The Arena
The Arena

Episode · 9 years ago

Love Gifts from the King

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Ancient faith. Radio and patristic nectar publications present the arena Sunday homilies and theological reflections with Father Josiah Treno. We experience this continual dying with the confidente faith that he who ray of Jesus is also going to raise us. Our Future is not ultimately death, but resurrection. The seed has to fall into the ground in order to sprout. We can't be raised if we aren't buried. Remember that the first few days are exceedingly important for praying for the departed. This is our contribution to assist them through this tremendous transition. When someone who we love crosses the bridge to the next life, immediately the bridge that they croft if torched. There's no going back and forth on it and there's no US following them or them coming back, and we're left with many questions, and this class is designed to look at the mystery of death and answer some of those questions. What you have just heard our sound bites from some of the lectures in a seven part lecture series entitled a Christian ending to our lives. patristic nectar publications invites you to download the first of these seven lectures here at ancient faith radio. For more information and the remaining lectures, please visit our website at www dot patristic nectar dot org. And now here's father Josiah with the Sunday homily. In the name of the father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit, one God, Christ is born. The Merry Christmas to all of you. On the sixth day, this Sunday after our Savior's Nativity and which we commemorate the flight into Egypt, is a day, a Sunday of kings, a wicked one, a humble and pious one and a divine one. The wicked one is Herod, who was a man drunk on his own authority, who was threatened at the glad tidings of the prophets and was terribly worried that if this long for Messiah King would come, his own kingdom would be compromised. This remains one of the great threats of Christ to those who are in love with their own kingdoms. Most kings throughout history...

...have not been able to reconcile with Christ, and we don't look to the history of kings for a great abundance of saintliness. Thank God we do have pious statesmen, but they're few, just like the pious rich are few. It's very easy to be tripped up by a master, a Lord, when you are the Lord on the Earth. This wicked man was inflamed with anger. His anger spray. It spread to hatred and ended up in murder. He was upset because he was treated by the Magi kings from the east the same way he treated them. He tricked them and they tricked him and, like so many, it's bitter when you're treated the way you treat others. It couldn't take it. He couldn't take it, and so he became a mass murderer and ordered the slaughter of the children of Bethlehem, two years old and younger. This is the wicked king. Today is also the Feast Day of the Prophet and King David, a man after God's own heart, a man full of contrition and repentance, whose ambition was to worship the Lord and Shepherd his people, Israel, and today is also the day on which we celebrate the divine king, our Savior, Jesus Christ. Heaven has become the cave, the Virgin has become the throne of the Cherubim and Emmanuel, God with us, has arrived. The Magi Kings from the east worship him and bring to him their sacrifice and their gifts, gold and Frankincense and Mer and we ought follow their example, brothers and sisters, into the New Year, and I encourage you. What sacrifices will you give to the king this year? What sacrifices and gifts will you make? How will you turn your back on the evil one, the way those Magi kings turned their backs on the idols of their homeland in order to serve the Christ child. God Inspire you as you make this decision on how to serve the King, the divine one. We see today, brothers and sisters, in the Gospel text, that our savior came with a unique kingship, a kingship a royalty that would manifest it in the spilling of his own blood. He came and was born to...

...die, and the persecution that would eventually lead to Golgatha began immediately from his infancy. He went into hiding, he went on the run, he started his life of not having a place to lay his head from the time that he was a little baby, and so his parents, being warned by God in a dream took him south to Egypt in order to escape evil, in order to fulfill prophecy and in order to bless Egypt, in fulfillment of the prophets predictions. And Egypt was blessed. And Egypt responded to the presence of the Lord, giving him the most blessed monastics, giving him perhaps the greatest higherarchs that have ever been think of Saint Athanasius the great, and giving him some of the greatest martyrs who adorn the walls of our own church. Think of Saint Catharine, think of Saint Barbara, who will be here on this pillar shortly. Egypt responded to the presence of Christ and returned to him many fold. He could have come with a rod of iron. The ragings of kings are nothing to him. He could have taken that rod and smashed it against the head of Herod and brought Him to judgment. He could have stopped all the evil of those who were resisting his words. We even have a few accounts in the scripture where those who were surrounding him were literally begging him to do so. One Account, as in the sixth chapter of St John's Gospel, he had just fed the multitudes miraculously, and in verse fifteen it says that all the people had gathered to him and that Jesus, knowing they were coming to make him king, withdrew privately. He hid from them. He knew what they wanted, what they conceived of, was significantly below the kingship he had to offer them, and so he hid from their hands and from their wishes and he turned down earthly power and instead he displayed the kingship of virtue and love and salvation. You remember when the disciples themselves asked him to manifest that type of power before he was to go to the cross, and he said to them, onest lie, don't you think that I could call twelve legions of angels from my father's but how will the prophecies of the...

Scriptures be fulfilled if I do that? How will you be saved if you get an earthly king and are still in your sins? If you're still in the power of the evil one, but have an earthly king free you from earthly sorrows, we've still no salvation. Our savior voluntarily chose persecution from his earliest days and he promised us the same kind of life. He says, the servant is not greater than the master. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you, and if they held to my words, they will hold to yours. This is what he said to the apostles. He made a promise. There would be some who would receive the word, just like there were some who followed our savior, and there would be others who would resist and persecute the bearer of the word. And this has proved true in the apostles life and, brothers and sisters, it proves true in our life to this day. The important thing is to be a faithful and true disciple, hold on to Christ, hold on to his words, and let the separation of the sheep and the goats, which is going to take place definitively by the Agency of the angels at the end of time, before the judgment seed of God, let it take place partially in time now, because that's what's taking place. The Lord God has been manifested in the midst of human misery. He's voluntarily chosen to suffer contradiction, the contradiction of sinners, and to exercise regal patience, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to hear the glad tidings of his birth and of what he has done from mankind. This is the reason that the world continues. It's the reason the judgment hasn't come, so that everyone can hear and everyone can believe, all those that will. The love of Christ triumphed in the midst of human darkness then and the love of Jesus continues to triumph in the midst of darkness today, and I would suggest, brothers and sister, that that's known more clearly seen than in the magnificent gifts of love that our savior has given to the church, that he has continually given to the church through her great arch pastors and priests. You remember what Saint Paul says in the Fourth Chapter of his epistle to the EPHESIANS. He says that Christ ascended on high, leading captivity captive, and from that high position he sent forth, he gave gifts to men, pastors...

...and teachers. Pastors and teachers are the gifts of the ascended Christ to manifest and to democratize his love, the love of the Good Shepherd, to all of us in the world. And, brothers and sisters, we are celebrating today the election of our archpastor the election of John The ten, His beatitude, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, elected to our church just ten days ago. Just ten days ago, I want to say a few words about his life to you and about who he is, so that you can know what Christ have done for us in his election. Newly Elected Patriarch, Johanna John Yaji is one of four children born in a very pious family in Latakia, in the northern province of Syria, in one thousand nine hundred and fifty five. His father was from Latakia, his mother was a native of Tripoli in Lebanon. Just as a side note, all of the three serious candidates for patriarch were all from Latakia and all had been raised under the pious shepherding of the much esteemed Metropolitan John Monsour of the Takia. This beautiful man, this beautiful metropolitan, bears witness to the fact that one man, one man who sincerely loves God and is a Zealot for Holy Orthodoxy, can fertilize the entire church. All of the candidates came from his diocese. It was there, in two thousand and ten that I was blessed to kiss the right hand of Metropolitan John and to con celebrate the Holy Liturgy, much to my heart's delight, in his Cathedral. I shared some of those experiences with you several years ago and especially how touched I was by the prayers, by the enthusiasm of the people, and I couldn't leave the church with the ladies surrounded the concelebrants, the priests and, as our ladies do so often, you know, saying our hymns in that beautiful Arabic way, saying so many beautiful things. It made me embarrassed. All the wonderful concelebrants of the Holy Altar. God give them many years, oh those who bless us and sanctifies all those who bring us holy communion. Oh, I was read in the face, but I was deeply touched by the evidence of the love of God in...

...that diocese. It was there that I spied the New Church of St John in the middle of Latakia. It's where I encounter the exquisite marble work of Paeus Katchuk and was able to make a contact with him so that he would carve our ICONOSTAS and alter. Patriarch John was educated in Syria. He did a BEA in civil engineering. He studied then Byzantine Music and obtained degree in Patristics. He did his PhD studying the Church fathers and Thessaliniqui Greece, under the fame professor Funduli's he wrote his PhD dissertation on the Sacred Right of baptism. He is a marvelous family. His brother Bulos is the Metropolitan of Aleppo, his sister is a nun in the monastery of the dor mission in Lemna and sit in northern Syria. Patriarch John Himself was formed in the monastic life at St Paul's monastery under the much revered and oldest reigning Abbot of Mount Athos, Father Parthenios, and from Mount Athos he has his manastic tonsure. He has dedicated his life as a priest and then as a bishop and then as a metropolitan to the formation of the youth and especially to the propagation of sacred chant and beauty, Byzantine musiccology. He started youth choirs all over Syria, served as the dean of the Balamond seminary and as the Abbot of the monastery. These things you can find from his his biography and I want to share just a few personal things about Patriarch John, my from my own little experience. I first heard about Patriarch John from the lips of our former parishion of whom many of you know, Abraham a boot remember. Abrahams from the Valley of the Christians in Syria and when he was young, when he was a teenager, he used to go to the youth camps that were sponsored by then Father John and then Bishop John and now metropolitan and Patriarch John. He used to go. That's where Abraham learned his beautiful chanting, which has blessed us so many times. I heard about him. I heard that he was a great lover of the church. I heard that he was straight. It was a st a arrow. I was able to meet Patriarch John at the Antiochian village several years ago when he was invited by Metropolitan Philip to come and speak, and he made a tremendous impression upon the clergy here. For the last...

...five years I've heard constantly about Patriarch John Because he has served as the Metropolitan of Europe, headquartered in Paris but with responsibility over all of Western Europe, Germany, France and England, and the brother priest that I know they're in my last fifteen years of traveling so often to Britain, have told me how blessed these last five years, how blessed they've been. The metropolitan that preceded Patriarch John made a grand total of one pastoral visit to the British isles in ten years. Patriarch John, when he became the Archbishop of Paris, was in England constantly nourishing these priests, these young convert priests, who needed a father and he stepped up and he did it. I have a spiritual son who is a Romanian priest in Paris, who's been my spiritual son for many years, who, as soon as Metropolitan John, five years ago, arrived in Paris, began to send me notes about him and began to thank God for this man and then sent me a letter of congratulations last week when he was elected patriarch. My own spiritual father has known patriarch John For many decades, collaborating with him on the Liturgica, and knows him as an exquisite liturgist. Our Father in God, His Eminence, Archbishop Joseph, is celebrating the election of Patriarch John and published a beautiful biography, including a list of publications that Patriarch John has written in multiple languages, and including in this will tell you something, a translation into Arabic of the life of St Nictario's doesn't that tell you something right away? Metropolitan Hirotheos Volacos, who many of you know through his books his Orthodox psychotherapy, the Orthodox and the mind of the church. We sell maybe ten of his books. They are perhaps the best selling books in our little book store. He's a very talented metropolitan of the Greek synod in Greece. wrote a letter to his diocese and open letter to the Church of Greece when Patriarch John The ten was elected, in which he himmed his long relationship with Patriarch John Going back to decades, praised him as a stable Orthodox theologian, a Philo Monastic, a great promoter of the Monastic Life, a lover of the Jesus prayer and a teacher of Hes ACHASM. Brothers and sisters, we thank God. We can thank God because in the midst of darkness, and our brothers and sisters are experiencing immense darkness and we are not exactly ourselves. Standing in the midst of radiant cultural light in the midst...

...of great darkness. The Lord has not abandoned his people, he has sent the Holy Spirit and he has raised up shepherds and pastor to lead off to gracious, fruitful fields. Our true offering and are true riches, is our orthodox faith. We have a man elected by the Holy Sinner of Antioch, now at the Throne, who will take us a good places and will defend the faith and the church with confidence and joy. He sent out a Beautiful Nativity epistle in six languages three days after he was elected, Arabic, Greek, French, German, English and Spanish. He has a heart to nourish us. Give thanks with me and pray for his beatitude. Patriarch elect John The ten, give thanks to Almighty God for His mercy. See, would you stand and let's seeing tone, vest vaulting for our new patriarch, tone, the Sporting Korgi re Morn yeary, every Latte, the spoil ty, Thefta, the fall loy best, fall DAS fall the all. We hope that you have enjoyed and have been edified by this presentation offer to you by Patristic Nectar Publications, a nonprofit organization committed to nourishing this spiritually thirsty with the sweet teachings of the Holy Fathers. Until next time,.

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