Sermons from St. Mary Church

Awakening from Exile

February 12, 2023 - by Dn. James Wilcox
We go about chasing after some thing, or perhaps after some person, that will make us feel better about ourselves. And we chase after it like the Prodigal, until we bottom out, see ourselves as failures, and let the cycle pick up all over again — chasing after something new to make us feel better about ourselves. The question is, will we truly awaken like the Prodigal and return from the exile of our false nature and learn who we truly are?

The Interplay of Darkness and Light

February 05, 2023 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Without love, we are nothing. Without humility the narrow gate closes. The Pharisee defended himself with a cloak of false righteousness, hiding his narcissism behind his robes and bombasity. It was as if he were saying to God, 'My righteousness makes your mercy (and you) unnecessary. Pay attention to that sinner over there. Nothing to see here. I do not really need you after all!'

The Canaanite Woman

January 29, 2023 - by Dn. Jeff Smith
Jesus encounters this mother’s pain and heals her daughter. He acted with love.  And so, begins a magnificent adventure of the early church into the world of the gentiles. She who hoped for a great thing, who believed that Jesus could save her child, opened up the kingdom of heaven for us all.

Darkness Vanishes at the Appearance of God

January 08, 2023 - by Dn. James Wilcox
Christ comes to us in the breaking of the bread - our Eucharistic offering - and we consume His body. And once we’ve consumed the body, like the disciples at Emmaus, Christ disappears - or departs - and we become His body. And what happens after we become His body? We too also depart. We 'depart in peace' and we go out into the world as witnesses to the light of Christ. Which is exactly what Christ does in today’s Gospel passage.

Jesus in the Temple

January 01, 2023 - by Dn. Jeff Smith
In today’s gospel, Jesus was not teaching, but rather was listening and asking questions. The young Jesus appears with eagerness, an open mind, and simplicity of spirit. The gospel says that Jesus increased in wisdom and understanding which is perhaps strange for one who is already fully God. Fully God and fully man. What a mystery! Jesus is one with God the Father, but he is still growing and learning.

The Scandals of Men and the Work of God

December 18, 2022 - by Dn. James Wilcox
Remember, that our salvation is an inside job, and an inner working of the heart away from the selfishness of ego, and toward the self-LESS-ness of that person in imitation of Jesus Christ, who gave Himself up on behalf of all people! You can’t get more selfless than that. Thus, a heart transformed by the Holy Spirit and awakened in the likeness of Christ produces a natural morality that radiates outward.

Inner Stillness Amidst Inner Turmoil

November 28, 2022 - by Dn. James Wilcox
It’s good for us to remember that, truly, the only form of human perfection we know of in our faith was not a monk. It was a woman! And this woman whom we celebrate today was, in fact, a human being who suffered pangs of emotion just as all of us do.

The Good Samaritan

November 13, 2022 - by Dn. Jeff Smith
How can love be a requirement, or a law? Mustn’t it be voluntary? Love is to desire for the well-being of our enemies. Love moves in three directions: from God to us, from us to God, and toward each other. We can love God only because he first loved us. We are only able to love our neighbor because Christ loved us first, by giving his life for us.  

Hidden Wounds

November 06, 2022 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Often our wounds are hidden. We do not want to acknowledge them. We fear the underlying causes of our anxiety and distress and think by burying them in our subconscious they will go away and not trouble us. This is never true. What is hidden will be made known eventually.

The Chasm We Fix In Our Hearts

October 30, 2022 - by Dn. James Wilcox
The Rich Man embraced his egotistical pride, while refusing to embrace the love of God as revealed in the image of God present in the outcast of this parable — of which our Lord tells us elsewhere 'as you’ve done it to one of the least of these my brethren, so you did it unto me.' For a person to reject the love of God as it exists in the other, is to cast ourselves into darkness, such that the true love of God when it is revealed can only be experienced as bitter anguish.

Stewardship Sunday

October 30, 2022 - by Charlie Marge
Stewardship means to provide care for God’s church here on earth. We maintain it, we nurture it and we help it grow. We serve and care for the church in whatever way we are able.

The Geresene Demoniac

October 23, 2022 - by Dn. Jeff Smith
In Christ, the power and the love of God is fully expressed. God is Good! And the healed demoniac went home not merely to tell how much God had done for him, but how much He has done for us.

Dostoevsky’s Gospel

October 02, 2022 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
The Lord of all permeates everything and every one and I believe is speaking at this very moment to every human being who has ever or will ever exist. God's love is uncontainable and irrepressible.

The Calling of the Fishermen

September 25, 2022 - by Dn. Jeff Smith
Peter, James, and John: these are the men who are called today. And this very first calling marks the beginning of the liturgical year in September. The calling of these rough fishermen makes no sense in worldly terms. So how did their transformation happen? That’s the question I want to explore.

The Heart of Spirituality

September 18, 2022 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
God is not selfish and, therefore, he is not wrathful, nor angry, nor vengeful. He is always peaceful, compassionate, loving and kind. Those characteristics are how you know God is behind it. When we are fearful, angry, jealous or vengeful, we are not living from our authentic core (the divine image).

How Often Should I Forgive?

August 28, 2022 - by Dn. Jeff Smith
This parable remains an unsurpassed demand for compassion. God is always ready to forgive, but he cannot enter an unforgiving heart if we bar the door to his mercy. Since we too are destined for death, there is no way we can repay what we owe, but God offers complete and utter forgiveness, resurrection of the body and eternal life with Him.

The Reality of Scriptural Allegory in You

August 21, 2022 - by Dn. James Wilcox
Our starting point, remember, is always Jesus Christ. Not the Scriptures. But we learn to see Jesus throughout all the Scriptures, both New and Old by starting at the end, and working our way back to the beginning. We don’t read the New Testament as a biographical narrative to really “get Jesus,” so to speak, but we read ALL of Scripture through the lens of Jesus Christ.


Jesus is Who He is Because of God and Mary

August 14, 2022 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
The Dormition Feast is celebrated because of the Incarnation and its collateral effect on everything. I think if we just allow these truths to settle into our consciousness we will come better to understand what love the Lord has for us.

The First Christians Were Not Like Us

July 31, 2022 - by Dn. James Wilcox
If we take Christ to be anything other than who He says He is, and who He demonstrates Himself to be, then we are just as blind to the reality of Christ among us, as the two men we read about in today’s Gospel lesson. And if we wish to proclaim any other 'gospel' and dare to call it “Christian,” it would be better for us to be as silent as the demoniac.

To See or Not to See

July 24, 2022 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
We would do well to learn this: it is not so much what we see, but how we see. Perception is everything. If our perception is over-shadowed by our opinions, ideologies, and beliefs, then we are seeing things the way we want them to be rather than how they really are.