The Arena
The Arena

Episode · 9 years ago

Do Not Let Go of the Altar

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Sunday of the Myrrhbearers. Learn more about Patristic Nectar Publications.

Ancient faith, radio and patristicnectur publications present the arena Sunday Hommelys and theologicalreflections with Father Jesiah Treno, for he beheld the divine cross as abright flashing. Trophy withit was he victorious over awl who opposeid and hedestroyed the deceit and ar of all the idols while making strong throughoutthe World Orthodox faith and practice. First of Christian kings. Since theking of all created things foresaw thy goodness apart and thy ready obedience,he through reason captured thee when unreason ruled over thee and havingmade thee to shine in heart and mind with a certain knowledge of godly piety,he showed thee to the world as a shining sun that sendeth forth thebeans of all Godly deeds, wise and glorious constanty. What you have just heard are soundbitesfrom some of the lectures in an eight port lecture series entitled Gods,Statesmen, Piers, Christian kings, patristic negtar publications invitesyou to download the first of these main lecters here at ancient faith, radio for more information and the remaininglictures. Please this it our website at www, dot, patristic, nectar, dodor andnow here's father Josiatrenum, with the Sunday Hamma in the name of the father and of theson and of the Holy Spirit won God. Christ is risen, brothers and sisters. Our destiny isupward. We are a people who are moving from theEarth to heaven and into the Kingdom of God, and we need to hear the words that werespoken to the murbering women by the angel today for us, why do you seek himamong the dead who dwells in light immortal? Why do you seek the living amongst thedead brothers and sisters? Are Movementupward means for us that we have to stoplooking for life ind all the wrong places. We have to stop messing in the realms of death and withpeople who are themselves dead and then wondering why we're not blowing over with poscle joy. You know the description of the fathersof the movement to the Kingdom of Heaven is a ladder, the climbing of aladder and thinking about think with me about how you do that the first movement to go up a ladder ifto lift your foot off the earth.

This is thep number one. This is a sign and a symbol for us andour own movement to heaven. We have to remove ourselves from the realm ofdeath and from death dealing carnal desires, as we call them in thepresanctified lenergy. We can't be with those things and wonder why we're notfeeling well wonder why we're depressed wonder whywe're weighed down I've seen far too many tears thesefirst two weeks after Poska, they ought not be here the contradiction between the celebration of Jesus'sResurrection and the sadness is that we bear Paska is not one day. It's not God's will for Uf just to havea few hours of happiness. No, the Lord wants the reality of theresurrection fhresk into us. So then it becomes normative determinative of howwe live so that we actually live a resurrectid life. SNT Paul calls itwalking in newness of life. We have to lift our foot up off the earth and remove ourselves fromthose things which produce awful things, sins and darkness, and then we have toput it on the wrong. This is the opposite side of the coin.This means striving for a heavenly life striving for that way of life. Thosevirtues that characterize resurrect in living this a twofold process to move forwardis described in that beautiful first sum about the blessed man who was Christhimself. Blessed is the man who does not walk in the councel of the wickednor stand with scoffers nor sit in the seat of the wicked. But that's that's. The removing his footfrom the earth doesn't have anything to do with those people. He won't sit downand talk with them. He won't walk with him on the way and he certainly isn'tgoing TA associate with them. His delight, it says, is in the law ofthe Lord and in his law he meditate day and night, and he will be like a treeplanted by the streams of water which bears its fruit in its season. Whateverhe does prospers, that's a beautiful life, its the life of those who say no todeath, dealing things and yes to the acquisition to the studied acquisitionof the heavenly resurrected life to the commandments of the Lord to hissacred law, which brings us by His grace to everlasting life. This is what we have to do this morning. I want to call to your mind one aspect of thatheavenly life of that resurrected life of that newness of living. This is ourour reality of living in mutual care...

...and assistance of one another. This is one of the virtues thatChristians pursue as an expression of being above death. We help each other, we assist eachother, we look out for each other. We endure each other, we protect eachother. We encourage each other, we listen to each other. We sympathizewith each other. We visit each other. We rejoice in each other, we land toeach other, we forgive each other, we correct each other, we work with eachother and we strive on the narrow road to the kingdom with each other. This is the characteristic of resurrected life and it is a great obstacle to the secular world where we live in community, lessislands of individuals that way of life and our way of live do not mish. We like an army, no soldier, is happy simply by the fact that he's not dead. If his comrades around him are allbleeding he's, not happy and the beft of the forces have thatsaying, no man is left behind, wounded or not. The church is no different. The church is the Army of the LordChrist and were in this together for good or for ill were in this together.There is no individualism, we're a body you ever seen, a body in which the arm is happy, but the leg is bleeding and broken. Believe me, if you have one portion ofyour body that is in particular pain, you're, not a happy camper, the wholebody is sorrowful. This is how we live. It's not enough for us and our ownstuff to be fine for the body to be fine. The whole bodymust be fine Sananthony, the GRAT describes it thisway he says our live and our death depend on our neighbor. If we gain our brother, we gain God. If we scandalize our brother, we sinagainst Christ. Saint Silowan says it this way. He says my brother is my life.

Think of the opposite. The opposite isthe evil murderous cane who slew his brother and then en asked about hiswhereabout said. Am I my brothers keeper? The answer is yes, you are, but you didn't do that you slew him. This is our live brothers and sisters,Saint Paul sums in up beautifully in his first epistle to the Corinthians.He says all things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not allthings edify or build up. Let no one seek his own good, but that of his neighbor. The freedom that the Lord has given usby the resurrection is not to be used by off. Just because we can. We exercise our freedom as Christiansbased upon what it dove to our neighbor to our brother. Our sister doesn'tbuild up and if it doesn't build up, though it might be lawful for us, werefrain because we would rather deny ourselv the expression of our freedom, then in any way to detract from or hurtor injure our brother or sister, because the fundamental coursing of ourheart is the benefit of our neighbor, the good of the whole church, and so I'm encouraging you to resolvein this posscle tide, these fifty days between POSCA and pentecost, when wedon't kneel when we celebrate the Resurrection, I'm encouraging you tojump in last week I spoke about the difference between diving, gladness anddivine gladness, let's together seek divine gladness and not let it dive andturn into sins and tears during the days of Poska, I was thinking of how to encourage yousome practical thing to do. This were often left. Those of you who aresincerely trying to increase you're rejoicing andincrease your heavenly aspirationsare always wondering. How can I do it? What should I do- and I hear thisquestion a lot and I thought of this beautiful story- it's a story that took place in thelife of Saint John Crisostum, just after he had become bishop andConstantinople. Remember he had been kidnapped as apriest after twelve years as the as the main pristominols of thecathedral, Anantioch even captured, he had been taken to Constantinople. Hehad been made Bishop and very shortly after that it happened. Most of thatwas the work of the Chancellor of the main civic authority under the emperorand his name was Eptropius. If traupius was a very crafty man and he had heard about John and heconvinced Emperor Arcadius to get johnf that he would be appropriate for thecathedral and Constantinopo well, very shortly after John arrived inConstantinople, astropiusts traftiness got the best of him...

...and he fell out with the emperor sobadly that the emperor sent his men to arrest him and execute him. So what did he do? He fled to thechurch. He came to the Church and he met SaintJohn. There and Saint John gave him refuge and hid him in the Holy Altar. You might not know this, but we have alittle secret place to hide people here too, I'm not joking. We had at speciallybuilt just in case it ever would come to be used. So if you know someone who needs help,you know where to send them. This was the common tradition ofChristian civilization. Is that the church was a safe house, it was a placewhere those who had made big crimes and mistakes could come and not be arrefted.No soldiers were allowed to enter into the church. As long as the personstayed in the church, they were guaranteed safety. That's a very important point, at least if they wanted to givethemselves up. Eventually it would oly be after they had come to their senses.They had been reconciled to God. They had been able to speak with the PRIEFto make confession, be established back in the community of the Church and then,if they wanted to leave the church and be arrefted and suffer their fade, thatwas up to them, but it guaranteed that they would have the time to do thoseimportant things. EFTROPIUS showed up and John took him in now, John took himin very graciously, because there was a great irony about eftrobius's arrival in between the time that he broughtJohn to Constantinople and the time that he fell out with the emperor hehad been working for a change of some laws. He affected a number of changes, guesswhat law he changed. He thought the Church had too muchpower, so he eliminated the law of refuge. He got the emperor to strike down theability for a criminal to take refuge and then there he was snt, JohnCresostum being the ever watchful pafter thought this was a wonderfulirony and so, as he hit him in the altar on one occasion, in the middle ofhis hommily, he walked up to the altar, which was built on magnificent pillarsfor magnificent pillars that had had turtins hung on the four sides of thepillars and underneath was enough room to hidesomeone. This is where he was hiding Eftrophius during the Lenergy, so snt John Thought he would make apoint and as he was preaching, he worked his way back to the altar, and then he began to talk about how weshould always support the church and never work against her as some do andhe pulled the curtain back and revealed. ATROPIUS EFTROPIUS remained in the safety of the churchfor a long time, but he grew weary of the altar of the Lord and he leftattempting to sneak out of the church to save his life. He was captured andbeheaded...

...a sorrowful conclusion for him. Saint John delivered a hummily afterthe death of Etrophius, and he said this and he applied it to the people ofGod. If you want to live in life and you want to avoid death, don't let go of the altar and brothers and sisters, it's not justfor criminals who hide there for all of us. You want to live a resurrected life. You want to know deep joy that ell enables you not to be bound by the things that Jesushimself has defeated. Don't let go of the altar. Keep yourself close to herto the worship of the church. Don't allow your heart to wander away, livelike David, who said one day in God's house is better than one thousandoutside. This is what he said. You know the very word church brothersand sisters ECCLICIA. The word is a call. The word means the gatheredassembly when we say church what we mean is thepeople who come together. This is what we are. It nullifies this idea ofindividualiftic spirituality. We would never say as an Orthodox. Well, I don'thave to go to church today because I can pray just find in my house. No, you can't sorry, you do pray, ind your homes, but yourprayer in your home is nothing like the prayer in the church, combined with theangels and Saints With Your Brothers and sisters and with the priests andclergy leading you. This is the prayer that counts and that animates yourprayer at home. When you hear those beautiful bells,think of how they encourage you to run to the church. This is their beautifulcalling when you begin to hear them ring they're, saying: come brothers andsisters, actualize what you are be, what you have been fashioned to be byChrist: a gathered community around the altar, the portal of God, the presenceof the Kingdom on the earth. You know this is my consolation.Brothers and sisters is when I see the church full when I see the people of God coming topray. This is what makes me feel strong and it works vice versa. If I see the church- and I wonder wherefolks are- and I don't see them- I feel weak, I feel unable to do much. I feel like the thedevils winning. I have a vision. I have a vision for our church were about fifty percentthere. I see a campus that continues to growand to multiply its goodness. That...

...includes a Christian education center,a pair Os School, a wonderful bookstore and coffee shop that will serve as aninformation centr to direct folk where they need to go as a church to orstarting place. I imagine lots of onside ministries. I imagine thecommunity coming here. A Lot hold functions and to interact, I imagine our neighbourhood, includingmore and more parishioners, and this is slowly taking shape right now, more andmore folks trying to find a way that they could plant their families nearthe Church temple. I imagine a laturgical life that isfuller. Compared to some churches, we would canbe considered having a full echurgical life right now, but compared to otherswe have lots of room to grow. I imagine the multiplication ofcompetent chanters, inqhuir singers. This is taking place under our nosesright now. You've seen our young people haven't you teenagers, who are learningto chant and to sing in the choir. What do you think they're going to bedoing in ten years, they're going to be leading services themselves? I imagine more priests and deacons. I imagine a daily Linurgy and vespersevery day of the week where a visit to the church is a partof most of our Parishioners Day, the light a candle to hear God as theLord chanted as faith and piety grows. Churchcentereness grows care for the community grows service grows becausethe face of Christ becomes manifest in us. Butthis is what I'm encouraging youwith just as you invested yourself and lent to cultimate repentance take poscletide as seriously as you did lend. Is it any less serious the call of the Church Dat she offerless services? No, she offers so many beautiful servicesin Postletide so that the truths that we so easily forget, which lead us toour depression, so that those truths can be impressed within us so that wecan meditate upon the fact that our great enemies have been conquered. Youknow today I was hearing some confessions and one of our beloved cheap pold me father. I didn't react so well when things wentwrong and afterwards I said nothing has gone wrong. Nothing, absolutely nothing has gonewrong, whatever the thin, the little things in our life that have gone wrongin the last two weeks. They are nothing unimportant, minor obstacles betweenyou and what is going to make you most happy forever, which is the Kingdom ofGod. They have all been conquered...

...they're all under our saviors feet,there's nothing that is going wrong. Brothers and sisters, ultimatelybecause of what Christ is done. Having that mind only comes through a carefulcultivation of the resurrection through a meditation upon the Cross and theresurrection of our Savior, it doesn't just descend upon you. Like somecharismatic experience, any more than repentance just appears repentancecomes from a meditation upon your sins. Does it not? Joy Comes from a meditation uponJesus's victory so use these days use these days so that you can walk andnewness of life and live the resurrected life and whatever you do do not let go of the holy table. Christ is risen. We hope that you have enjoyed and havebeen edified by this presentation, offer to you. My patristic NectarPublications, a nonprofit organization committed to nourishing this spiritually thirstywith the sweet teachings of the Holy Fathers until next time.

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