The Arena
The Arena

Episode · 9 years ago

The Messiah’s Kingdom


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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, I greet your brothers and sisters on this Sunday of the genealogy, The Sunday before the Nativity of our Savior, on which we celebrate all the righteous of the old covenant who were well pleasing to God, from Adam to Joseph the betrothed, and especially remembering those in our saviors genealogy and his direct line, and of the Holy Prophet Daniel, in the three holy youths, and Annius, as Arias and missile as well. I was delighted to see this week, and I'm recommending David and I'm recommending it to you, that our former son of this church, Dr Jacob all falter, Y'all remember Jacob, published a beautiful article. It's the lead article in this month's touchstone magazine. If you don't know that magazine, I recommend the magazine to you as well. You can look it up online at touchstonecom his article is dedicated to the Genealogy, the Gospel reading that we just read and explaining the mysteries of that genealogy, how wonderful and how significant the genealogy is. It's an outstanding article and it's the cover or lead article on the front page of this month's touchstone, so I'm encouraging you to look it up for your own edification. I would like to speak a little bit this morning to you, brothers and sisters, on a theme from the epistle lesson, that beautiful epistle lesson from St Paul's Epistle to the Hebrews, about all of our righteous for bears who longed for Christ and his kingdom and who did not experience it because God had prepared something better for them. It's that better that I want to mention this morning. This week it was windy and I found myself on the top of Mount Rubidou in the wind with our...

...parishes little video crew. We were cutting us a brief four minute video about the Mount Rubadau Cross, this most historic landmark in our city, and about the threat that it is experiencing. We were using this video and will intend to use it in the weeks to come to promote a number of service projects around the cross, including, on the twenty nine of December here having an organizational meeting in which will distribute informational flyers and yard signs, and then we hope to canvas ward one the downtown area where the cross is and to go door to door and to make sure that all of our fellow Riversideans know what's happening with the Cross and see if they would support the cross by planting a yard sign that simply says save the Mount Rubadau Cross in their front yard. We're also organizing a walk, a save the crosswalk, which will be on the fifteen of January, beginning at the top of the Mount Rubadaux Cross, right at the base of the Cross, at two o'clock in the afternoon, and we'll walk down the hill and end up at City Council chambers at three o'clock for the city sponsored workshop on the Cross, where the city council will conduct a workshop to discuss options for the preservation of the cross. We're using the video to promote these events and I'm encouraging you to participate in them and to love this city and its most precious landmark. While we were up there I was discussing with our videographer that eradicating the sign of faith and the public landmarks of religion, eradicating them, as the secular if ten, the atheists, are attempting to do, to remove them from the Public Square, is not an easy task. It's not sufficient just to lop off one Hundred Forty Foot historic Sarah Cross. That just won't do it. That's just the beginning, the tip of the iceberg. As we were walking up the hill we pass so many monuments. We stopped at the World Peace Chapel. Terrible. It has a cross on top. It's got to go. The peace chapels built in a Beautiful Irish chapel style, that have to go. It's clearly of Christian providence. And then on all the plaques marking the dedication is that terrible sign of Christmas. It seems to be all pervasive. It's everywhere in our society. Terrible, terrible, terrible. Those two dreaded words, or I should say letters, because they're usually abbreviated a d a D Oh. That certainly have to go. Ano Domini, year of the Lord. Here is a clear reference every date, on every plaque screams Christmas and by our very calendar, by our very dating, we acknowledge that the most significant event that has ever taken place in the history of mankind took place two thousand and twelve years ago. So fundamental was it, it's so reorganized human nature and human reality that we began over, we marked a new beginning for humanity and we've been counting the years based upon that referent point, that reference point,...

...ever since now. The Secularists and the atheists are not to be outdone. They do have a lot of zeal. I give that to them. To the twenty century had some most unfortunate experiences with secular and atheist attempts to banish religion. Most unfortunate. I saw these things close up with my own eyes when I lived for two summers in prog checks Slovakia, which the first summer I lived there was the last communist, atheist summer of Czechoslovakia history. The next summer was a non communist summer. The Revolution had taken place at Christmas time in between those two summers when I went and I saw an immediate emergence in the second summer and immediate emergence once again of all sorts of references to the church, to Christ and to Christmas. All of the Metro, all of the train stops that I had learned so diligently the first summer were gone. The railings were there. The train still stop geographically in the same place, but they had new names. They had their pre communist names marking all the significant things that had to do with the local saints and with the Church. And it wasn't just in Czechoslovakia, everywhere that the God hating Soviettes and atheists went, they banished Christian names and we invented horrible city names like Stalin Grad and Lenin Grad. They're gone, Poof, they're gone with the idiots who prompounded them, and the church is back. It's not an easy task to eradicate the presence of faith and God from our society in this state. Half of our cities are named or saints, half of our street names are named after saints. There's a great task ahead for the secularists. And it's not just secularist to have such an uncomfortable time with Christmas, brothers and sisters, it's also religious folk, and especially Jews, who don't believe that Jesus is the Messiah. I was reading this week in a theological journal at a dialog between a Christian and a Jewish rabbi in New York City, and the subject was Christian evangelism of the Jews, something that we have been resolved to do for twenty centuries. We have always found it to be most natural that the Jewish people would embrace their own Messiah, the one that their prophets foretold, the one who came to give them deliverance first before he came to save me and our people, we who are gentiles. It's always seemed perfectly natural that the church would present, repeatedly, without cessation, present the Lord to his own ethnic people. This can become very offensive to the Jewish mind, and this rabbi was explaining why he is so offended that that Christians would be asking him to accept Jesus, and he said, we Jews do not accept Jesus for one simple reason. Jesus did not do what the Jewish Messiah was prophesied to do and therefore we consider him to be false. was very simple.

It was very clear. He believed that the prophets in the old covenant foreshadowed, they made prophecies about the coming Messiah and what he would do that Jesus himself didn't accomplish. In fact, this is an old, old story. The same criticism was made by the Jewish leaders to our Savior himself during his public ministry. This is from Luke Chapter Seventeen, verses twenty and twenty one. And the Pharisees demanded of him when the Kingdom of God should come. Remember this is this is the record of the seventeen chapter of St Luke's Gospel. The Lord has already been two years preaching the Kingdom of God, that it had come, and the Pharisees are not getting it and they're asking Jesus, when is the Kingdom of God going to come, and what are the signs that are going to show that it's here? Listen to Jesus is response. The Kingdom of God will not come with observation. Neither will they say, Lo, here it is or there it is, for behold, the Kingdom of God is within you. This was our saviors response to those pharisees and I want to unpack that a little bit. Our Lord was very clear that the Kingdom of God, in his presence, had come, that the king was on the earth, but when he came and when he brought his kingdom it was quite quiet. It was mysterious. Three other kings knew about this, from this and Persian lands. They came and worshiped the child King. The shepherds knew it. The angels were absolutely clear. They sang and him the king from the Heavens and proclaimed his kingdom. But most people on the earth had no idea that the king had come. He came quietly. He came to US establish his kingdom in mystery. Even his forerunner, the Prophet and Baptist John Even He, while he was in prison, sent his disciples to Jesus with a question, are you the coming one, or should we be looking for someone else? and Jesus said in response, go and tell on your master that the Blind See, that the lame are healed, that the poor have the gospel preached to them and the dead are raised up and demons are cast out. Ie, go tell John everything that was prophesied about the Ministry of the Messiah. I'm doing, and then he adds these words. Blessed are those who don't stumble over me. Brothers and sisters, there were many stumbling not because they saw Jesus working these great signs. Those signs made them believe. It was the other things that they thought the Messiah was coming to do that he wasn't doing that led them to be tripped up. Why was he not holding the neck of the Roman emperor on the ground and making him bow down and kiss the high priest feet? Why had he not overthrown the Roman Pagan rule and instituted the mosaic law? Why hadn't he ended political oppression? How calm people were not living to a hundred and fifty years and dancing in the streets like Isaiah prophesied they were? How came the lion and the lamb yet weren't together? How come there was still alienation... creation? These are some of the question is that the Jews were asking that was confusing them. For some they were the real important questions. Our Saviors answer that the Kingdom of God doesn't come like that. was certainly a shock. was certainly a shock and, the churches always said, a most glorious, wonderful and mysterious shock. The Kingdom of God came in an unexpected and glorious way. Jesus fulfilled the prophecies of the kingdom, but he went way, way past them. Brothers and sisters, we don't mourn that he didn't do those things that the Pharisees were looking for. We rejoice that he did way more than that. We don't have sympathy with the rabbi because the Jewish nation didn't become the singular nation, state and glory of the world. We rejoice that Jesus did something far better. We understand that the prophets themselves prophesied in language and Jewish concepts, which is all they had to work with. They were not Christians, yet they were Proto Christians. Sat Peter Describes it this way in his first epistle, in chapter one. He says that the prophets struggled. They were in personal angst, striving to understand what manner of time, what the meaning was of the spirits inspiration in them as he predicted the coming sufferings of Jesus Christ and the glory into which he would enter. This was the condition of the Prophets before Christ came. They did not understand that God's son, who is co eternal and dwells with him in heaven from all time, would become a man on the earth. They couldn't imagine that. The most they knew was a mysterious concept that the Prophet Daniel foretold about someone that he called the son of man who came in glory to judge the nations. Jesus picked up on that mysterious reference and applied it to himself in his own ministry and filled it with meaning. But the prophets were struggling to understand this. The son of God becoming a man, the Son of God crucified, a Dead Messiah and then a raised the Messiah. They were laboring to understand these things. We know this. We know that the Jewish prophets, these God inspired men and women, spoke what they could in mystery, often in ways they didn't even understand, and that the reality became far more glorious than the words that they used. For instance, the long life, prophesied by the prophets and prophetesses that when the Messiah came, someone at a hundred years old would be considered young. The long life in fact didn't turn to be out to be long life at all. It turned out to be eternal life, something very different than long life, not only in duration but in quality. The peace that was predicted by the prophets, a peace in which Israel would rest and become adored by the other nations and would no longer be a tale but a head, became a piece much deeper than politics, a peace that was reconciliation with God and the Union of Heaven and earth, a peace from the inside that knows no human comprehension. The conquering of...

Pharaoh of Nebuchadnezzar, the overthrowing of the Roman Dominion, became a conqueror of the true oppressor of the human race, the evil one himself. The prophets foretold the overthrow of the Pharaohs of this world, but they did not know that the son of man would actually come and take not the neck of the emperor but the neck of Satan, and bind him with chains and put him in the darkest Tartaris, freeing the world from his delusion so they could receive his light. The deliverance from our enemies became not a deliverance from the gentiles or the barbarians, but a deliverance from the demons who so discord amongst humans of every race. It was a deliverance not for the city of Jerusalem and for Palestine, but for the Jerusalem which is above, which is our mother, and for the whole world. It became a kingdom, not of one nation state, but a multi racial, fanthropic, death destroying body that we know as the church. We don't mourn, brothers and sisters, that Jesus did less than the prophets expected. We don't have sympathy with this very small world view of what the kingdom prophecies are about that the rabbi had. We don't mourn the lack of those things. In fact, we rejoice in the accomplishment of far, far greater things. A greater kingdom, a greater peace, a greater deliverance for a greater people and a greater world. This kingdom is born wit is to by US and are memorials. It's an indestructible kingdom, and those who have borne witness to its presence and to its certain victory have most often, throughout the last two thousand years, been the very people who are themselves suffering a lack of political freedom and a lack of the kind of kingdom life that this Jewish rabbi wanted. Are Martyrs. There's no one, brothers and sisters, who has borne witness to the presence of Jesus's kingdom more fervently, who have had a more indestructible spirit and a love that triumphs over everything on this earth than the martyrs themselves and all of those who support them, the whole Church and are ascetics, who are hiding in mountains and caves and trees and sitting on top of pillars because they believe and taste the Kingdom of God, which is forever, and therefore they've been able to disdain the things that this rabbi is looking for. Their hope is not in political peace. They have something deeper, they have something better, something more glorious. Poor atheists. I feel bad for them, because the work that's before them is too difficult. They just can't get rid of us. They can throw the cross all that, they can rip off the signs, they can even try to change all the street names, all the city names. Maybe they might even be able to foist on US some new calendar. They might be able to do that. That's a big task. That's a big task with all sorts of tentacles attached to it. They might even be able to do that, but then they still have the real problem, and the real problem is you. The real problem is Christ in you, the real problem... Christmas in you, and the only way to get rid of you is to kill you. But tertolian says that the blood of the martyrs is the seat of the church. You Lop Down One and two grow up. There is no escaping the glory of the Kingdom of God on the Earth. There is no reversing human history, no matter how much we've fight it or might want it to be different. The son of God has come, the angels sing, the Earth Dances, the pure virgin bears the son of God to Unite Heaven and earth, to save the race of men and to establish a kingdom that has no end. These are the facts. These are why we're Christians, it's why we dance, and it's also why we must be the aroma, the scent of that king though people touching us, all of the people who are trying even to get rid of us. They have to know the love of God for them and through us. They have to smell it, they have to feel it, they have to know the proof of this kingdom, not just by our martyrs, not just by our ascetics, but by the love of that kingdom in which we dwell. By this, all men will know that you are my disciples, disciples of the king dwelling in his kingdom. If you have love for one another, let's renew, brothers and sisters, that love in us as we celebrate this Christmas joyous feast. Amen, 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 this spiritually thirsty with the sweet teachings of the Holy Fathers. Until next time,.

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