Sermons from St. Mary Church

The Last Judgement

February 27, 2022 - by Dn. Jeff Smith
God’s love is everywhere and filling all things, but some people experience His love as a burning fire. So, when we see this gospel finish with everlasting punishment, we must remember that God’s love is present everywhere in our midst, even and especially in the horror, as we may feel His love as a kind of chastening, or healing pain. In this way, all of us are called to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. Evil cannot destroy the divine purpose to bring everyone to the saving presence of Jesus Christ.
 

So It Will Be With Us

February 20, 2022 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
I find in the Parable of the Prodigal Son two essential ingredients in the recipe for grace. I have mentioned them before. They are Radical Acceptance and Unconditional Positive Regard. Who in Holy Scripture (other than God himself) is a more obvious representative of these two things than the father in this parable?
 

On the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee

February 13, 2022 - by. Dn. James Wilcox
We cannot simultaneously orient ourselves in the likeness of God, while positioning ourselves against our neighbor, no matter what social or religious group your neighbor belongs to. To do so, is to remain like the Pharisee in today’s Parable. If our goal is to continually reinforce our need to be right, we inflate our perceived self-superiority to a level that squeezes out any actual need for God.
 

No Inside, No Outside

February 06, 2022 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
The sure sign of spiritual progress is the transformation of fear and prejudice into love. We cannot force it, but we can work towards it. Our willingness to choose compassion over apathy, for example, becomes like a mustard seed in the soul.
 

The God That Hovers

January 23, 2022 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
We do not draw people to Christ by loudly discrediting what they believe, by telling them how right we are and wrong they are, but by showing them a light that is so lovely that they want with all their hearts to know the source of it.
 

On the Healing of the Ten Lepers

January 17, 2022 - by. Dn. James Wilcox
The lepers are symbolic of those 10 lost tribes of Northern Israel. Luke’s Gospel is about the reconciliation and restoration to all of Israel, after all. Christ has restored us anew, in the same manner he did those 10 lepers in Luke 17.
 

The Natural Sacramentality of Water

January 09, 2022 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
The Lord loves the common place, water, matter, common people. He blesses the common place by assuming it into his Incarnate Flesh. In the Service of the Blessing of Water we recognize the Truth of our Lord's Omnipresence and his Cosmic redemption.
 

On the Baptism of the Holy Spirit

January 02, 2022 - by Dn. Jeffrey Smith
Repentance is more than just being sorry. Instead, it is a moral and spiritual revolution. The baptism of repentance which the Forerunner offers, indicates a radical change of heart and mind, leading to a complete turnaround of our lives.
 

The Power of Mystery

December 24, 2021 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Tonight we are faced with a mystery – that of the Incarnation of the Son of God. In the light of this we are mere children intellectually. We do not, we cannot understand this. And yet we believe that God has revealed it to us in this way.
 

A Burning Passion for Humanity

December 19, 2021 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
The primary reason for making our way through Matthew's Genealogy is to affirm that the Word and Son of God has a human face and human ancestry. This Gospel reading is a resounding proclamation of our belief in the Incarnation. The birth in the flesh of the Son of God is the Chief Cornerstone of our faith. 
 

The Great Messianic Banquet

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!
 

Healing of the Infirm Woman

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.
 

Eudoxia Redux

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.
 

Choices

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.
 

The End of Our Brokenness

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.
 

The Energetic Seeds

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.
 

Funeral Procession

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.
 

They are in the Book

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.
 

The Devastation of Love

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.
 

Lifting Up the Son of Man

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.