Sermons from St. Mary Church


The Mystical Life

June 12, 2016 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Undergirding this prayer is the mystical theology that resides at the heart of Orthodox spirituality. God the Father is wholly transcendent, he cannot be known or defined. Only the Son has seen him and only the Son can reveal him. Our connection with the Father comes through the Son who makes him known.

The Way of Metaphor

May 29, 2016 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Nothing ever stands in the way of God’s radical acceptance of us. We see this today as Jesus breaks down all barriers in the story of the Samaritan Woman. He ignores all social, ethnic, religious and political mores when he sits down at Jacob’s Well at the hottest hour of the day and asks for water from a heretic and gender-inappropriate Samaritan. In his actions we learn that the only barriers to love do not exist in reality. These barriers exist only in our minds and we do not have to allow them to determine our lives.

Who Do We Trust and Why? Reflections on Thomas Sunday

May 08, 2016 - by Teva Regule
So, why does Thomas, who had been a close friend and follower of Jesus, doubt the witness of his friends? He wants direct proof - not only seeing, but also touching the wounds of Jesus.

Our Suffering is the Cross

December 31, 1969 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
The little boy’s seizure in today’s story represents any condition we may have that hinders our ability to love God, neighbor and self completely. Removing all internal obstacles to love is the point of spiritual practice. What we do not know about ourselves enslaves us. What lies hidden in us will eventually come to light. We are all wounded. We carry with us great burdens of pain from which we need to be released.

God Tells Us a Story

December 31, 1969 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
God wanted to make his love for us so concrete that even the smallest child would be able to understand. The Cross, both an historic and metaphorical reality, is how he made it so. One meaning of the word 'salvation' is to be removed from harm’s way. And this God has done through the Cross.

Hymns of the Annunciation

March 27, 2016 - by Natasha Smith
Imagine what it was like to be Mary. You are an adolescent girl of humble origins. Just like your daughter or niece, or perhaps you as a child. Maybe you were born in West Roxbury or Medford. You are visited by an angel and then the Holy Spirit at the same time. Personally, my first reaction would be to run and hide. But, not Mary.

Today is the Day of Salvation

March 20, 2016 - by Kyra Limberakis
If we are hesitant or fear we have already failed in our Lenten commitments, let us remember that every moment is a new opportunity for renewal! Now is the time to infuse every moment of this sanctified Lenten season with the fruits of the Holy Spirit. Now is the time to 'follow Him,' as Christ invites Phillip in today’s Gospel.

On the Beginning of the Great Fast

March 13, 2016 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
But we can develop the spirituality that is reminiscent of Lent, an inward-looking spirituality, where we start to care for the condition of our souls, as much as we care for the condition of our outward lives. A balanced life is what Lent is supposed to be about. A balancing with the pivot of our souls looking both inward and outward.

On the Hymn of Kassiani

March 13, 2016 - by Linda Arnold
Can we dare to be heroic like this woman in this beautiful hymn? How did this woman who had fallen into many sins, know that He who was a guest in the home of Simon was God? She was illumined by divine grace and she responded. Through her repentance, she perceived the divinity of Christ.

On the Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete

March 06, 2016 - by Melissa Nassiff
Sometimes we have trouble believing in God's forgiveness, because we ourselves are unwilling to forgive. Living with the Great Canon during that first week of Lent - or better yet, throughout all of Lent - helps us focus more and more deeply on what it means to repent, how it feels to repent, and most especially, how it feels to be forgiven.

The Curious Monkey

February 28, 2016 - by Jamil Samara
The monkey's curiosity leads him to be trapped by his desires. Our passions can lead us to the same fate. The Triodion period in the life of the Church takes us on the way of the Cross, to Golgotha on Holy Friday, where we experience Christ's death through our own spiritual struggle. Fasting, prayer, and almsgiving are all a part of the way of the cross, the dying of ourselves, the relinquishing of our own will to allow God's will to grow within us.

Two Openings

February 21, 2016 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
The Pharisee is closed up in himself. He has become wholly blended with his ego. His ego has become his god. Wrapped in his robes he feels safe and secure. But he still longs for validation! His prayer largely consists of a list of his pious achievements. Behind all this he hides his pain. His heart has become stone. He has no compassion for the Publican who weeps nearby and is to the Pharisee an annoyance.

Nothing Else, Nothing Else

February 14, 2016 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Suffering is universal. It connects us to one another. Weep with those who weep, Jesus teaches, And laugh with those who laugh. And Schopenhauer calls the rise of compassion we feel when we see even a stranger in pain a metaphysical breakthrough in which the boundaries between I and the other disappear. The truth is that the boundaries we believe in are the ones we have created. When the mind is still, boundaries no longer exist.

Do Not Squander the Gift

February 07, 2016 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
There is a gift that everyone has received from God. We have been made in his image. There is no greater gift. This gift defines us. There is in the depths of every human being a light that comes from God and connects us with him. Some of the Holy Fathers speak of this in moving terms, like Gregory Nazianzus who wrote: for the spirit that he breathed into (human nature) is a flash of the invisible godhead ... I am attached to life here below, while I also have in me a portion of the godhead.

Zaccheus Sunday: The Narrow Way of Life

January 31, 2016 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Jesus calls Zaccheus out of his tree as a compassionate care-giver, not as a judge. Jesus discerns that Zaccheus is open and in need of mercy and without hesitation, Jesus gives it in abundance. Zaccheus learned from Jesus what we are supposed to be learning: love is truth, love is joy, love is the doorway to wisdom, love is life, love is the food of immortality, love is the kingdom of heaven.

The Call to Universal Compassion

January 17, 2016 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
The Gospel is a call to universal and unequivocal compassion. The life of Christ and his teachings are about doing good and being kind and bringing light into dark places. In the beginning Christianity was known as a religion of love.

On the Sunday Before Theophany

January 03, 2016 - by Fr. Nicholas Manikas
St. Paul says that if you are Christian, if you have received the Holy Spirit into your hearts, then remember that the Spirit produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility, and self-control. This powerful verse should describe each and every one of us. It is a new year, a new chance to make a new start at bettering ourselves and becoming real Orthodox Christians who live the Christian life and not just look from the outside as faithful.

On the Feast of the Nativity

December 24, 2015 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Trust in God, Trust in Him Who is born tonight. Do not be afraid even of death, for He has conquered it. He has touched all of life, by sanctifying it with Himself. We have no reason to be afraid, even of death. We rejoice tonight because He has opened His heart.

On the Sunday Before Nativity

December 20, 2015 - by Bishop JOHN
This morning's Gospel lesson is about the genealogy of Christ. Even though it is difficult to hear or read all of these names, it is a very important Gospel reading for our faith. The flesh that Christ took on from Mary was real flesh. The ancestors of God in Christ, were real characters. When you study them, you find that they were jews and non-jews; righteous and murderers; people who were faithful and people who betrayed God; there were slaves and there were free, and so on. So, none of us can claim that God can't understand us because of our circumstances, because of our lousy childhoods, because our parents weren't perfect.

Too Distracted

December 13, 2015 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
The parable of the Great Banquet has a simple lesson for us. We are too busy. We are too distracted. The heavenly banquet is here and now and we do not, or will not see it. Alan Watts writes in his brilliant book of Christian theology, BEHOLD THE SPIRIT, that we are, 'Too busy to accept the invitation to enter the door to the Heavenly banquet that lays immediately before us.'