Sermons from St. Mary Church

Metanoia and Repentance

September 21, 2020 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
We can prepare the way for metanoia, but we cannot force it. One does not leap to Christ-consciousness in one fell swoop. Transformation is a process. Ultimately, metanoia is a gift over which we have no control. We can 'make the way straight' for his coming (Isaiah 40:3), but the time of his coming is not known to us.

The Beauty and Sanctity of All He Has Made

August 23, 2020 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
The selfish person does not seek God out of love for him, but for what he can do for them. If we love God only for what he can do for us, then it is not God we love, but ourselves. Theirs is a transactional Christianity which, I daresay, is no Christianity at all.

Make Room for All of It

August 16, 2020 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
The thing about faith is that it makes room for everything. If it rains, so be it. It is snows, thank God. If I’m well, nuska’ullah. If I’m not, God be praised. Faith doesn’t try to make the world into a Disney Land of our own design. The world is to be received as is. Life is to be received just as it unfolds and with gratitude.

Irradiating Grace

August 10, 2020 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Epiphanies serve this purpose: to drop-kick us into wonder. We need to be awakened from our long slumber, shaken awake by divine contradictions to our normal way of seeing.

The Life of My Life

July 20, 2020 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
We are light because God is light. It is He who placed this light at the core of our being. The Orthodox view of humanity is invariably positive.

The Great Fire (Astonishing to God)

July 05, 2020 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
What does mindfulness, vigilance and watchfulness have to do with the Centurion and his servant's healing? I believe the answer to that lies in the extraordinary nature of the Centurion's faith. He could see things no one else could see; namely what Isaiah the prophet saw, the Lord high and lifted up in the flesh before him. His faith was so extraordinary, in fact, that the Lord was astonished by it. That alone makes it worthy of our mindful attention.

Within You and Without You

June 29, 2020 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Our interpretation of what we see has everything to do with whether or not the light in us is light or dark. If light, then we will project light and we will see light. If the light in us is darkness, then we will project and see darkness.

I Very Much Suspect

June 22, 2020 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
I see today's calling of the four disciples as an invitation to enlightenment. We usually see it as a call to evangelize or something like that. I think it was first of all an invitation to wake up, to grow, to be transformed. Jesus became their rabbi, their teacher, their spiritual father. It was a three-year course taught by the Logos of God. It would be three years of ups and downs and mistakes and misunderstandings. Christ oversaw all this, the disciples long journey into repentance.

Revelations of Divine Love

June 15, 2020 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
If we knew God, really knew him, we would love nothing more than him and love everything less than him. And the love that overflows from him would then overflow from us to everything great and small. If we come to know him, we become like him. We do not cease to love all things, we become love. We no longer look at God from a distance, in fear, but up close and in wonder.

That They May Be One

May 31, 2020 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
We cannot be neutral or silent when our black brothers and sisters are being harmed. We must be light in this darkness. We must season the world with the salt of peace, and grace and truth and love. And we must not sit on the fence when the times call us to have courage and speak. And we must always gather on the side of the despised and persecuted, filling the gaping wound with the oil and wine of love,

Eyes Wide Open

May 28, 2020 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
This is a good example of why we should practice being present in the moment in which we live, rather than the past or the future, because every moment, great and small, provides an opportunity for the Glory of God to be revealed. Why is this? Because everything happens in God. 'In Him we live and move and have our being.' Not sometimes. All the time.

The Temple of the Heart

May 17, 2020 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Now, Jesus does say that the kingdom of heaven is within you and among you, but he does not mean that to us exclusively. In God there are no favorites.

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.

Power to Do What?

April 26, 2020 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
The power we have been given by Christ is the power to be like Him. We are not called to triumphalism, or anger, or defiance, or deception, or violence, earthly power, or political authority. We are called to love as He loves, to forgive as He forgives, to empty ourselves even to death as He did. Any other message is, as St. Paul puts it, 'another Gospel,' not Christ’s.

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.