ is risen! Ok, I admit it. As a public speaker, I have often used the outlandish statement as a rhetorical device to get or keep an audience’s attention. It reminds me of one dear person who looked at me once and said “Father, I can’t tell if you’re serious or not.” Bingo! If you are going to speak to move people to change or embrace what you are saying, you have…

Suffering From Self-Deception

Christ is risen! Soren Kierkegaard, that mournful Danish theologian, once said “There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.” For me, I find the most difficult deceptions to fight are the ones I tell to myself. It’s easy to spot errors in others, and it seems that we actually excel in correcting the mistakes and untruths…