The Arena
The Arena

Episode · 1 year ago

So Great a Salvation - 2nd Sunday of Great Lent

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Now available at patristic nectar dot Org. patristic nectar publications is pleased to present a new five lecture series entitled Contemporary Women Saints. Saint John of Sinai, in his ladder of divine assent, writes that the lives of the saints arouse us to emulation of their courage and lead us to the virtue of humility and compunction. Contemporary Saints are particularly important since they acquire their love for God and holiness in the midst of our current milieu and demonstrate that spiritual acquisition is possible even in our own troubled times. The five lectures are as follows. Lecture number one the life of Saint Zania of Saint Petersburg. Lecture number two the life of Saint Elizabeth, the new martyr. Lecture number three the life of Saint Maria of Paris. Lecture number four the life of Saint Metrona of Moscow. Lecture number five the lives of mother Maria of Olonettes, Schema Num Macaria, the beloved cepher, and Matushka Olga of Alaska. For the he's and other available titles, please visit our website at atristic nectar got org and now the arena with Father Josiah Trenna and the name of the father and the son and the Holy Spirit. What a wonderful day. This is the second Sunday of great lent, This Day in which we celebrate, Ifrom the language of the Epistole lescent, so great a salvation. You no doubt we're very happy. Last week with the Sunday of Orthodoxy. Who Doesn't Love The Sunday of Orthodoxy, when we uphold so beautifully the glory of the faith that saves us? We confess in the Sunday of Orthodoxy that salvation comes by faith, and the true faith, not a made up faith, not a heretical faith. Truth is Christ. He said it himself. I am the Truth and Truth Saves Heresy Saves no one. Falsehood and error saves no one. And we proclaim that the first chance we have in great lent, on the first Sunday of lent today, the Feast of seeing Gregory Paula Moss. Today the church answers the question what exactly is this salvation that you get by the faith? If you have faith in God and you put your faith in Christ, then you're saved. What does that mean? What does it mean to be saved?...

This is a fantastic question and it's answered today. First, the incredible epistle lescent, the epistle to the Hebrews, where St Paul is developing this magnificent teaching about how supremely glorious Jesus is. He's above the prophets, he's above the angels and he goes on and on to show that Christ this supreme. In the text that you heard this morning he explains that. Look, he talks about the subject we're addressing, salvation. He says, if the salvation that was given to the people of God in the Old Testament, when God spoke from the Mountain Sinai and gave them the old covenant, the sacred in Commandments, if that salvation, if that grace, if that gift was so serious that every infraction, he says was had its own punishment, how, he says, shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation that has been given to us in Christ? Jesus is so what and what he's accomplished is so much greater than Moses and the salvation that was given to the Church on the top of SID and I. Although there were hints of what Jesus was going to bring to pass. The most obvious hint on the top of sin I, was what happened to Moses his face, when his face began to radiate the glory of God from being in a face to face communion with God. This was a hint of the salvation that was going to be offered to the whole world. But what was given on sign I was the law, a great gift from God to reveal his will, but a gift that in fact didn't save us. It guided us to the right way, but it didn't empower us to accomplish it. When you think of the law, you think of moral instructions, and you should in the Gospel today the definition of salvation, which certainly begins with the law. Remember the rich young man who came to Jesus and said what should I do to be saved? and Jesus looked at the man and said, you know, the Ten Commandments, follow those. That's where it starts. That's where all our catechumans are right now. The whole purpose of catechism is to begin the process of purification, to put yourself to move yourself on to the path of the commandments of God, which is a light for your feet that guides you right to God himself. That's where it starts. But Salvation is oh so much more than that, brothers and sister, and today you see in the Gospel text just that salvation involves the redemption of the human person from death and from sickness.

That poor man, the paralytic, paralyzed, and his brothers, his friends, loved him so much that his war, his weakness, his sickness, was theirs. That's true friendship. We could give a a homily tift on friendship from this Gospel. It's so magnificent for friends who were so worried about their compatriot and his lack of health, hit the trial of his paralysis, that they set aside everything in their life and they made getting him healed their priority. And they took him and they put them on their shoulders on a mat and they tried to get him to Jesus, but Jesus was surrounded by so many people they couldn't make it. They had no access to him. So what did they do? They climbed up onto the house where he was preaching and they literally dug through the roof and lowered their friend down. That must have been a sight to see. How do you do that? How do you do that? They lowered him down and Jesus looked at them and, honoring the faith of the friends, healed the man. But be shocked at how he did it. The whole concern of the Pericopian the Gospel is the man's physical healing and certainly part of the salvation that Jesus brings, as is obvious from the text, is physical healing. Part of being saved means being delivered from sickness, having those things which torment US physically healed. We all want this, we all need this, we all hate to be physically tormented and there's no escaping it. The older we get, the more tormented we've become. So we're of course extremely thrilled that Jesus is a healer of the body, and the body is very important. You know, so many bogus concepts of salvation simply discard the body. Simply say all the way to be saved is you just have to flee the body, you just have to die, then you're going to be saved. That's how even a lot of Christians talk about death, which is why we trample on funerals today. It's why many funerals are done without the body even there. It says, though, finally we've been able to unshackle ourselves from this prison house so that we don't have to have any of the troubles that it causes us. Just so you know, there is not one ounce of Christianity and that mentality like literally not an ounce. That is pure Gnosticism, the idea that somehow the real part of you that connects to God is your soul and that's really you and your body. Of Jeff, you know what the soul uses, and when he's done using it, book just throws it away. Has Nothing to do...

...with Christianity at all. You dear ones, are psycho somatic realities. Teeki, you have a soul and a soulma a body, and that's what a human being is. That's what you are, which is why when we come to funerals, we come to funerals to see our loved ones who are dead. When we kiss them, we're not kissing a corpse. How grievous to talk like that. I'm testy in saying it because my last funeral I heard someone in the line say it. Why are we kissing your corps. I'm like no, no, that's Charlie, that's George, that's Anna. It's not all of Charlie, George or Anna. It may not even be the best part. Will give that to you, of Charlie, George and Anna, and it may not be the part that Charlie, George or Anna's psyche or personality or consciousness is connected to after death, but that is them and that will be raised, least healed and saved in the future, because that's what salvation is and Jesus demonstrates it today. He didn't disdain the man's paralysis, he healed it. Every aspect of death in US he will heal. This is part of being saved. But look how much farther Jesus goes. He points out in describing this so great salvation, in manifesting it by his miracles, he points out that his greatest concern, his greatest gift to this man, was not the restoration of his bodily health. They thought, his friends thought, that that was the greatest concern, which is why they asked for it. And then Jesus looked at the man and he gave him what he really needed, an aspect of salvation even more desperately needed. Important and he looked at the man and he said, son, your sins are forgiven. You Sin. Nobody's talking about sin except Jesus. None of the friends had any thought about sin. But Jesus looked onto the interior of the man and he said this is the healing he needs more than anything else. He needs to be released from his sins. And so Jesus forgave them on the spot, much to the scandal of the Pharisees, who didn't believe he was the son of God and therefore didn't have authority or power to forgive. Jesus constantly scandalize them because everywhere he went he not only directly forgave sins, he didn't pray for the forgiveness of sins. He didn't say I'll ask my father to forgive you. He said your sins are forgiven, as though Jesus himself was the one sinned against, because only the one sinned against has the authority to release sins, and in fact he is the one sinned against, he is the son of God. Every sin that every human has ever committed is against God, the father and his son, and the Holy Spirit the one true God. So this is a this is a further expanse in Jesus is...

...teaching, a further expense of how great salvation is. To use the language of the epistle. How great is it? It incorporates, yes, the renovation of your moral life, putting you on the path towards God. For sure, this is Moses. It certainly brings the healing of your body and everything that afflicts you that is the result of death. But it also reinvolves the renovation of the interior. Man It cures are interior problems, the fact that our will is bent, that our soul is darkened, that our mind is confused, those are the most important things. In fact, those things lead to the death of the body, and the salvation that Jesus offers US involves interior renovation, which you can see from the Gospel. And I want to end by moving to the third commemoration, not just the Epistle and the Gospel, but the COMM memoration of St Gregory Polymas, because saying Gregory Paulymos, perhaps more than any other saint in the history of the church, speaks about how great the salvation that God offers us really is. St Gregory Paulyms was only added to this Sunday's commemoration recently. And what what we Orthodox mean by reason as we mean by five hundred years, very recently, very recently, of course. He lived in the fourteen century. He was this magnificent archbishop of Thessalonica, incredible theologian and Athonite, a practitioner of unceasing prayer and a great defender of Orthodoxy. He's commemorated on this day not just because he has articulated the nature of salvation so beautifully, but because he has he continues the celebration of the Sunday of Orthodoxy, because few fathers more than St Gregory paulymos fought heresy. He particularly fought the Latins, the Roman Catholics, at the time of his life in the fourteenth century, were attacking our very way of life. They were mocking us, they were saying that seeing the uncreated light is nonsense. They were attacking our monks and saying that the practice of your hezarchastic prayer is nonsense. And saying Gregory came to the defense of the church is life. And he wrote nine small tracts, three three small books, with three of small books in each of them. Therefore, they're often published today and they're called the triads. And in these triads, these small treatises, were all defenses of what salvation is in our life, what can actually will, actually be accomplished by the grace of God in our lives,...

...and was being experienced by saying Gregory and by all Christians who are serious about connecting themselves to God and cultivating prayer. Saint Gregory, perhaps more than anyone else, wrote about how great a salvation Christ has accomplished for us. Now you'd be thinking, maybe, thinking what? How much more is their father? The healing of my body of all sickness and disease, forgiveness of sins. I mean, that sounds pretty great. Interior renovation. What could you possibly mean? Well, I just happened to have right here piece of paper where I wrote some notes answering that question that I think maybe in your mind at this very moment. Going to read these quickly, all twenty five of them. Redemption from slavery, justification before God, forgiveness of sins, healing of soul and body that we got from the readings today. Let me add twenty one more. Deliverance from death, freedom and final stabilization of our free will so that in the future we never misuse it. Unending and eternally increasing peace and joy, permanent confirmation in righteousness, reconciliation with God, reconciliation with every human being that's ever been made and reconciliation with all creation. Adoption into the family of God as sons and daughters, the acquisition of an immeasurable and eternal inheritance, the acquisition of and complete permeation by the Holy Spirit, the elimination of fear, all threat and every vulnerability in life. Can you imagine the ineradicable holiness, unending development in our conformity to God, unending, constant progress in conformity to God, who has no end and therefore our conformity to him will have no end. Partake King of the divine nature, sharing in the glory of Christ. Remember the prayer that Jesus prayed in John Seventeen, his most famous prayer, where he asked the Lord to glorify us with him, with the glory that he had before the father, before he came from the father, his eternal glory. He's going to share it with us. Ultimate Oneness of God, with God father, I pray that they might be one with me as I am one with you. He prayed. We're going to share in that intimate oneness, perpetual growth in the knowledge of the Lord...

God, purification, illumination and final theosis, transfiguration, deification, face to face, communion with God, forever, Friendship with God which never ends, all summarized in the words of eternal life. Yes, dear ones, that is salvation. So when someone asks you, are you saved, the best answer is I trust I'm being saved. The best answer. A lot of those things have taken place already in your life. A lot of them are just beginning now. They're like little saplings growing in your life. A lot remains in the future. Let me tell you, brothers and sisters, this is Christianity. This is the so great of salvation that we should neglect, and that's the point of the epistle. If what Moses was offering was so good and so serious that to neglect it meant for every neglect there was a particular punishment. How shall we escape, Paul says, if we neglect so great a salvation that Jesus has accomplished? Can you imagine being offered all of those things by God, Jesus having accomplished them all for us. If we don't care what God thinks about that, if we don't care if we want to just use God for some better earthly life, like so many preachers are proclaiming in our culture. Christianity and Jesus is not some self help program so that you could become a better you and manage your money better. Who Cares about that stuff? It's nothing. This is the purpose that Christ came to redeem us for. This is your future. I gotta interesting email this week. I get a lot of emails because of my Internet work, but thankfully I only have to see some of them. They'll come to Martha. Martha weeds him out for me, the ones like she thinks I should see, and this one was very interesting. This wonderful man, I'll call him Steve. He's Steve but I won't say his last name, and he says Dear Father, God bless you. You can tell he's a Protestant right there, by the way, but a very godloving one. Right, very beautiful heart to give me his blessing. But Anyway, I think it's the other way around. Anyway, this is what he wrote. He goes. One of my sons recently recommended me to listen to Jordan Peterson and through him, strangely enough, I started listening to you and I've been very blessed. I have so many questions on orthodoxy. What intrigues me most is the doctrine of theosis, as I have always thought that there has to be more. There have...

...to be more. There is. There have to be more. He says those words in the Scriptures, partakers of the divine nature, those words it is no longer I that live, but Christ that lives in me. Those words Christ in me, the hope of glory, etc. Etc. I'm convinced that sanctification is more than moral progress and Orthodox he is teaching that there's an actual transformation of my entire being through a real participation in the death and resurrection of Jesus. I see that what I used to think is no longer the teaching of the Bible. Could you please is recommend a book for me, more than a book, my friend and experience and experience. This is our life, dear ones, this is this is what God's calling us to. This is the so great a salvation that's offered us. Perpetual and Eternal glory, the very glory of God to live in his life. This is where we're going. This is why I don't want you to doubt it and I don't want you to neglect it. Let's pursue it. I'm 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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