2013 Sermons

Becoming Like Jesus
July 07, 2013
We have a self-portrait of Jesus. When we keep that in front of our eyes, we will soon learn what it means to follow Jesus and become like Him. Read more »

BC vs AD - All Saints Sunday
June 30, 2013
Before Christ, we live our lives according to our own desires and passions, and follow the influence and ways of the world. Living “in the year of the Lord” implies that something other than ourselves stands at the center of history. Read more »

Filling our Lamps - Pentecost
June 23, 2013
“To keep a lamp burning, we have to keep putting oil in it.," Mother Teresa taught. "To keep the light of Christ aflame within us, we have to keep inviting the Holy Spirit in! We have to keep opening our lives for the Spirit of God to flow freely within us.” Read more »

Imitating Our Heavenly Father
June 16, 2013
One of the most precious images we have of God is as our Heavenly Father. Jesus Himself taught His followers to think of “the One who is and was and is to come, the Lord Almighty” as “Our Father” whenever we pray. What a radical image that Christ offered to His disciples – telling them not to think of our All Powerful Creator as a distant God, as someone or something separate and far from us, but to relate with our Maker as our Father! Read more »

Renewing our Faith - A Trip to Albania
June 09, 2013
"To find yourself, you must offer yourself." This is one off the teachings that 13 students from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, St. Vladimir’s Seminary, St. Tikhon’s Seminary, and Hellenic College, along with my beloved former professor, Fr. Alkiviadis Calivas, and I learned from Archbishop Anastasios during our recent class and trip to Albania. Read more »

Responses to the "Daily Act" Challenge
May 26, 2013
Every day I send out a Daily Inspirational Email to around 500 people, which includes a brief Spiritual Meditation, Bible Reading, and Life of a Saint. Recently, I have included a section called “DAILY ACT” challenging people to do some random act of love and kindness which reflects our faith. Read more »

Dreaming of the Jack Pot
May 19, 2013
$560 million dollars! That was the jack pot winner of the Powerball Lottery, and someone won the winning ticket yesterday. Imagine winning close to $600 million. What would you do? How would your life change? Would it change for the better? Would it make you happier? Read more »

Pascha - The Great Cosmic Joke
May 05, 2013
In some parts of Greece, there is a tradition that the day after Pascha is a day devoted to telling jokes. This tradition came about because they said that during Holy Week God pulled the greatest joke on Satan himself, when Christ willingly accepted to die on the Cross. Satan thought he won - that he had defeated Jesus, that darkness had conquered light, evil had conquered good, and death had conquered life – Satan thought he had won only to find out that when Christ entered the devil’s domain, hades, he could not contain Him. Read more »

The Joy of our King
April 28, 2013
One of the greatest accusations ever made against Christians could be summarized by the words of the famous atheist philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, when he said that Christians had no joy; that Christianity was a joyless religion. Read more »

Where is our Safety - The Boston Marathon Bombing
April 21, 2013
What an unbelievable scene for Boston or anywhere in America? Exploding bombs? A car chase with hand grenades and pipe bombs thrown out the window? A firefight with 200 rounds of gunshots in the middle of Watertown. Terror and fear grip the people as a massive manhunt shuts down an entire city. Read more »

Christ the Healer of the Broken
March 31, 2013
How many of us are weighed down by some past deed that we did? I know people who live in the shadow of terrible mistakes or some bad choices they made 20 years ago, and they still are paralyzed by these hidden sins, or the guilt and shame that came with them. Others have allowed habitual sins, daily bad habits, or serious addictions to control their lives, and have given up hope at ever changing. Read more »

Preparing for the Last Judgment
March 10, 2013
This past week, I attended the funeral of 29 year old Matthew Beland, the son of our parishioner Eric Beland, and then 57 year old David Davis, one of our beloved members who joined our church family five years ago. David died in his sleep, and Matthew died after a brief battle with lymphoma. As I attended these funerals two days in a row, I soberly reflected on how brief our life is, and how unexpected and quick our death can come. Read more »

Understanding the Prodigal Son
March 03, 2013
Do we understand that we have a Heavenly Father whose love is far greater than any sin we can ever commit! Our sins, no matter how great, are as a drop of water compared with the entire ocean of God’s unconditional love. May we always remember this fact, especially when we have fallen away from God. God’s love and goodness is far greater than any sin or evil we can ever commit Although this parable is often called The Prodigal Son, a more accurate title would be the Parable of The Loving Father, since He is the main character in the story! This is the heart of what the Gospel, and Christianity are all about! Read more »

Pride vs Humility
February 24, 2013
“Better is the person who has sinned, if he knows he has sinned and repents, than the person who has not sinned and thinks himself righteous.” Read more »

Faith of the Canaanite Woman
February 17, 2013
I can’t move a mountain, or overcome an obstacle, but no hindrance is greater than God. I can’t, but He can. And He is waiting for us to discover what it means to trust in Him – this great gift of FAITH. Read more »

Building Up a Healthy Church
February 10, 2013
This past week I was in Atlanta offering a series of talks to a group of 60 clergymen on the topic “Building Up a Healthy Church.” These talks, which are a part of a class I teach at Holy Cross, as well as are based on the mission statement of our Sts. Constantine and Helen Church, highlight the five central characteristics that every Church and all Christians should constantly use to evaluate and cultivate our own spiritual growth. Read more »

Proclaiming a Culture of Life
January 27, 2013
This past week, tens of thousands gathered in Washington DC to mark the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision on Roe v Wade. This annual March for Life draws our nation’s attention not only to the topic of abortion, but also focuses on proclaiming a culture of life instead of death. I realize that this topic is one that can passionately cause division among people, but we followers of Jesus Christ need to soberly and seriously reflect on an issue that takes the lives of 1.4 million babies a year in our own country, or approximately 55 million children since 1973, and which takes the lives of 40-50 million babies every year worldwide! Read more »

Moses and the Promised Land
January 20, 2013
Imagine leading two to three million slaves into freedom, while God performs incredible miracles through your hands. You then take these newly freed slaves to Mt. Sinai and receive the Law and Ten Commandments directly from God. You have an intimate relationship with God, where the Lord speaks to you face to face, as a friend. For forty years, you lead these stubborn, hardheaded people through the desert, enduring their complaining and grumbling, while miraculously seeing God feed them daily with manna from heaven. From the time you leave Egypt, through the next forty years, you continuously talk about your destination, the Promised Land, the land of milk and honey. Then, when God sees His people finally ready to journey into the land He promised, you as their leader are only allowed to climb a mountain and see the Promised Land from a distance. You are not allowed, however, to enter into the land yourself, or go with your people! Read more »

Light Has Dawned - Inspiration from Les Miserables
January 13, 2013
How many people have seen the new movie/musical “Les Miserables?” I’d highly recommend seeing the musical, reading the book, and/or seeing the 1998 movie starring Liam Neeson. When I read this book 25 years ago, it became one of my all-time favorites! Then I saw the musical on Broadway and London, and haven’t stopped listening to the music over all these years. This powerful story has inspired countless people, not only because it has a moving plot and incredible music, but because in so many ways it’s a summary of the Gospel. Victor Hugo, the author of the original book, captured the essence of Christianity in its most practical sense by telling the story of a pathetic, broken man, rejected and despised by society, yet redeemed by God’s love and grace in the most unexpected way. And through this redemption, love transforms this miserable person into a Christ-like character. In fact, this story summarizes the lives of some of our most beloved saints – wretched, dejected sinners transformed into icons of Christ through the divine love and grace they encounter from others. Read more »

The Sandy Hook School Massacre
January 13, 2013
Such a painful tragedy as Sandy Hook is surely one of life’s greatest mysteries that no one can fully understand. Why does someone kill innocent children? How does such evil intent grow in the heart of a 20 year old man? What has our society done to cultivate such hatred, anger, evil, pain and hurt? Each question, though, is a deep mystery with which we may not find clear answers, yet we know that we have to live through this mystery with faith and hope. Read more »

Shining the Light of Christ
December 31, 1969
St. Innocent, one of the greatest Russian missionaries who brought the Gospel to Alaska in the 19th century, admitted that his main problem in preaching to the native peoples of Alaska was the terrible witness of his fellow Russians, the fur traders and explorers. When St. Innocent preached the Good News to the native Alaskans, they would ask, “Aren't these other Russian workers Orthodox Christian? Read more »

Never Ending Change and Transformation
December 31, 1969
Right now there’s a popular song that I have heard continuously over the past weeks entitled Same Love, which was written on behalf of gay legal rights. The refrain of the song goes, “I can’t change, even if I tried, even if I wanted to, I can’t change” Read more »

What Does Christ Expect From Us
December 31, 1969
What does Jesus expect from us? Do you ever think about that? What does our Lord want us to do in our lives, and what does He expect us to offer back to Him? Read more »

Casting Out the Demons in Our Lives
December 31, 1969
Demons, evil, the dark side, or however we name the forces of Satan, seem very evident in our society. But what about in our own lives? Do we actually believe in demons, in demonic possession, in the force of evil active in our own lives? Read more »

Allowing Christ to Live in Me
December 31, 1969
“It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” It’s a pretty radical statement, yet it summarizes the journey and goal of our Christian life. We are on a lifelong struggle, which can be quite challenging and difficult, where we are not only called to become more and more like Jesus, but where we labor to control and crucify our own ego and actually allow Christ to be formed in us. Read more »

Transfiguring Our Lives
December 31, 1969
Christ did not come simply to teach man, but to transfigure him, to re-adorn human nature in light, divine light, the glory of the Father. This final purpose for man is revealed in Christ’s transfiguration on the mount, this foretaste of the glorious future visible Theophany. Read more »

Kindness as a Reflection of God's Love
December 31, 1969
Listen to what St. Isaac the Syrian has to say about the all-embracing love and kindness of God: "The 'merciful heart' in a human person is therefore the image and likeness of God's mercy, which embraces the whole of creation – people, animals, reptiles, and demons. In God, there is no hatred towards anyone, but all-embracing love which does not distinguish between righteous and sinner, between a friend of truth and an enemy of truth, between angel and demon. Every created being is precious in God's eyes." Read more »

How God Cares for Those In Need
December 31, 1969
When we look at people in need – a poor family that can’t take care of their children, a lonely person with no one to turn to, an elderly person who has no one to help them, scenes of the horror from war and poverty around the world – whatever the situation, when we see people in need, how do we feel? What do we think? But most importantly, how do we respond? Read more »

God's Co-Worker: The Georgia School Shooting
December 31, 1969
“I have no one who loves me… I have nothing to live for!” Michael Hill entered the school with an AK 47, 500 rounds of ammo, and a world of darkness, yet he unexpectedly encountered a woman from the opposite spectrum. Read more »

The Beginning - Jesus Fulfills the Prophecy
December 31, 1969
“Today, this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” What did that mean? Isaiah was talking about the Messiah, a time when our messianic dreams would come true and the Anointed One of the Almighty would usher in the reign of God. We all dreamed of the Messiah and hoped that He would come in our lifetime, but what was Jesus talking about?!? Read more »

No Greater Love - The Heroic Act of Arland Williams Jr.
December 31, 1969
We believe that we were created in the image of the Divine Love of God, and such love has unlimited potential. The true mark of an authentic human being, one who has reached this potential, living out the divine likeness in which he or she was created, is to love the world around us in an extreme manner – not only loving our family and friends and those who are close to us, but also loving unknown strangers and even loving our enemies. Read more »

Casinos, Gambling and Love
December 31, 1969
The contrast couldn’t be sharper to see on the Narthex table one card that said “Enjoy a night out at the casinos” and the brochures right next to it which invite everyone to, “Encounter Christ in His Church.” Casinos or Christ? They truly represent two radically different worldviews. Gambling vs. Security? Losing Money vs. Finding Eternal Riches? Taking advantage of others, especially the poor vs. Helping others, especially those in greatest need? Fantasy dreams of jackpots vs. ultimate reality of loving service. Casinos vs. Christ. The contrast couldn’t be greater! Read more »

Are Our Hearts Open and Our Ears Listening
December 31, 1969
The world around us - with its secular spirit, its comfortable and materialistic worldview, with its often conflicting message towards our Christian ethos and morals - anesthetizes us to what is essential and important in our spiritual lives. If we don’t consciously make every concerted effort to listen to the Word of God, to wrestle with understanding how to apply it in our lives, and then to struggle to live it out in our daily lives, then we will also be like the people that Isaiah criticized. Our hearts will have grown dull, our ears will be hard of hearing and our eyes will be blinded. Read more »

Christ the Great Interferer
December 31, 1969
If we truly believe in Jesus Christ as the Lord and Master of our lives, than His priorities need to become our priorities; our life’s orientation needs to turn towards Him and His ways. Yes, God is the "Great Interferer," as C.S. Lewis called Him. He does want to interfere with our lives, especially when our lives need to be interfered with. Read more »

A Theology of Interruptions
December 31, 1969
How many of us like being interrupted? We may be in the middle of doing something, and then someone unexpectedly comes up to us, interrupts us, and disrupts our planned schedule. How about when we’re doing something really important? How do we act when such interruptions happen? Read more »

Do We Notice Our Neighbor?
December 31, 1969
Mother Teresa told a story about a very poor family with six children, who had nothing to eat. So Mother Teresa went to visit their home, and brought a big sack of rice. As soon as she gave the sack of rice to the poor family, the mother divided half of the rice and went out the door. She was gone for 10 minutes, and then returned empty-handed. Mother Teresa was surprised to see her leave right away, and asked her, “Where did you go? Read more »

Emmanuel - God is With Us
December 31, 1969
The feast of Christmas proclaims something that is inconceivable to the human mind: that the Creator of the universe came to dwell among us. He came to be united with the human race, to taste our struggles and to share our pain, in order to lift us up into a new reality. All world religions may point to people searching for God, but only Christianity offers the completely different and unique story that Almighty God became one of us in order “to deify us”. Christmas is about this shocking reality! Read more »

The Legacy of Nelson Mandela
December 31, 1969
"Resentment is like drinking poison, and then hoping it will kill your enemies,” Mandela emphasized, “If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then your enemy becomes your partner.” Read more »

Loving Our Neighbor as the Good Samaritan
December 31, 1969
What is life about? Is life only the 80 or so years that we live on earth and then that’s the end? Is there something after death? Is there an eternity? All this relates to the question of whether there truly is a God? If so, if God truly exists, then we must ask ourselves, what must I do to live with God for all eternity? Read more »

Gifts of the Magi and the Spirit of Stewardship
December 31, 1969
Think about how the Magi were conscientious stewards with their knowledge, experience and wisdom, as well as stewards of their time and effort, which culminated in their good stewardship of their treasure. St. John Chrysostom highlights that true wealth comes through sharing what we have first received from God Himself. Ultimately, whatever we have isn’t ours! All is God’s, and we are simply caretakers of His riches. As we learn to generously give of ourselves, of our time, talents and treasure, we only increase our wealth and make eternal investments. Read more »

Success in God's Eyes or According to the World
December 31, 1969
Success. According to the world OR according to God. Two completely different perspectives!!! May each of us take care not to become a “fool” in God’s eyes, but to live out our lives as good and faithful stewards of all He has given us! Read more »

An Attitude of Gratitude
December 31, 1969
When we understand our Christian faith, and sincerely strive to walk with Jesus Christ and allow His Spirit to dwell richly within our hearts and minds, an attitude of gratitude becomes an obvious and beautiful fruit of our faith. Of course, the opposite is true as well. When we don’t express gratitude, we are spiritually sick. An inability to thank God for our daily blessings, and to thank those around us who bless us with their words, their actions, and their lives, is a serious sign of spiritual pride and illness! Read more »

The Kingdom of God as a Celebration
December 31, 1969
It’s no wonder why our Lord Jesus Christ used the analogy of a celebration to describe the Kingdom of Heaven. He wanted people to realize that the Kingdom of Heaven was not only comparable to the best of any earthly feasts we ever tasted, but in fact, far superseded such festivities, because the Kingdom of God is an eternal event – a joy greater than any joy one has ever tasted, a fellowship of love deeper than anything that one has ever experienced, and a happiness that never dissipates, because it marks the soul. Read more »