Sermon for the 23rd Sunday after Pentecost (2017)

Sermon for the 23rd Sunday after Pentecost (2017)

November 12, 2017

Today, in the Gospel, we heard of a case of demonic possession. Most of the world does not have to bear such a cross; even so, we all have to bear something difficult. We have all been born into and formed within this fallen world. Now, we all find ourselves here, in this church, waiting upon the mercy of God, seeking to draw closer to Him in our hearts, awaiting Holy Communion which knits us together by grace, transforming us all together more and more into the Body of Christ. It seems that most of the world has gone mad; what is called normal by it is called demonic possession by us.

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Sermon for the 21st Sunday After Pentecost (2017)

Sermon for the 21st Sunday After Pentecost (2017)

October 29, 2017

In today’s Gospel reading, we heard about the garden of the heart, that area in each person wherein the grace of the Holy Spirit acts and, depending on how the heart has been cultivated, helps each grow spiritually.

How are we to understand this Gospel passage? We should understand that the purpose of instructing with parables is not to convey images which are visible to the eyes of the body. Rather, those images which are understood by our senses are used to communicate spiritual and intellectual realities to the eyes of the mind.

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Sermon for the Feast of the Optina Elders (2017)

Sermon for the Feast of the Optina Elders (2017)

October 23, 2017 1 Comment

Real humility consists in accepting the crosses that God allows in our lives, whether these crosses be physical illness, mental illness, being misunderstood, falsely accused or whatever cross is laid upon us.  How easy it is to “invent” ascetical practices for ourselves and then feel so justified.  But how difficult it is to accept what God has allowed to humble us.

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Sermon for the Protection of the Theotokos (2017)

Sermon for the Protection of the Theotokos (2017)

October 14, 2017

Since our entry into the Orthodox Church—that is, since our unification to the very Body of Christ through Holy Baptism or Chrismation—Christ and His Holy Spirit have come to dwell within the depths of our hearts, together with the Father.

The saints teach us this incredible reality and grace of God; satan is dethroned from our hearts, and is cast out from our midst, able only now to tempt us from the outside; and Christ is seated once again as rightful King upon His throne, the human heart.

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Sermon for the 18th Sunday after Pentecost (2017)

Sermon for the 18th Sunday after Pentecost (2017)

October 07, 2017

In the Gospel reading appointed for this Sunday we hear a story of the greatest importance, both for ourselves and for all Christianity: we hear the story of the beginning of the conversion of the holy chief of the Apostles, St. Peter himself. This was not the first encounter of St. Peter with Christ; his brother, St. Andrew, had brought St. Peter to Jesus in Bethabara and told him that he was the Christ. Afterwards the brethren began to follow the Lord in His earthly wanderings, hearing His teachings and witnessing His miracles. They were with Him as His fame began to spread. The Lord had even lodged under St. Peter’s roof and healed his mother-in-law of her illness. Yet today at Gennesaret, Simon Peter as it were encounters the Lord for the first time: not as an abstract idea, not as a public figure only (however great a figure He doubtless appeared to be), but face to face.

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Sermon for the Nativity of the Mother of God

Sermon for the Nativity of the Mother of God

September 21, 2017

Today we honor the Mother of God, the Theotokos, who was born to barren Anna. Her honor comes not only from the height of her virtuous life but also on account of being chosen by God to give birth to God in the flesh. It was she who, as St. Gregory Palamas said, stands “between God and every race of men, she made God the Son of man, and men the sons of God.”2 In this manner, then, we can understand what Elizabeth meant when she says to her cousin “Blessed are you among women”...

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Sermon for the Beheading of the Forerunner (2017)

Sermon for the Beheading of the Forerunner (2017)

September 17, 2017

We have come to the end of the Church year. Today, we commemorate the last notable feast of the whole Church year, the Beheading of the honorable and glorious Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist John. The holy Baptist came preaching: Behold the Lamb of God Who taketh away the sin of the world; prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight the paths of our God. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and all the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places into plains. Whoever we are, wherever we are, at all times, places and circumstances, we always need to seek repentance...

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Sermon for the Dormition (2017)

Sermon for the Dormition (2017)

August 27, 2017 1 Comment

“God became Man, that man might become god!” All of us are familiar with this saying; in fact, maybe too familiar. Maybe, amongst us Orthodox, it has become like a party-banner which we wave before the non-Orthodox—if not in deed but only in mind.

This saying was fulfilled by Christ when He became incarnate, suffered, died, was buried, rose again and ascended to sit with our human nature upon His Father’s throne far above all the heavens of angels. Since that time, man has become god, but only in potential. But today, these words find their fulfillment in actuality; for the Mother of God has been translated also to that throne...

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