Sermons 2009


The Table is Set

December 13, 2009 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
The invitations have been sent. The table is set. The dinner is prepared. All that remains is for the guests to arrive. But this is a party for which guests are required to prepare. This is no ordinary event. It is the heavenly and eternal banquet! All that is necessary for our salvation has been accomplished, except one: we must accept or refuse the invitation. The last, necessary element is our decision.

Seeing Things As They Really Are

November 23, 2009 -
What does it mean to be "rich towards God"? All human beings are intrinsically "rich towards God" because we are made in His divine image and likeness. The problem is that we have forgotten who we are. Abraham Heschel once wrote, "Man is a messenger who has forgotten the message."

The Far Greater Miracle

November 09, 2009 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Which miracle do you suppose is the greatest? The greatest work, I propose, happens within. Why else would St. John Climacus say it is a far greater miracle to repent than to raise the dead? Everyone healed by Christ will once again get sick and die. Everyone raised from the dead by Christ will die again. But the soul that is enslaved by the anguish of sin can suffer far longer than the body.

The Rich Man and Lazarus

November 01, 2009 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Orthodox Christianity is forever and always about hope in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. The Holy Trinity did not give up on creation in the face of the fall. The Lord Jesus did not give up in the face of the Cross. Nothing can defy the compassion of the Almighty, nothing (in the end) can thwart his purposes, certainly not our paltry little, earth-bound perspectives, our pious, little certainties...and certainly not death.

Rejoice that Your Names are Written in Heaven

October 18, 2009 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
We seem to think that the disciples understood what the Lord taught them without a problem. We think we can too. The truth is, although the words are simple, the meaning is far deeper than the words and demand a complete reorientation before they can be understood. Take today's Gospel as a good example.

On the calling of the first apostles in Luke 5:1-11

September 27, 2009 - by Dn. Jeffrey Smith
To be called. To be called to serve, perhaps as a priest. I have often ruminated. How are we called? How do we serve? Am I called to be a priest as many have asked? Am I holding a part of myself back by not responding to this call?

For God So Loved the World

September 13, 2009 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
It is so simple a message that it is difficult to grasp. In our weakness of mind it is hard to understand how God can love everyone; his enemies, unrepentant sinners and the righteous all the same. We cannot bear to admit that God loves even those whom we cannot dream of loving. Even our enemies!

The Stone Which the Builders Rejected

September 07, 2009 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
We learn today that Christ is the chief cornerstone, that is, he is the One around whom everything revolves. From Scripture we also learn that he is the only-begotten Son of the Father and that he and the Father are one.

What Good Deed Shall I Do?

August 31, 2009 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Jesus calls the rich, young man to a new vocation: to adopt a new way of thinking and a new way of life. This is nothing less than a call to conversion through a change of mind and a change of life.

The Sunday after the Feast of the Dormition

August 16, 2009 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
The father was surprised that the disciples were unable to heal his son, but undeterred he turned to Jesus. The Lord's response was blunt. He lumped his impotent disciples together with what he calls a 'faithless and perverse generation' and exclaims, 'How long am I to bear with you?' When the disciples ask why they were unable to heal the boy the Lord's response was direct, 'Because you have no faith.'

You Are the Light of the World

July 20, 2009 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
God has placed his light in all of creation. The universe shimmers with divine energy. Any doubt? Take a look at the Hubble telescope pictures and all you can do is wonder at the grand explosions of color and shape that inhabit deep space.

The Gergesene Demoniacs

July 13, 2009 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
The demoniacs in today's Gospel were driven by dark forces to choose an unholy place in which to dwell. Tombs were considered to be the dwellings of ghosts and demons. They were not wholesome places. There the demoniacs isolated themselves from other people attacking those who attempted to come near.

Sunday of Pentecost

June 08, 2009 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
When Jesus speaks about the Holy Spirit He uses poetic imagery like wind, breath, fire and water. There are no words to adequately express the great mystery of the Holy Spirit so imagery must do.

Sunday of the Blind Man

May 24, 2009 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Jesus challenged the common view that God is angry, vengeful and ready to punish those who offend Him. The Old Testament is filled with such imagery, but it was written in an environment foreign to what we experience now. It was a primitive world where each tribe had its own gods. The competition was fierce.

Sunday of the Samaritan Woman

May 17, 2009 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Jesus says remarkable things to the Samaritan Woman, speaking of a life that seems so far removed from what we experience in our daily lives. He says to her that if she drinks the water he offers she will never thirst again and that it will become a spring of water in her welling up to eternal life.

Sunday of the Paralytic

May 10, 2009 - by Deacon Jeffrey Smith
First I want to provide some background by setting the place: I believe the names and places mentioned can make it very real. It takes place near the Sheep’s Gate in Jerusalem, where they led in and washed the sacrificial animals, linking it to healing and to the temple, so this pool became known as the Sheep’s pool, the pool of Beth-zatha, from which comes the word, Beth–hesda (House of Grace).

Harvard Divinity School Homily - April 29, 2009

April 29, 2009 -
Christ is Risen! Orthodox Christians will proclaim those words and greet one another with them for forty days. What I hope is that those who proclaim them and use them will also consider their meaning.

Holy Wednesday Evening - Service of Holy Unction

April 16, 2009 - by David Vermette
God is the only existing one.  Only God exists in the true sense of that word.  Everything else that exists, exists by participation in

Palm Sunday

April 13, 2009 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Jesus entered Jerusalem with clarity of mind, compassion and singleness of purpose. He did not allow the adulation of the crowd, the knowledge that its praise would turn into hatred, nor the fear of his inevitable suffering and death distract him.

Sunday of St. Mary of Egypt

April 06, 2009 - by Trish Orlovsky
On this 5th Sunday of Great Lent we enter the closing weeks Fast, and the church fathers give us the story of Mary of Egypt. Mary's story is a quintessential display of the power of repentance - and is key in our understanding of her prominence during this season of repentance and the role of community in the act of salvation.