St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Sermons from St. Mary Church


On the Commemoration of the Beheading of John the Baptist

August 29, 2010 -
St. John knew who he was. Self-knowledge, say some of the Holy Fathers, is the greatest of all the spiritual gifts. He was the Forerunner, the last prophet of the coming Messiah, that is, of the Old Testament. Most of all he knew who he was not. He was not the Messiah. Read more...

Be of Good Cheer, It is I, Have No Fear

July 25, 2010 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Jesus came to his disciples walking on the water of the Sea of Galilee at the fourth watch of the night. They had left him alone in the wilderness at his request and started across the sea in a boat. Read more...

The Gadarenes are Us

June 27, 2010 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
But are we so different? I think not, for we all have to some degree forgotten or lost a conscious connection with the deepest truth about ourselves: the inherent dignity of being made in God’s image. Read more...

Sunday of the Paralytic

April 25, 2010 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Many people over the long span of history have been afraid of God. It was not at all clear that God loved his creation and cared for humanity for the large majority of people throughout history. Read more...

Service of Holy Unction

March 31, 2010 - by David Vermette
In our Gospel reading for the bridegroom matins last night, I noticed that the Evangelist St. John the Theologian says that although Jesus had done so many signs before the people of that generation, they did not believe in him. In this connection the Evangelist quotes the Prophet Isaiah, “He has blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; lest they should see with their eyes, lest they should understand with their hearts, and turn, and so that I should heal them.” St. John Chrysostom comments that this passage should not be taken to mean that God does not will all to be healed, or that he has reserved some for salvation and others for destruction arbitrarily, as some quite mistakenly have taught. Read more...

Sunday of St. Mary of Egypt

March 21, 2010 - Melissa Nassiff
Today is the fifth Sunday in Lent, the day we commemorate St. Mary Of Egypt. Since we focus on her every year toward the end of Lent, I’m sure most of you are familiar with her story, but to summarize it briefly, Mary’s early life was decidedly un-saintly. Read more...

Sunday of the Holy Cross

March 07, 2010 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
This is the Sunday of the Adoration of the Holy and Life-Giving Cross, the mid-point of the spiritual journey we call Great Lent and a turning point in our Lenten effort. From this point on we begin to look intently to the Crucifixion of our Lord and embrace its power in our own lives as we continue to make our way to the Empty Tomb. Before this we were getting accustomed to the disciplines of Lent, settling in to a new rhythm of life. Read more...

Sunday of Zaccheus

January 31, 2010 -

Sermon preached on Sunday, January 31, 2010

Luke 19:1-10 (15th Sunday of Luke)

In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, one God.  Amen.

The Lord does not see things as we do. We like to categorize people, but Jesus did not. That is why he could go to Zaccheus’ house and not blink an eye while folks in the crowd criticized and complained. That is why he consorted with prostitutes and tax collectors and Samaritans and women and remained perfectly at ease. For Jesus there were not bad people and good people, there were simply people. The way of thinking that breaks everything into categories - blacks and whites, goods and bads, righteous and sinners, men and women, Jews and Gentiles - is called dualistic thinking.


The Table is Set

December 13, 2009 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
The invitations have been sent. The table is set. The dinner is prepared. All that remains is for the guests to arrive. But this is a party for which guests are required to prepare. This is no ordinary event. It is the heavenly and eternal banquet! All that is necessary for our salvation has been accomplished, except one: we must accept or refuse the invitation. The last, necessary element is our decision. Read more...

Seeing Things As They Really Are

November 22, 2009 -
What does it mean to be "rich towards God"? All human beings are intrinsically "rich towards God" because we are made in His divine image and likeness. The problem is that we have forgotten who we are. Abraham Heschel once wrote, "Man is a messenger who has forgotten the message." Read more...

The Far Greater Miracle

November 08, 2009 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Which miracle do you suppose is the greatest? The greatest work, I propose, happens within. Why else would St. John Climacus say it is a far greater miracle to repent than to raise the dead? Everyone healed by Christ will once again get sick and die. Everyone raised from the dead by Christ will die again. But the soul that is enslaved by the anguish of sin can suffer far longer than the body. Read more...

The Rich Man and Lazarus

November 01, 2009 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Orthodox Christianity is forever and always about hope in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. The Holy Trinity did not give up on creation in the face of the fall. The Lord Jesus did not give up in the face of the Cross. Nothing can defy the compassion of the Almighty, nothing (in the end) can thwart his purposes, certainly not our paltry little, earth-bound perspectives, our pious, little certainties...and certainly not death. Read more...

Rejoice that Your Names are Written in Heaven

October 18, 2009 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
We seem to think that the disciples understood what the Lord taught them without a problem. We think we can too. The truth is, although the words are simple, the meaning is far deeper than the words and demand a complete reorientation before they can be understood. Take today's Gospel as a good example. Read more...

On the calling of the first apostles in Luke 5:1-11

September 27, 2009 - by Dn. Jeffrey Smith
To be called. To be called to serve, perhaps as a priest. I have often ruminated. How are we called? How do we serve? Am I called to be a priest as many have asked? Am I holding a part of myself back by not responding to this call? Read more...

For God So Loved the World

September 13, 2009 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
It is so simple a message that it is difficult to grasp. In our weakness of mind it is hard to understand how God can love everyone; his enemies, unrepentant sinners and the righteous all the same. We cannot bear to admit that God loves even those whom we cannot dream of loving. Even our enemies! Read more...

The Stone Which the Builders Rejected

September 06, 2009 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
We learn today that Christ is the chief cornerstone, that is, he is the One around whom everything revolves. From Scripture we also learn that he is the only-begotten Son of the Father and that he and the Father are one. Read more...

What Good Deed Shall I Do?

August 30, 2009 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Jesus calls the rich, young man to a new vocation: to adopt a new way of thinking and a new way of life. This is nothing less than a call to conversion through a change of mind and a change of life. Read more...

The Sunday after the Feast of the Dormition

August 16, 2009 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
The father was surprised that the disciples were unable to heal his son, but undeterred he turned to Jesus. The Lord's response was blunt. He lumped his impotent disciples together with what he calls a 'faithless and perverse generation' and exclaims, 'How long am I to bear with you?' When the disciples ask why they were unable to heal the boy the Lord's response was direct, 'Because you have no faith.' Read more...

You Are the Light of the World

July 19, 2009 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
God has placed his light in all of creation. The universe shimmers with divine energy. Any doubt? Take a look at the Hubble telescope pictures and all you can do is wonder at the grand explosions of color and shape that inhabit deep space. Read more...

The Gergesene Demoniacs

July 12, 2009 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
The demoniacs in today's Gospel were driven by dark forces to choose an unholy place in which to dwell. Tombs were considered to be the dwellings of ghosts and demons. They were not wholesome places. There the demoniacs isolated themselves from other people attacking those who attempted to come near. Read more...