Sermons from St. Mary Church
December 12, 2021 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
The Great Banquet (Luke 14:16-24) signifies the Messianic Banquet at the end of days. All are invited, although not all will attend. The Eucharist is the Great Banquet taking place here and now, in our midst. When we enter into the Eucharistic celebration, we have entered into the time beyond time, the Eighth Day, and we can rightfully give thanks for the “second and glorious coming which has already come to pass” (as the Liturgy indicates) and occurs each time we do. In fact, that is the very heart of the Lord’s teaching. “The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” And the Lord is in our midst!
December 05, 2021 - By Dn. James Wilcox
Today’s Gospel lesson from Luke is a curious story. It’s a passage not shared by any other Gospel writer, in fact. Neither Matthew, Mark, nor John have a record of this account of the woman with the ‘spirit of infirmity.’ So, one might ask what was so important in this specific story that Luke chose to include it.
November 14, 2021 - By Fr. Antony Hughes
John Chrysostom was exiled from Constantinople by the Emperor Arcadius at the instigation of his wife Eudoxia in 398. Why? Because he preached against the misuse of riches by the wealthy (including Eudoxia). We as Christians are called to be genuine, transparent, and authentic. We are called to the highest standard and to the lowest social status. Called to become God and commanded to be servants. It is no contradiction. For God is the All-Powerful Servant of all.
November 07, 2021 - By Fr. Antony Hughes
Since we are approaching the season of the Nativity Fast, I’ve been reflecting on the Incarnation. What does it mean that God has become man? Simply put: humanity is saved by the whole life of Christ, His living, His dying, and His resurrection. Christ, by living life as a human being, undid the curse of Adam, repaired what was broken and drew all things together into one in Himself.
October 24, 2021 - By Fr. Antony Hughes
Jesus asked the man his name. He answered, “Legion.” Legion was not his real name, it was what had become of him. He was fragmented, shattered, traumatized. He had lost sight of who he really was. No matter what has happened to us, or what we have become, Christianity has Good News for us. There is a glorious secret hidden deep in our souls that has the power to heal our brokenness.
October 17, 2021 - By Fr. Antony Hughes
What good is it if we dress in multiple layers of black, wear our hair and beards long, follow all the canons, prostrate until our elbows bleed if our hearts are not filled with love for everyone and everything? Jesus commands only one thing and it has nothing to do with outward appearance. He commands that we love.
October 10, 2021 - By Fr. Antony Hughes
It seems to me that the story of the Widow of Nain is the whole of the Gospel in one short take. I had never thought of it before, but maybe every periscope in the Gospels tells us the whole story if we look deeply enough. Like small facets in a great jewel that reflect the Lord in their own special way.
October 03, 2021 - By Fr. Antony Hughes
How is it we would like to be treated if we are seen falling into sin? With compassion, of course. That is how Jesus approached sinners after all. And that is our example to follow. We may never walk on water, but we can walk in Christ Jesus over the tumultuous waves and winds that shake ours and our neighbor's lives. We can reach out our hands in compassion and lift ourselves and our brothers and sisters out of the stormy sea.
September 26, 2021 - By Fr. Antony Hughes
For us, Jesus is the ultimate example of pure love. Pure love took Him to Calvary where He faced personal devastation and death. He asked us to willingly take up the Cross, to embrace our own devastation, in order to follow him! And yet we say that the Cross “has brought joy into the world.” This is a paradox that does not fit in our materialistic society where joy is found only in acquisition. So, how does the Cross bring joy? By teaching us how to truly love.
September 12, 2021 - By Dn. Jeff Smith
Just as the Israelites were healed by looking toward the serpent draped on the pole, so as we look toward the cross, we too are granted healing. The lifting up of the Son of Man is the only remedy for our turning away from Him. Only on the cross, can we meet God’s expectation of holiness, righteousness and love.
September 05, 2021 - By Fr. Antony Hughes
How do we keep the remembrance of God in the midst of our busy lives? It is very simple. It takes only a moment to re-awaken the memory of God. With a deep and conscious breath and a little shift in consciousness we can be instantly in His presence. For God is not ever far away, although sometimes we may feel an absence. It is our awareness that has shifted away in those moments, not God.
August 29, 2021 - By Fr. Antony Hughes
After feeding the 5,000, Jesus compelled His disciples to cross the Galilee without Him so that He could go up the mountain to pray. I’ve often wondered, how exactly did He pray? The scriptures say nothing about His long prayers in solitude. The clues, however, are found in the prayer practices of the Jewish prophets and mystics before and during the Lord's earthly life.
August 15, 2021 - By Fr. Antony Hughes
"Arise, O Lord, into your resting place, you and the ark, which you have sanctified" (Psalm 131:8) Where is His resting place? In two places: on earth, regarded as the footstool of God, in the womb of His virgin mother, and also in His heavenly kingdom. Thus He rises in the incarnation into and from His ark the Virgin Mary and rests forever in His sanctified ark in His never-ending kingdom.
August 08, 2021 - By Teva Regule, M.Div., Ph.D
Perhaps, the followers of Jesus were not quite sure what to make of their encounter with Him [at the Transfiguration]. They had spent some time with Jesus, seeing Him perform miracles, and learning from His teaching—they had sacrificed to follow Him. They obviously found His message intriguing. But, this experience… what did it all mean?
August 01, 2021 - By Dn. Jeff Smith
When Jesus forgives the sins of the paralytic, what exactly is He forgiving? We might wonder what his sins could have been. I think Jesus was relieving him of the toxic shame of having to be carried everywhere and being seen as an invalid. Jesus, the great healer, is more interested in reforming his identity as a beloved child of God rather than healing his physical infirmity.
July 26, 2021 - By Fr. Antony Hughes
The Truth our Lord teaches is never stagnate. It is creative and transformative and transfiguring. It flows like a river that seeks to carve out the rocky terrain of our hardened hearts. Faith welcomes it as painful as it may be. Ilia Delio puts a fine point on it writing, “…the most unchristian position we can assume is to block the new creation from taking place.”
July 11, 2021 - By Fr. Antony Hughes
From time to time the image of God becomes blurred and almost forgotten. People forget what God “looks like,” how he sounds, how he is, and in the resulting vacuum create idols like the children of Israel and their Golden Calf. The search for an earthly savior always ends in the creation of an anti-Christ.
July 04, 2021 - By Fr. Antony Hughes
We can learn much through historical criticism or Bible study. Both are helpful, but there is another way of knowledge that comes from the heart. It is the superior way. It is personal, intimate, a meeting of heart to heart.
June 27, 2021 - By Fr. Antony Hughes
To acknowledge Christ “before men” means to be like Him. We must be evolving into the likeness of Him in whom we claim to believe. To think like He thinks, to act like He acts, to love like He loves, to let go of our egoic and earthly minds and put on His.
June 06, 2021 - By Fr. Antony Hughes
In this reading St. John brings us full circle. He begins his Gospel with a reference to the beginning of all things, “In the beginning was the Word.” And today the Word remakes a blind man's eyes with his own spittle and some dust. “Behold,” he says, “I make all things new.”