Sermons from St. Mary Church
September 26, 2021 - By Fr. Antony Hughes
For us, Jesus is the ultimate example of pure love. Pure love took Him to Calvary where He faced personal devastation and death. He asked us to willingly take up the Cross, to embrace our own devastation, in order to follow him! And yet we say that the Cross “has brought joy into the world.” This is a paradox that does not fit in our materialistic society where joy is found only in acquisition. So, how does the Cross bring joy? By teaching us how to truly love.
September 12, 2021 - By Dn. Jeff Smith
Just as the Israelites were healed by looking toward the serpent draped on the pole, so as we look toward the cross, we too are granted healing. The lifting up of the Son of Man is the only remedy for our turning away from Him. Only on the cross, can we meet God’s expectation of holiness, righteousness and love.
September 05, 2021 - By Fr. Antony Hughes
How do we keep the remembrance of God in the midst of our busy lives? It is very simple. It takes only a moment to re-awaken the memory of God. With a deep and conscious breath and a little shift in consciousness we can be instantly in His presence. For God is not ever far away, although sometimes we may feel an absence. It is our awareness that has shifted away in those moments, not God.
August 29, 2021 - By Fr. Antony Hughes
After feeding the 5,000, Jesus compelled His disciples to cross the Galilee without Him so that He could go up the mountain to pray. I’ve often wondered, how exactly did He pray? The scriptures say nothing about His long prayers in solitude. The clues, however, are found in the prayer practices of the Jewish prophets and mystics before and during the Lord's earthly life.
August 15, 2021 - By Fr. Antony Hughes
"Arise, O Lord, into your resting place, you and the ark, which you have sanctified" (Psalm 131:8) Where is His resting place? In two places: on earth, regarded as the footstool of God, in the womb of His virgin mother, and also in His heavenly kingdom. Thus He rises in the incarnation into and from His ark the Virgin Mary and rests forever in His sanctified ark in His never-ending kingdom.
August 08, 2021 - By Teva Regule, M.Div., Ph.D
Perhaps, the followers of Jesus were not quite sure what to make of their encounter with Him [at the Transfiguration]. They had spent some time with Jesus, seeing Him perform miracles, and learning from His teaching—they had sacrificed to follow Him. They obviously found His message intriguing. But, this experience… what did it all mean?
August 01, 2021 - By Dn. Jeff Smith
When Jesus forgives the sins of the paralytic, what exactly is He forgiving? We might wonder what his sins could have been. I think Jesus was relieving him of the toxic shame of having to be carried everywhere and being seen as an invalid. Jesus, the great healer, is more interested in reforming his identity as a beloved child of God rather than healing his physical infirmity.
July 25, 2021 - By Fr. Antony Hughes
The Truth our Lord teaches is never stagnate. It is creative and transformative and transfiguring. It flows like a river that seeks to carve out the rocky terrain of our hardened hearts. Faith welcomes it as painful as it may be. Ilia Delio puts a fine point on it writing, “…the most unchristian position we can assume is to block the new creation from taking place.”
July 11, 2021 - By Fr. Antony Hughes
From time to time the image of God becomes blurred and almost forgotten. People forget what God “looks like,” how he sounds, how he is, and in the resulting vacuum create idols like the children of Israel and their Golden Calf. The search for an earthly savior always ends in the creation of an anti-Christ.
July 04, 2021 - By Fr. Antony Hughes
We can learn much through historical criticism or Bible study. Both are helpful, but there is another way of knowledge that comes from the heart. It is the superior way. It is personal, intimate, a meeting of heart to heart.
June 27, 2021 - By Fr. Antony Hughes
To acknowledge Christ “before men” means to be like Him. We must be evolving into the likeness of Him in whom we claim to believe. To think like He thinks, to act like He acts, to love like He loves, to let go of our egoic and earthly minds and put on His.
June 06, 2021 - By Fr. Antony Hughes
In this reading St. John brings us full circle. He begins his Gospel with a reference to the beginning of all things, “In the beginning was the Word.” And today the Word remakes a blind man's eyes with his own spittle and some dust. “Behold,” he says, “I make all things new.”
May 30, 2021 - By Fr. Antony Hughes
Water is a symbol for new life, for cleansing and rebirth. It is from water that all life evolved and, in Christ, it is water that initiates us into the kingdom through the action of the Holy Trinity. I think it is true that the gift of Holy Baptism has yet to be unwrapped by many of us. To die and rise with Christ and to be sealed with the Holy Spirit is a very great blessing that often takes a lifetime (or longer) to realize.
May 23, 2021 - by Dn. Jeff Smith
We have all experienced loss, and the world has become more permeable. The veil between this world and the next has been torn. And yet, we are called to heal each other; we are called to have compassion and empathy with each other.
May 16, 2021 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Courage does not mean the absence of fear. Fear is very often the fuel for courage, the reason it is needed in the first place. Joseph risked his life asking Pilate for the Lord’s body. The Myrrh-bearing Women took off into the unknown.
May 09, 2021 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Faith. Deep and true faith means being open to what the truth turns out to be as we grow and learn and come more fully to understand. We come to know most fully through an experience of the Living God just like so many did when encountering the Crucified One risen from the dead.
April 04, 2021 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
So, yes, the Cross is like a mandala, the Great Christian mandala, around which our lives and the cosmos revolve. As a focus of prayer and meditation it leads us into the Truth. The Cross grounds us both historically, psychologically and mystically. The Cross is the mandala of hope in the midst of our suffering.
March 28, 2021 - by Andrea Popa
In the context of our liturgy, however, I would submit to you today, that peace is paradoxically - hard work - not tranquil, an act of purposeful engagement - not detachment, a hard-fought victory - not passive.
March 21, 2021 - by Shannon Sakellariou
Our love for God is shown in our unity and our relationships. We can’t love our Lord apart from our neighbors. And loving others allows us to partake in the nature of Christ and thus love God.
March 14, 2021 - by Christina Palis, M.Div
What if we understood the spiritual sacrifices that we are called to in Liturgy and our everyday life, sacrifices of praise and service and forgiveness and compassion, as a dance? I think of the circular dances of our Greek and Lebanese cultures where we move together, in coordinated steps, hand in hand. When we dance with others, we are mindful of them, we are receptive to their movements, we pay attention, and we are joyful.