Sermons from St. Mary Church
August 06, 2017 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
So, Trinitarian spirituality begins where we do not like to begin: shrouded in impenetrable mystery and luminous awe. Every Theophany has this effect on the human mind. Through them God breaks down all the barriers that the mind loves to create. Every Theophany has the purpose of helping us begin to obey the first commandment of Jesus in his first sermon in Mark’s Gospel: change your mind, repent.
July 16, 2017 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
The spiritual life is all about removing anything that hides the divine light within us. Another way Jesus put this is that we must 'die to ourselves.' This 'self' to which we must 'die' is not the true Self, the image of God, the 'light' that defines us as human beings. It is the little, protective false self, the ego, we have cobbled together out of our conditioning, traumas, disappointments, and attachments to this world.
July 09, 2017 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Those who truly love God are easy to find because they are full of love. Love is the one unmistakable sign of a disciple of Christ. Corinthians 13, “if I have not love, I am nothing.” Hatred may cross their minds, but, like a passing cloud, they have learned to let it come and let it go. And if we read the Gospels we discover something else surprising, it is often not the religious and the pious who get it, it is the ones who know they are nothing.
July 07, 2017 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Today’s Gospel gives us the opportunity to talk about what faith is, what faith means. I will be drawing from the book AGAINST RELIGION by the renowned philosopher/theologian Christos Yannaras who makes the argument that faith is not what we think it is. Fr. Alexander Schmemann used to tell us that Jesus is the end of religion. Yannaras is saying the same thing. I never really understood it before.
June 19, 2017 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
The search is on for deeper forms of connection both internal and external, for wisdom, for transcendence and for ways to embody the sacred in daily life; not painting a veneer of piety over a dysregulated life, but for true inner healing, for peace of mind, for an authentic and unshakable connection with God and others. Piety too often is play acting. The desire is for real transformation.
June 11, 2017 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
The eternal Word of God that is Jesus, the Christ, can only be known and therefore acknowledged when we enter into a direct, personal and intimate communion with him. And then we discover that what we came to know cannot be communicated in words, but only through being.
May 28, 2017 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
The Lord seems grounded and focused as he prays this long discourse-like prayer on the eve of his passion. When you might expect that fear and anxiety would distract him and overwhelm him, they don't. He seems to be utterly non-resistant to the fear he must have been feeling and to the fate that waited for him. That doesn’t mean that he didn’t feel it. The picture John paints is of prayer in the midst of almost unspeakable anguish.
May 14, 2017 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
The thing that is revealed by Jesus to Photeini is that the temple of God is not a building, a city, a mountain or a shrine or even a religion. The temple of God is the human person. Paul says it. 'Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit?' How does Jesus say it? 'Jesus breathed on them and said, 'Receive the Holy Spirit.''
May 07, 2017 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
We are transformed by the company we keep. This is obvious. If the company we keep is evil, then we tend to become evil, if it is good, then we tend to become good. What if the company we keep is God? What if we learn how to enter our hearts where his kingdom is, and we discover that the Holy Trinity is there, and we allow ourselves to spend more and more time with him in that sacred, internal place, what then?
April 09, 2017 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
It is important to remember as we begin to celebrate Holy Week that it is not about recreating the past. It is about taking the time at this particular moment to open our hearts and minds to Jesus as his Passion is remembered. Few of us take the time to open our hearts and minds to him throughout the year, so Holy Week is a good time to learn something about it by doing it.
April 02, 2017 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
James and John desired power. They wanted to sit at the right and left hands of the All-Powerful God, the Imperial Majesty on High, the Divine Potentate, the Inescapable and Invulnerable Judge. Jesus corrects them by asking a question. You may note in reading the Gospels that Jesus is much more into asking questions than he is in giving answers.
March 26, 2017 - by Teva Regule
In our communal celebration, we offer the symbols of our life to God—bread and wine—and they become for us a means of encountering the risen Christ. It is through the agency of the Holy Spirit that they become icons of Christ, making Christ present to us and allowing us to encounter, and in the spirit of St. John Climacus who we remember today, journey and ascend to the Triune God.
March 19, 2017 - by Melissa Nassiff
Even during the life of Christ, people did no work on the Sabbath; that was the day to worship God. But something changed between then and now. And that something is the event shown in the icon we’ll be talking about today, the icon of Pascha. We worship God on Sunday, the first day of the week, because that’s the day Christ rose from the dead.
March 13, 2017 - by Ioana Popa
There are pockets of mysterious Transfiguration happening every day, by us holding a greater vision of kindness, love and compassion for all humanity, as Christ assures us it will be in the Kingdom of God at the end of times. Our complicated times can be seen as very distressing, but what if we could see them as a greater opportunity for us to become saints and to hold that vision of respect and dignity for every human being?
March 06, 2017 - by Andrea Popa
Christ became man, became like us, so that we could enter into relationship with him, so that we, in turn could be children of God, be like God. So that we too could live in grace and in truth.
February 26, 2017 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Concentrate on a Lenten practice that has the power to change your life. Fasting is good, of course, but we become so focused on it that we forget the goal, which is not just to get through Lent not eating the forbidden foods, but to expand our capacity to love God, neighbor and self unconditionally and always.
February 12, 2017 - by Nicholas Livingston
Sermon preached by Seminarian Nicholas Livingston on Sunday, February 12, 2017 at St. Mary Church
February 05, 2017 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
The Publican stands on the threshold of mystery. He has arrived at the doorway of repentance. The things that have been carefully hidden inside him have begun to break free and he goes to the Temple to express his sorrow at a life lived poorly.
January 29, 2017 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
The Lord did not come to show us how to get to heaven. He revealed that heaven is within us. It always has been. There is no place to 'get to.' Why then did he come? For a variety of reasons.
January 15, 2017 - by Fr. Antony Hughes
Reading is one of the great joys of my life as most of you know. I do not usually read for pleasure, but for learning and for personal growth. I read and study to improve as a person and sharpen my skills as a priest. Learning and growing is a sign of life. If we are not growing and learning and changing, then we are not truly alive. As an example, the Orthodox conception of the afterlife is not static and unchanging. God will always be teaching and we will always be learning, is how some have put it.