Sermons from St. Mary Church
August 21, 2022 - by Dn. James Wilcox
Our starting point, remember, is always Jesus Christ. Not the Scriptures. But we learn to see Jesus throughout all the Scriptures, both New and Old by starting at the end, and working our way back to the beginning. We don’t read the New Testament as a biographical narrative to really “get Jesus,” so to speak, but we read ALL of Scripture through the lens of Jesus Christ.
July 31, 2022 - by Dn. James Wilcox
If we take Christ to be anything other than who He says He is, and who He demonstrates Himself to be, then we are just as blind to the reality of Christ among us, as the two men we read about in today’s Gospel lesson. And if we wish to proclaim any other 'gospel' and dare to call it “Christian,” it would be better for us to be as silent as the demoniac.
July 24, 2022 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
We would do well to learn this: it is not so much what we see, but how we see. Perception is everything. If our perception is over-shadowed by our opinions, ideologies, and beliefs, then we are seeing things the way we want them to be rather than how they really are.
July 03, 2022 - by Dn. Jeff Smith
There is no real need to worry about all the little things. All those moments of second guessing and self-recrimination are more than useless! So, when I think about being anxious about all the little things, today’s scripture is a real solace. If we are concerned first and last to fulfill God’s purpose in our lives, and if we work faithfully to that end, God will provide for us. We are in his kind and competent hands.
June 19, 2022 - by Dn. James Wilcox
Being right satisfies our ego, and deflects attention away from the pain of our own inner suffering. And the question I would like to pose is: how can we begin to process any external suffering that comes to us unexpectedly — like the Saints in today’s Scripture readings — when we have not acknowledged the suffering that already exists within us?
June 05, 2022 - by Dn. Jeff Smith
Let us pour out to him our weakness, our needs, and our troubles. Let us lay bare our indifference and our instability. This is His invitation to unload our hearts and express our longings, our temptations, and our joy.
May 29, 2022 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
The words and actions of legal fundamentalists betrays a callous disregard for the innocent and the needy. Who cares about suffering humanity since it is only the law and my individual rights that matter? Not for followers of Jesus it isn't. What matters is the Other. What matters is Love.
May 22, 2022 - by Dn. James Wilcox
But now comes the difficult part. To come into contact with the light of the divine means the darker side of our own characteristic passions are exposed in the process. Walk into any dark room, switch on the light and you will immediately see all the dark corners left unattended; the cobwebs, the dust, the mold, the cracks… But we would not know these were there had we not chosen to allow the illumination of that space — to allow the light to enter in. It is no different for the Samaritan woman, in this case, and it is no different for us today.
May 15, 2022 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Instead of hoping for life to be different and hoping for a better future, we can learn to recognize the Lord's presence in every moment of our lives and give thanks for all things. God is always present and if we open our hearts and minds to this simple article of faith, we will experience a real often extraordinary positive change in our lives.
May 01, 2022 - by Dn. Jeff Smith
By themselves, their acts of faith, the Acts of the Apostles, could not be done. On our own, we can do nothing good. Even Jesus asks, 'Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone.' On our own, we will fail and fall, but with Christ, we can confront anything.
April 20, 2022 - by Teva Regule
In its sacramental life, the Church takes this oil and through ritual and symbol imbues it with deeper meaning. The oil becomes a symbol—which, in the classic sense is that which participates in which it represents—of our connection to God. It is a tangible connection to the healing and reconciliation that is constitutive of a life in Christ.
April 17, 2022 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
I recommend this to all of you. Find your unique way to focus on the welfare of others and watch as life becomes more and more beautiful.
April 10, 2022 - by Dn. James Wilcox
And here is the great paradox of it all. If we come to Christ, and to the the Cross, seeking power as James and John once did, we will lose. But if we seek to give up our lives, as Christ did, we find life!
April 03, 2022 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Every meeting with Christ catalyzes an expansion of God's Spirit into the life of the world so that no corner goes without experiencing the light of Christ. Today we see the healing of an epileptic boy and hear these memorable words, 'Lord, I believe, help my unbelief.' To which Jesus replies, all it takes is faith the size of a grain of mustard seed to move mountains. What a glorious expansive teaching! What an amazing event! Faith is powerful. All it takes is a little.
March 27, 2022 - by Claire Koen
I invite you to think about these two women saints who reoriented their lives around what they recognized as most important and life-giving. As they each understood their ascetic practices to be in service to honing their awareness of God, how might we also undertake an ascesis to re-shape our lives and behavior in ways that foster our own perception of God’s reign, already come in Glory, in ourselves, in our midst, and in those around us?
March 20, 2022 - by Marilyn Robbat
The impressions St. Barbara left of the cross on the marble wall and of her footprints on the bathhouse steps give us insight into being a Christian. As Christians, we can leave our own imprints on those in need. Every face we see is the face of God. This is what we are encouraged to see.
March 13, 2022 - by Arianna Krinos Quinn
The female saint perhaps more intrinsically tied to the Sunday of Orthodoxy is the Empress Theodora, who became a saint for protecting the practice of the veneration of icons in the church during an 843 Synod. A canonical example of female strength during a time in which women were rarely permitted to lead, Theodora the Blessed ruled as a regent for her son after her husband, Theophilos, died young from dysentery and her son - the heir to the throne - was only two years old.
March 06, 2022 - by Teva Regule
What is a saint? We see them all around us. Their icons fill our homes and worship places. We re-tell their stories in word and song. We reverence them and pray to them. And yet, when such a question is posed to us, it may give us pause. What makes a saint? As Christians, we are called to see Christ in all people.
February 27, 2022 - by Dn. Jeff Smith
God’s love is everywhere and filling all things, but some people experience His love as a burning fire. So, when we see this gospel finish with everlasting punishment, we must remember that God’s love is present everywhere in our midst, even and especially in the horror, as we may feel His love as a kind of chastening, or healing pain. In this way, all of us are called to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. Evil cannot destroy the divine purpose to bring everyone to the saving presence of Jesus Christ.
February 20, 2022 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
I find in the Parable of the Prodigal Son two essential ingredients in the recipe for grace. I have mentioned them before. They are Radical Acceptance and Unconditional Positive Regard. Who in Holy Scripture (other than God himself) is a more obvious representative of these two things than the father in this parable?