Sermons from St. Mary Church

Inner Stillness Amidst Inner Turmoil

November 28, 2022 - by Dn. James Wilcox
It’s good for us to remember that, truly, the only form of human perfection we know of in our faith was not a monk. It was a woman! And this woman whom we celebrate today was, in fact, a human being who suffered pangs of emotion just as all of us do.
 

The Good Samaritan

November 13, 2022 - by Dn. Jeff Smith
How can love be a requirement, or a law? Mustn’t it be voluntary? Love is to desire for the well-being of our enemies. Love moves in three directions: from God to us, from us to God, and toward each other. We can love God only because he first loved us. We are only able to love our neighbor because Christ loved us first, by giving his life for us.  
 

Hidden Wounds

November 06, 2022 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Often our wounds are hidden. We do not want to acknowledge them. We fear the underlying causes of our anxiety and distress and think by burying them in our subconscious they will go away and not trouble us. This is never true. What is hidden will be made known eventually.
 

The Chasm We Fix In Our Hearts

October 30, 2022 - by Dn. James Wilcox
The Rich Man embraced his egotistical pride, while refusing to embrace the love of God as revealed in the image of God present in the outcast of this parable — of which our Lord tells us elsewhere 'as you’ve done it to one of the least of these my brethren, so you did it unto me.' For a person to reject the love of God as it exists in the other, is to cast ourselves into darkness, such that the true love of God when it is revealed can only be experienced as bitter anguish.
 

The Geresene Demoniac

October 23, 2022 - by Dn. Jeff Smith
In Christ, the power and the love of God is fully expressed. God is Good! And the healed demoniac went home not merely to tell how much God had done for him, but how much He has done for us.
 

Dostoevsky’s Gospel

October 02, 2022 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
The Lord of all permeates everything and every one and I believe is speaking at this very moment to every human being who has ever or will ever exist. God's love is uncontainable and irrepressible.
 

The Calling of the Fishermen

September 25, 2022 - by Dn. Jeff Smith
Peter, James, and John: these are the men who are called today. And this very first calling marks the beginning of the liturgical year in September. The calling of these rough fishermen makes no sense in worldly terms. So how did their transformation happen? That’s the question I want to explore.
 

The Heart of Spirituality

September 18, 2022 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
God is not selfish and, therefore, he is not wrathful, nor angry, nor vengeful. He is always peaceful, compassionate, loving and kind. Those characteristics are how you know God is behind it. When we are fearful, angry, jealous or vengeful, we are not living from our authentic core (the divine image).
 

How Often Should I Forgive?

August 28, 2022 - by Dn. Jeff Smith
This parable remains an unsurpassed demand for compassion. God is always ready to forgive, but he cannot enter an unforgiving heart if we bar the door to his mercy. Since we too are destined for death, there is no way we can repay what we owe, but God offers complete and utter forgiveness, resurrection of the body and eternal life with Him.
 

The Reality of Scriptural Allegory in You

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.

 

Jesus is Who He is Because of God and Mary

August 14, 2022 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
The Dormition Feast is celebrated because of the Incarnation and its collateral effect on everything. I think if we just allow these truths to settle into our consciousness we will come better to understand what love the Lord has for us.
 

The First Christians Were Not Like Us

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.
 

To See or Not to See

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.
 

Seek First His Kingdom

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.
 

Through the Fire of Internal Suffering

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?
 

The High Priestly Prayer of Gethsemane

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.
 

Deflection

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.
 

The Lord is in this place and I did not know it!

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.
 

Living Water

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.
 

On the Sunday of Thomas

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.