"Love, and Do What You Want"

September 09, 2018

In today’s Gospel passage, we hear the greatest definition of the Christian life ever given by anyone. One of Jewish lawyers asked our Lord: “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” And Jesus replied: “‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” St. Augustine later summarized this answer even more succinctly: “Love, and do what you want.”

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Sermon for the Feast of the Transfiguration (2018)

Sermon for the Feast of the Transfiguration (2018)

August 19, 2018

What is distinct about the event of the Transfiguration of Christ is twofold and will be the subject of our homily today: first, it is a revelation about who Christ is, and, secondly, about how we are spiritually transformed.

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Sermon for the Feast of St. Seraphim, Wonderworker of Sarov (2018)

Sermon for the Feast of St. Seraphim, Wonderworker of Sarov (2018)

August 01, 2018

For all Orthodox Christians, and in a special way for us monastics, the goal of our life here on this earth is of course salvation. That is also the goal of all Protestants, Catholics and other serious traditional Christians. But our Orthodox understanding of what salvation means is radically different from other Christians.

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Sermon for the 7th Sunday after Pentecost (2018)

Sermon for the 7th Sunday after Pentecost (2018)

July 14, 2018

In the Epistle appointed for this Sunday, we hear St. Paul instructing us in a very important truth concerning the Holy Scriptures: “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” Such an understanding of the Scriptures is absolutely foundational to the Christian life: the Divine Scriptures are not merely stories about events that occurred halfway around the world many thousands of years ago, nor are they a collection of abstract and intellectual propositions concerning abstruse systems of theology. No, quite the contrary.

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Sermon for the Feast of the Holy Apostles Peter & Paul (2018)

Sermon for the Feast of the Holy Apostles Peter & Paul (2018)

July 12, 2018 1 Comment

The Apostle Paul, who is unsurpassed in his reasons for pride, now admits, “in me, no good doth lie.”

The Apostle Peter, faithful in his family’s trade and employment, abandoned all to receive a hundredfold and heaven’s enjoyment.

Born a Jew and then set apart, is circumcised in flesh, and now also in heart.

Toiling all night, Peter’s nets are all bare, ‘til he obeys Christ’s bidding; now, no room to spare.

A Hebrew of Hebrews with a pedigree to boast, now born from above to labor the most.

A man of the earth with his hands in the waters, now netting for Heaven new sons and daughters.

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Sermon for the 5th Sunday after Pentecost (2018)

Sermon for the 5th Sunday after Pentecost (2018)

July 01, 2018

The Lord Jesus Christ came swiftly from heaven, unable to contain His ardent love which desires to pour forth all of His goodness upon us. The activity and violence of the demons is strong; but the activity of the very Self-Existing Wisdom, Word and Power of God, leaves no room for the restless vanity of the devil.

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Sermon for the 4th Sunday After Pentecost (2018)

Sermon for the 4th Sunday After Pentecost (2018)

June 24, 2018

Death and the decomposition that comes with it because of the loss of life is the byproduct of sin for all of us who are of the seed of Adam. And because of death, sin is not eternal but has an end. Consequently, the sufferings we undergo for living in this fallen world, also come to an end in death. This is especially true for those who are reborn in this present life through the gift of God’s grace, for whom death is transformed into an open door leading to eternal life with God.

In the Apostle Paul’s Epistle to the Romans, a portion of which we have just heard, he exhorts his readers to flee from sin and to desire that which brings eternal life.

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The Faith of Our Fathers: A Sermon for the Sunday of All Saints of Russia

The Faith of Our Fathers: A Sermon for the Sunday of All Saints of Russia

June 11, 2018

One week ago we commemorated the Sunday of All Saints, which is always the first Sunday after Pentecost. On the Feast of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit descended from Heaven in the form of tongues of fire in order to unite Himself with the holy disciples and apostles of Christ. When the Holy Spirit descends unites Himself with man, man is utterly transfigured and becomes godlike. And last Sunday we saw the results of this descent and transfiguration: we saw the entire host of heaven gathered together, the assembly of All Saints. And likewise today, on the second Sunday after Pentecost, it is the custom of the Holy Orthodox Church to commemorate all the local saints of the particular nation in which the feast is being celebrated. But today, we celebrate the memory of All Saints of Russia.

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