Sermons from St. Mary Church
December 08, 2013 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
I am always moved when I hear of or see people who act with the courage and compassion Jesus displays in today’s Gospel reading. Jesus breaks a religious law or two to heal a old, sick woman, on the Sabbath, in the synagogue. The ruler of the place gets angry. What else is new? Jesus had to know what he was doing. Isaac Asimov wrote, "Don’t ever let your sense of morals keep you from doing what’s right." Sometimes donkeys and even sci-fi writers have been known to prophesy. Jesus never let the law stand in the way of love.
December 01, 2013 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
The Gospel reading today reminds me of George Bernard Shaw’s play Man and Superman. In one scene a faithful old Christian lady, is shocked to hear that 'the landscape through which she is happily strolling is not Heaven but Hell.' She becomes very angry. 'I tell you,' she insists, 'I know I am not in Hell because I feel no pain.' She is then told that if she wants to she is free to wander over the hill and enter into Heaven. Then the warning comes that those who are happy in hell found Heaven to be intolerable.
November 24, 2013 -
Jesus is the door and he's opening the door today for the rich man. He is the light, and he's shining light on the darkness. He is the truth, and he's telling him the truth and he wants to be born in his life. He wants to wake him up. The Lord's teaching through parables and metaphors is his how he does it. It is how he awakens the true self in us
November 03, 2013 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Throughout my years as a priest, counselor, confessor, etc. there has been a constant theme. But whatever words you use to describe it the meaning is the same. I like theological terms, but most people don’t speak the language, so we have to communicate the message in words people can understand. All in all, it really boils down to one simple thing: people want to love and to be loved.
October 20, 2013 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
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 as some people do.
October 13, 2013 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Parables are essential. We learn best from stories. Metaphors inspire us to dig deeper, to explore, to step outside the box, to expand, to wonder, to think for ourselves. There's no other way to encounter Jesus on the deepest levels of consciousness unless we let go of the fear of looking ever more deeply into the mystery of life itself.
October 06, 2013 - by His Grace Bishop JOHN
Imagine the death of a young man who is the only son of an old widow if indeed you were a Sadduccee, imagining that the only part of you that lives after you go to the grave is the part of you that lives in your children. This old widow was not only burying her only son, which of course is a difficult enough thing to do, but she was burying herself, and she was burying her husband, and she was burying all of the ancestors of both her and her husband.
October 05, 2013 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
I thank God for sending us to St. Mary’s. Without Him, well, we are nothing. The miracle of our assignment here many of you know, and I will not repeat the story, but it never ceases to inspire and humble me that God sent us here.
September 29, 2013 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Again we are reminded that God is merciful and compassionate and that we are to follow his example, but this is more than mere imitation. The imitation of God is one thing, but we are called to do more than that; we are called to become divine, not just to be merciful, but to become Mercy.
September 15, 2013 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Orthodoxy is not a spectator sport! Today is the Elevation of the Holy Cross. But why today? They think we celebrate the Feast because of St. Helen’s finding the cross. That’s really not true, though if she hadn’t found it, we couldn’t celebrate it, could we?
September 08, 2013 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
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.
September 01, 2013 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
The Lord’s first sermon was, Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand, meaning, repent of the belief that the kingdom is not at hand. Jesus reveals the kingdom’s presence already in the world. He, his preaching and his signs make this abundantly clear.
August 25, 2013 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
As we begin let me introduce you to an interesting fact from Jungian psychology. When bodies of water appear in dreams or visions they are often recognized as metaphors for the unconscious. Notice that the storm in today’s Gospel happens on the Sea of Galilee and the Savior comes to them walking on the sea.
August 11, 2013 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
The parables and miracle stories of Jesus are multilayered. We have the event, we have the meaning of the event in context, and then we can move even deeper into psychological and metaphorical meaning. Today’s miracle stories are great examples.
July 21, 2013 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Today we read a most beautiful, inspiring and enlightening story in the life of Jesus. It is a story of a meeting between kindred spirits, an awakened soul and the One who awakens all. They meet and recognize each other.
July 14, 2013 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Jesus says that we are the light of the world, but that it is possible to hide the light so that no one can see it. The goal of the spiritual life is to remove all the covers, draw back the curtains and raise the shades so that the light can be seen.
June 23, 2013 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Today, we celebrate the giving of the Spirit, the pouring out of the Spirit at a particular time and place for a specific purpose: the energizing and empowerment of the Apostles, the birthday of the Church. In Scripture, there is a word kairos, which means "at the right moment." This was the right moment for this outpouring.
June 16, 2013 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
The High Priestly Prayer of Jesus is a dangerous passage. It directs us to consider lofty and mysterious things. It gets us to the heart of the spiritual life which is uncomfortable for us. In this prayer the Lord speaks of intimacy, oneness, communion and identification with God – not just his, but ours.
June 09, 2013 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
We come to the subject of blindness and enlightenment. But blindness, as you know, isn't just a physical feat involving our two eyes. There is also an interior blindness that is far more difficult and important to heal. The Gospel of John tends to point us in the direction of esoteric things, inner things. The mystical life, much more than the synoptic Gospels do, and that is why John for the Orthodox tends to be favored.
June 02, 2013 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
For many years, through study and practice, I have become convinced that today's Gospel is the key to understanding what the spiritual life is all about. The basics are all here. The essential elements are all here. It is true that the healing is in the practice. Jesus reveals the secrets of the kingdom, not to a scholar, nor to a jew, nor to a man, but to a woman, a Samaritan and an adulteress.