Sermons from St. Mary Church
As For Me and My House
January 30, 2017 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
The Lord did not come to show us how to get to heaven. He revealed that heaven is within us. It always has been. There is no place to 'get to.' Why then did he come? For a variety of reasons.
The Flow of Trinitarian Life
January 15, 2017 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Reading is one of the great joys of my life as most of you know. I do not usually read for pleasure, but for learning and for personal growth. I read and study to improve as a person and sharpen my skills as a priest. Learning and growing is a sign of life. If we are not growing and learning and changing, then we are not truly alive. As an example, the Orthodox conception of the afterlife is not static and unchanging. God will always be teaching and we will always be learning, is how some have put it.
December 04, 2016 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
So, today, Jesus looks at an infirm woman and sees her beauty. It was hidden under her infirmity and Jesus knew that her infirmity could not and had not marred her essence. So it is with all of us. Whatever infirmities, whatever sins, whatever suffering, our essence, the truth of who we are, is untouched by them. We are, underneath the rubble of our lives, beautiful.
On the Surface of the Deep
November 20, 2016 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
We like to create Christ in our own image; a Christ to justify our lives, who thinks and acts like us, who doesn’t challenge our assumptions and certainly doesn’t question us or disagree with us or demand anything of us. In other words, a Christ we can ignore. So, how do we know who he really is? How do we come to truly know Him as He is?
Stepping Outside the Cycle
October 30, 2016 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
The parable shows us not what the afterlife is like, but what life is like right now. The Rich Man goes from his earthly paradise to eternal torment. We too are torn between heaven and hell in the form of pleasure and pain, desire and fear, joy and sorrow.
Walking in the Dark
October 23, 2016 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Darkness and light are not opposites. They are equally parts of life, rising and falling like waves from the same ocean. St. John writes so beautifully that 'the light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.' He speaks of the human experience.
Grace Falls All Over The Place
October 09, 2016 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
The Gospel this morning shows Christ wading into the suffering of the world outside the gates of the little town of Nain. He meets the deep, wrenching sorrow of the widow head-on without flinching. His presence reveals the presence of the kingdom, the power of God in the world of human suffering. The Incarnation encompasses all things.
October 02, 2016 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
The teaching of Jesus is radical. We are not just to be nice, we are to be like God. This leaves us with only one option and that is to get real about being disciples of the Lord’s teaching and to acknowledge the reality of his presence in our midst.
Willingness, Openness, Receptivity
September 25, 2016 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
That is what happens in today’s Gospel reading. Peter comes face to face with God in Christ. It happens not all at once. Jesus reveals himself little by little. Peter could not have handled that any more than he could stare at the sun with unaided eyes.
Image and False Image
September 18, 2016 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Holy Orthodoxy has a vision of human nature than is unrelentingly positive. This vision originates in the biblical reference from Genesis 1:26, 'Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.' Because this is so, to know the truth of who we are, is to know God.
Belief and Faith, Water and Wine
September 12, 2016 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
The Christian message is very, very simple. God loves the world. He loves us. Seeing his creation falling into death, he sent his Son, to liberate us from death, from sin, from fear and to grant eternal life to all who believe in this simple Gospel. And he has accomplished in taking on human nature and matter the deification of all things.
Make Peace in Your Heart
August 14, 2016 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Martha is not still and so she misses the obvious presence of God right there in her own living room. She is so concerned about herself, so full of herself and her serving, that she cannot think of anything else. Sometimes it’s just better to order out. Antony De Mello’s has an interesting take on this. Although he speaks specifically about silence the same can be said of stillness for they are closely related.
His Name is Compassion
August 07, 2016 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Mercy is a not just a word, it is a name and a Person. It is closely aligned and inseparable from another word which is also a name and a person – that word is Compassion. It is a name that God gives himself. Let’s read from Exodus 34. In this section Moses has just thrown down and shattered the tablets of the Ten Commandments in anger at his people’s idolatry. Now he recreates them. It is interesting to me that God reveals himself as Compassion at the same time as he blesses the recreation of the tablets of the Law. And then he reveals something greater than the Law. He reveals Himself.
Faith Lets Go
July 31, 2016 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Often in the Gospel stories, when Jesus brings hope, comfort and healing, detractors often show up. Like the scribes in today’s story. See them as representing the know-it-alls and the self-righteous. We all know people like that and sometimes they may even be us. We must be careful not to be like that.
Like a Pure Diamond
July 17, 2016 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
In stark contrast to the horror of the terrorist attack in Nice, we are drawn by Christ to speak of what is true and beautiful about human nature and about the Gospel of peace and compassion. We cannot allow ourselves to forget the Lord’s truth especially in the face of the truly demonic. If we do, then the light in us may flicker in the face of despair, although we are assured by the Beloved Apostle that it can never be extinguished.
July 11, 2016 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
What does it mean to have a sound eye? If our eyes are clouded with self-interest, by a desire for worldly things, like wealth and power, and are not focused on God alone, then our eyes are not sound, and we will be full of darkness. Jesus calls us to single-mindedness and to a simplicity of life that will set us free.
Not Religion, But Life
July 04, 2016 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
In order to grow more and more into the likeness of God, we must constantly be changing. Growth implies change. In this Gospel we see the birth of Christian discipleship beginning with an invitation to change that would alter the lives of four fishermen and ultimately the entire world. These four set off on an adventure with no hope of security leaving behind everything. Such a change!
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.