Homily - Sanctify the Moment with the Publican
Release Date: 02/09/2020
Homily for the third Sunday after Pentecost (; ). Do we have anxiety or peace? Are our tribulations bringing us anger and despondency or hope? In this homily, Fr. Anthony makes the case that we are suffering from the chaos around us because we skipped a step: we went straight to virtue without first seeking God and His righteousness. This was Fr. Anthony's audible homily; it's not polished, but there you go. Enjoy the show!info_outline We CANNOT Trust Our Feelings (even when we call them our conscience)
This talk was recorded and streamed at 10AM EST on 22 June 2020 on Fr. Anthony Perkins' Youtube Channel. In it, Fr. Anthony talks about what St. Paul’s letter to the Romans teaches us about the utility of feelings and science for discerning and healing the world’s pain. Enjoy the show!info_outline Homily - Neither the Law nor our Conscience make us Good
Fr. Anthony preaches on the epistle reading (Romans 2:10-16), explaining St. Paul's take on the utility of The Law (for the Jews) vs. the Conscience (for the Gentiles) and what it means for us now. Enjoy the show!info_outline Homily - St. John Chrysostom on how the media manipulates and divides us
Homily for All Saints 2020Continuing on the theme of Division Call to unity. But we experience division. The devil loves to divide us [and to solve that division with hedonism and tyranny]. [Review the three parts of the mind] Rather than taking the unity of God into our minds (through the heart), and spreading it through our families, friendships, communities and the world; we do the opposite: we take the divisions and tyrannies of the devil in the world, bring them into our minds (through our emotions; justified by our brains), and spread them through our families and...info_outline Homily for Pentecost 2020 - Peace against and in Chaos
At Pentecost we celebrate the Holy Trinity and the restoration of unity from the division of Babel. How are we to understand the present division within that frame? Fr. Anthony provides some context and gives three pieces of advice for these difficult times: 1) cultivate peace in the heart and in relations 2) be charitable towards the intentions of others and 3) trust God's plan on redemption for all of us.info_outline Homily - Our Division Goes Against God's Will
This homily was given on the Sunday after the Ascension (St. John 17:1-13; Acts 20:16-18, 28-36) and after a week of our shared outrage over police brutality and a growing concern about the rioting that has occurred in response to that brutality. God wants us to be one; how are we doing with that?!info_outline Canonist Fr. Harry Linsinbigler on Orthodox Ecclesiology and Ukraine
Join Fr. Anthony on his back porch in Hartwell, Georgia, as he talks with author, priest, professor, and canonist, Fr. Harry Linsinbigler about Orthodox Ecclesiology and Ukraine. There's at least a little in here for everyone to be challenged by.info_outline Ecclesiology, the Coronavirus and how Christ manifests Himself "In Every Church"
Join Fr. Anthony Perkins on his back porch in Hartwell, GA as he talks with author, canonist, and professor, Fr. Harry Linsinbigler about his new book on ecclesiology, "In Every Church" (also "Orthodox Ecclesiology") and how it helps us understand today's ecclesial challenges. They also talk about how ecclesiology expresses itself in the responses to the coronavirus. Enjoy the show!info_outline Homily on the Samaritan Woman and Evangelizing with Love
In this homily on the woman at the well (St. Luke 4:1-42), Fr. Anthony describes how Jesus Christ taught us to do evangelism by leading with love. Enjoy the show!info_outline Where is the church? Heart? Home? Parish? Diocese? Patriarchate?
Join Fr. Anthony on his back porch in Hartwell, Georgia, as talks with priest, professor, and canonist, Fr. Harry, about his new books ("In Every Church" and "Orthodox Ecclesiology") and why it’s important to get ecclesiology right. This is a recording from .info_outline
Homily – Publican and Pharisee
Fr. Anthony Perkins
All of creation is pregnant with potential – less full of lifeless atoms or particles than of seeds just waiting to be brought forth into fruition. And here I speak not just of literal seeds (although it is almost time to start working with those and getting them ready for transfer into the garden come Spring), but of everything.
All of creation is ready to grow, made that way by its Maker, just waiting for our attention – the attention of its stewards – to bring it from possibility into realization. When sown by stewards of pure heart and understanding, these seeds will be nurtured into beauty, offering the best possible fruit, [and] manifesting the glory of God in very tangible ways. When sown by stewards of ill will, apathetic spirit, or twisted rationality, these seeds will grow into something much less savory, twisted testimonies to pride and carelessness. Think of these examples:
- The relationship of the newly wedded couple contains so much potential. Will they be good stewards of that seed, nurturing it into a marriage that will be a blessing to themselves, their families, and their communities? Or will they warp it with the waters of their own pride, forcing it to grow into a noxious and bitter weed with reeking flowers that foul the air and harm all those who rub against it? The seed could grow either way – it is up to them; it is their decision.
- Starting even earlier, take the example of the literal seed within the womb. There is so much potential there. What will it become? A child of light or a spreader of darkness? Or, like a quarter of such perfect seeds, will it be sacrificed to the false gods of irresponsibility and liberation long before it sees the light of day?
- Take the first interaction between strangers – will this potential relationship manifest itself as an application of love and friendship, or as a selfish transaction between a hustler and his mark? Or will the potential remain just that as the two strangers remain just that – strangers – and the possibility for the incarnation of perfection through what could have been a powerful friendship remains unrealized.
Perhaps these are too abstract – we are not used to thinking about relationships in these terms. Americans tend to be more practical – so let us turn to the building blocks of this society: money and time.
- Each dollar within our wallets, our purses, and our accounts is a seed. It has such potential to change lives – will it grow into a beautiful fruit that feeds and heals, or a stunted sacrifice designed to slate our selfish addictions for a moment longer. It has such great potential – what kind of stewards of that dollar – that talent, to use Biblical language – will we be?
- And what will we do with our time? Every moment is so pregnant – what will it become? How will it be redeemed? In idleness or action? In prayer or prelest? As an offering to love or selfishness? Today we have a great lesson in the use – and misuse of time. Will we work the moments we are given in a way that brings us into closer union with perfection, or will we work it in a way that moves us only deeper into our own delusion?
Let’s look at the lesson from the Creator Himself that describes this very dynamic.
- Let’s start with the Pharisee. He was praying. How could he go wrong? He had tended his garden so well… but then poisoned it with his pride. The moment wasn’t just wasted, it was polluted.
- How about the Publican? He was praying, too. No matter what a mess he had made with all the previous potentialities, in this moment – he was pure. And God moved within the seed of that moment, that pure offering, and it became like the mustard seed – growing to crowd out all that had been grown before.
Another way to think of this is that there is a seed of perfection within us all, ready to manifest itself through every moment and action of our lives. But we can pervert this possibility with our willfulness and pride.
Let's not do that; that would be bad!
Instead, let us look at every moment as an opportunity to do something good and to do something beautiful so that we and this world we are meant to care for will become good and beautiful.
The Gospel lesson today shows us that the way to bless the moment in this way begins not with memorizing the scripture or mastering the rigors of fasting or of tithing everything we have. The Pharisee did all those things in a way that closed his soul off from grace. No, we begin as the Publican: with humility.
On our own, we have nothing to offer the moment that can help it. We have nothing to share with our neighbor that can benefit them. We have nothing fitting to offer God that can match His glory. And so we offer him our humility.
And this humility becomes an opening through which the grace can flow, and as long as we keep it open – as long as we keep pride at bay and remain attentive to the actual needs of the moment - that grace will transform us and bless everyone around us. The imagery given to the prophet Isaiah will then be fulfilled: the desert places will become fruitful gardens because we will have watered them with the teats of our repentance and with the Living Water of grace that flows from the open heart of Christ and all His people.