Sermons from St. Mary Church
February 01, 2015 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
I believe that the parable of the Pharisee and Publican is, on a deeper level, not about two different men, but that each character represents two different parts of most of us. Both are finger-pointers with different objects of focus. The Pharisee on others, the Publican on himself. Who of us is not capable of both?
January 18, 2015 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
We see in today’s Gospel of the Ten Lepers three things that are pivotal to Orthodoxy’s world-view. One: that the light of God shines everywhere for all. Two: that God does not pick and choose who receives his love and who does not. Thirdly: that the human person is a mystery and that all true pastoral care respects that mystery absolutely.
January 07, 2015 - by Bishop John
In the icons of St. John the Baptist, we sometimes see him depicted with angel's wings. It's not that we think that St. John was an angel, but he was certainly a messenger of God that showed us that what was coming was even a more intimate and greater relationship and ability to be with God than we had before.
December 28, 2014 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
In order to grow we must let go. We must leave what is familiar. Abraham had to leave his homeland to find his destiny and become the father of many nations. Joseph, the son of Jacob, had to be sold into slavery to become a prince of Egypt. Joseph, the foster father of Jesus, had to take off for Egypt to save the Christ child. Frodo had to leave the Shire to destroy the Ring and save Middle Earth. This is the Hero Quest - a classic theme in life and in literature.
December 21, 2014 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
We read today the genealogy of Jesus from St. Matthew’s Gospel. It is different from St. Luke’s genealogy and there are reasons for this which we do not time to talk about this morning. I would rather spend time on the point of this Gospel and that is, God became man to save everyone and everything.
November 30, 2014 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
One of the most important things I have discovered this year, is that the last part of the Great Commandment, especially the 'as yourself' part is as important as the first two, to love God and neighbor. I had never realized this. Perhaps Jesus who said, 'The first shall be last,' put it at the end deliberately because of its importance. Without proper self-love we cannot love our neighbors and if we do not love our neighbor, then we cannot love God..
November 09, 2014 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Something stirred in her, the desire for freedom and from suffering. Isn’t repentance in one sense freeing ourselves from the illusion of the past? She began to see that she was more than her past, more than a disease, more than a label.
October 26, 2014 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
When there is a storm at sea the surface of the water is troubled, wild and dangerous. But in the bottom of the sea what is there? There is peace. The storms cannot touch the deep. The soul is like the depth of the sea. It is undisturbed and peaceful, a still point in the midst of everything.
October 19, 2014 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
The miracle he performs is not to demonstrate his power, but to heal the widow's broken heart. God is not interested in power. He does not need to prove himself. The thing he wants us to know is that he cares for all of us personally in every detail of life.
September 28, 2014 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Notice how attentive Jesus is to the needs of Peter and the other fishermen in today’s Gospel reading. He is totally engaged with them as he is with everyone he meets. He is completely mindful of them, their lives, their interests, their joys and sufferings. When he is with fishermen, he talks about fishing. When he is with farmers, he talks about seeds and soil and weeds. Jesus is always present with the people he meets as if there was no one else in the world.
September 07, 2014 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
According to John, God loved the world so much that he came to tell us and to show us. Although God could always be found in nature and in Scripture, that was not enough. Love cannot stay at arm’s length. An incarnation is God’s most personal invitation to us to accept his embrace.
August 31, 2014 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Today a rich, young man - a man who had all the material possessions he needed and all the religious pedigree possible according to the Law – approaches Jesus with a question: 'What must I do to have eternal life.' He knew the answer Jesus would give (at least part of it). The Lord goes down a short list of the Ten Commandments. This is the law both of them knew very well.
August 24, 2014 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Jesus uses metaphorical language when talking about the kingdom because mysteries cannot be described in any other way. The kingdom cannot be analyzed or quantified; it must be experienced to be known. That is why Jesus spoke so often in parables. The kingdom of heaven is a mystery beyond the power of thought.
August 17, 2014 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
I do know that there are other kinds of mountains that do need to be moved. They are inside of us. These are those interior hindrances to love (and to faith) that Rumi writes about.
August 10, 2014 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
The month of August is a month of theophanies. A theophany, from the Greek, literally means a 'revelation of God', not 'from God', but 'of God.' The Transfiguration of Jesus is a theophany. God reveals himself present in Jesus Christ in this world. He shares his light and energy with us and with all of creation as his face, his clothes, the mountain and even the apostles are bathed in light and cloud.
August 03, 2014 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
I read some patristic commentaries on this Gospel reading, the feeding of the five thousand, and every single one of them focused on the meaning of this Gospel as the proof of Christ's divinity. Although the patristic commentators meant well in their context, and their writing made sense, I think that if we stop there, we have missed the point. The reason Jesus fed the thousands was not to show His power, and not to prove that He was the Messiah. Why did He perform all of his miracles? There's another reason.
July 27, 2014 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
What is remarkable to me is how Jesus works with the people he meets. He is interested in them and their lives. He asks questions to get a better picture of what each person needs. He brings things out of them things that need to be brought to the surface before he heals them. Often he asks for and receives their permission to do his work before he works his miracles.
July 20, 2014 - by Fr. Gregory Harrigle
When I was 15, I was paralyzed from the waist down, suddenly, and didn't know why. I spent that summer in bed, unable to walk or move my legs or feel anything below my waist. What would happen next? I spent a long time in bed trying to figure out what I had done to deserve this and why this has come to me.
July 13, 2014 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
This Gospel is used to point to the importance we place on sharing the message of Christ to the world. The Holy Fathers of the Fourth and all the other six councils met in order to ensure that the Gospel was understood correctly. The intimation is that the bushel with which we try to hide the light is a lack of courage to share it and ignorance of its true meaning. Therefore ... Councils!
July 06, 2014 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
It is always interesting when a celebrity wakes up to the spiritual life. Two caught my attention recently. Russell Brand, believe it or not, came out sounding like a veritable guru, in his typical fast and furious style of talking and what he said, if you could keep up with it, was astoundingly true! It was tiring to listen to and refreshing all the same.