Sun, 27 September 2020
In this homily, Fr. Anthony explains the meaning of the Cross for us today in the light of 1 Corinthians 6:12 ("All things are lawful for me..."), Philippians 2:6 ("[Christ Jesus] did not consider it robbery"), 1 Corinthians 10:33 ("...so that some might be saved."), and the Transfiguration. Enjoy the show!
Sat, 26 September 2020
This is the audio recording of Fr. Anthony Perkins' YouTube livestream on 26 September 2020. In it Seminarian James Cummings talks about the journey of discernment that took him through the army, the Satanic priesthood, and finally to Christ and Holy Orthodoxy. Enjoy the show!
Sun, 20 September 2020
Sunday after the Exaltation of the Cross Galatians 2:16-20; Mark 8:34-9:1
(The Greatest Commandment) life has no meaning without a goal. Goals allow us to distinguish between what is useful and what isn’t; the right goal ensures that all our actions are virtuous.
This week restates this lesson. Listen closely:
And Jesus called to him the multitude with his disciples, and said to them, If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. (Mark 8: 34)
Do you see how this is just a restatement of the goal of “loving God and neighbor”?
The “self” that we must deny has to be properly understood or we will end up perverting the Scripture, pursuing the wrong goal, wasting our talent, and – as we are warned in today’s Gospel reading – losing our very soul/life. There are two main ways that the “denial of self” should be understood:
So why the big warning? Because today’s reading, like last week’s, comes with a big warning:
For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. (Mark 8: 35)
The bottom line is that you will waste and ruin your life if you pursue the wrong goals. Idolatry? Two masters? Temple? It’s all saying the same thing. Don’t waste your life. Live a life of virtue. Commit yourself to it, study how to do it well, and then work hard an sacrifice yourself for it. Parts of you will rebel – deny those parts. Other parts will enjoy it; this is the multiplication of your talents – take that joy and offer to God and share it with your neighbor … this is how you grow “into the joy of your master” (Matthew 25:21).
One of the ways that today’s reading can be misunderstood is to think that the “denial of self” means the denial of joy. Now I hope you see how ridiculous this is. Do not turn God into a monster: he is not trying to turn this world into a hell of misery but into a place where all his children have joyful life in abundance (John 10:10) – and He wants us to want and work for that, too.
The denial of self does NOT mean that we hate or neglect or selves; quite the opposite. This is made clear by the final verse we will cover in today’s homily;
For what does it profit a man, to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul (life)? (Mark 8:36)
Love of self means doing what is good for the self; pursuit of the wrong goals brings destruction to our lives. That is not love, that is something else. You know people who have destroyed their lives through the pursuit of power, or of laziness and self-indulgence, or of the approval of the wrong people, or through drugs … this is what Jesus means when He warns that you can gain the world but lose your soul. People who have lived for the wrong goal may well “gain the whole world”, but all that effort has been counter-productive; it has not brought abounding joy, it has not brought joy to others.
So now that you understand this command of Our Lord, the challenge is to make it your primary motivation:
Deny yourself. Give up your life and live it for the Good News of salvation that is guaranteed to bring joy to you and to this world.
Sat, 19 September 2020
This is a recording of Fr. Anthony's livestream on 19 September 2020. It it, he and Dn. Michael Abrahamson talk about gardening and the difference between transactional love (loving to be liked, respected, etc.) and loving without reservation. Enjoy the show!
Sun, 13 September 2020
St. Matthew 22:1-14 (The Wedding Feast)
Today is the threshold of the new liturgical year, a time when we take stock of ourselves and the great story we are a part of. Today I want to retell this story. You are familiar with the events, but perhaps not with how they fit together or how they culminate with the revelation offered in today’s Gospel. It is a huge story, running from the very beginning until now – and just a bit into the future. Obviously there isn’t time to go over all the nuances of this story – that would literally take forever; but there is time to speak of the general contours. Mel Brooks did it in two hours – I propose to do it in much less. And while the story I tell will not be funny like his (nor will it allow our subdeacon to test out of this semester’s class on the Old Testament), understanding it can be a passage through which we can understand and rejoice in this world and our place in it.
Act I: In the Beginning
But this new creature, this steward with the power to affect everything in the world around it, ignored its calling and used its power for something else. It still had this power, the world still responded to its thoughts and actions, but instead of bringing blessings, it brought curses. Instead of fruits, the world offered up thorns and thistles. Instead of a joyful abundance of life, it brought pain and death. The steward became perverted and warped, and it warped and perverted the world. It groaned in sin.
Act II: The Flood
Act III: The Tower of Babel and the Instruction of lsrael
Act IV: The New Adam
Act V: Unity in Christ
Today Christ refers to this calling as a wedding feast. He desires that His people join Him in His joy. But do you remember how they responded? They had other things to do! They mocked and turned down His offer. They even killed His messengers. But others did come in. We have joined them. We have put on our wedding garments and bask in the glory of Our Lord.
But the story does not end there. We, here at Holy Resurrection in the heart of Appalachia, have the fullness of the Church. We are the New Adam. The world is groaning in sin – the people suffer. We must go out and be the source of healing, joy, and unity that we are meant to be. It is time for us to live up to our commission. Through Christ, this is possible.
Sun, 6 September 2020
1 Corinthians 16:13-24; St. Matthew 21:33-42. In this homily, Fr. Anthony describes how our obsession with past wrongs, the future, and tribalism turn us into the vinedressers who persecuted the owners servants; will we also kill his son? Enjoy the show!