The Arena
The Arena

Episode · 1 year ago

Our Gentile King - Palm Sunday 2021

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The Hidden Man of the Heart | Archimandrite Zacharias (Zacharou) 

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Now available at patristic nectar dot Org. patristic nectar publications is pleased to present this superb series of seven lectures entitled the Hidden Man of the heart by the highly esteemed Archimandrite Saccharias Sarcado, the spiritual son of the late elder Sophroni of Essex. His grace, Bishop Basil of Wichita and Mid America introduces the series with these words. In Father Zacharias's words and very person we hear the mind of the church in ways that we usually do not hear it, for in Father Zacharias's teaching we touch the saints, both elder Sophroni and Saint Silouan. He presents a tapestry of Christian experience. Let us attend so that you two might be woven into that tapestry we know as sacred tradition. For these and other available titles, please visit our website at patristic nectar dot org. And now the arena with Father Josiah Trenna. In the name of the father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit, blessed Palm Sunday to all of you, of brothers and sisters. Shall in any embodicky. What are they? And what a joy to be led in worship by our children, you know, often in lent, often also in the prodigal son weekend leading up to lent. I asked you if you can find yourself in the Gospel text. This is a pious effort that the fathers encourage us to do, to make whenever we listen to the Gospel, to try to find ourselves in the text. Where are we? Who Are we? How are we going to interact with Christ in that Gospel Text? Some Gospel texts are easier than others, but I want you to find yourself in the Gospel texts this weekend, yesterday the raising of Lazarus and today the feast of Palms and our saviors triumphant entry into Jerusalem. Where did you see yourself in that text? Maybe yesterday you found yourself a person of inquiry all the people who are coming to see Lazarus after he was raised. Maybe you were a person who stood by the morning friends of Mary and Martha, or maybe you found yourself in the inquisitiveness and the grief, asking the questions, in the face of suffering, together with Lazarus his sisters. I found myself inside the tomb of Lazarus. Specifically, I found myself in the stench, because his sister said it's been four days and he smells. When I heard that at the there I am. I found myself. I found myself in today's Gospel. Where are you? I think, by the grace of the children, they've pulled us, they're trying to pull us to join the throng of children, those that have run up the trees to cut the branches, those that are taking off their clothing to make a red carpet in their clothes for their king, those that are singing whose Hosanna and literally shouting in praise of God. I'd like to be there. That's what I were. I'd like to be in this Gospel.

The hinnity of the Church says, though, if you're a pagan like me, if you come from a pagan background and you have become one of God's people by His grace, you should find yourself in that full of an ass that Jesus sat upon. The father say that that full represents the untamed gentiles who were to be contamed by the Gospel, who would hear the good news of Jesus's triumph over death and would embrace it and climb into his full than ask him to rule over them. Maybe that's what we are, although I thought to myself, I think I'm the full's mother, the donkey walking right next to the full, old and kind of Christ u wasn't on her completely yet. I want to be the young donkey, I want to be the full and have Jesus on me. What a day to day is, brothers and sisters, what a day to rejoice. You know, we celebrate and we worship a gentle king, a king who wasn't interested at all in worldly power. You know, there's an account in the gospel of John, just after Jesus has performed a miracle, of the feeding of the five thousand. That was five thousand men, by the way, dear ones, with women and children, maybe more like twenty five thousand people, people who were hard working people, people who had to work very hard just to feed themselves, and they saw a man produced, from a few fish and loaves of bread, food for twenty five thousand people. They came together and they began to converse with each other and they said, let's enthrone him as king right now, and he heard this he knew that they were gathering together to make him king, and the text in Saint John's Gospel says the Lord knew this and he withdrew by himself. He wasn't interested in becoming someone's king like that. He wasn't interested in worldly power. was he a King? Make no mistake, make no mistake, he is a king. He's the King of all kings and the Lord of all Lords, but his kingdom is not of this world. When he stood before pilot, they mocked him. They put a purple robe on him and said Hey, oh, king of the Jews. They put a horrible crown of thorns on his head. He didn't deny that he was a king. He looked at pilot and he said, my kingdom is not of this world. Kingship in this world is far too often associated with horrible tyranny. Not The ennobling of mankind, but the desecration of mankind, not the bequeathal of freedom, but the imposition of tyranny. This is often what you get when you combine power with sinners. This is why we Christians aren't interested in power. We're not interested, and our view of authority is Jesus has we think that the way to exercise greatness is by voluntary service. This is what we think is great and we think that only those should be put in authority who have resolved and proven by their character that they don't like authority. Priests or bishops in the Church, governors in the state, Father's in the home who love power have no position being there at all.

They shouldn't be brief, they shouldn't be bishops, they shouldn't be governors and they shouldn't be dad's if they love power. Christians do not love power. We're not interested in imposing ourselves on people or making people under us, telling people what to do. Our Savior would have none of it. He would have none of it. Is His throne glorious, the most glorious of all. the Lad Your Bible, to the last book of the Bible, to the first chapter of the apocalypse or to the fourth chapter, where you see the throne of God. You see Christ on the throne, the innumerable multitude surrounding him in worship, in hymns and magnificent, beautiful, heavenly life. He is a king, but he's not interested in worldly power. We see that today. You know, the Kings of the Earth have made fools of themselves time and time again. Think of the Great Roman emperors who started to deify themselves. Oh Yeah, I'm not just a great king, I'm a God. Nero built a one hundred and twenty foot statue of Apollo and then had the sculptor take Apollo's head off and put his head on. Yes, this is what happens to men, to sinners, when they get power. Even our great Orthodox hierarchs, very few of them could keep their souls in power. Very few, the great ones, mostly became monks at the end of their life to show their quest for the Kingdom of God. You know, in the Byzantine court ritual in the ten century we have an account of how visitors would meet the emperor in Byzantium. When you would make a formal visit to him, you would be brought by his servants into the Royal Hall and you would be asked to make prostration after prostration, and they had in the court ceremony certain statues of scary animals, like a leopard at a certain place and a Giraffe at another place, and you would make your bows right where the animal sculpture was, and as you were making your bow, remember you're an ambassador or maybe a vassal king, when you would make your bow, they would push a button and the sound of that animal would come out of the animal's mouth. Can you imagine? You bow down in front of the line and then all of you here row rough in senses, going up you as you're getting closer and closer to the imperial throne, and when you make your last bow before the emperor's throne, they push a button and they had a hydraulic system on the emperor's throne and it brought his throne up like fifteen feet in the air and tilted him towards you so that when you looked at him, you had to go like that and be completely in awe of his power, of his authority. He was over you. You are nothing. Who are we kidding? I'm sorry, that man up there goes to the bathroom the same way you do. He uses the same toilet, my friends. He can put ivory on there or something else, but he has the same horrible human experiences that we all do. What a joke. What a joke. There's one who's worthy. There's one great king, brothers and sisters,...

...and let's not forget it. Let's not forget it. Let's be like our brothers and sisters who followed the children and ascribe all glory and power to Christ, the king of Kings, and enthroned him here in their lives. This is what we have to follow. Especially, we have to be like the early Christians, who were living in such a oppressive, anti Christian environment where the emperor thought he could dictate who you can worship and when. Does it sound familiar? It should. It should. You know, the early Christians, in the acts of the apostles, were accused of sedition because they did not obey the authority when the authority was in conflict with God. They had no interest, and they were accused of preaching and believing in, quote another Caesar, Jesus. Yes, that was a very accurate accusation. That's correct. We believe in another Caesar, in the true King. He is the author of Civil Authority, but civil authority that does not recognize him and that legislates in open rebellion to him will be destroyed and cannot be obeyed. Christians obey the king of kings and unjust laws that are thrust upon us from the Times of the acts of the apostles in to day. We have no interest in you know, this week, this week, I was shocked. I've been shocked in this what I would call year of horror. I've been shocked in this year afore, not just by the thing that we've all been shocked by, which is this, this nasty virus. That's shocking enough, and I had it, as many of you did, and it was extremely strange, extremely strange. But that wasn't the greatest things that shocked me. The greatest things that shocked me were the fear mongering, absolute total fear mongering, associated with the virus, as though this was the bubonic plague. You know, I made a sick visit once this year and when I was visiting the sick, remember how hard that was, to do, by the way. Literally we priests were banned from visiting the sick. Who can do that, even if the sick wanted? Who Do you think you are to tell a sick person and a priest that they cannot meet, that they have to die by themselves? What universe can that possibly happen in? I made a sick call this here and in the sick call, the beloved that I was visiting said to me, father, this is like the bubonic plague. I didn't say anything because it wasn't the time. Brothers and sisters, the bubonic plague killed fifty percent of Europe. Fifth death rate, fifty percent. Forgive me that. This virus has been nasty, but there is absolutely no, no comparison to a classic pandemic death dealing plague and this, I'm sorry, none. And to be to have taken the actions that we have seen imposed upon us. This shocked me. This shocked me. You know, I read an Elie Times Article This Week and the Elie Times ex supposed that at...

...the time that our governor issued his lockdown, and action without historical precedent, when he issued his lockdown, the Air Force Reserve base in Fresno, where there is an f fifteen c fighter jet, was notified and that jet was asked to be ready to be scrambled within two hours in case Americans protested the lockdown. Californians protested the lockdown on the streets. That is an absolutely shocking piece of news. A fighter jet designed for one purpose only to shoot down enemy nations aircraft was put on readiness to do what? What if we had protested? That's a different subject, but what if we had protested? What if we had come out and said this is unconstitutional, everything that the Supreme Court has told him for five times? What if we didn't wait for the Supreme Court and we had protested, were we to expect and F fifteen see to fly over us at low altitude? Is that what we were to expect? This is the implication of the article. This is the implication of the article. Can you imagine? I also read an amazing letter this week that someone sent to me from Britain. It was the copy of a letter from Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is in the same category as our governor with regards to lockdown tyranny, and this letter was a response to a coalition of Churches called the Evangelical Alliance, three thousand five hundred churches in Britain that were writing to him to tell him we've been hearing very strange rumblings that that a threats against churches for giving counseling, Christian counseling, under the umbrella of opposing what's called Gay conversion therapy. Nobody can really even say what that is. I've been a priest for look at me, I'm in the middle of my S. I've never seen anything called gay conversion therapy, unless you mean lovingly sitting with someone and talking through their spiritual challenges and praying for them to try to follow the commandments of God. If that's gay conversion therapy, then so be it. There's that is never going to change. He wrote a letter to these churches, the three thousand, and he said it's not the intention of the government, it's not the intention at this at the government to forbid prayer for people like that. No, no, we're not going to do that. What you're letting US know that at this time it's not the intention of the government to forbid prayer. Who Do we think we are when we get power? What a nightmare, brothers and sisters, what an absolute nightmare. There is one who can handle power, one who has power greater than any power known on Earth, a power that makes men and women beautiful. The power of the King of Kings is the Gospel. It comes forth from heaven as a healing Balmb from Man's every weakness and and sickness. It's his strength. All the rulers of the earth soon will be dust. Everyone who...

...loves power soon will have none. I promise you. It's all going away and only one is going to rule forever and ever and ever, and he's the one that we love. He's the one whose kingship we voluntarily embrace today in imitation of the children. He's the reason that we seeing Hosanna, because we've seen one finally who can exercise power without making us afraid, who can exercise power without stealing our freedom, whose power is completely shackled to his goodness and therefore produces in our lives things like joy and peace and righteousness. Forgive me, brothers and sisters, any other alternative power. We try to show respect, but if any of those subhuman, fallen authorities dare to get between us and the king of kings, we should have none of it, none of it. We should just say hosea, just like all of those great Russian Babushkas told the Soviets when they were trying to banish God from the Earth just a hundred years ago, and they would go from little village to village and they would get all the village leaders together and they would give him a lecture. All you people are this and this, just like our elites are telling us today. All your bigots and you're racists and your this judgment out the Wazoo like we've never seen before. Those Babushkas heard them say there is no god, stop your phony religion, and then they also would end by saying, and if you do, we're going to punish you. Right, do you understand? And all the Babushki would look at and say, Christ is risen, Christ is risen. That was their response to these godless authorities, and that is exactly what our should be as well. I want to end my homily on worshiping our gentle king with a beautiful exercise. You know, in a few minutes, when we possess with the children, the children will come up and they will attempt to blow off that incredible fifty five foot high dome by the sound of their Hosanna. They're very good at this. We need a chance to do this too. So what I have here is a marvelous homily. It's a homily on this Feast Palm Sunday by one of the greatest saints of the Church, saying phote us the great the patriarch of Constantinope. This is nine century. At the end of his homily he praises the Lord as our King and he mentions all the reasons we say Hosanna. So I'm going to read his hosannas. I think there's about seven of them and just like I do with the children when I say Hosanna, I want you immediately to say Hosanna and then I'll I'll read the sentence. That why he's saying. We're saying Hosannah. Okay, I'm not very confident that you're going to be good as the children. I'm not very confident, but we're going to try. Remember I say it and then you say Hosanna, I bow low and repentance. You are much better than I thought. is He that comes to spread out his arms on the Cross and to gather the gentiles to himself? Hosanna. Is He to him that comes to make hell a...

...prisoner, to release Adam from his bonds and to raise him from his fall? Hosanna to him who comes to destroy the power of tyranny and to bestow liberty on them that are sore distressed. Hosanna to him who comes to empty out the store houses of Hell and to fill the heavenly mansions with the throng of the saved. HOSANNA AH to him who comes to offer himself as a sacrifice for our sake, to xpiate all our sins and to reconcile us with the Father Jose Ana, to him who comes to suppress death, to inaugurate our resurrection, to free us from slavery and to bestow upon us the adoption of children of God. Blessed feast to all of your brothers and sisters. We hope that you have enjoyed and have been edified by this presentation offered to you by Patristic Nectar Publications, a nonprofit organization committed to nourishing the spiritually thirsty with the sweet teachings of the Holy Fathers. If you are interested in other available titles, or if you would like more information on patristic nectar publications, please visit our website at www dot patristic nectar dot org. Again, that's www dot patristic nectar dot org.

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