Sermons from St. Mary Church

The Healing at Bethesda

May 11, 2020 - by Dn. Jeff Smith
Then Jesus breaks all the rules. He breaks everything. He doesn’t actually wait for the man’s consent. He doesn’t wait for the angel to stir the water (which was the tradition). He doesn’t pick up the man and carry him to the pool. He just tells him to 'rise, pick up your bed, and walk,' on the Sabbath no less, another rule broken.

Sacred Remembering

May 03, 2020 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
The present moment contains all moments, past, present, and future. That is why in the Divine Liturgy we pray as if the Second and Glorious Coming has already occurred. In fact, we give thanks that it has! Now that is a mystery indeed! We are remembering and experiencing the whole of Christ's work at the time.

Christ is in our Midst

April 14, 2020 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
I am happy to report to you that He who promised to be always with us is in our midst. There is nothing in the Gospel of Jesus Christ that promises that we would be free from the suffering that is inherent in this fallen world. The promise is that through it all we would never be alone. There is in the very core of us a place that cannot be touched by disease or death or suffering. This is the kingdom of heaven within.

Whoever has God in Mind

April 13, 2020 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
We know true Christianity when we see it dying for others, not concerned about money, or power, or anything earthly, not competing, not condemning, not judging, demanding nothing, tearing down all defenses, barriers, and walls and riding into the thick of the world’s anguish, in true devotion to the Selfless God, embracing the Cross with utter abandon.

The Awareness of Death

April 05, 2020 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
If we tie ourselves too much to anything in this life that is governed by time, we will eventually be greatly disappointed. Because everything bound to time will fail us in time. Change is inevitable. Change is a sign of both life and death simultaneously. There is nothing that exists that is not subject to this truth.

Let's Be Light

March 29, 2020 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
There is a healthy kind of fear that is full of potential for preserving life and comforting our neighbors. There is an unhealthy kind of fear that paralyses and mitigates love, turning opportunity into an exercise in futile narcissism, which is, in fact sinful. We have a choice. Contribute to the solution by love or be part of the problem through unhealthy fear. We must not allow unhealthy fear to make us indifferent to the suffering of the world.

The Words and Word of God that Heal

March 22, 2020 - by Sarah Byrne-Martelli
To take up one’s cross means to see our death in light of Christ’s death and resurrection. Venerating the cross today is not mere remembrance, but embodied participation in the body of Christ: walking up, prostrating down, and lifting our faces to the cross to give thanks and glory. I encourage you to be creative and do this practice this at home today. When you make the sign of the cross, whether alone or with others, you are instantly connected in body, mind, and spirit to all those who do the same.

The Word of God and the Paralytic

March 15, 2020 - by Jen Nahas
This is a story of pilgrimage, which resonates deeply with me: a journey, usually a long one, made to a sacred place as an act of religious devotion. A journey that breaks you down, allows you to examine your life, sit with your sins, find forgiveness and then re-assemble yourself as you decide how to come back home.

The words of the Word of God that Teach Resilience

March 08, 2020 - by Kyra Limberakis
The Christian life is, in itself, an act of resilience; it is persisting, in relationship with Christ, in the face of the world’s challenges and calls to do other things with our lives, choosing to serve His Church and His people, choosing to use our gifts not primarily for ourselves but for the life of the world.

The Words and Word of God that Create and Renew

March 01, 2020 - by Teva Regule
The goodness of Creation is the basis for our sacramental life. It allows us to encounter God through the created realm. God has created by His words and by His Word, Jesus Christ, he renews creation and all of us, giving us the possibility for not only life, but as Jesus says in the Gospel of John, 'Life in abundance' (John 10:10).

To Heal and Not to Hurt

January 19, 2020 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
The Gospel and the life of Christ are mirrored in the movie to devastating effect for the Lord, like this Austrian farmer, lived as he spoke and lived to help and to heal those around him with selfless integrity, for integrity can never be anything but selfless. Good women and men are known by this. The fruit of their lives is the welfare of others and the sacrifice of themselves. They live not from ego, but from their souls.

On Hospitality

December 15, 2019 - by Adam Murphy
Sermon preached by Adam Murphy on Sunday, December 15, 2019

Finding the Barriers Within Ourselves

December 01, 2019 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
The heart of a faithful follower of the Prince of Peace is to bring peace to this world. 'Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God.' (Mt. 5:9) The heart of the faithful Christian overflows with peace towards everyone and everything, to all of creation in fact.

Loved Just As We Are

November 24, 2019 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
I think this is the point of this Gospel reading. The lawyer knew himself in terms of the labels that defined him in the world: a faithful, law-abiding Jew, a lawyer, a rich man, etc. And yet what truly defines us is not our labels and accomplishments, but rather our hearts and souls, that which is deep down inside of us.

What Matters is a New Creation

November 17, 2019 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
The Gospel draws us to the overarching and inevitable reality of life: that it will end. At least, that is, life on this earth. We all know this and as we grow older we tend to think more and more about it. I do. Every new ache and pain takes me there. Maybe this is so for you as well. Of course, young people don’t give it much thought because the feeling of invulnerability is part of being young for most. It doesn’t last of course. The Rich Man in the parable learned this the hard way. No one is invulnerable.

No Longer I

November 10, 2019 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
That verse has always inspired me and mystified me. I hope that one day I can say that of myself as St. Paul did with confidence, having come to the place where it is true that I have become empty of self as he did and become one with Christ as we are all called to do.

A Master of Oneself

October 21, 2019 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
If God is everywhere and fills all things and the kingdom of heaven is within us and around us and among us at all times, then what is there to fear? I fail to see a place in Christianity for terror. And instead of blaming outside forces for our temptations and failures, we must instead look within to discover the true sources of our unease.

On the Sunday of the 7th Ecumenical Council

October 13, 2019 - by Bishop John
Sermon preached by His Grace Bishop John on Sunday, October 13, 2019.

The Implications of Nain

October 06, 2019 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
There is in scripture so much more than meets the eye. A literal interpretation is simply not enough! I believe it is so in the story of the widow of Nain and in every account of Christ pouring himself out for the life of the world, which he did each moment of his life. His was a life of total kenosis, self-emptying, that served to reveal the truth about God and the presence of the kingdom here and now.

Detach and Follow

September 22, 2019 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Detachment is what we see here. It is the beginning of the process of salvation. Letting go of the ties that bind us to this world, its expectations and demands, to its supposed rationality and false belief in the fragmentation of reality, to the continual noise of our busy lives, to the fear of death and the desire for power and security that cloud our perception of reality, and tied to our sinful thoughts and actions as a way to escape the inevitable, to the dead-end path of acquisition and attainment that Jesus so clearly rejected clears a space inside of where the new life of holiness can grow.