St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Monthly Reflections from Fr. Antony Hughes

Fr. Antony reading the Gospel In every edition of our parish's newsletter, Fr. Antony offers a short, but inspiring message to complement the activities, minsitries, and current events of the life of the church.  Below is a collection of these messages.

February 2016

It is important to remember that the reason St. Mary’s exists is to celebrate what God has done for us through our Lord Jesus Christ. We exist as a community for the propagation of Gratitude. The heart of an Orthodox parish is the Eucharist, the Great Thanksgiving, and it is in this divine service that our gratitude is expressed in unison. The one reason the Divine Liturgy is celebrated is to give thanks for the gift of salvation that has been freely given to us. Read more »

January 2016

On Sunday, December 13, a group of young adults came together to brainstorm about developing a young adult ministry at St. Mary's. We have a database of over one hundred names of people who are potential volunteers. The meeting was vibrant and exciting. Many great ideas were shared and four volunteers stepped forward to be leaders in various categories of ministry. Specific projects were chosen out of a larger list and we are up and running. The meeting was a tremendous success. This was Jamil Samara's idea born out of the changes in the Fellowship of St. John the Divine nationally and it has now been shared with at least tens of willing others. This is how it works. What ideas do you have? Read more »

December 2015

This year it will be impossible for me to celebrate Christmas without thinking of the suffering of refugees and migrants who are trying to flee the murderous insanity that is gripping their homelands. I was moved by this portion of a poem by the wonderful Somali poet Warsan Shire. I found it online among the thousands of peoples' responses to the terror attacks in Lebanon, Iraq, Turkey and France. Read more »

November 2015

Now that we are in the cusp of Advent when spiritual effort is called for it is important to know what ascetical work is about. We think of it as gloomy and negative. It often brings to mind guilt and shame for things we have done. It becomes in our minds a kind of self-punishment as if by harming ourselves we can undo or make up for the past. Read more »

October 2015

The beginning of happiness is to repent of the belief that God is not with us, that we and he are not always, inextricably connected. In his first sermon Jesus invites us to, Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Among possible interpretations is this: to change our minds about the nature and geography of the kingdom. In essence the kingdom of God is wherever God is and God is by definition everywhere. Read more »

August 2015

Now that the Archdiocese Convention is over and the dust is settling, I want to thank all of you who worked so hard, some for over two years, to make it successful. I will not try and thank everyone by name, since someone always gets left out. I must, however thank, above all, Mary Winstanley O'Connor and Raymond Sayeg, our co-chairs. The hard work and time they put into this massive endeavor was monumental. Because of their diligence and dedication, everything went exceedingly well. We and the Archdiocese owe them a large debt of gratitude. Read more »

June 2015

The 52nd Archdiocese Convention is drawing near (July 20-26). His Beatitude JOHN X, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East will be presiding. This will also be Metropolitan JOSEPH'S first Archdiocese Convention as our Primate and the 100th Anniversary of the Falling Asleep of our Father among Saints, Raphael of Brooklyn. So many reasons to celebrate! So many reasons to volunteer! Read more »

May 2015

Jesus encountered a lot of poor and marginalized people. He seemed to like them and even prefer them. He was very much at home with them. No judgment. No criticism. Just understanding and openness. Unless I am utterly delusional (don't laugh), that's the example we ought to be following. Read more »

April 2015

'We must start to meet: people must meet people; we are all human beings. Before being Christians or Jews or Muslims, before being Americans or Russians or Africans, before being generals or priests, rabbis or imams, before having visible or invisible disabilities, we are all human beings with hearts capable of loving. Read more »

March 2015

We are horrified by the martyrdom ofour brother Coptic Christians at the hands ofbarbarity incarnate. There are many others who have met this fate, but these brave men are now uppermost in our hearts. With such examples of inhumanity we must demonstrate what it really means to be human and to believe. It is hard to know what we as Christians should do in the face of this evil. One thing I do know is that whatever we do, we must do it without fear, with courage and compassion by following ever more closely the teachings and example of our Lord Jesus Christ. Read more »

February 2015

When we speak of the sanctity of life it must not only be in reference to abortion. We speak of the reverence for all human life at every phase of existence from womb to tomb and we must address how it is that we are to respect life in all its manifestations. Read more »

January 2015

Thomas Merton once wrote of the Incarnation of the Son of God as sunlight through a magnifying glass. The rays are captured and focused like a laser. This focused light is able to set things on fire. The Incarnation is like that. All creation is set afire by the coming of God in the flesh. All the light of God was concentrated in this miraculous event in one divine person, specifically in one place and one time. Read more »

December 2014

The Nativity fast is about growing in love so that we may make ourselves ready to receive the King of Love on the Great and Holy Feast of Christmas. The beauty of this season is resplendent with warmth and light and peace and love, that is, all of those wonderful things that are revealed to the world when God is born in the flesh. Read more »

November 2014

I am a voracious reader. You probably know that. My sermons are often speckled with quotes I glean from books because other people say things better than I could in a shorter amount of time and, frankly, I don't want to waste your time trying to say in paragraphs what Aristotle managed to say in a sentence. Read more »

October 2014

Listening is not as easy as it seems! If we think we know what the other needs and try to impose our own agenda, we will never actually hear what the other says. What is revealed in such misguided attempts is not the needs of the other but the needs of the teacher, priest, or therapist. Read more »

September 2014

It is important to spend time looking within. We need to know what is going on under our own noses. Too much emphasis in religion is placed on externals which are important, of course, but what goes on within is far more important. Read more »

August 2014

It is now less than a year before we host the Archdiocese Convention (July 19-26). Excitement across the Archdiocese is high. In the parish our committees have been hard at work doing the preparatory work to make this a truly wonderful event. Read more »

June 2014

I was hiking through the Great Smokey mountains on the Appalachian Trail during my high school days with several of my friends. The way you know you are on the trial is that every so often you will see a red mark on a tree. After a while I noticed that there were no red marks! We were lost. Read more »

May 2014

The celebration of Pascha is over and the Resurrection is not. Nor has it ever been. Not in yours or my memory. We celebrate the feast with intensity and when we are done we return to our ordinary lives. The thrill and excitement associated with the Feast of Feasts ends. The kingdom does not. Read more »

April 2014

The death of our Father in Christ, Metropolitan PHILIP has come as a shock to us and also as a reminder. We are shocked because we respected and loved him. Sometimes we took delight in him, sometimes we disagreed with him, and yet this is what families are like - like waves of the sea, now calm and the next moment troubled. Read more »
186 Total Articles