Sermons from St. Mary Church
The Transparent World
October 15, 2017 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
The soil of an open heart is ready to receive the seeds of God’s word at all times, for they are always being sown as Jesus says, 'My Father and I are always working.' An open heart is a pure heart, unburdened by attachments to this world, to its anxieties and expectations. An open heart is a mystical heart that longs for union with God that looks for him with expectation and trust, ready to learn, eager to grow.
Compassion Compels Us
October 02, 2017 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
That seems such a huge thing to ask of us: to be as merciful, kind, and compassionate as God himself. Notice that Jesus does not mention being obedient to any law or religion or even a code of morality. He asks only that we be merciful. Why? Because it is not about religion or law or morality, it is about a new way of life governed only by love.
Ego and Humility
September 03, 2017 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
There is always a danger that we will try and use Jesus for our personal gain. You see it all the time on television – Christianity as a way to make money or gain power and notoriety. It is shameful of course and frightening the way so many people fall for it. We must be careful that we do not fall ourselves into such obvious corruption. Those who practice the way of using Christianity for egoic self-interest clearly do not know the Jesus they claim to represent.
The Ultimate Letting Go
August 27, 2017 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
The Rich Man could not yet let of his riches. The question is, what 'riches' are we holding onto so tightly that we too could not pass through the eye of a needle and into the kingdom of heaven? I’m not going to try and make a list of all the passages that speak of this. One of them that comes to mind is that we must love God more than father, mother, sister, brother, etc. If you think a little, I’m sure you could come up with several more.
Prayer and Fasting
August 13, 2017 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
The eternal truth, so ignored by so many these days, is that faith does not lead to power but to humility. The Lord said it this way, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' In our humility, our weakness, our powerlessness, our emptiness, the power of God moves mountains.
The Transfiguration of All Things
August 06, 2017 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
So, Trinitarian spirituality begins where we do not like to begin: shrouded in impenetrable mystery and luminous awe. Every Theophany has this effect on the human mind. Through them God breaks down all the barriers that the mind loves to create. Every Theophany has the purpose of helping us begin to obey the first commandment of Jesus in his first sermon in Mark’s Gospel: change your mind, repent.
The Law is One
July 16, 2017 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
The spiritual life is all about removing anything that hides the divine light within us. Another way Jesus put this is that we must 'die to ourselves.' This 'self' to which we must 'die' is not the true Self, the image of God, the 'light' that defines us as human beings. It is the little, protective false self, the ego, we have cobbled together out of our conditioning, traumas, disappointments, and attachments to this world.
The Vocation of Lovers of God
July 09, 2017 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Those who truly love God are easy to find because they are full of love. Love is the one unmistakable sign of a disciple of Christ. Corinthians 13, “if I have not love, I am nothing.” Hatred may cross their minds, but, like a passing cloud, they have learned to let it come and let it go. And if we read the Gospels we discover something else surprising, it is often not the religious and the pious who get it, it is the ones who know they are nothing.
Fishing in the 21st Century
June 19, 2017 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
The search is on for deeper forms of connection both internal and external, for wisdom, for transcendence and for ways to embody the sacred in daily life; not painting a veneer of piety over a dysregulated life, but for true inner healing, for peace of mind, for an authentic and unshakable connection with God and others. Piety too often is play acting. The desire is for real transformation.
Knowing and Acknowledging
June 11, 2017 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
The eternal Word of God that is Jesus, the Christ, can only be known and therefore acknowledged when we enter into a direct, personal and intimate communion with him. And then we discover that what we came to know cannot be communicated in words, but only through being.
The Beauty of the Christ's Prayer
May 28, 2017 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
The Lord seems grounded and focused as he prays this long discourse-like prayer on the eve of his passion. When you might expect that fear and anxiety would distract him and overwhelm him, they don't. He seems to be utterly non-resistant to the fear he must have been feeling and to the fate that waited for him. That doesn’t mean that he didn’t feel it. The picture John paints is of prayer in the midst of almost unspeakable anguish.
The Beauty of Mutuality
May 14, 2017 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
The thing that is revealed by Jesus to Photeini is that the temple of God is not a building, a city, a mountain or a shrine or even a religion. The temple of God is the human person. Paul says it. 'Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit?' How does Jesus say it? 'Jesus breathed on them and said, 'Receive the Holy Spirit.''
Dancing with God
May 07, 2017 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
We are transformed by the company we keep. This is obvious. If the company we keep is evil, then we tend to become evil, if it is good, then we tend to become good. What if the company we keep is God? What if we learn how to enter our hearts where his kingdom is, and we discover that the Holy Trinity is there, and we allow ourselves to spend more and more time with him in that sacred, internal place, what then?
The Heart that is Open
April 09, 2017 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
It is important to remember as we begin to celebrate Holy Week that it is not about recreating the past. It is about taking the time at this particular moment to open our hearts and minds to Jesus as his Passion is remembered. Few of us take the time to open our hearts and minds to him throughout the year, so Holy Week is a good time to learn something about it by doing it.
God, the All-Vulnerable
April 02, 2017 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
James and John desired power. They wanted to sit at the right and left hands of the All-Powerful God, the Imperial Majesty on High, the Divine Potentate, the Inescapable and Invulnerable Judge. Jesus corrects them by asking a question. You may note in reading the Gospels that Jesus is much more into asking questions than he is in giving answers.
With Faith and Love Draw Near
March 26, 2017 - by Teva Regule
In our communal celebration, we offer the symbols of our life to God—bread and wine—and they become for us a means of encountering the risen Christ. It is through the agency of the Holy Spirit that they become icons of Christ, making Christ present to us and allowing us to encounter, and in the spirit of St. John Climacus who we remember today, journey and ascend to the Triune God.
Pascha: Do you know why we’re here today?
March 19, 2017 - by Melissa Nassiff
Even during the life of Christ, people did no work on the Sabbath; that was the day to worship God. But something changed between then and now. And that something is the event shown in the icon we’ll be talking about today, the icon of Pascha. We worship God on Sunday, the first day of the week, because that’s the day Christ rose from the dead.
The Icon of the Transfiguration
March 13, 2017 - by Ioana Popa
There are pockets of mysterious Transfiguration happening every day, by us holding a greater vision of kindness, love and compassion for all humanity, as Christ assures us it will be in the Kingdom of God at the end of times. Our complicated times can be seen as very distressing, but what if we could see them as a greater opportunity for us to become saints and to hold that vision of respect and dignity for every human being?
And the Word became Flesh
March 06, 2017 - by Andrea Popa
Christ became man, became like us, so that we could enter into relationship with him, so that we, in turn could be children of God, be like God. So that we too could live in grace and in truth.
The Interior Focus of Great Lent
February 26, 2017 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Concentrate on a Lenten practice that has the power to change your life. Fasting is good, of course, but we become so focused on it that we forget the goal, which is not just to get through Lent not eating the forbidden foods, but to expand our capacity to love God, neighbor and self unconditionally and always.