Sermons from St. Mary Church

Love Your Enemies

October 01, 2023 - by Dn. Jeff Smith
Our world is in desperate need of mercy, forgiveness, love, and reconciliation. We are ambassadors of that mercy. In living out the command of Christ to be perfect, we can bring hope, healing, and transformation to all of those around us all, just like St. Seraphim said we would for the Glory of God.

The Wood of Salvation: Reflections on the Feast of the Cross

September 14, 2023 - by Teva Regule
The cross, once a symbol of crucifixion and death, was and is now a symbol of resurrection and life. The wood of the cross that Christ touched was transfigured into the Tree of Life.  It is this Tree that now re-connects us to God, reconciling all of humanity to God and showing us the way to life more abundant. 

The Cross is The Weapon of Our Peace!

September 10, 2023 - by Dn. James Wilcox
As followers of Jesus, we choose to turn the other cheek, so as to absorb that person’s wrath, and to quell their passion. To take a person’s wrath and to remove it, and transform it is an act of peace … this is the transformative work of the Gospel message! The work of transforming the cosmos lies in our choosing to take up our Cross and to live by it. This is why our feast for the Elevation of the Cross refers to the Cross itself as 'A Weapon of Peace!'

Who Then Can Be Saved?

August 27, 2023 - by Dn. Jeff Smith
To be a Christian is to be changed, to become not of this world. We are called to be innocent, in the world, but as sheep among wolves. This is the direction that Jesus is calling the rich young man to, when he asks him to give everything he has to the poor and to follow him. Imagine the possibilities if he had answered the call.

Search Me, O God

August 20, 2023 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Although many believe that Christianity calls for a radical separation between the Church and the world the truth is quite different. Christ calls us not to run from, neglect, ignore, and condemn the world. Nor are we instructed by the Lord to build walls and fortresses to protect ourselves from the bad guys. We are called to embrace the world as it is with love and discernment and to look deeply with the eyes of the soul into the infinite richness of divine grace that lies at the heart of all that exists.

Transfiguring Our Passions

August 13, 2023 - by Dn. James Wilcox
It is possible for human beings to move away from the misuse of our energies. We can shift our energies away from our 'inner human sufferings' and reorient our souls toward the divine energies of God. This of course is accomplished by focusing less on the satisfaction of our egos, and focusing more on Jesus Christ. And this is exactly what the man does in today’s story. He directs his attention to Christ as Lord, and Jesus, in turn, drives out that to which his son is passionately bound. Christ brings him true healing!

The Path of Transfiguration

August 06, 2023 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
We must be willing to enter a new way of life, leaving behind everything that binds us to this fallen world. When we do, we will find ourselves turned upside down and inside out, walking where we have never been before. I often say to people that if we do not recognize where we are, it is quite possible that God is leading us somewhere we have never been.

Spiritual Blindness and Healing

July 23, 2023 - by Dn. Jeff Smith
We can see today’s blind men as a metaphor for our own blindness and need for healing. Physical blindness may have been common in Jesus’ time. But inner blindness is a much greater handicap. We can be blind to the meaning of life; we can be blind to the nature of our neighbor’s suffering. We can be Blind to the ongoing dynamic of God’s love in the world.

The Christ in Our Midst who Suffers As We Do

July 02, 2023 - by Dn. James Wilcox
But why does God allow the vast amount of suffering we see all around us, and in our personal lives to begin with? One answer I choose to offer is that when we do suffer, we are in the presence of God. For God chose to come to us as a human being who suffers as we do. Christ became human and suffered voluntarily on our behalf that we might understand a little more of what it is to be divine.

Living in a Different Light

June 11, 2023 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Today the Lord calls us to reexamine our lives. He does it by calling into question our primary relationships. The ones we take for granted, our family and friends. This leads us to ask other questions.

On the Sunday of Pentecost

June 04, 2023 - by Dn. Jeff Smith
To love truth means to pursue it with an earnest, conscientious, and unflagging zeal. It means to be prepared to follow the light of evidence even to the most unwelcome conclusions, to labor to emancipate the mind from prejudice, to resist the current of desire and the influence of the passions, and to be ready, if need be, to exchange calm assurance for all the suffering of a perplexed mind.

On Suffering and The Opening of Our Eyes

May 21, 2023 - by Dn. James Wilcox
A god who operates willfully to instigate pain in some, and cause the death of others, while bringing about evil to accomplish his purposes for some perceived good, isn’t really a trustworthy, consistent, or a loving god. And here again, this is not the God reveled through Jesus Christ.

The Sixth Hour

May 14, 2023 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
The wind of the Spirit is always blowing. Every moment is pregnant with the Spirit. We have only to put down what we are carrying and sit with him for awhile and listen carefully to what he longs to reveal to us.

The Healing of the Paralytic

May 07, 2023 - by Dn. Jeff Smith
So, we all cost him day by day. And yet he looked out to save the lost, to save me, and paid the full price by giving his life, and seemed to count it worthwhile. What an example, what a joyous opportunity to start our lives again, fresh, and new.

The Point of It All Is Joy

April 30, 2023 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Fear divides. Love unites. Courage was the glue that united their fear and love for the single purpose of doing what needed to be done revealing a direct path to the Empty Tomb in spite of the dangers they might encounter.

Embracing Our Doubt

April 23, 2023 - by Dn. James Wilcox
When someone comes to preach a message, make a claim, or tell a godly tale in the name of Christ, we should - like Thomas - always demand to see the marks of Christ on that person who claims to be speaking in God’s name, before we give ear to what it is they are preaching. To do so is to carry with you a good and healthy measure of skepticism. When Thomas said I will not believe until see the mark of the nails, and until place my hand in his side, he was simply doing what was properly Orthodox in the purest sense… he wanted to ensure that it was truly the risen Christ before him, and not some impostor claiming to be so.

On the Service of Holy Unction

April 12, 2023 - by Sarah Byrne-Martelli
As Christians we understand healing as communion. God heals, so that we may be whole – and thus able to live fully, to forgive and reconnect and heal our relationships with our neighbors.

Renewing our Baptismal Vows

April 09, 2023 - by Dn. James Wilcox
All of us stand here today with our palms raised aloft, just as the ancient Israelites did when Jesus strode in before them. And those people who praised him with Palm branches are same ones who cried out for him to be killed only days later. Those who cried 'Hosanna' on this day, were the same who shouted 'Crucify him' on the next. And they did this because Jesus didn’t match their expectation of who they thought the Christ should be. But it isn’t up to us to say who the Christ should be. The Christ simply IS. It is only left to us to decide if we wish to follow.

Following Christ Through Cities and Deserts

March 19, 2023 - by Cassandra Chamallas
Very few of us will be called to work out our salvation in the desert.  Instead, we will follow Christ’s calling in cities and suburbs, often surrounded by comfort and convenience.  We will do so each with our own crosses, our own trials and tribulations, and tempted by messages that making more money, having nicer possessions, gaining more earthly glory will make our lives better, easier. 

Rise Up and Walk

March 12, 2023 - by Andrea Popa
Each of us today and during this season of Lent is entering this place of worship, entering Christ’s home - either through the front door or breaking through the roof to gain access. And as we draw near, whether of our own accord or carried along by others, Christ sees us for all we are – our paralysis to act, our physical, spiritual and emotional limitations. In the humility of that 'aha' interaction, he opens our eyes to know that we are already children of God.