So Plain, So Clear, So Beautiful

Sermon preached by Fr. Antony Hughes on Sunday, May 20, 2018 Meeting an actual Christian – that is a saint – is such a beautiful thing. They don’t usually come, in my experience, draped in black robes, wearing weird hats, with long, bushy beards and birken stocks. Saints are far less ostentatious, as if they don’t want to be seen. Humility makes them like children playing hide and seek with the world as St. Seraphim

Irradiating Grace

Sermon preached by Fr. Antony Hughes on Sunday, August 9, 2020 at St. Mary Orthodox Church We spoke last week about leaving behind our “smaller” minds, our egoic and worldly operating systems so we can enter into the “larger” mind, the selfless and heavenly operating system of Christ. First, I want to read a quote from the great Maximus the Confessor. He was a genius, often very much above my pay grade. “Grace irradiates nature

SYNAXIS OF THE TWELVE APOSTLES – Hearing and Responding to “Follow Me”

By Fr. Philip LeMasters Weeks ago we celebrated the great feast of Pentecost at which the Holy Spirit descended upon our Lord’s followers, making them members of His Body, the Church. A week ago we celebrated the Sunday of All Saints, remembering all those who have become living icons of our Lord’s salvation by the power of the Holy Spirit. Since then, we have begun the Apostles Fast, a period in which we embrace a

A New Framework

Sermon Preached by Fr. Antony Hughes on Sunday, January 17, 2021 Every person, every organization, every religion, every community, every parish has a framing story. That story is the glue that holds the group together, and gives it meaning and purpose. The Gospel gives us an example of that on a small scale. The 10 Lepers formed a cohesive group bound by their disease and the social stigma that came with it. The framing story,

The Ladder of Your Daily Life

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, March 19, 2018  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

ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΑΝΕΣΤΗ! CHRIST IS RISEN! Christ is our Pascha, the Resurrection of All!

As we celebrate Pascha, we confess in Church that the Kingdom of God “has been already inaugurated, but not yet fulfilled.” In the light of the Resurrection, earthly things assume new significance, because they are already transformed and transfigured. Nothing is simply “given.” “Everything lies in motion toward eschatological perfection”, notes the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in his Easter message. The Ecumenical Patriarch also stresses that “Holy Pascha is not merely a religious feast, albeit the

The Tenth Day of Christmas: No Inside, No Outside

Sermon preached by Fr. Antony Hughes on Sunday, February 6, 2022 No one is “outside” of God, nor can be. Olivier Clement writes that “not one blade of grass grows outside the Church.” The Syro-Phoenician Woman was outside the Jewish fold, yes, but that did not mean she was disconnected from God. Jesus calls her a woman of great faith. Therefore, she must have been very connected with God indeed for all good things, like

The Sixth Day of Christmas: The Last Christmas – Ever

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, December 24, 2021  This Christmas was the last Christmas – ever. Christ is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. Wherever He is, there is the beginning and the end of all things. If Christ is truly present in this year’s Christmas, then it is the last Christmas – and the first Christmas. And if statements like this make your hair hurt – then read on. Our common way of thinking about

The Fourteenth Day of Christmas Advent. Eternal God: A Little Child

By Fr John Breck, December 1, 2007 Thanksgiving is over and we are moving toward what one of our wise and dedicated priests refers to as “Getmas.” He is as frustrated and dismayed at what exuberant commercialism and American popular religion have done to Christmas as I am with the relentless efforts to transform our national feast of Thanksgiving into “Turkey Day.” These campaigns are insidious and they’ve been highly effective: God—the true God who

“Reign” or “Realm”?

~By Fr John Breck, February 1, 2010 For a very long time interpreters of the New Testament have puzzled over the Greek expression basileia tou theou, which can be translated in various ways. The most common, and most literal, are “the Kingdom of God” and “the Reign of God.” As Jesus used the phrase (in his native Aramaic, subsequently translated into Greek), the basic idea is “lordship”: full dominion and authority over creation and human life.