Sermons from St. Mary Church
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.
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.
September 09, 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.
August 25, 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 18, 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 07, 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.
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.
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.
March 31, 2019 - by Dr. Ioana Popa
Sermon by Dr. Iona Popa at St. Mary Orthodox Church in Cambridge, MA on March 31, 2019
March 24, 2019 - by Teva Regule
Worshipping God is not something we do on our own, but worshipping God includes our neighbor. God and neighbor are connected. Understanding the meaning of this parable from a more moral perspective gives us insight into how we can put our own faith into action.
March 18, 2019 - by Natasha Smith
We have many opportunities for service in our lives that are gifts from The Holy Spirit for spiritual Growth. It doesn’t require getting on a plane. We can serve others right around the corner in Central Square. We can mentor a young person in our community or work with parishioner in need. We can clean the church. It does require humility and listening to what our Lord wants for us. This lent may I humbly suggest that we become like the Publican and take time for silence and, in humility, notice what is right in front of us, on vacation or not.
March 10, 2019 - by Christina Palis
Through this parable, the Church reminds us of what we have abandoned and lost and beckons us to find the courage to rise up from our exile and separation and to remember our true identity, that we are made in the image and likeness of God. In repentance, humility, and vulnerability, we can return home where God is ready and waiting to receive us with loving forgiveness and a joyful embrace.
March 03, 2019 - by Melissa Nassiff
Both the shepherd and the woman, after finding what they had lost, shared their joy with their friends and neighbors. As Jesus said in today’s gospel about the last judgment, we can share our joy by sharing what we have - feeding the hungry and thirsty, inviting in the stranger, giving clothes to the naked, and visiting the sick and prisoners.
February 24, 2019 - by Dn. Jeff Smith
Like the prodigal son, we can begin with compassion on ourselves. The lost son finds himself dying with the pigs, but he doesn’t die. Instead, he confronts his wretchedness and remembers his true home. He realizes that he has to get up and move.
February 10, 2019 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
How can we know we are on the right track? Humility and love. It is simple, 'They will know we are Christians by our love.' But it must be humility and love in its most radical form extending even to our enemies, to those who abuse us and wish us harm, which is no small task.
January 27, 2019 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
In order to grow, we have to take the risk of changing the way we think and the way we live. And change, as we all know is often painful and unwelcome, but growth demands it. Change is the heart of what the word repentance means.
January 13, 2019 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Looking inwardly, the Gospel has rich meaning. For the lands of Zebulun and Naphtali are within all of us. There are parts of us that have been scattered, humbled, wounded, and abandoned, who have been cast out and forgotten. The Lord would bring all of them, too, into the light of His loving embrace. This is the point of repentance, of course.
December 30, 2018 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
King Herod is not only an historic figure he is also a metaphor for a mind out of control, in other words, an impure mind. From impure minds come impure thoughts and from impure thoughts come suffering. We call it in Christian lingo sin. It boils down to this. Sin is anything that causes suffering in others or in ourselves. In the case of Herod his impure, out-of-control mind led to the massacre of innocent children.
December 25, 2018 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Tonight in the midst of holiday busy-ness, when the gifts are wrapped and the television is off, and the house is quiet , take some time to contemplate the mystery of the birth of the Son of God. Take a few deep breaths, let your mind take a rest from all its labors, and look deep into your heart. There you will find him knocking on the door. Tonight, why not open the door?
December 23, 2018 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
As the Lord Jesus, the Incarnate Christ, opened his heart to us, let us also open our hearts and in the same way love without limits or boundaries. For there are no walls that we do not ourselves create, no closed doors or windows that we do not ourselves fabricate.