The Sixth Thursday of Great Lent: The Message of the Suffering Servant

Sermon preached by Fr. Antony Hughes on Sunday, April 5, 2015 The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. John. (12:1-18) The most popular reading material in first century Palestine was the Book of Daniel with all its apocalyptic language and imagery.  The brutality of the Roman Empire drove the people to long for a Messiah that would destroy the Empire and restore the Kingdom of David.  It is not hard to see why

The Sixth Wednesday of Great Lent: Freedom’s Lair

Published by Pemptousia Partnership on May 25, 2021 Metropolitan Meletios of Nikopolis † On the evening of Great Friday, we begin the service with a rather strange hymn. It’s a tropario which isn’t mournful but joyful. Not a lament, but a doxology. ‘God is the Lord and has appeared to us…’. He came to earth. And he showed us that he’s the one and only true Lord. We glorify him as Lord of heaven and earth. But this

The Sixth Tuesday of Great Lent: The Beauty of the Christ’s Prayer

Sermon preached by Fr. Antony Hughes on Sunday, May 28, 2017 at St. Mary Orthodox Church The Lord seems grounded and focused as he prays this long discourse-like prayer on the eve of his passion. When you might expect that fear and anxiety would distract him and overwhelm him, they don’t. He seems to be utterly non-resistant to the fear he must have been feeling and to the fate that waited for him. That doesn’t

The Fifth Friday of Great Lent: St. Mary of Egypt and Moral Progress

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, January 11, 2015  The suggestion has been made several times recently that my criticism of moral progress is not supported by the example of the saints. Surely, it is said, the transformations we read about in the lives of the saints are clear examples of moral progress. A noted such example, perhaps the greatest story of repentance and asceticism known in the Church, is that of St. Mary of Egypt. It is worth

The Fifth Thursday of Great Lent: Facing the Bronze Serpent

Sermon preached by Fr. Antony Hughes on Sunday, September 8, 2013 John 3:13-17 (Sunday Before the Cross) The story of the bronze serpent in the wilderness is an interesting one. The Israelites are grumbling about their time in the wilderness and the Lord gets royally annoyed, so he sends poisonous snakes into the encampment to bite them. They cry out to Moses for help.  God has pity on them and instructs Moses to create a

The Fifth Wednesday of Great Lent: Who is the Devil and How Does He Act?

Published by Pemptousia Partnership on August 11, 2021 Elder Joseph of Vatopaidi Holy Scripture tells us that the devil is ‘fallen Lucifer’.  This is why the Lord says: ‘I saw Satan falling like lightning from heaven’ (Luke 10, 18). He’s the leader, the general of the order of angels who fell from heaven when they wanted to rebel against the divine will. Then they were automatically put to flight and fell from their office and position. At the same

The Fifth Tuesday of Great Lent: Awakening from Delusion

Sermon preached by Fr. Antony Hughes on October 20, 2013 Luke 8:26-39 I do not like to talk about demons much. They are so into themselves that I don’t want to cooperate in their narcissism. Also, I accept completely the Orthodox understanding that sin, death, and the devil (along with the demons) were defeated when Jesus died on the Cross and was resurrected, so It seems a little un-Orthodox to give demons as much credit

The Fifth Monday of Great Lent: A Full Life

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, May 15, 2018 What constitutes a full life? In a consumer culture, I would suppose a full life to be one of maximum consumption, enjoyment, and productivity. We like being happy. Would a full life include suffering? The answer to such questions, for Christians, are found in Christ Himself. Christ alone fulfills what it means to be truly human. So, what does that mean? Christ does not flee from suffering. We are

The Fourth Friday of Great Lent: The Ladder of Your Daily Life

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, April 14, 2021 Perhaps the most prominent ladder in our culture is the one associated with careers. It is an image of the American road to success. We begin at or near the bottom and, step by step, make our way towards the top. It is a metaphor that works well with our modern notions of hard work, persistence and reward. It also serves as a justification for many of the

The Fourth Thursday of Great Lent: God Tells Us a Story

Sermon Preached by Fr. Antony Hughes on Sunday, April 3, 2016 The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Mark. (8:34-9:1) Human beings love stories. We need them. Our lives are populated with them.  Christianity is built on them. If they are in the New Testament we call them parables. Raised as a Southern Baptist child in the hills of Eastern Tennessee, we learned and memorized the stories of Adam and Eve, Moses and