Sermons from St. Mary Church
January 10, 2021 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
God created all matter to bear the divine energy. This is the purpose and end of all things. Our prayers do not alter the elements, they alter our perception and enlighten our senses.
January 03, 2021 - by Dn. Jeff Smith
John is known as the greatest of all the prophets, because his whole life, even before his birth and even after his death, he constantly prepares the way for the Son of God to enter into the world.
December 25, 2020 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
The Incarnation is the Great Conjunction of God and creation. The Word of God draws so close to us that there is no longer an in-between between God and us. There is not even room for the passing of an onion skin between the two. He is, say the Orthodox mystics, closer to us than our breath and our heartbeat.
December 20, 2020 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
The Word of God humbled himself. You could even say that Love humbled him. True love always serves the other. It asks nothing. It only gives. Love that does not lead to the Cross, where life is sacrificed for the good of the other, is not love.
December 13, 2020 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
The Incarnation of God is the all-encompassing mystery. Everything and everyone participates in it. Matter itself is deified, human flesh is deified, you and I are deified, not by works, but by grace, by the Word of God taking matter and human flesh into himself.
December 06, 2020 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
If we are to impact the world, we must follow the path he has made for us.
December 06, 2020 - by Dn. Jeff Smith
Dn. Jeff Smith offers a reflection on the life of St. Nicholas followed by the singing of a Slavic Carol about St. Nicholas
November 22, 2020 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Jesus brought to us a unique Gospel. A new way of seeing. A new way of living. It is not the way we are used to. Not the way we are taught to think, see and live in our culture. It is a mistake to believe that Christ confirms the way we live as his own. When we do find ourselves in a dead-end. Following the Lord's teaching requires a recalibration of our minds.
November 08, 2020 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Today, once again, Jesus, through his compassionate words and actions, tells us the truth. People are what matters, not the Law, not ideology. People. The welfare of human beings in the eyes of our Lord trumps everything. That is the meaning of the Lord’s words, 'The Sabbath was made for man not man for the Sabbath.'
November 02, 2020 - by Dn. Jeff Smith
The Rich Man has no taste or aptitude for Heaven. Like the wonderful story by C.S. Lewis, the Great Divorce, whose characters were in heaven but they couldn’t recognize it. They could only see themselves. The Rich Man stands jealous of Lazarus’ possession of heaven, and He wants Lazarus to come serve him in hell. It’s unbearable for him to see happy someone he held in contempt. This is his internal state.
October 25, 2020 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
First, of course, we must courageously seek to know what in us is not at peace. Fr. Hopko used to say that we should uncover every rock and use every tool available, spiritual, psychological, and medical, to bring peace to the internal world. So, we must not be afraid to look deeply, to seek and to be open to what we discover and what the Lord reveals on the search.
October 18, 2020 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
We are in need of metanoia, brothers and sisters, as persons and as communities, to face squarely and creatively the challenges that face not only us but the world around us. We cannot be yeast in the world unless we are alive to the truth and dynamic in our humility. We cannot be the light of the world unless the light in us is truly light and not darkness. What happens when the salt has lost its flavor? It becomes useless.
October 04, 2020 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
The Lord shows no favoritism. He is compassionate towards all, the good and the bad alike, and everyone in-between, which covers everyone I think. So far, in our two readings from Luke’s Gospel, we have heard about God’s non-discriminatory love.The Lord Jesus teaches us that God bestows lavish nurturing love upon all his creation.
September 27, 2020 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Peter's response was an act of self-defense. The first time we see this in scripture is in Genesis when Adam and Eve attempt to hide from God in the Garden. Peter tried to hide by asking Jesus to depart. He, too, recognized his nakedness before God and tried to take control of the situation. Think also of the incident with the Gadarene demonic. Seeing the Lord’s power the people begged Jesus to leave. It is similar to the fight or flight response in the face of danger. Perhaps this is the reason why so many of the Christian mystics were persecuted and why Confession is so frequently avoided, not to mention contemplative prayer itself. Are we frightened of God? Strange that we so often try to push God away when he persistently calls us to draw near. Jesus cuts to the chase with Peter saying, 'Do not be afraid.'
September 20, 2020 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
We can prepare the way for metanoia, but we cannot force it. One does not leap to Christ-consciousness in one fell swoop. Transformation is a process. Ultimately, metanoia is a gift over which we have no control. We can 'make the way straight' for his coming (Isaiah 40:3), but the time of his coming is not known to us.
August 23, 2020 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
The selfish person does not seek God out of love for him, but for what he can do for them. If we love God only for what he can do for us, then it is not God we love, but ourselves. Theirs is a transactional Christianity which, I daresay, is no Christianity at all.
August 16, 2020 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
The thing about faith is that it makes room for everything. If it rains, so be it. It is snows, thank God. If I’m well, nuska’ullah. If I’m not, God be praised. Faith doesn’t try to make the world into a Disney Land of our own design. The world is to be received as is. Life is to be received just as it unfolds and with gratitude.
August 09, 2020 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Epiphanies serve this purpose: to drop-kick us into wonder. We need to be awakened from our long slumber, shaken awake by divine contradictions to our normal way of seeing.
July 19, 2020 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
We are light because God is light. It is He who placed this light at the core of our being. The Orthodox view of humanity is invariably positive.
July 05, 2020 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
What does mindfulness, vigilance and watchfulness have to do with the Centurion and his servant's healing? I believe the answer to that lies in the extraordinary nature of the Centurion's faith. He could see things no one else could see; namely what Isaiah the prophet saw, the Lord high and lifted up in the flesh before him. His faith was so extraordinary, in fact, that the Lord was astonished by it. That alone makes it worthy of our mindful attention.