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Through the Cross, Joy

Let us commend ourselves… The first few days after the miscarriage were foggy and confusing. We were devastated. Afraid. Empty. We weren’t so much angry with God as numb. We shut down and withdrew. Why did we have to let go of the child we never met? Our emotional turmoil mirrored the winter weather: swirling…

Words of life

Sermon, Fourth Saturday of Lent 2016 Gospel readings for April 9, 2016   Imagine, if you will, life as a deaf person. More specifically, imagine all of the things that you can do in the course of a day that would be nearly impossible, or at least significantly more difficult, if you were deaf. How…

Everyone loves a winner

Everyone loves a winner. We celebrate athletes that run and jump, throw and catch better and faster than anyone else. We marvel at entrepreneurs who start companies that earn billions of dollars. We idolize the actors and musicians who are at the top of their craft. Everyone loves a winner. We live in a culture…

A new heart of mercy and love

Readings for the day: 1 Cor. 8:8–9:2; Matt. 25:31–46.     Today is both Meatfare Sunday and the day on which we remember the Last Judgment. The readings we have just heard speak to both of these directly and in complementary ways.   With Meatfare Sunday our preparation for Great Lent begins to take on…

Return to the Father

Written by Fr. Thomas Hopko, The Lenten Spring is a book of spiritual readings for the season of Great Lent. People feel unhappy and they don’t know why. They feel that something is wrong, but they can’t put their finger on what. They feel uneasy in the world, confused and frustrated, alienated and estranged, and they…

Changed by His grace

It was Easter morning during my first year at St. Vladimir’s Seminary, and I stood at the altar of St. Mark’s Cathedral in Teaneck, New Jersey, wearing subdeacon vestments, listening to our bishop read the gospel of St. Mark. In the traditional Syriac Orthodox melody, he chanted: And entering the tomb, they saw a young…

The turning point of time

A homily delivered in Three Hierarchs Chapel at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary on December 25, 2015.   Today, at this feast, we stand at the turning point of time.   Not simply another turning point, as the world spins on its axis, or rotates around the sun, but the turning point of time itself;…

The moment we were first called

A homily for the Apostle Andrew, the Holy and All-Praised First Called (commemorated on November 30). Walking through this dark, cold morning, did you happen to ask yourself, “What in the world am I doing?” What were we looking for when we got out of bed this morning? What were we looking for when we…

Let it be

“Today the Theotokos, the temple that is to hold God, is led into the Temple and Zacharias receives her… Let us cry aloud with Gabriel: Rejoice, you who are full of grace, the Lord is with you, he who has great mercy.” So we sang at Vespers last night. The one who is to become…

Christ is our peace

A homily delivered in Three Hierarchs Chapel at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary on Sunday, November 15, 2015. Readings for the day can be found here. We have all seen and heard about this barbaric, horrific, and frightening terrorist action that took place in Paris on Friday. Three teams of men, disciplined in dealing death,…