Category Archives: Sunday Homilies

Let Go! – Homily for 12th Sunday of Matthew

Matthew 19: 16-26

Let Go!

A person accidentally slipped and fell of a cliff. On the way down he grabbed hold of the branch of a tree and remained suspended there. He started praying as he had never prayed before: “Lord, save me! Lord, Lord!” Suddenly the Lord answered, “Yes?” The man pleaded, “Save me, Lord!”
“Have you attended Church?” asked the Lord.
“Yes, I did whenever I could, but I promise never to miss if You will save me.”
“Have you kept the ten commandments?”
“Yes, as much as I could. I promise to obey them to the letter if You will save me.”
“Have you said your prayers every day?”
“Yes, Lord, but just get me off the side of this cliff and I’ll be the best praying man in the world.”
“Have you given generously to the work of my Church?”
“Yes, I think I have, but I’ll give even more generously in the future. Just get me off the side of this cliff.”
“Do you trust Me?”
“Yes, Lord, of course I trust You — completely.”
“Then let go the branch.”

Let go the man-made crutches you hold onto. Replace them with a tight grip on God. Let go the sin that has possessed you. It seems that we become so accustomed to our sins that we feel comfortable with them and refuse to let go. Continue reading

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How to Share in the Glory of Christ’s Resurrection: Homily for the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos

At the very heart of our faith as Orthodox Christians is the good news that Jesus Christ is risen from the dead. He truly died and was buried as a human being, but Hades and the grave could not contain Him as God. Because He is risen, those who die enter into His presence as they await the resurrection of the body and the Last Judgment. Those who have loved and served Him experience paradise already as a foretaste of heaven, for they are with the Lord to Whom they united themselves during their lifetimes. Our Saviour rose as a whole person with a glorified body and then ascended into heaven forty days later. That is how He has made it possible for us all to share in the eternal joy of the heavenly kingdom. Continue reading

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Sunday Homily for 10th Sunday of Matthew

Matthew 17: 14-23

In this gospel, Jesus teaches us that the only way we can overcome the evil in this world, is through prayer and fasting.

The incident in today’s Gospel took place immediately after the Transfiguration. At the Transfiguration three of our Lord’s disciples, Peter, James and John saw our Lord Jesus Christ as He truly is, shining with the glory of God that was His before all ages. They knew then that He was King and God, as we acknowledge at our baptism. And Jesus spoke to them of the “restoration of all things”. Continue reading

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Walking on the Water

9th Sunday of Matthew, Matthew 14: 22-34

Our family visited the Grand Canyon a few years ago. It is magnificent and awe-inspiring, but when hiking a trail or standing on an overlook, I recall that you have to pay careful attention because you are often just a few feet away from a very steep drop off. Unfortunately, people have fallen to their deaths in the canyon simply because they didn’t pay attention to what they were doing.

St. Peter made a similar error. As he walked on the water with Jesus Christ, Peter let himself be distracted by the wind and the waves of a stormy sea. Instead of focusing his attention and trust in the Lord Who miraculously enabled him to walk on the water in the first place, Peter let doubt and fear fill his mind. So he began to sink; but when he called out in terror for help, the Lord reached out to Peter and saved him from drowning. Continue reading

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Sunday of the Holy Fathers – Matthew 5: 14-19

Not One Dot or Iota will be Changed

The Reading is from Matthew 5:14-19

The Lord said to his disciples, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid. Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfil them. For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” Continue reading

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Sunday Homily for 6th Sunday of Matthew – Healing of the Paralyzed Man

6th Sunday of Matthew, Matthew 9: 1-8

I affirm in your presence this day that we’re witnesses of a beautiful miracle this morning: through the living word of the Gospel, we see a paralyzed man who cannot walk on his own, healed of his paralysis by God, He who had made his legs in the first place and given this man his first heart-beat in his mother’s womb. For, as the Psalmist David says, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made…You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb” (Ps. 138). Christ God, as the Logos (Word) of God, through whom all things were made, knew this man and loved this man with a fatherly love even before he was presented to him. Continue reading

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Jesus Do Not Disturb Me!

5th Sunday of Matthew, Matthew 8: 28-34—9:1

When you stay in a hotel or motel, there is a little sign that you can hang on the outside of your door that says, “Do Not Disturb!” How many of us have taken one of these signs and used them at home? Do Not Disturb! This is basically what the two demoniacs say to Jesus in today’s Gospel reading from the Fifth Sunday of Matthew (8:28 – 9:1). As they came out from the cemetery, ’29 Suddenly they shouted, “What have You to do with us, Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?”(v.29).’ When they say “before the time”, they are referring to the time of the Parousia, the Second Coming of Christ when He will destroy Satan and all his demons and establish His heavenly kingdom forever (see the Creed). It reminds me when I was a teenager and my parents would wake me up to go to school or to church on Sunday. No matter when it was, it was always “before the time”; it was always too early. I wish I had a “Do Not Disturb!” sign. In the Gospel, the demoniacs were not the only ones saying do not disturb us. After the swine herders saw Jesus expel the demons, they went into the town – ’34Then the whole town came out to meet Jesus; and when they saw Him, they begged Him to leave their neighborhood.’ Continue reading

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