Homily Notes: Snakes, Poles, the Cross, and our Hero’s Journey

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A.k.a. A homily on the Old Testament?! Matthew 22:1-14 (The Wedding Feast) & John 3:13-18 Exodus is one of the most powerful stories of human history: from bondage to freedom The place of this story created the capacity in the human heart for the coming of Christ Our own “hero's journey” can follow the same contours, if we have the courage: Bondage to sin and all the gods of this world The decision to leave our slavery of self-indulgence and pleasing others in the quest for perfection through Jesus Christ; the one who, like Moses, offers us a way out and a meaningful goal The trials and temptations that come along the way, with many giving up and heading back or settling for “good enough” The joy of finishing … [Continue reading]

Bible Study I – The Purpose of the Bible

21 September 2016 St. Mary (Покрова) Cathedral Opening prayer (from the Prayer before the Gospel during the Diving Liturgy) Make the pure light of Your divine knowledge shine in our hearts, Loving Master, and open the eyes of our minds that we may understand the message of Your Gospel. Instill also in us reverence for Your blessed commandments, so that overcoming all worldly desires, we may pursue a spiritual life, both thinking and doing all things pleasing to You. For You, Christ our God, are the Light of our souls and bodies, and to You we give the glory, together with Your Father, without beginning, and Your All Holy, Good, and Life- Creating Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.  (2 Corinthians 6:6; Ephesians 1:18; 2 … [Continue reading]

For Labor Day Sunday: hard work as virtuous action

On this Labor Day weekend, let us rededicate ourselves to Christ and His work. We know what happens outside these doors when people refuse to work. What it does to their own souls, what it does to our economy, and what it does to our culture. And … [Continue reading]

Homily Notes: Patience and the Redemption of the World

Reading the Gospel at St. Mary's

Reflection on the Cross For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, And bring to nothing the … [Continue reading]

Homily on Romans 15:1-2: On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand!

Photo by Jade Grassby /  @JadeDailyEcho / http://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/author/profile/71999.Jade_Grassby/

We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification. (Romans 15:1-2) This is one of the most wonderful pieces of advice in the Bible, … [Continue reading]

Homily: A Reflection on Romans 12:10-14

Ida Cason Callaway Memorial Chapel (at Callaway Gardens, Georgia)

[A homily on the power of "doing unto others..."; "if you can't say something nice..." and "bless your heart."] Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, … [Continue reading]

Notes for a Basic Christian Homily

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Romans 6:18-23 (Here's St. John Chrysostom's homily on this reading) Saint Paul ends today’s epistle ends with a restatement of the Gospel, i.e. the Good News; the thing that is supposedly central to our identity and calling as … [Continue reading]

Homily Notes: Why worship is the right response to chaos

Vladyka Daniel celebrates the Divine Liturgy at St. Sophia Seminary

Romans 5:1-10 Matthew 6:22-33 It has been a difficult week. It is meet and right for us to gather together and worship in difficult times; Because worship reminds us who we are – not victims or partisans in a troubled world, but sons … [Continue reading]

Homily Notes: Like Politics, Salvation is Local

Matthew 10:32-33, 37-38, 19:27-30 Like Politics, Salvation is Loval The Problem: How do we reconcile the Gospel that we have just heard – a very demanding call that we give up everything and take up our cross – with something Jesus says just … [Continue reading]

A Marriage Homily (for Damon and Stevie)

Damon and Stevie's first steps as a married couple!

This is the Crowning Service: it is a celebration of love; the realizing of God’s will that “they be one as we are one”.  It is an icon of how life is meant to go: an example of the tangible way love – that is to say God – makes Himself real in this … [Continue reading]