Sermons from St. Mary Church

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.

Descent is Ascent

September 08, 2019 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
There are a number of characteristics that mark Christian spirituality. One of them is this: the Christian path is a first a way of descent. Most other spiritual traditions are about making an ascent. To be sure, St. Paul writes about ascending 'from glory to glory.' But first there must be a descent, for example, from the mind to the heart (in classical Orthodox terms). There are other descents as well.

Growth in Faith

August 26, 2019 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
I don’t think it was because the disciples and the father had no faith at all. In fact, Christ says explicitly that they had very little faith, I think it was because all of them had faith that was insufficient for the task at hand. I do not know if you know this, but there are stages of faith. Faith grows, changes, and matures or it lies stagnant and ineffective.


August 19, 2019 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Jesus asks us to let go of our clinging to the things of this world (even the trappings of religion) and instead to embrace the fullness of the Gospel. God is here, he is not far away. He is within us, not somewhere else looking on from a distance.


August 04, 2019 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
What about humility, long-suffering, and compassion in the face of this call to aggressiveness? Remember that when Jesus stood before Pilate falsely accused he did not speak a word in his own defense. Think of the Passion-Bearers Sts. Boris and Gleb who took the Lord’s call to non-resistance all the way to martyrdom.

We are Light, the World is Light

July 14, 2019 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Today we hear more about light and Jesus puts it directly and deliberately. The truth is, we are as he is, the light of the world. The darkness in us is illusion. It does not define us, nor can it, for we are created by God as light and as St. John puts it, 'the darkness cannot overcome it.' While this is a theological and anthropological statement, modern science has, once again, born witness to this truth in part.

On the Sunday of the Blind Man

June 02, 2019 - by Dn. Jeff Smith
The most obvious is the need for power and control. The Pharisees want to preserve their own security, which is a basic human need. They want to preserve the consistency, the stability, the order and structure of their religion and their faith, all of which Jesus threatens by healing on the Sabbath. By calling Jesus a sinner for breaking the law, they are trying to preserve their sense of structure, which they feel crumbling before Jesus’ healing power. The Pharisees desire to matter.

Sermon: On the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus (March 31, 2019)

March 31, 2019 - by Dr. Ioana Popa
Sermon by Dr. Iona Popa at St. Mary Orthodox Church in Cambridge, MA on March 31, 2019