Homily for Sunday of Orthodoxy (F&W)

How does the Gospel transform lives? There is no enchantment that goes through parish rosters to change those listed on it into heirs of the Most High.  It’s not even enough for us to mutter the right theological incantation.  So what does it take?  Faith and works.  Enjoy the show!

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Notes for Homily

It’s not just the magic words, it’s the habits
Sunday of Orthodoxy (2018)
St. Mary’s UOC, Allentown PA

Restatement of Gospel.  But how does that reality transform someone’s life?

Magic List.  Formal membership.

Magic Words.  Sunday of Orthodoxy.

Habits designed for transformation.

Example of fitness – how do the realities of physiology transform our health

  • Not the “Magic” of having a doctor or belonging to a fitness club or owning equipment
  • Not the “Magic” of understanding how fitness works or picking the right diet
  • Habits, like going to the doctor, following her advice, actually changing habits of
    • Without a change in habits…

Example of marriage – how does the reality of love transform a marriage?

  • Magic” list at courthouse
  • Magic” words of the ceremony
  • Habits of self-sacrifice and mutual commitment to Christ, one another, and their marriage
    • Without a change in habits…

The Gospel is real and it is powerful. But in order for it to transform us into vibrant sons and daughters of the most high God

  • It isn’t enough to be on the “magic” membership roll
  • It isn’t enough to know the right “magic” theological words
  • [Understanding the basics of the faith and being a member of a parish are important but]
  • In order for our lives to be transformed we need to commit ourselves to the right habits. Without a change of habits …

The Liturgy we are celebrating today is a ritual – a set of habits – that are designed to make the reality of the Gospel central to our lives and to allow the grace of God to heal and perfect us. Let us continue with that ritual now.

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