The Arena
The Arena

Episode · 9 years ago

Silence is Golden

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Nativity of St. John the Baptist. Learn more about Patristic Nectar Publications.

Silence, brothers and sisters, quietEsihia, it means inner stillness. It's the position of the heart of the truebeliever before the mysterious presence of God is what we tried to cultivate inourselves through the use of the Jesus prayer. It's why you have prayer robesas why you say. Lord Jesus, Chris Son of God, have mercy on me you're, tryingto quiet your heart in him, you're, not saying anything, complex and you're,not thinking compounded thoughts, you're humbling yourself in thepresence of the Lord trying to create silence you're, not speaking becauseyou do believe- and you know in whom you believe, ancient faith. Radio and patristicnectar, publications present the arena Sunday Homilyes and theologicalreflections with father, Jessiah, Trenna, Father Jessiah is the pastor of SaintAndrew Orthodox Christian Church in Riverside California. He is also thefounder of Patristic Nectar Publications, a nonprofit organizationcommitted to nourishing the spiritually thirsty with the sweet teachings of theHoly Fathers for more information on patristic nectar publications. Pleasevisit our website at www, dod, patristic, nectar, Dotorg and nowFather Jessiah, in the name of the father and of the son and of the HolySpirit won God. I greet you brothers and sisters onthis Feast Day of the Nativity of the forehugnner. This incredible birthday is the thirdmost glorious birthday in the history of mankind. Our Saviour's Nativity in the flesh, ofcourse, is the first, which we celebrate Christmas Day,...

...the Virgin's birthday September, eighth, the second greatestbirthday, and today the birthday of the forerunner on the twenty fourth of June.He was six months older, then his cousin, the Lord. We celebrate this as one of the threefundamental feastats of the forerunner and Baptist. His main Feast Sday is theday after theophony January. Sixth, is the feast of ourSaviors Baptism. The next day is the forerunners day. We also remember hisbeheading on the twenty ninth of August, his martyric witness and then to day his Nativity. He hasother feastlats as well, but these are the three major feastays. I wonder if you prepared for hisbirthday, I wonder what you're going to give him weare going to celebrate with a littlelenton chocolate cake today following the liturgy but Dolg, MissBrothers and sisters celebrating the birthday of the forerugner and theBaptist show him by your concern by yourattendance at his services and they don't doesn't always fall on Sunday.It's not so easy to keep his birthday, always except one in seven years. HonorHim by remembering this sacred feas, it's more important than your birthdayor the children's birthday. Are you going to forget those? I don't think so.I don't think so. Remember his birthday come with me if you would to thatmysterious announcement of John's birth, the great miracle of the conception andthe WOM of Elizabeth who had been barren come with me and stand next tothe Prophet Zacharias as he's fulfilling his priestly duty in thetemple when he receives that shakingrevelation from the arch angel...

...and he hears that. Even though he's anold man, and even though his wife is an oldwoman and though they have prayed for manyyears and decades faithfully for a child and though they have endured thesorrow, much greater, then than now, the sorrow of childlessness Zacharias is shaken and is gripped by fear verymuch like every other great man and woman was gripped in the presenceof the ARCHANJAL Gadrool. He hears that Elizabeth will conceive and thatthe child will be quote great before the Lord. Now that is a marvelousprophecy, and that is the true desire of allbelieving parents is to have their children not great before men, butgreat in God's sight, able to stand before the Lord, without shame to beesteemed by the Lord himself. Zacharius hears this. Not only will hehave a child, but this child will be, esteemed by God, truly great, a man ofimmense character if anhe hears that he will be theforerunner of the Messiah and that he will come to fulfill this function infulfilment of the prophets in the spirit and the power of Elias. This means that he would take up Eliehhis mantle nine centuries later. He would be like Elias Aman of ExtremAceticism, someone who was a contradiction in theworld who would forsake family life, who would live as a Protomont for offte day. This is common, then it was...

...unheard of. He would wear a leather belt about hiswaist as a sign of his mortification of his generative organs. The fact that hewas mortifying his flesh in the service of the Lord. He would live like Eliasin the desert. He would eat things that human beings didn't eat things that could only be found innature, Acrida or locusts. This is how he sustained himself. He would also be powerful before menlike Elias was. He would speak to kings, who were rebellious in the name of God.Without fear, he would preach repentance dthen. It says that he would not touchliquor or wine. He would be a nazarite from his birth. He wouldn't drink anything. Instead, hewould be saturated, intoxicated with the spirit of God. The forerunner would be a spirit beareramongst men. Interestingly, that combination, Saint Paul, picks up and applies to allChristians when he says in his epistle to the Ephesians, don't get drunk withwine. That's demauchery, but be filled with the Holy Spirit, Sant Paul's, taking this nazaraidecombination that was found in John, the Baptist's life and applying it to thechurch to be great before God means that we are under his control under theinfluence not of chemicals that alter our moral sense, but underthe influence of the spirit of God. This is what the forerunner manifest. The prophecy goes on and says that hewill do three turnings three turnings one. He will turn many to the Lord.This is his work of repentance. What is...

...repentance, but a one hundred andeighty gree turn from pursuing sinful things or selfish things topursuing the will of God. The prophecy said that he would turn many. You wouldbe successful and you can think in fulfilming of this prophecy of thecrowds the hundreds gathered at the Jordan river when he spoke, people felt the movementon the inside of their life, the greater the life of the teacher,the more potent his words, the more clear it is that he is not someone interested in speech as much as in life. He turned many to the Lord and he alsoturned it says: The hearts of the fathers to the children. This is a cryptic state statement. Turning the hearts of the fathers tothe children could mean that he was through his influencethrough his ministry, the stabilizer, the uniter of families, causing fathers to consider theirchildren to be their great glory, their prime investment being willing to bendlow and care for their children. I think it also could have largergenerational context. The point is that his ministry, thoughit was a ministry of profound calf to repentance affected unity in society. It brought together old and young,multiple generations, fathers and their children in a powerful adhesive of the certainservice of the will of God. This is what happens when people are about theLord's business, they value unity in...

...the family. And lastly, it says in his prophecythat he would turn the disobedient to the wisdom of the just. He would turn many to the Lord. Hewould turn the hearts of fathers to the children and he would turned thedisobedient to the wisdom of the just. He would grab those who wereintoxicated with their own self seeking with their own disobedient pleasures.He would grab them and he would convince them by his life that that wasnot a good idea. This is the calling of the profhets ofthe priesthood to convince those who are disobedientto the words of God that such a life is foolishness and it's better to acceptthe wisdom of the righteous put yourself on course to follow those thatyou respect before God. He affected these turns, and there was great joy. It says in thetext, joy and gladness at his birth, when the hmost Pure Virgin, receivedthe Annunciation of her conception of the Lord from the Archangal Gabriel.She immediately dropped everything that she was doing and went to see.Elizabeth and Elizabeth was already in the sixth month and when she crossedthe threshold of her house, the forerunner already inspired as aninfant as afetus already inspired by the Holy Spirit, danced and leapt inhis mother's womb. At the presence of the Virgin and of the Christchild, he already was a forerudder before heeven got out of the wound. His mother Elizabeth was filled withthe Holy Spirit and then the virgin uttered thosemagnificent words that we sing in the ninth oat of every Orthros, my soul,dath magnify the Lord that inspired cantacal. There was an outbreak of joy startingin these holy homes,...

...but that would fill the whole worldbecause of the coming of the forerunner and because of the word that he waspreparing the world to receive. Zaccharias, however, had difficulty Zacharias had doubt he was worn down byhis prayers. Perhaps he thought that the delay in the prayer was a sign ofrejection. Maybe he thought, because he had askedfor decades that God had turned a deaf hear to him, and so when he saw thearchangel he doubted him, he thought. Can this really be? It was a hideous sin of unbelief. We should not miss how tragic it was and watch out for it ourselves. SNT Paul says that the whole forty years of the wanderingin the wilderness that was done by the Jews was done for one reason they could not enter the promised land,Saint Paul, says and Hebrews because of their unbelief Zakari doubted. And then he learned ahard lesson. The Archangel Gabriel, who stands inthe presence of God, made him mute and because he couldn't accept theright disposition, the pious disposition in front of the mystery andthe Providence of God, which is silence because he didn't freely choose it. Itwas imposed upon him and he had a nine month penance for nine months. He wasn't able to usehis tongue and make any speech at all. It wasn't until the birth and then thenaming of his son that his tongue was loose and he who came as the voice ofthe word loosed his father's tongue,...

...silence, brothers and sisters. Quiet Esehia is what we call it in the churchEsihia, it means inner stillness. This is what the Archangel was attempting toteach to Zacharias it's the position of the heart of the true believer beforethe mysterious presence of God its. What we tried to cultivate in ourselvesthrough the use of the Jesus prayer. It's why you have prayer robes is whyyou say Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me you're, trying toquiet your heart in him, you're, not saying anything, complex and you're,not thinking compounded thoughts, you're humbling yourself in thepresence of the Lord trying to create silence. This silence is not unbelief,it's not doubt you're, not not speaking, because you don't believe it's a silence ofconviction, you're, not speaking, because you dobelieve- and you know in whom you believe that he is far past tracing out-that his ways are not our ways that no one has ever been his counselor. No onehas ever told the Lord do this or do that he knows, and it's because of your convictionabout who the Holy Trinity Is, who the True God is that you practise silenceand that when we don't understand things we accept them. We take the position of convicted silence. We don't become quiet because of theabsence of God, but because of his mysterious presence.That's why we take up the position of quiet. We have altogether. You know too muchtalk and altogether too much talk about ourfaith, even when we need quiet so that we can accept...

God's mysterious presence and see themiracle that is working in front of us. This wonderful account ends by saying that John Grew whatevery, prayr parent wants to seetheir little ones are growing. It says that John Grew and he became strong in spirit and he had his time in the wilderness. The character of the Baptist was manifefted, even when he was young, don't think that character can't be manifest in children.It is and John Demonstrated it, and it saysthat he was strong in the place that God cares about most strong in spirit no commentary about how Johnny was forfoot tall or developingsome big muscles, but commentary about his insides that he had learned to be strong andeven as a child, to say no to the worthless enticements of thislife. He had learned that the world and its losts were worthy of disdain, and so he tookrefuge to seek God, even as a young child, to see God in the Wilderness, and he found him and he stayed there for decades untilthe word of God visited him and told him to come into the Holy Landand to make ready, because the son of God was about to appear. This is the great man the man it's inCape were incapable of HIMMI. Noone Colmian can praise him worthily.Only the Lord could do that, and he did...

...he said of this man. No one is greater. There is no person,no man born of a woman greater than John the Baptist. When you have Jesustestifyd to you. What else can anyone else do I congratulate you, brothers andsisters, and I celebrate with you on this- these thay om the birthday of theBaptist of the voice of the word of thismagnificent shining torch, our saviour says a shining torch heralding thecoming of the light of the world, a radiant star, whose movement acrossthe course of the people of God's life heralded the coming of the son ofrighteousness to the forerunner and Baptist John. We wish a magnificentbirthday and a happy fast. You've been listening to a presentationof ancient faith. Radio and patristic nectar, publications, Ti Arena Sunday,Hamawis and theological reflections with Father Gessiatrenum Fatha Jessiahis the pastor of sainandrew Orthodox Christian Church in RiversideCalifornia. He is also the founder of PatristicNectur Publications, a nonprofit organization committed to nourishingthe spiritually thirsty with the sweet teachings of the Holy Fathers for more information on Patristicnectyur publications. Please visit our website a www dot, patristic nectar,Dod Org; again, that's www dot, patristic nectar, Dodorg until next time.

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