Sermons from St. Mary Church

  

He Went Up The Mountain to Pray

September 14, 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.
 

The Dormition

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.
 

A Glimpse of Glory

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?
 

Healing the Paralytic

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.
 

God is Doing New Things

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.”
 

The Light in Silence

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.
 

Getting to know You

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.
 

Acknowledging Christ

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.
 

Full Circle

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.”
 

Life Uncircumscribed

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.
 

On the Sunday of the Paralytic

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.
 

Indifference

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.
 

No Walls

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.
 

The Image of the Cross

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.
 

In (Radical, Hard-Fought) Peace Let Us Pray

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.
 

Loving God and Our Neighbor

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.
 

Sacrifice and Praise

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.
 

Let us Give Thanks to the Lord… Reflections on the themes of the Liturgy – Part II

March 07, 2021 -
Even when humanity turned away, our God did not give up on us, but continues to care for us.  God keeps reaching out to us to draw us back into communion with Him.
 

Present Sheep

March 07, 2021 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
There is only one Law of Christ: to love and to care for one another. There are no prerequisites or boundaries to this love. It is to be shared with the entire world by direct and concrete action.
 

Which Way?

February 28, 2021 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
The table is waiting for us and is richly laden and we are invited to partake of it. All of life is a eucharist waiting to happen. And we are invited to become part of it.