Sermons

The God Who Desires Us – Deacon Ken Taliaferro

October 22, 2017 – Deacon Ken grew up in a very legalistic church setting believing that God was a God Who just waited for you to make a mistake so that He could condemn you. This homily is Deacon Ken’s testimony of how God revealed Himself to him as a God who loves him and desires him. We have been brought into union with God so that we might become like Him and enjoy Him for eternity.

Wait on the Lord…Renew Your Strength – Father Mark McNary

October 15, 2017 – The Prophet Isaiah teaches us in Isaiah 40 saying, “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.” But what does it mean to wait upon the Lord? In this reflection we examine the answer to this question. And, we are reminded that we all have an unending invitation by our Lord Jesus Christ Who says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

Humility & Community – Subdeacon Peter Cox

October 8, 2017 – In Ephesians chapter 4, St. Paul teaches us that all within the Body of Christ should walk in long-suffering love toward one another and strive to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. In our Gospel reading from St. Luke chapter 14, our Lord Jesus Christ comes against the Pharisees for their preferential treatment of some over others. In this homily, we come to understand that there cannot be true community without authentic humility. It is when we deny ourselves in order to live as a blessing to others that the love of God is shared and experienced among us. There, and there alone, is where we experience the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

When Death Encounters Life – Fr. Mark McNary

October 1, 2017 – In the 7th Chapter of the Gospel of St. Luke we have the account of Jesus raising from the dead the only son of the widow in the city of Nain. Jesus and a large group of His followers are approaching the gate to enter the city. At the same time, a large group in the widow’s son’s funeral procession is approaching the gate to leave the city for the burial. Death encounters our Lord Jesus Christ, the Giver of Life, at the gate of Nain. This is a reflection on this wondrous work of God in Christ on behalf of the widow and her only son. We reflect on the compassion of God in Christ and are challenged to become like Him.

The Truth, Our Gaze, and the End of Financial Anxiety – Fr. Mark McNary

September 24, 2017 – Financial worries and anxieties are nothing new to humanity, nor are they anything new to the God who created us all. He knows us and understands us fully. It is when we try to control this area of our life that we find the loss of the peace of God in our lives and a growing anxiety in the human experience. Today through the words of Christ from the Gospel of St. Matthew along with our cooperation with God through an age-old spiritual discipline, we seek to understand how by God’s grace we can be freed from the bondage of financial worries.

The Ten Lepers & the Illness of the Soul – Fr. Mark McNary

September 17, 2017 – Today’s Gospel reading gives us the testimony of Christ’s healing of the ten lepers. For our reflection today, we ask ourselves two questions. Why did Christ send them to the priests rather than just healing them when they came to Him? We discover that He did so in obedience to the Law of God. And, what is our leprosy? Leprosy is a disease that disfigures the image of the human person. What is it in our soul that disfigures the image and likeness of God from shining forth in and from our lives?

Love: The Foundation of Any Home – Subdeacon Peter Cox

September 10, 2017 – Reflecting today on the Parable of the Good Samaritan, we see the love of neighbor and even the love of enemy manifest through the Samaritan. The question comes to us, “What is it that makes home a home for us?” We can have many homes. Where we live or where we grew up can be our home. Our Church can be our home. Today we consider the truth that home is where we both receive love and give love by the grace God has given us.

The Experience of Mercy That Transforms Our Lives – Father Mark McNary

September 3, 2017 – Today’s homily is a continuation of our focus on the great and limitless mercy of God. Our reflection is set on the truth that those who truly experience the Divine mercy of God go away with their lives forever changed. We look at examples in Scripture and in the Church today of those who received mercy from Christ and followed Him the rest of their days. Who is it that receives such mercy? All who come to Him with a broken and contrite heart knowing their absolute need for His mercy. To those He lavishes mercy upon them and their lives are never the same.

Prayer, the Publican, & The Mercy of God – Father Mark McNary

August 27, 2017 – Today we hear Christ’s parable of the Pharisee and the Publican from the Gospel of St. Luke chapter 18. We are reminded today that this parable presents a foundational aspect of the Christian life lived in and before our Living God. As we look at the Publican’s posture before God we find, both in his disposition and the prayer that comes from a broken spirit, the means by which we experience the Divine mercy of God unto the healing of our souls. The authentic cry for mercy that comes from a humble and contrite heart is the very prayer that our Lord loves to receive. For our God is a God of inexhaustible mercy who delights in pouring it out on all those who come to Him acknowledging their very real need.

Spiritual Gifts: The Continuing Ministry of Christ Through His Church – Father Mark McNary

August 20, 2017 – In 1 Corinthians 12 the Apostle Paul tells the Church, “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant.” The Apostle will go on to give examples of these spiritual gifts describing them as the manifestation of the Holy Spirit through each Christian given for the profit of all. This is why St. Paul does not want us to be ignorant regarding this aspect of the life of God expressed through the Body of Christ. This homily reflects on these important truths as taught by the Apostle Paul as well as the Early Church Father, St. Basil the Great.

Transfiguration Sunday: The Transfiguration of Us All – Father Mark McNary

August 6, 2017 – Today is the Feast of the Transfiguration of our Lord Jesus Christ. As we contemplate all that occurred at the Transfiguration, we celebrate in this incredible moment of revelation as to the true identity of Christ. But on this day we also celebrate the way made for us for our transfiguration to take place. On that day Peter, James, and John were invited to go with Christ and ascend the mountain to pray. There they had an audience with the Holy Trinity. The Apostle Paul writes in 2 Corinthians, “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” In this homily we reflect on Christian prayer as the means by which we ascend the mountain, fellowship with the Holy Trinity, and come down transfigured as we have grown in His likeness.

What Do You Have? – Father Mark McNary

July 30, 2017 – In the Gospel of St. Mark chapter 8 we have the feeding of the multitude. As the people hungered, we are told that our Lord had compassion on them. The disciples asked the Lord, “How are we going to feed this many people out here in the wilderness?” Rather than telling the disciples to step aside and witness the wonder of Heaven that He will do on behalf of the people, Jesus invites the disciples to be a part of the wonder by offering to Him what they have. This homily explores this incredible invitation that our Lord extends to us all; that if we will offer Him what we have, He will glorify Himself in and through us for our salvation and for the life of the world.

The Power of the Tongue – Father Mark McNary

July 16, 2017 – In 1 Peter 3, the Apostle teaches us that the Church is to be of one mind, live in compassion with one another, and live in love. But he also warns us of something that constantly threatens this experience of the Kingdom of God in this life. That threat is the human tongue. With our words we wound those we are supposed to love. And with our words we can heal, comfort, and encourage one another. This homily speaks to the power of the tongue both for evil and for good. We are to live a life reserving our speech for the edification and blessing of those around us.

Be Merciful as God is Merciful- Father Mark McNary

July 9, 2017 – Jesus says in Luke 6, “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” How is it that we grow in the likeness and virtues of God? We do so by experiencing Him in our lives. We can only be merciful if we have experienced His mercy demonstrated toward us. This reflection helps us understand the mercy of God and how we may live in such a way as to constantly experience the momentary mercies of God in our own lives. Only then can we become vessels of His Divine mercy.

The Poems of God – Deacon Ken Taliaferro

July 2, 2017 – St. Paul writes that “We are His workmanship created for good works in Christ.” The word workmanship comes from the Greek word meaning poem. In this homily we remember that we were all created equally in the image of God to become the great writing of God in our time. For those who remain in Him, He writes His Nature in us and expresses Himself through us.

From Indifference to Love – Father Mark McNary

June 25, 2017 – The Apostle St. John teaches us in 1 John 3 to love, not only in word or in tongue, but in deed and truth. There is a distance between our indifference toward others and our living a life through which the love of God can be experienced. So, what is it that bridges the gap between indifference and love? It is the virtue of compassion; the very compassion of our Lord Jesus Christ. This homily calls us to a life of prayer where, by our fellowship and experience with God, we grow in His compassion. As we become like Him in His compassion, we are moved to love those around us as He has loved us.

Becoming Love – Father Mark McNary

June 18, 2017 – On the first Sunday after Trinity Sunday we hear the words of the blessed Apostle St. John from 1 John 4 “Beloved, let us love one another for love is of God.” We have been given the Holy Spirit to become love as God is love. And on this day we are also given the Parable of the Rich Man & Lazarus in which Jesus gives an example of the opposite of love in order to press us toward participation in His Divine Nature as we love others. This homily reflects on the reality that our salvation, a word that means being “made whole”, is wrapped up in our becoming like the God of limitless unconditional love.

Pentecost: You Shall be My Witnesses – Father Mark McNary

June 5, 2017 – Today we rejoice for the Holy Spirit is poured out upon all who are in Christ. The Church has always taught us that the incredible gift of the Holy Spirit was given for both the salvation of the recipient and the work of salvation by Christ through those who have received the Holy Spirit. Today our reflection is on the second of the two purposes for which the Holy Spirit was sent. Jesus told His disciples in Acts 1 that they would receive power to become witnesses to Him even to the ends of the earth. But what does it mean that we, those filled with power from on high, are now designed and empowered to be witnesses to the Resurrected and Ascended Jesus Christ? This is our meditation on this Day of Pentecost.

Preparing for Pentecost – Father Mark McNary

May 28, 2017 – Today we celebrate the only Sunday Mass in between the Ascension and the Day of Pentecost. The Church divinely places us in the shared experience of Christ’s disciples by true remembrance. We are in that same blessed in-between; the time between Christ’s departing from them and the day on which the Holy Spirit would be poured out upon and within them. So, how shall wait for Pentecost as Christ’s disciples today? We reflect on how the disciples waited during this brief time to better understand how we can prepare ourselves for the Day of Pentecost.

The Ascension of Jesus Christ & Our Salvation – Father Mark McNary

May 25, 2017 – Today is the Ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ, one of the Twelve Major Feasts of the Church. It is one of the Twelve Major Feasts because the Ascension is one of the greatest wonders of ministry the Incarnate Jesus Christ did on our behalf. But why is it such an important event to the life and salvation of the Christian? What does the Ascension do for us and for our salvation? This homily explores the Church’s answer to these questions so that we may rejoice greatly in all that Christ has done for us and live a life worthy of our calling.

True Religion & the Giving of Mercy – Subdeacon Peter Cox

May 21, 2017 – St. James writes to us in his Epistle that “true religion is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their afflition, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.” True religion, therefore, is the continuing ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ through the Body of Christ to those in need. Today’s reflection is a reminder to us all to both see those around us who are suffering and to go to them with the very ministry of the mercy of God.

It Is to Your Advantage That I Leave You? – Father Mark McNary

May 14, 2017 – In John 16, Jesus tells His disciples that the time has come for Him to return to the Father. Seeing that the disciples are filled with sorrow by this announcement, He offers them the words of comfort that it would be to their advantage that He leave so that the Comforter would come to them. Though the disciples could not yet comprehend the full meaning of this, they would come to understand it on and beyond the Day of Pentecost. In this reflection we examine how our Lord’s departure would truly be to the profit of all in Christ’s Holy Church.

The Prescription for Spiritual Dehydration – Father Mark McNary

May 7, 2017 – What might we use to treat physical dehydration on a hot summer day? If we try a soft drink or a cold alcoholic beverage we experience temporary enjoyment, but these choices actually fail to satisfy what the body needs and actually do more damage to us than good. Our bodies are mostly made of water and, therefore, water is what we need to be rejuvenated and refreshed when we have lost too many fluids. In the same way, we were made in the Divine image of God. Therefore, what we need is God at all times and nothing more. Perhaps our pursuit of anything other than God to satisfy us and bring us joy is like drinking coke or alcohol when our bodies are in need of living water.

Love as the Good Shepherd Loves – Subdeacon Peter Cox

April 30, 2017 – It is easy to love those who love us. It is much harder to love those who rub us wrong or worse, are our enemies. Today’s homily reminds us of the nature of Christ, the Good Shepherd. How does the Good Shepherd love? We focus on this question to better understand how we are graced to love just as He loves.

The Gift of Faith for the Weak in Faith – Father Mark McNary

April 23, 2017 – The story of St. Thomas’ encounter with the Resurrected Jesus Christ encourages faith in us all. Thomas was weaker in faith than the rest because he had not yet experienced Christ risen. And yet, our Lord goes right to the source of Thomas’ lack of faith and gives him an experience that would forever seal his faith in the Risen Jesus Christ. Are we not the same many times, weak in our faith from the lack of experience with Christ? Our Lord knows how to meet us in the weakest areas of our faith and reveal Himself in such a way that our faith becomes strong.

The Paschal Homily of St. John Chrysostom – Father Mark McNary

April 16, 2017 – The tradition in the Orthodox Church at Pascha is to hear the reading of the Paschal Homily of St. John Chrysostom. May our Lord richly bless you with the reality of His Resurrection as you hear these words from this fourth century Saint. “Christ is risen, and the demons are fallen! Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice! Christ is risen, and life reigns! Christ is risen, and not one dead remains in the tomb!”

Paschal Vigil: The People of the Passover – Father Mark McNary

April 15, 2017 – The word Pascha is not the Orthodox word used for Easter. Pascha means Passover. And, tonight, we celebrate Christ our Passover who has passed over from death to life. He is the first-fruits of His people. How, then, shall we live as those who have passed over from death to life in and through Jesus Christ? We hear the words of St. Paul instructing us to now “set our affections on things above,
where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.”

Good Friday: The Suffering & The Triumph – Father Mark McNary

April 14, 2017 – As we draw near to experience and reverence our Lord Jesus Christ on the day of His Passion, we remember that the Church teaches us of two inseparable experiences that by grace heal our soul. Tonight we enter into His great sufferings in order to experience the fullness of His love which endured it all to draw us near to the Holy Trinity. Tonight we are to also look upon the instrument of His triumph, the Holy Cross. We remember the incredible work of God obtaining victory on our behalf, putting down the principalities and powers of the air, harrowing Hades, and releasing us from the immense weight of our sin nature.

Maundy Thursday: The Love of God in Jesus Christ – Father Mark McNary

April 13, 2017 – Tonight the love of God is manifest so clearly in our Lord Jesus Christ. For this is the night He would institute Holy Eucharist to share His life with us. The Lord arrayed in splendor would become the lowest of servants and wash the feet of those whom He had created. In the Garden of Gethsemane, His love would shine forth as He would keep His will united to the Father’s in order to restore us from Adam’s failure. And, even when betrayed by one of His own, His love is demonstrated in the healing one who had come to take Him captive. Tonight we marvel at the love of God that we might become by grace the love of God.

Palm Sunday: The King of Peace & Victory – Father Mark McNary

April 9, 2017 – On this Palm Sunday, we look closely at how the King of Kings and Lord of Lords rides into the Holy City Jerusalem. The manner in which He comes to the people sets the tone for the very reason God became man. It also sets the tone for our journey through Holy Week with Christ to the Cross, through Hades, and the experience of His glorious Resurrection. Today our Lord comes to offer peace and a share in His victory over death, Hell, and all that wars against the souls of mankind.

The Ministry of our Great High Priest – Father Mark McNary

April 2, 2017 – Today is Passion Sunday and on this day we here from the Gospel of St. John Chapter 8 where Christ proclaims Himself publicly to be the Great I AM. They take up stones to stone Him for blasphemy and we are told that He hides Himself from them for it was not yet time for His Passion. There is a great and blessed tension on Passion Sunday. For on the one hand we remember Christ is hidden until the appropriate time, yet we are also granted one of the greatest revelations given to us of Christ and His eternal ministry on our behalf. St. Paul teaches in Hebrews 9 that Christ has taken His place in the eternal temple to be forever our Great High Priest.

Physical Bread, Spiritual Food – Deacon Ken Taliaferro

March 26, 2017 – Today we hear in the Gospel reading the story of the Feeding of the Five Thousand. Many came to Christ for physical healing, some to have demons cast out, and some just to hear Him teach. But all came out of a spiritual hunger. We are reminded today that, just as our Lord fed their physical hunger with bread and fish, He infinitely satisfied their spiritual hunger.

Love as Beloved Children – Father Mark McNary

March 19, 2017 – St. Paul, in Ephesians 5 calls us to be imitators of God as dearly beloved children. This is the call to love one another as God has loved us with his infinitely selfless and sacrificial love. At the root of our sin nature and every sin we commit is self-love. Our God has put to death this sin nature and granted us His nature that we might truly know the peace and joy that comes from being freed from ourselves. He has offered Himself to us that we might become an offering of the love that God is to all others.

He Draws Us Beyond Ourselves – Father Mark McNary

March 12, 2017 – In St. Matthew and chapter 15, we hear the story of the Canaanite woman who comes to Christ pleading for Him to release her daughter from demonic possession. At first it would appear that our Lord was very rude to her as He dismissed her pleadings. In reality, we find that our Lord knew exactly what He was doing to draw out from her a greater faith and surface her great humility. God knows precisely how to bring each one of us, the very children He has created, to Himself in order to heal and restore us.

Thank God At All Times – Subdeacon Peter Cox

March 5, 2017 – Being just four days into the season of Great Lent, we begin to experience the slight bit of physical discomforts from the fast and the weariness of the spiritual struggle. We are reminded in this homily that one of the ways we are to push through our frailty toward God is to rejoice and thank God for the innumerable blessings He bestows upon us daily; the many works He does on our behalf. So today, we remember that we are to increase our sacrifice of thanksgiving as an offering to Him. As we do, He meets us within that thanksgiving and with the offering of Himself.

Ash Wednesday: Let us Grieve as God Grieves – Father Mark McNary

March 1, 2017 – So many in our culture have a limited understanding of the focus of Ash Wednesday. It is seen as a mere remembrance of our mortality; “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.” While this is certainly a part of Ash Wednesday, God through the Mass presents to us so much more. We are called on Ash Wednesday to behold our merciful God who is the lover of our soul. We are provided in this Mass the very framework of Great Lent. Our mortality drives us to approach our most merciful God. As we do, He shares with us His compassionate grief over the condition of our soul. From His grief, we lament our sins having taken on His heart over us. And there in that blessed repentance, He awaits us in order to make us whole.

Let Us Receive Our Sight – Father Mark McNary

February 26, 2017 – On this Sunday before the beginning of Lent, we hear the Gospel story regarding the healing of the blind man from St. Luke Chapter 18. In this reflection, we consider the Messiah that was revealed to this blind man and how he approached Christ for His healing. We also examine our own spiritual blindness and how we are in such need of the restoration of our sight by the hand of the same Lord Jesus Christ.

A Deeply Rooted Faith – Father Mark McNary

February 19, 2017 – Each year on Sexagesima Sunday, one of the three Sundays we are given in the Church to help prepare our hearts for Great Lent, we have the Parable of the Sower as our Gospel reading. Today we reflect upon our Lord’s desire that we grow to maturity with a deeply rooted faith that comes from the authentic experience of Him in our lives. Great Lent and all of the spiritual disciplines therein are a gift from God for just that experience. And, as we encounter God in such a profound way, our faith becomes all the more deeply rooted so that we are able to stand firm against all of the storms of this life that seek to sway our faith.

Preparation for Holy Lent – Subdeacon Peter Cox

February 12, 2017 – Today is the Sunday of Septuagesima indicating that we are roughly 70 days away from the celebration of the Resurrection of our Lord. It is the day the Church gives us as a call to prepare our lives and our hearts to journey with Christ through the 40 days of Lent. Today’s reflection encourages us just how to prepare ourselves over these next three weeks so that we walk faithfully with our God during Lent to the healing of our souls.

The Parable of the Wheat and the Tares – Father Mark McNary

February 5, 2017 – Jesus offers us this parable and its explanation in the Gospel of St. Matthew and chapter 13. In this homily we reflect on the definitions of the wheat and the tares, why they are allowed to grow together until the final harvest, and how we as the Body of Christ can better discern the difference between them in this present age. As we better recognize the tares, we can better exhort one another toward Christ so that we can present to Him the harvest He desires on that final day.

Loving Those Who Offend Us – Father Mark McNary

January 22, 2017 – In Romans 12, St. Paul calls us to love our enemies and those who offend us. In doing so, he teaches, we will heap burning coals of fire on their head. But what does this mean? By loving those who offend us, and as they offend us, are we enacting a vengeance that God says is reserved only for Him? May it never be. This homily helps us understand how to weather the onslaught of offense just as demonstrated in the life of our Lord Jesus Christ. By following His example we discover how we can remain at peace in the face of great offenses, even to the salvation of the offender.

The Ministry of St. John the Forerunner – Subdeacon Peter Cox

January 15, 2017 – When we examine the life and ministry of the Prophet St. John the Forerunner, we see very clearly a man availing himself to walk in the grace offered to him in a way that leads mankind to God. In doing so, St. John the Forerunner was used of God to prepare hearts to receive our Lord Jesus Christ. Today, by both the testimony of the life of St. John and the words of St. Paul, we are encouraged to walk in the grace given to us to the end that all mankind might draw near to God and receive Him.

The Holy Family & The Body of Christ – Father Mark McNary

January 8, 2017 – Today on the Feast of the Holy Family, we look at the Icon of the Holy Family to see the meaning therein. We see that in the Holy Family was tenderness, blessing, unity; and all of this bound together in love. It is also on this day that we hear the teaching of St. Paul to the Colossians that the Body of Christ is to dwell together by putting on tender mercies, forgiveness, and love. Let us all be encouraged to exhort one another in the very virtues of God that we may experience together all of the benefits in the Kingdom of God bestowed upon those who are His family.

Feast of the Circumcision of our Lord- Subdeacon Peter Cox

January 1, 2017 – On this Feast Day, we remember that our Lord Jesus Christ indeed became completely human. The Church has taught throughout its history that Christ was fully human and, at the same time, fully divine. This homily speaks to the truth that the only way we, in our broken humanity, could be saved was to have our humanity joined to Christ’s divinity as it was accomplished in Himself.

The Light that Lighteth Mankind – Father Mark McNary

December 25, 2016 – At the Christmas Day Mass we are given the greatest chapter on the Incarnation as we hear the Gospel of St. John and the first chapter read. In that passage we hear that Jesus is the light that came to lighteth all men. This homily explores the meaning of this reality. When we make room in the inn of our lives for the Savior to enter, He illuminates our lives as He shares Himself and His nature with us.

How Far Christ Came to Redeem Us – Father Mark McNary

December 24, 2016 – Here in the first Mass of Christmas we come to the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We are summoned, just like those in that day, to come and adore the One who has come to redeem us. In this homily, we examine just how far Christ came to make a way for us to be once again in union with God. For He came to us in the most lowly condition in order to meet us in our most broken condition. We adore the Christ who so put on our humanity so that we could be clothed with His divinity.

The Rippling of the Water – Deacon Ken Taliaferro

December 18, 2016 – In the last Sunday of Advent we see the passing of the torch from St. John the Forerunner to our Lord Jesus Christ. St. John’s role was to prepare the hearts of men to receive the coming Savior, our deliverer. In doing so, the result of his ministry was like a stone that cause the ripples in the water to spread. In this homily we consider how we, as the Body of Christ, share in a similar ministry as that of St. John the Forerunner. We, too, are used of God to prepare the hearts of men to receive our Savior.

The Spiritual Discipline of Rejoicing – Father Mark McNary

December 11, 2016 – What comes to mind when you hear the term spiritual disciplines? Most of us would answer that prayer, fasting, tithing, and almsgiving and are good examples to consider. A spiritual discipline is an action given by Christ to His people into which He joins with us and graces us to the healing of the soul. Have you ever considered rejoicing to be a spiritual discipline? In this homily we learn how God meets with us in this spiritual discipline and inhabits the praises of His people that we may know the God of our salvation.

Time: A Stumbling Block or A Gift From God – Father Mark McNary

December 4, 2016 – Every year on the Second Sunday of Advent we are reminded of the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He exhorts us to be watchful and prepared for that very moment for we do not know the hour at which He will come. But how many of us live in this reality? How many of us strive, accompanied by the grace of God, every hour as a disciple of Christ and true child of God? Time is either a stumbling block for us or one of the greatest grace gifts of God given to draw us near to Him.

The Advent of Humility – Subdeacon Peter Cox

November 27, 2016 – Today begins the season of Advent. As we are given the example of the humility of our Lord Jesus Christ, we are reminded that this season is given to us so that we may grow in the very likeness of His humility. In this reflection, we remember two of the spiritual disciplines we are to engage in our lives during Advent; for it is through our experience with God as we pray and fast that we acquire the humility that restores the peace and contentment God offers back into our lives.

Sunday Next Before Advent – Deacon Ken Taliaferro

November 20, 2016 – On the Sunday we are called to begin preparing our hearts to enter into the season of Advent, we look ahead at the various themes through the Scripture readings in each week this season. As we do, we come to understand both the meaning and purpose of Advent and how it prepares us to receive the coming of our Savior.

The Spiritual Discipline of the Tithe – Father Mark McNary

November 13, 2016 – One of the greatest sources of fear and anxiety in the lives of all mankind is and always has been money and finances. Though God is our infinite provider, we still struggle to have faith that He is everything we need. God, knowing this weakness in His created humanity, has given us a prescription to grow our faith and bring peace to our chaos. That prescription is the spiritual discipline of the tithe. In this homily, we contemplate the activity of God on our behalf when we engage this healing discipline. When we give God what truly belongs to Him, He proves Himself to be our perfectly faithful provider.

I AM the Lord your Healer – Father Mark McNary

November 6, 2016 – In this beginning of today’s Mass we have God proclaiming to us, “I AM the saving help of my people, saith the Lord, out of whatsoever tribulation they shall pray to me, I shall surely help them.” In this homily, we are directed to see God much more clearly; for He does not just heal as an action towards us. He is our healing. This is who He is and why He came to us as the Incarnate God in the Person of Jesus Christ. Today we also ask the question, “If He is our healing and came to us for this very reason, why do we not come to Him with all of the illness in our soul that He might mend us and make us whole?”

Feast of All Souls – Father Mark McNary

November 2, 2016 – In the Mass for the Feast of All Souls, the Body of Christ on earth intercedes for all those who have fallen asleep before us. We pray in absolute unity that the sins of all those who have gone before us would be forgiven and that they would indeed be granted eternal life. In this homily, we remember that in these prayer we are praying the very will of God and attaching our will to His. For it is His very nature and it is His desire to grant all who remain in Him life eternal and the relief of complete forgiveness.

Feast of All Saints – Father Mark McNary

November 1, 2016 – On this blessed Feast Day, we celebrate the One Body of Christ both in heaven and earth. We are given the passage from Revelation where we clearly see the heavenly liturgy being offered by all of the saints, too numerous to count, along with the angels as the Lamb of God lives and dwells among them. It is also on this day that we, who are on this side of eternity, pray for the grace to grow in the virtues and likeness of God that we may be numbered among those in that eternal scene.

Feast of Christ the King – Subdeacon Peter Cox

October 30, 2016 – With the insanity surrounding this current Presidential election, the Feast of Christ the King could not come at a better time. It is in this celebration that we are reminded that we are not to put our trust in the “princes” of this world. Rather, we are a people who live in the Kingdom of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords who is perfect in love and perfect in justice.

Leaning into the Grace of God – Father Mark McNary

October 23, 2016 – Plants and trees are often seen to be leaning toward the sunlight beyond the shade that is above them. They do so because they absolutely need the energy provided by the sun to grow and mature, to bear the fruit or flower natural to them, and to provide oxygen beneficial to the creation around them. Today we seek to better understand the grace of God as we reflect on the energies put forth by the sun. Are we leaning into the grace our Lord has provided for us?

Mercy – His Grace Bishop JOHN Abdalah

October 16, 2016 – In this homily, Bishop JOHN shares with us a profound understanding of the word mercy that many of us may have never comprehended. It is in this understanding of mercy that we see even more clearly just how close our God is to us. As we reflect on the mercy of God, Bishop JOHN exhorts us that we are not to just be receivers of mercy but also givers of the same.

Do Not Be Anxious About Your Life – Father Mark McNary

October 9, 2016 – Every year on the 15th Sunday of Trinitytide we hear the Gospel of St. Matthew chapter 6 where our Lord says, “Do not worry about your life.” A common struggle to all of us in Christ is our tendency to come under the slavery of anxiousness that seemingly proceeds from life’s troubling circumstances. In this homily we explore the true source of our anxiousness, fears, and worries. And, we see that in the Living Jesus Christ is a life of rest that is the extreme opposite of anxious living.

The Good Samaritan & The Incarnation – Father Mark McNary

September 25, 2016 – So many of the Early Church Fathers understood the parable of “The Good Samaritan” to have multiple layers of meaning. On the one hand, it is most certainly a parable teaching us to love our neighbor as our self demonstrating the love, mercy, and compassion of Christ to all around us. In this homily we focus on the other layer of interpretation; for the Early Church Fathers also saw this as a parable revealing the reality of the Incarnation, why God became man, and how Christ has made us sharers in this same ministry.

We All Have a Story – Deacon Ken Taliaferro

September 18, 2016 – In today’s Gospel reading we have the story of the deaf man healed by Christ. This man goes from there to tell many what Christ had done on his behalf. In this homily we are reminded that we all, who are in Christ, have a story to tell about what God has done for us. That story may well be the very revelation of Christ to those who hear it.

Glory in the Cross – Father Mark McNary

September 14, 2016 – In the Mass for the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, we are told that it is good and right that we should glory in the Cross of Jesus Christ. Tonight we consider two reflections on the work of Christ upon the Cross on behalf of all. The Cross was the turning point bringing us from death to life. And, the Cross was the defining event through which our enemy of old, Satan, would be robbed of any authority over us.

Humility that Protects Unity – Father Mark McNary

September 11, 2016 – The Psalmist wrote, “How good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell in unity.” God shows forth His glory and nature as He expresses Himself through the unity of the Body of Christ. This homily reflects on the Parable of the Pharisee and the Publican to better understand how the virtue of humility works to foster and protect the unity of all relationships.

Compassion for the Human Condition – Father Mark McNary

September 4, 2016 – When Jesus approached Jerusalem we are told that He wept over the city. It was the deep grieving one would experience over the passing of a loved one. In this homily we look at the compassion of Jesus Christ regarding the broken human condition. Do we see this same compassion growing within our souls? If we are to grow in the likeness of God, then we must grow to take on His heart for those detached from Him.

Beyond the Prodigal’s Return – Subdeacon Peter Cox

August 28, 2016 – In today’s Gospel reading we hear the narrative of the prodigal son. We know from this story that after wasting his inheritance the prodigal son came to the repentance that would lead him back to his father’s house. We also understand that great humility that was restored within him enabling this son to return knowing he deserves nothing. This homily, however, focuses on the life of a prodigal now returned and restored to the father’s house.

A Soul That Magnifies the Lord – Father Mark McNary

August 21, 2016 – In the first chapter of the Gospel of St. Luke, the Blessed Virgin Mary proclaims, “My soul doth magnify the Lord.” In this reflection, we seek to understand what it means for the human person to magnify the Lord. We have such a perfect example set by our Lord Jesus Christ, who through the human flesh He adorned Himself with gave way to the experience of the Holy Trinity to all who would encounter Him. How is this a picture of the reality offered to the priesthood of all believers who have been filled with God by the Holy Spirit? This homily seeks to assist us in pondering this profound reality.

And Here We Offer Ourselves – Father Mark McNary

August 14, 2016 – When Jesus fed the 5000, He invited His disciples to be part of the ministry that met the needs at hand. All that they offered was all that they had at that time. Our Lord took what they offered, performed a miraculous work out of His compassion for the needs of the many, and demonstrated that the Kingdom of God was very near. This homily explores our calling of offering to God all that we have at any moment so that the same may happen through our lives for the life and salvation of the world.

The Reconciling Community – Father Mark McNary

July 31, 2016 – In and through our Lord Jesus Christ, God was reconciling the world to Himself. And now He has shared with us His reconciling ministry. Today as we look at the calling of the first disciples when Christ would tell them that they would become fishers of men, we examine the fulfillment of that calling on the Day of Pentecost. May we enter into the reality that the Church, the Body of Christ, has become the chosen vessel through which mankind might be reconciled to God.

Judge Not – Deacon Ken Taliaferro

July 24, 2016 – In the Gospel of St. Luke and chapter 6 Jesus calls us to be merciful as our Father is merciful. He also teaches us to judge not lest we be judged. This homily explores these themes as they pertain to the very nature of God and how we are graced to be like Him.

Evangelism and the Nature of God – Father Mark McNary

July 10, 2016 – In the Parable of the Great Banquet from the Gospel of St. Luke, Jesus reveals something very important regarding the nature of God. The Father pursues the broken souls of mankind relentlessly inviting mankind into Himself so that all might be made whole. This homily explores how the fulfilling of The Great Commission is manifested most naturally as our own life is transformed more in the likeness of our God.

Love: The Plumb Line of our Salvation – Father Mark McNary

July 3, 2016 – The Apostle John teaches that he who does not love does not know God, for God is love. By looking at the parable of the rich man and Lazarus as well as the parable of the sheep and the goats, we reflect upon the reality that our salvation is wrapped up in our cooperation with the grace of God; a grace which we have been freely and abundantly given that we might become like our God and to love as God loves.

Trinity Sunday 2016 – Subdeacon Peter Cox

June 26, 2016 – Trinity Sunday marks the beginning of the longest running season in the liturgical life of the Church. This homily reminds us to remain sober and vigilant as we journey through this important season during which our Lord instructs us just how to live as the Body of Christ.

Pentecost 2016 – Father Mark McNary

June 19, 2016 – On the Day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit was poured out writing the virtuous Law of God on the Living Stones rather than the side of Mt. Sinai. Today we reflect on two of the great benefits of the gift of the Holy Spirit. We remember that we are given the Holy Spirit to hear the diagnosis and prescriptions of the Great Physician, Jesus Christ, to the healing of our souls. We also remember that the Holy Spirit was given to us that Living Water may flow through us to the healing and salvation of mankind.

Have Fervent Love for One Another – Father Mark McNary

June 12, 2016 – The Apostle Peter says in 1 Peter 4 that, “The end of all things is at hand…so above all things have fervent love for one another.” What does it mean that we should have the fervent love of God for one another here at the end of all things? In this homily we reflect upon this very important question and consider how the love of God is so authentically to be expressed through every facet of our lives.

Ascension Day 2016 – Subdeacon Peter Cox

June 9, 2016 – The Ascension of our Lord marks the conclusion of His pre-resurrection and post-resurrection ministry as God incarnate in the Person of Jesus Christ. Today we remember this event by remembering that Christ has called us, just as He called His disciples, to prepare and pray as we look forward to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost.

A Profitable Departure – Father Mark McNary

May 29, 2016 – Having been saddened when their Lord told them that He would depart and return to His Father, Jesus gives His disciples a message of encouragement. He tells them that it is to their advantage that He leave them and return to the One who had sent Him. This homily seeks to remind us of just how profitable it would be to the Church that Christ did return and take His rightful place at the right hand of the Father.

Fulfilling the Law in Love – Deacon Ken Taliaferro

May 22, 2016 – When we consider the Law of God, it is no longer fulfilled simply out of an obligated obedience that mankind could never accomplish in our fallen human condition. Through Christ all things are renewed. We now fulfill the Law through and because of Christ in us. The fulfillment of the Law is our response of love back to the One who is love; and we are given His grace so to do.

I AM the Good Shepherd – Father Mark McNary

May 15, 2016 – In our Gospel reading from John 10 Jesus says, “I am the good Shepherd.” In this very statement the Lord lets us know very clearly that our Shepherd is none other than the God who is both the Alpha and the Omega as well as the God who makes Himself absolutely present to His people in order to redeem them. This homily draws us to reflect upon the reality that the Great I AM knows His sheep and is known by them.

Renewing the Faith of Thomas – Subdeacon Peter Cox

May 8, 2016 – We all must wrestle with fear, uncertainty, and doubt at various times in our lives. In our Gospel reading today from St. John we find that Thomas was no different after our Lord’s crucifixion. Today we reflect on how our Lord renewed the faith of Thomas and He does the same for us when our faith is weak.

Easter Sunday: Paschal Homily of St. John Chrysostom – Father Mark McNary

May 1, 2016 – As is tradition in the Holy Orthodox Church, today we hear the blessed Paschal Homily of St. John Chrysostom. “O death, where is thy sting? O Hades, where is thy victory? Christ is risen and you are overthrown!”

Paschal Vigil: Light that Destroys the Darkness – Father Mark McNary

April 30, 2016 – It is on this night that the Light of World, brighter than the sun, burst upon the darkness. The Bestower of Life has defeated death. We remember tonight that wherever there is light, the darkness must retreat.

Good Friday: He Prayed for the Nailers – Father Mark McNary

April 29, 2016 – What kind of love is this that Christ would extend forgiveness to whose who crucified Him and pray for the nailers? Tonight we are invited to behold He who is love enfleshed upon the cross and be drawn to Him just like the thief crucified at His side.

Maundy Thursday: The Two Acts of Love – Father Mark McNary

April 28, 2016 – It is on this night that we witness two of the most profound acts of love shown in and through our Lord, Jesus Christ. Tonight we behold the Creator of all things washing the feet of His creation. And tonight we remember the institution of Holy Eucharist.

Palm Sunday 2016 – Father Mark McNary

April 24, 2016 – The people praised Jesus as He made His Triumphal Entrance into the Holy City. They cried out hosanna, Lord save, yet had misunderstood the true nature of the Messiah and how He would indeed bring salvation. This homily explores these concepts and how we, on the other side of the cross, worship Him in Spirit and truth as He makes His entrance and inaugurates His Kingdom.

Passion Sunday 2016 – Subdeacon Peter Cox

April 17, 2016 – It is on Passion Sunday that the Church calls us to prepare ourselves to journey with Christ through His suffering that we might be joined with Him in His resurrection. This homily reminds us that death always proceeds resurrection and that the way of the cross is the only path to the abundant life in Christ.

The Compassion of Christ Compels Us – Father Mark McNary

April 10, 2016 – Just beyond the halfway point of Great Lent, Christ through His Church grants us a Sunday in which we are called to rejoice and be filled with grace for the rest of our Lenten journey. In this homily, we are reminded to rejoice in the inexhaustibly compassionate nature of our Lord, Jesus Christ. We are encouraged this day to let the compassion of Jesus compel us to come out of a righteous and holy desperation to Him so that He may heal the disease of our sin and bring relief to our soul.

Content in God Alone – Father Mark McNary

April 3, 2016 – St. Augustine says in a prayer, “Lord, our hearts are restless until they find rest in You.” This message explores how the broken restlessness of the soul renders us susceptible to temptation and the sin that is so damaging to the soul resulting from our pursuit of anything or anyone outside of God. When a Christian finds their contentment enveloped in the living experience of God, temptations no longer have any power over us; for we are satisfied with all that He is and all that He shares with us.

The Faith of the Canaanite Woman – Deacon Ken Taliaferro

March 27, 2016 – In Matthew 15, a Canaanite woman comes to Jesus in hopes that He will free her daughter from demonic possession. This homily explores how Jesus draws her true faith out of her and praises the depth of faith within her. Here we are encouraged to have such great faith which is the knowledge of God.

Ash Wednesday: Remember Your Mortality – Father Mark McNary

Why Do We Fast in Great Lent? – Father Mark McNary

March 20, 2016 – Today, on the first Sunday of Great Lent, we remember why our Lord calls His people to the fast. The spiritual discipline of fasting during Lent is a gift from God modeled by our Lord Jesus Christ during His 40-day fast in the wilderness where He was led by the Holy Spirit to be tempted by Satan. It would be Christ’s victory over those temptations that would overturn Adam and Eve’s disobedience in the Garden of Eden. This homily explores how the grace of God given to us in the fast enables us to participate in Christ’s victory over Satan as we discover that God is our all in all and that we have no need for any other.

Ash Wednesday: Remember Your Mortality – Father Mark McNary

March 16, 2016 – On Ash Wednesday the ashes are placed upon our forehead with these words: “Remember, O man, that dust thou art, and to dust shalt thou return.” Is the thought of your own mortality somewhat of a morbid thought to you? In the context of the true Christian faith this ought not be so. It is our mortality being on the forefront of our minds that, by the grace of God, presses us toward faithfulness to the will of God in the only day we can be confident we have to live in this life. If we live in such as way as if this day was our potential last day, how Satan would be trampled upon in our lives and how the manifestation of our union with God would be all the more realized.

Healed to Love – Father Mark McNary

March 13, 2016 – The Apostle Paul calls love the bond of perfection and it is love that is the core from which all of the virtues of Christ proceed. As we are on the cusp of our journey through Lent for the healing of our soul, we are reminded in this homily that we are healed by our Lord in order that we might truly love.

Prepare the Soil – Father Robert Weber

March 6, 2016 – As we are just under two weeks away from the beginning of Great Lent, this homily uses the Parable of the Sower to remind us that we must take time now dedicating ourselves to prepare the soil of our soul to receive the Word of God.

The Virtue of Self-Control – Father Mark McNary

February 28, 2016 – The Apostle Paul teaches that athletes who are intent on winning the prize set before them live with stringent self-control over all aspects of their lives. Since they run to win a perishable crown, how much more important is the race we run for an eternal prize? This homily explores the critical nature of self-control in the life of the one who is filled with God.

Christ is Revealed, Let us Respond – Subdeacon Peter Cox

February 21, 2016 – We are now one week away from a brief time in the liturgical calendar that is considered to be Pre-Lent. It is the time where we prepare our lives to journey appropriately through the season of Lent. In this homily we are challenged by the reality that our transformation comes from the very real experience of God in our lives. The question is, “How will we respond to that experience toward our salvation and the salvation of the world?”

Let Us Not So Easily Sin – Father Mark McNary

February 14, 2016 – We learn from our Mass today that Christ came to destroy the works of Satan so that we might become the sons and daughters of God. If our Lord out of His infinite love and desire for us went to such great lengths to overthrow the works of sin and the misery caused by those works, how is it that we enter so easily and frequently into the very works He came to eradicate? This homily reminds us to live a sober life, by the grace of God, to overcome sin and be holy just as our God is holy.

Cultivate Peace by Taming the Tongue – Father Mark McNary

January 24, 2016 – The Apostle Paul exhorts us in his letter to the Romans to live peaceably with one another. When he teaches us this, he is instructing us to work with the grace of God within us to cultivate a climate of peace. In this homily, we examine one of the greatest destroyers of peace in our lives. We consider the power of the tongue.

The Mystery of the Incarnation – Subdeacon Peter Cox

December 25, 2015 – There is no greater mystery than God becoming man and dwelling among us. This homily calls us to reflect during the 12 days of Christmas upon the magnitude of the meaning of the Incarnation. There is no greater expression of the profound love of God than in this act of God on man’s behalf.

Our Deliverer Has Come – Father Mark McNary

December 24, 2015 – During the Vigil of the Nativity, we hear the following words sung at the beginning of Mass: “Today ye shall know that the Lord will come to deliver you; at sunrise ye shall see His glory.” In this homily we are encouraged to remember the nature of our God; the God who knows our frailties and our suffering. It is this God who is moved with His perfect love and compassion to come and deliver us. And in this Mass we are encouraged to rejoice, for our deliver has come.

Rejoice in Advent – Father Mark McNary

Advent: A Season of Waiting – Deacon Ken Taliaferro

December 20, 2015 – Advent is a season in which we enter into the longing of all creation for the coming of Christ to redeem all things back to God. So, as we step back into the waiting and anticipation for the birth of Christ, the Church also teaches that this is the most appropriate posture of the Christian in each day of this life. We long and wait for Christ to fill our lives ever more with the grace He offers that we might be completely restored.

Rejoice in Advent – Father Mark McNary

December 13, 2015 – The Church sets aside the third Sunday of Advent as a day to rejoice and be strengthened for the rest of our Advent journey. What is the cause for rejoicing in the midst of this penitential season? We rejoice that our Lord offers us rest for our souls as we offer to Him all of the burdens of our sin that so often weigh us down so heavily. We rejoice for He has come to make the sick whole.

When the Dross Rises, Walk in the Light – Father Mark McNary

December 6, 2015 – As the prophet Malachai spoke, God is like a silversmith set on purifying His people. How shall we respond when our Lord brings our impurities to the surface? The Church must walk and live always in the light. God exposes the areas and issues in our lives that damage our souls in order to give us an opportunity to be made whole. Let us no longer keep these things in the darkness and in secret. Let us cooperate with the love, grace, and power of God unto our salvation.

Advent is for Today – Father Robert Weber

November 29, 2015 – Though the Season of Advent falls during the month just prior to our celebrating the birth of our Lord who came to deliver us from sin and death, this homily reminds us that the grace and mercy of God present in Advent is there so that we might find healing for our souls and deliverance for our lives in the here and now. He has come so that we might cast off all works of darkness and have His peace and order restored in our lives.

Preparing to Receive Our Deliverer – Father Mark McNary

November 22, 2015 – Every year at this time, the Church gives us a week to prepare our hearts before we journey through the Season of Advent. This homily explores God’s prophetic word through Jeremiah telling His people that He is coming to deliver them from captivity in Babylon. But, with the knowledge that He is coming for them He calls them to prepare their hearts, to cry out to Him, and to seek Him with all their hearts; then will they experience His deliverance. So we are to prepare our hearts in the same manner this Advent as we await our Deliver, Jesus Christ, to come and deliver us from the bondage in our own lives and bring us to Himself that we may truly live.

Living From God’s Perspective – Subdeacon Peter Cox

November 15, 2015 – As we draw near to the Season of Advent, we are challenged by a question. Will we exist living from the perspective of this present world and culture or will we live according to the ways of the Kingdom of God? This homily encourages us to live from a Christian worldview in all things which only comes by knowing God.

Manifesting the Merciful Nature of God – Father Mark McNary

November 8, 2015 – Psalm 130 teaches us that God is a God Who, for those that come to Him truly repentant, not only forgives sins entirely but also remembers them no more. In this homily we examine what it means to live from God’s grace and power offering those who have wounded and offended us the same extreme mercy and forgiveness. Living from God’s nature of merciful forgiveness is the only way we are loosed from the bondage and torment we endure when we hold our offenders to their sins against us.

All Saints Day – Father Robert Weber

November 1, 2015 – Today our remembrance is in all of the Saints of the church. And we pray that God graces us to live in the likeness of Christ so that we may experience the unspeakable joy and peace of such a life, both now and for all eternity.

Feast of Our Lord Jesus Christ the King – Father Mark McNary

October 25, 2015 – Today is the annual day where our remembrance is to be on the Kingship of our Lord Jesus Christ. In order to reflect upon Christ our King and that we might respond to Him in our lives appropriately, this homily examines the Icon of Christ the King, what it teaches us, and where these teachings originate in Holy Scripture.

God Through Humanity – Subdeacon Peter Cox

October 11, 2015 – Today is the Feast of the Motherhood of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This homily looks back to the Council of Ephesus where the Virgin Mary was first officially called the Mother of God. This title ultimately turns our attention to the Church’s theology that Christ was indeed fully God as well as fully human. The road to this theology was not so easy, but it does show us that it is God’s desire to work through the frail humanity of mankind to reveal Himself to the world that it might be saved.

Keeping the Bond of Peace – Father Mark McNary

October 4, 2015 – In Ephesians 4, St. Paul calls us to “keep the unity of the Spirit and the bond of peace.” In order for us to experience the incredible love of God expressed within the Body of Christ and to have the peace of God realized in our midst, the Apostle exhorts us to live by the grace of God in lowliness and long-suffering. Only in living from these God-like virtues can we experience the benefits of the Kingdom of God in the life of the Church.

God in our Circumstances – Father Robert Weber

September 27, 2015 – Using St. Paul’s grace-filled ministry while imprisoned in Rome as an example, this homily reflects on the incredible faithfulness of God that we can experience in the most dire of circumstances.

Do Not Be Anxious – Father Mark McNary

September 20, 2015 – In Matthew Chapter 6, Jesus teaches His disciples regarding something that we are all faced with from time to time; that is…anxiousness. In this homily, we reflect on three ideas from Christ’s teaching. We embrace the reality that no Christian is to live under the reign of anxiousness. We recognize that which triggers our making allowance for anxiety to rule over us. And, we learn how to combat anxiousness through grace-filled spiritual discipline.

The Priesthood of All Believers – His Grace Bishop JOHN

September 13, 2015 – On the day that we were blessed to witness the ordination of a Subdeacon, Deacon, and the elevation of a Deacon to the status of Protodeacon; Bishop JOHN reminds us that we are all a Kingdom of Priests and that the role of all clergy is to live as Christ among us to set the example of how we should all live in the likeness of God by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Please forgive the beginning of the recording. Only a few seconds were missed where Bishop JOHN began speaking about those with leprosy from our Gospel reading.)

Sacraments & Ordinations – Subdeacon Peter Cox

September 6, 2015 – With His Grace Bishop JOHN coming to visit us next week, and with two ordinations and an elevation taking place in the Mass when the Bishop is with us, Subdeacon Peter Cox reminds us of sacramental theology and the meaning of the ordinations that are to take place.

Jesus Christ: The Approachable Divinity Who Makes Us Whole – Father Mark McNary

August 30, 2015 – In Mark 7 we have the story of the deaf and mute man being brought to Jesus by a crowd so that Christ may lay His hand upon Him and heal Him. We discover in this passage just how physical Divinity became so that we may have a way to approach the Father through Christ and find healing in our lives.

The Genealogy of Our Lord – Father Robert Weber

August 16, 2015 – On the Feast Day of St. Joachim, the father of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we explore the genealogy of our Lord Jesus Christ to find out its spiritual significance to our lives as Christians and to our salvation.

Victory Over Temptation – Father Mark McNary

August 9, 2015 – The key to experiencing the victory of God in the moment of temptation is discovered in answering a very important question. When times of temptation strike, are we dwelling in communion with the God who is our stronghold and defense or, by our own choice or inattentiveness to the God within us, are we dwelling on our own? This reflection pleads with us to turn our attention to God at all times, pray without ceasing, and make God our dwelling place. For it is there that temptations fall weak against the one whom God defends.

Sons & Daughters of God – Father Mark McNary

August 2, 2015 – St. Paul teaches us in Romans 8 that we have received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Apostle is encouraging us with the incredible truth that God is indeed our Father, but also wants to point out how we must live by the grace of God to enjoy the fullness of His Fatherhood. In this homily we examine St. Paul’s words encouraging us to live in such a way that there is no hindrance to our existing in this life truly as children of God our Father; the recipients of His teaching, His direction, and His grace to be like Him.

What Do We Treasure? – Father Robert Weber

July 26, 2015 – The parables in Matthew 13 of the hidden treasure, pearl of great price, and the net cast in the sea call us to question the things we treasure most. If we look at our lifestyle, use of time, and priorities we can clearly see the things we consider of utmost value. This homily calls us to consider this and exhorts us to place our treasures in things eternal.

Baptized into Christ’s Death – Father Mark McNary

July 19, 2015 – St. Paul teaches us in Romans 6 that we were baptized into the death of Christ so that sin might be destroyed in our lives. Christ bore our sins in His body so that we might exist no longer as a slave to the temptations of our sin nature and our enemy. This homily explores what it means that we have been crucified with Christ and calls us to consider a very important question: Do we really live from the grace of God as those who are dead to sin?

Choices Have Consequences – Subdeacon Peter Cox

July 12, 2015 – In this homily we are called to make the choice of loving one another in the Body of Christ and loving those who have no knowledge of Him. Just as a choice of indifference or reviling has consequences negative to the human condition, the choice to love as Christ loves has the consequence of making visible the Kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven.

Be Merciful as Your Father is Merciful – Father Mark McNary

July 5, 2015 – In order to be merciful in the same way our Father in Heaven is merciful to us, it is imperative that we both understand and have personal experience with the mercy of God. This homily seeks to help us grasp the basic principles of God’s mercy and offers us suggestions as to how we might grow in our own authentic experience of the inexhaustible mercy of our loving Father.

God Pursues the Lost – Subdeacon Ken Taliaferro

June 28, 2015 – In the parable of the lost sheep and the parable of the lost coin we see very clearly the love of God that seeks to rescue, redeem, and heal the sinner. This homily reflects on the extent to which God goes to share Himself with us, especially when we are steeped in our sin.

Love As We Have Been Loved – Subdeacon Peter Cox

June 14, 2015 – Reflecting on the story of Lazarus and the Rich Man, we receive the call to live out the nature of God by living as lovers of mankind. In this homily we are reminded that the way in which we are known by God is by what we do by His grace to the least of these.

Trinity Sunday – Father Robert Weber

June 7, 2015 – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; three distinct persons yet One God. Today we remember something so core to our faith and yet a mystery that our humanity cannot completely comprehend. In this homily, we reflect on Nicodemus as he questions our Lord regarding how one can be saved. Nicodemus, a devout man of God, struggled to see the truth through the veil of his humanity as Christ answered his questions. In the same way, we are always eternally stretched to comprehend the incredible nature of the Holy Trinity. But in doing so we ever grow in the knowledge of our God.

Pentecost Sunday: The Law, The Loaves, & The Firstfruits – Father Mark McNary

May 31, 2015 – The Feast of Pentecost was an annual Old Covenant celebration commemorating God giving His Law to Moses on Mt. Sinai. Each year, as with all Old Covenant festal celebrations, God gave specific directions as to how His people and priests were to celebrate this event. Today we reflect on all the ways in which the giving of the Law and the sacrificial offerings were fulfilled in and through Christ as the Holy Spirit would be poured out on the Day of Pentecost.

Faith and the Experience of God – Father Mark McNary

May 24, 2015 – The only way our faith and belief in God grows is from experience with Him. It cannot come from a reliance on book knowledge about God or theological musings alone. The Christian united with God grows in faith that overcomes unbelief through a living and real relationship with the Living God.

Feast of the Ascension – Father Mark McNary

May 21, 2015 – As Jesus Christ ascended into heaven, He did so wrapped in glorified and redeemed humanity. In this homily we are called to rejoice. We rejoice because Christ’s Ascension is a pledge and a promise to us; a promise that all who remain in Christ will be with Him where He is and reign with Him in glory.

Preparing for Pentecost – Father Mark McNary

May 10, 2015 – Jesus tells His disciples that He is going away from them and returning to His Father. As His disciples were filled with sorrow, our Lord comforts them with the knowledge of the coming of the Holy Spirit. This sermon reflects upon His words of comfort and offers us encouragement of how we might prepare our souls to remember and experience the outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost.

Healing from the Cross of Christ – Father Robert Weber

May 3, 2015 – This Sunday celebrates the Finding of the Holy Cross. We are reminded today that our healing in Christ has, at its central point, the work of our Lord upon the cross just as God’s people were delivered and healed from the poison of the snakes as Moses lifted up the staff in their midst.

The Sin Nature Put to Death – Father Mark McNary

April 26, 2015 – We are taught in 1 Peter 2 that Christ bore our sin nature in His Body. As our Lord would give up His Spirit unto death, so our sin nature would be taken to its death making it possible once again for those in Christ to be filled with His Divine Nature. This homily is a reflection on what this aspect of the victory of Christ upon the Cross and His resurrection means to the Christian life.

Paschal Homily of St. John Chrysostom – Father Mark McNary

April 12, 2015 – As is the tradition in so many Orthodox Churches, today we hear preached the very Paschal Homily of St. John Chrysostom who lived in the mid-4th century. Christ is risen, and death is overthrown! Christ is risen, and the demons are fallen! Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice! Christ is risen, and life reigns!

Maundy Thursday – Subdeacon Peter Cox

April 9, 2015 – Jesus, the God who created all things, adorns Himself with the clothing of slave and washes the feet of His disciples. This homily examines the reality that our Lord also washed the feet of the one who would betray Him. Our calling as Christians is to walk in the Divine Nature of Christ by not only serving and praying for those whom we love, but also our enemies.

Palm Sunday – Father Robert Weber

April 5, 2015 – As we begin Holy Week, we are reminded that our Christian journey is one of consistently being emptied of our sin nature. But once emptied, if left unoccupied we will be once again filled with that which brings us death. In this homily we bring to recollection the importance of being filled with the Holy Spirit and, therefore, the Divine Nature of God that we might be healed as we are transformed into the likeness of our God.

Passion Sunday – Father Mark McNary

March 29, 2015 – We are given Passion Sunday by the Church in order to assist us in preparing to walk with Christ through Holy Week to His Passion. Today we explore the reality that Christ, who is the judge of all, happens to also be our Great High Priest, our Mediator, and our Advocate. So while we mourn during Holy Week that our sin nature and the sins committed from that sin nature caused the immense suffering of Christ, we do so rejoicing in the very reason our Lord endured the Passion. That is, the perfect love of God that desires that none should perish and that all might live by remaining in Him.

God Provides – Subdeacon Peter Cox

March 22, 2015 – As we past the mid-point of Lent, the Church gives us this Sunday to rejoice.  We are reminded today that in the midst of the spiritual disciplines of prayer, fasting, and alms-giving…God provides.  In Him we lack for absolutely nothing.  This homily explores both God’s provision of manna in the desert and Christ’s feeding of the multitude to demonstrate to us that our God will never fail to give us just what we need for each season of our life, for He is all that we need.

Fasting, Praying, & The Giving of Alms – Monk Theodore

March 11, 2015 – Monk Theodore from the Benedictine Fellowship of St. Laurence joined us Wednesday night for our weekly Lenten Teaching Series. On this night, he teaches us about the integration of fasting, praying, and alms-giving and how each of these spiritual disciplines work together, as touched by the grace of God, toward the healing and transformation of the soul.

A Walk in the Garden with God – Father Mark McNary

March 8, 2015 – It should not surprise us how far our enemy will go to keep us constantly distracted in life so that we fail to make time to cultivate an authentic relationship with the Living God who is our life. C.S. Lewis, in his book The Screwtape Letters, paints a great narrative picture of our enemies strategy against us.  In this homily we look to learn from this and draw encouragement to make time in our lives to be with the God who wants nothing more than to dwell with us.

Christ Tempted in the Wilderness – Father Robert Weber

March 1, 2015 – On this first Sunday in Lent, we are given the narrative of Christ being tempted by Satan during His 40 days in the wilderness. This homily teaches to us that understanding how Christ overcame these temptations can assist us in overcoming the temptations we face everyday.

The Broken and the Healer – Father Mark McNary

February 22, 2015 – In this last Sunday before Lent, we are given the story of the blind man who cried out in desperation to be made whole, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me.” This homily explores the great faith credited by Christ to the blind man that lead to his healing. From this narrative, we see very clearly how our salvation is cultivated by the active relationship and synergy between God and man.

The Seed and the Soil – Subdeacon Peter Cox

February 15, 2015 – Subdeacon Peter Cox discusses the Parable of the Sower encouraging us how to prepare the soil of our soul during Lent so that the seed of the Word of God takes root in our lives.

Preparing for the Race – Father Mark McNary

February 8, 2015 – Septuagesima Sunday marks the beginning of a season the Church gives us to prepare our souls for our journey through the Season of Lent. With St. Paul teaching in 1 Corinthians regarding how an athlete prepares to run a race in such a way to win the prize, this homily reflects on how we might glean from such dedicated preparation and put such efforts toward growth in the fundamentals of Christian living so that we run the race in such a way that we obtain the prize, Jesus Christ.

The Conversion of St. Paul & The Experience of God – Father Mark McNary

Jan. 25, 2015 – The conversion story of St. Paul tells us so much about a core theology in the Orthodox Church. We are not saved by intellectual reasoning or arguments alone. We are saved through the authentic experience of Jesus Christ in our lives.

Living Stones – Father Mark McNary

Jan. 18, 2015 – As those baptized into Christ, we are called by St. Peter living stones. A critical part of our spirituality as a Christian and in His Church is to know who we are because of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Listen and may we all have our souls illuminated as to who we are in Christ and all that He intends to do in and through us.

The Holy Family  – Father Robert Weber

Jan. 11, 2015 – By examining the Holy Family and how they functioned together, we can draw instructive encouragement on how we are to have holy families within our own homes.

The Most Holy Name of Jesus  – Father Mark McNary

Jan. 4, 2015 – What does it mean to be “in the name of Jesus.” The Holy Name of Jesus bears the weight of an authority. The name, Jesus, also tells us something of the character of the person of God. This homily explores how both of these ideas have an impact on how we live as living stones put together to be the Temple of the Most High God.

Longing for the Christ  – Father Mark McNary

Dec. 21, 2014 – Just as all of creation yearned to be restored from the results of the Fall, in Advent we are also called to enter into this longing for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ for the redemption and the life of the world.  In this homily, we reflect on how this longing is to be a natural part at all times of our life in Jesus Christ for the sake of our being made whole.

Rejoicing in Advent – Subdeacon Peter Cox

Dec. 14, 2014 – Here at the mid-point of Advent, we are encouraged to press through and rejoice during this season.  Though we allow God to show us the many ways we are not like Him in this season, His desire is always to heal us and show us mercy if we will remain in Him.

Spiritual Carpe Diem – Father Mark McNary

Dec. 7, 2014 – The idea of Carpe Diem simply means “seize the day.” How should we as Christians embrace this notion and how does it differ from this world’s notion of Carpe Diem?  In this homily we explore together the proper posture one who is in Christ desiring to be found faithful in each day.

The Lifting of the Soul in Advent – Father Robert Weber

Nov. 30, 2014 – Through fasting, prayer, and giving to the less fortunate; we lift up our soul to God and receive grace to be made ready for Him to come again.

Preparation for Advent – Father Mark McNary

Nov. 23, 2014 – Here at the week before the start of Advent, Father Mark reminds us of God’s purposes for us during this season; preparing us to receive Christ at His birth and to have our souls ready for His second and final coming. We also are given a comparison of what this world tends to offer between Thanksgiving and Christmas versus the offering of our God during the Season of Advent.

Inexaustible Forgiveness – Father Mark McNary

Nov. 16, 2014 – Peter asks Jesus, “How many times must we forgive those who sin against us?” The Lord answered, “Seventy times seven.” In this homily we explore the perpetual forgiveness to which Christ has called us to offer those who offend us as well as a look into the reasons why our Lord has place this requirement upon us.

The Wedding Garment – Father Mark McNary

Nov. 2, 2014 – In the Parable of the Wedding Feast from Matthew 22, one man at the wedding is found to be without his wedding garment and is cast out of the feast. This homily seeks to answer the question, “What is the Wedding Garment?” Please forgive the first few moments of the homily as we had technical difficulties

Feast of Christ the King – Father Mark McNary

Oct. 26, 2014 – We have a King, our Lord Jesus Christ, who desires so greatly to share with us all the benefits of His Kingdom. What might life be like when God’s people truly make Him King of their lives and live in the order established by the King?

Love – The Fulfillment of the Law – Bishop John Abdalah

Oct. 19, 2014 – Humanity was created to be like God and God is love. Hear Bishop John encourage us all to love God and love one another. Where there is love, we are at rest and peace because we were created from love to express the nature of God through our lives.

Non Nobis, Domine – Subdeacon Peter Cox

Oct. 11, 2014 – God calls us to put the needs of others before our own and to live a life that is God-centered, not self-centered.

The Widow of Nain – Father Robert Weber

Oct. 4, 2014 – In our sufferings and and in our struggles against hopelessness, let us turn to the One who came into this world to save us, restore us, and call us to Himself offering us His life.

God is Our Refuge and Strength – Father Mark McNary

Sept. 28, 2014 – So many of us struggle with fears, anxiety, and worries in this life.   As long as we only know about God it is doubtful that we will overcome such patterns and emotions when the storms of life present themselves.  In this sermon, Fr. Mark encourages us towards the authentic experience with the Living God in such a way that we come to know Him as the God who is our refuge and strength.

The Calling of St. Matthew – Subdeacon Peter Cox

Sept. 21, 2014 – Our God looks beyond our current frailties as He calls us to fulfill His great purposes.   As Matthew, a tax collector, would be called to become an Apostle and Evangelist; so, too, are we called to good works in Christ.

Exaltation of the Holy Cross – Father Mark McNary

Sept. 14, 2014 – On the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, Father Mark preaches a message regarding the totality of the victory Jesus Christ obtained for us as He endured the Cross.

Authority In The Life Of The Church

Fr. Constantine’s guest is Subdeacon Nicholas Blake of St. Paul church in Houston, who documents his conversion from Anglicanism and explains about the Western Rite Orthodox Church.

The Western Liturgical Rite in Orthodoxy — Frederica Here and Now

An informal chat with the wives of two priests from Western Rite parishes in the Antiochian Archdiocese.

The Western Rite Vicariate

V. Rev. Edward Hughes, Chairman