Sermons from St. Mary Church

On the Sunday of Pentecost

June 04, 2012 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Pentecost is a theophany, a revelation of God I think best compared to other famous theophanies like Moses on Mt. Sinai or the Transfiguration on Mt. Tabor. Witnesses of these events try hard to describe them, but words fail, so there is a special type of dramatic, stylized language used in Holy Scripture using symbols.

On the Sunday of the Paralytic

May 07, 2012 - by Fr. Philip Begley
In the Gospel reading we heard earlier; the Evangelist John describes how a paralyzed man had been lying beside the pool of Bethesda waiting for the stirring of the waters by an angel so that he could be healed. His wait lasted not for an hour, or a few days, or even a few years, but Thirty-Eight years.

On the Sunday of Thomas

April 22, 2012 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Thomas' encounter with the risen Lord took place eight days after the Lord appeared to the disciples who were cowering behind closed doors from fear the authorities would come after them as they had come after Jesus. The number eight is significant because it is the day after seven, the perfect day, the new day, the day of the Kingdom.

Healing through the Sacramental Life of the Church: Confession and Spiritual Direction

March 26, 2012 - by Arlene Marge
Do you look forward to going to confession? Personally, not always. Confession is one of the Holy Sacraments that the Church offers us as a spiritual help, and yet sometimes it is difficult to go. When we go to confession, it is because we know that we have sinned and done something wrong, and sometimes we’d rather not focus on our mistakes for fear of what we might find.

Healing through the Life-Giving Cross

March 19, 2012 - by Sarah Byrne
Today is the Sunday of the Cross. We are now at the mid-point of Lent, a time to reorient ourselves, and to check in with our Lenten journey. How are we all doing? Are we keeping the fast - not just the fast from foods, but from engaging the passions? Are we keeping our commitment to almsgiving? Are we caring for each other?

Healing through the Sacrament of Holy Unction

March 11, 2012 - by Shannon Sakellariou
We have begun our journey through Great Lent, and in a few short weeks, this will culminate with the services of Holy Week, itself a journey that culminates in the celebration of the Resurrection of Christ. On Wednesday of that week, we have the opportunity to receive the sacrament of Holy Unction, a service of prayers for healing, which is founded on James 5:14-16: "Are any among you sick? They should call for the leaders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise them up; and anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven"

Healing in the Liturgy of St. Basil

March 04, 2012 - by Melissa Nassiff
March is Antiochian Women’s month, and for the next four weeks our homilies will all focus on Healing through the Sacramental Life of the Church. This week we’ll look at healing in the Liturgy of St. Basil;. Others will look at healing through Unction; through End of life care, Funeral, and Memorial Services; and through Confession and Spiritual Direction.

On the Sunday of Forgiveness

February 26, 2012 - by Alex Orlovsky
Today is the Sunday of Forgiveness, the last Sunday before the start of Lent, the Great Fast. Perhaps you’ve asked or been asked Why should we fast? How do we fast? What does this have to do with Pascha anyways?

On the Sunday of the Prodigal Son

February 12, 2012 -
In ways past counting we have left the father's house. But we are always welcome to return. We cannot go so far as to not be able to return. In fact, we cannot go "far away" at all! God is everywhere. Where can we possibly go where he is not?

On the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee

February 05, 2012 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
For me this is one of the most wonderful Sundays of the year. The book of Great Lent is opened today for the first time, the Triodion, and we begin to think about the fasting and repentance. And hopefully, we will have grown spiritually some over the past year so that we have a deeper of understanding of what a wondrous thing repentance is. And it really is. It is a joyous, exciting, awe-inspiring process of healing and transformation of mind and soul.

On the Sunday of Zaccheus

January 23, 2012 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
The story of Zaccheus greets us every year right before we begin preparation for Great Lent. It is a story of repentance. Not a parable, but a story of repentance.

Invite Them All

December 11, 2011 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
To understand the point Jesus means to make in today’s Gospel reading we need to look at the rest of chapter 14. There is an important little detail to remember about it. Most of it takes place at a dinner party in the house of a Pharisee. Evidently, it takes place on the Sabbath just like our reading last week when the Lord healed the old woman. This time he heals a man of dropsy.

Heal Always

December 04, 2011 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
In this little, story, Jesus reveals his cosmic nature. His presence is a healing presence to both the woman and the leader and its nature is, as always, Love. To one, his loving presence is paradise, to the other it is hell. The woman receives healing, the leader gets clobbered, but in his chastisement, he too is healed.

Mindfulness and the Good Samaritan

November 14, 2011 -
St. Theophan the Recluse compared what is going on inside our minds to the buzzing of flies. To begin an authentic spiritual practice, we must begin here…with the mind and with our thoughts. This is where repentance begins which is why the first sermon Jesus preached was, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." Repentance, metanoia, means to change one’s minds. Specifically, it means to quiet the noise, to exterminate the flies.

Jairus and the Woman

November 06, 2011 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
The life of Christ is entirely about two things, service and love. He came not to be served, but to serve. He came to give love unconditionally to all. Even when people did not respond in kind, and he knew they would not, he still gave. As one Gospel writer wrote, "He went about doing good."

The Seeds of the Word

October 17, 2011 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
There are at least two ways to look at the teaching of Christ about "the seeds of the Word of God" we heard about in today's Gospel. There is the big picture and there is the little picture. They are inseparable really, not two things, but one. The first is about how everything was made and the second about how we relate to it. It is important to touch on both this morning because without an understanding of one we cannot understand the other.

Let Down Your Nets

September 26, 2011 -
Simon Peter and his companions had been up all night fishing and had caught nothing. This was no little tragedy for fishermen whose families depended on the fish they caught. Frustrated and defeated they sat on the shore early in the morning mending and washing their nets for the next evening’s work.

On the Sunday after the Elevation of the Cross

September 19, 2011 -
There is no other way to be a follower of Jesus Christ than to follow Him on the road of the Cross. The Narrow Road is paved with stones like these: love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, love others more than yourself, give expecting nothing in return, turn the other cheek, give away your possessions to the poor, be willing to die for the sake of the Gospel or for the life of another, love your enemies, pray without ceasing, be peacemakers, rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep, lift up the oppressed, love justice, show mercy, deliberately and consciously and continuously choose the narrow path, be humble, “flee from the company of men”, control the tongue, put on the mind of Christ and repent of everything that is not His mind, nurture and love silence, love without condition, become pure in heart and mind, do everything necessary to think and to live in a way that pleases God.

You Are the Light of the World

July 18, 2011 -
We, the Lord says, are the Light of the world just as He is the Light of the World. What can this mean? It means that what He is, we are. The One who made us has made us like Himself. “You are the light of the world,” does not mean from this moment you will be light which is something you were not before. It means that you are and always have been the light of the world and how very tragic it is when that light cannot be seen.

On the Fifth Sunday of Great Lent

April 11, 2011 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
One of the very first things we learn as we begin to pursue the spiritual life is that everything we can see and touch is temporal. Everything is changing and everything that changes eventually passes away, including us. There is no security or lasting happiness in anything that passes away so it makes no sense to attach to them as if there is.