Sermons from St. Mary Church

Service of Holy Unction

April 01, 2010 - by David Vermette
In our Gospel reading for the bridegroom matins last night, I noticed that the Evangelist St. John the Theologian says that although Jesus had done so many signs before the people of that generation, they did not believe in him. In this connection the Evangelist quotes the Prophet Isaiah, “He has blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; lest they should see with their eyes, lest they should understand with their hearts, and turn, and so that I should heal them.” St. John Chrysostom comments that this passage should not be taken to mean that God does not will all to be healed, or that he has reserved some for salvation and others for destruction arbitrarily, as some quite mistakenly have taught.

Sunday of St. Mary of Egypt

March 21, 2010 - Melissa Nassiff
Today is the fifth Sunday in Lent, the day we commemorate St. Mary Of Egypt. Since we focus on her every year toward the end of Lent, I’m sure most of you are familiar with her story, but to summarize it briefly, Mary’s early life was decidedly un-saintly.

Sunday of the Holy Cross

March 08, 2010 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
This is the Sunday of the Adoration of the Holy and Life-Giving Cross, the mid-point of the spiritual journey we call Great Lent and a turning point in our Lenten effort. From this point on we begin to look intently to the Crucifixion of our Lord and embrace its power in our own lives as we continue to make our way to the Empty Tomb. Before this we were getting accustomed to the disciplines of Lent, settling in to a new rhythm of life.

Sunday of Zaccheus

January 31, 2010 -
Sermon preached on Sunday, January 31, 2010 Luke 19:1-10 (15th Sunday of Luke) In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy

The Table is Set

December 13, 2009 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
The invitations have been sent. The table is set. The dinner is prepared. All that remains is for the guests to arrive. But this is a party for which guests are required to prepare. This is no ordinary event. It is the heavenly and eternal banquet! All that is necessary for our salvation has been accomplished, except one: we must accept or refuse the invitation. The last, necessary element is our decision.

Seeing Things As They Really Are

November 23, 2009 -
What does it mean to be "rich towards God"? All human beings are intrinsically "rich towards God" because we are made in His divine image and likeness. The problem is that we have forgotten who we are. Abraham Heschel once wrote, "Man is a messenger who has forgotten the message."

The Far Greater Miracle

November 09, 2009 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Which miracle do you suppose is the greatest? The greatest work, I propose, happens within. Why else would St. John Climacus say it is a far greater miracle to repent than to raise the dead? Everyone healed by Christ will once again get sick and die. Everyone raised from the dead by Christ will die again. But the soul that is enslaved by the anguish of sin can suffer far longer than the body.

The Rich Man and Lazarus

November 01, 2009 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Orthodox Christianity is forever and always about hope in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. The Holy Trinity did not give up on creation in the face of the fall. The Lord Jesus did not give up in the face of the Cross. Nothing can defy the compassion of the Almighty, nothing (in the end) can thwart his purposes, certainly not our paltry little, earth-bound perspectives, our pious, little certainties...and certainly not death.

Rejoice that Your Names are Written in Heaven

October 18, 2009 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
We seem to think that the disciples understood what the Lord taught them without a problem. We think we can too. The truth is, although the words are simple, the meaning is far deeper than the words and demand a complete reorientation before they can be understood. Take today's Gospel as a good example.

On the calling of the first apostles in Luke 5:1-11

September 27, 2009 - by Dn. Jeffrey Smith
To be called. To be called to serve, perhaps as a priest. I have often ruminated. How are we called? How do we serve? Am I called to be a priest as many have asked? Am I holding a part of myself back by not responding to this call?

For God So Loved the World

September 13, 2009 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
It is so simple a message that it is difficult to grasp. In our weakness of mind it is hard to understand how God can love everyone; his enemies, unrepentant sinners and the righteous all the same. We cannot bear to admit that God loves even those whom we cannot dream of loving. Even our enemies!

The Stone Which the Builders Rejected

September 07, 2009 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
We learn today that Christ is the chief cornerstone, that is, he is the One around whom everything revolves. From Scripture we also learn that he is the only-begotten Son of the Father and that he and the Father are one.

What Good Deed Shall I Do?

August 31, 2009 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Jesus calls the rich, young man to a new vocation: to adopt a new way of thinking and a new way of life. This is nothing less than a call to conversion through a change of mind and a change of life.

The Sunday after the Feast of the Dormition

August 16, 2009 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
The father was surprised that the disciples were unable to heal his son, but undeterred he turned to Jesus. The Lord's response was blunt. He lumped his impotent disciples together with what he calls a 'faithless and perverse generation' and exclaims, 'How long am I to bear with you?' When the disciples ask why they were unable to heal the boy the Lord's response was direct, 'Because you have no faith.'

You Are the Light of the World

July 20, 2009 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
God has placed his light in all of creation. The universe shimmers with divine energy. Any doubt? Take a look at the Hubble telescope pictures and all you can do is wonder at the grand explosions of color and shape that inhabit deep space.

The Gergesene Demoniacs

July 13, 2009 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
The demoniacs in today's Gospel were driven by dark forces to choose an unholy place in which to dwell. Tombs were considered to be the dwellings of ghosts and demons. They were not wholesome places. There the demoniacs isolated themselves from other people attacking those who attempted to come near.

Sunday of Pentecost

June 08, 2009 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
When Jesus speaks about the Holy Spirit He uses poetic imagery like wind, breath, fire and water. There are no words to adequately express the great mystery of the Holy Spirit so imagery must do.

Sunday of the Blind Man

May 24, 2009 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Jesus challenged the common view that God is angry, vengeful and ready to punish those who offend Him. The Old Testament is filled with such imagery, but it was written in an environment foreign to what we experience now. It was a primitive world where each tribe had its own gods. The competition was fierce.

Sunday of the Samaritan Woman

May 17, 2009 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Jesus says remarkable things to the Samaritan Woman, speaking of a life that seems so far removed from what we experience in our daily lives. He says to her that if she drinks the water he offers she will never thirst again and that it will become a spring of water in her welling up to eternal life.

Sunday of the Paralytic

May 10, 2009 - by Deacon Jeffrey Smith
First I want to provide some background by setting the place: I believe the names and places mentioned can make it very real. It takes place near the Sheep’s Gate in Jerusalem, where they led in and washed the sacrificial animals, linking it to healing and to the temple, so this pool became known as the Sheep’s pool, the pool of Beth-zatha, from which comes the word, Beth–hesda (House of Grace).