The Arena
The Arena

Episode · 11 months ago

There Are No Humpty Dumpties - Sunday of Zacchaeus 2021


If you are interested in other available titles, or if you would like more information on Patristic Nectar Publications, please visit our website at






Help promote The Arena by leaving us a rating and review on iTunes. This helps us others discover the podcast. 








Contemporary Women Saints






Now available on Audible! Sermons on the Spiritual Life by St. Philaret of Moscow




Help us professionally record the Philokalia! Donate by visiting the link below. 








Patristic Nectar Youtube 


Patristic Nectar Instagram


Patristic Nectar Facebook


Patristic Nectar Twitter 








1) Spread the Word - tell your family and friends about Patristic Nectar. Share Patristic Nectar website links to content you have enjoyed. A personal invitation is the number one way the Church grows. Tell a friend to "Come and see!"




2) Make a Donation -Patristic Nectar is a small non-profit ministry with a big vision for expanding access to Patristic Orthodox teaching throughout the world. Since our establishment in 2010, we have made steady progress but there is so much more we could do. With funding, we can work to make our ministry vision a reality.  





3) Pray For Us - remember us in your prayers, asking that the Lord strengthen, help, and direct us according to His divine will.

Now available at patristic nectar dot Org. patristic nectar publications is pleased to present a new five lecture series entitled ContemporaryWomen 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 andlead us to the virtue of humility and compunction. Contemporary Saints are particularly importantsince they acquire their love for God and holiness in the midst of our currentmilieu 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 Zaniaof Saint Petersburg. Lecture number two the life of Saint Elizabeth, the newmartyr. Lecture number three the life of Saint Maria of Paris. Lecture numberfour the life of Saint Metrona of Moscow. Lecture number five the lives of motherMaria of Olonettes, Schema Num Macaria, the beloved cepher, and Matushka Olgaof Alaska. For these and other available titles, please visit our websiteat atristic nectar got org and now the arena with Father Josiah Trenna. Inthe name of the father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit.Greetings and much love to all of the parishioners who are outside again. Godbless your patience, God bless your love and forbearance, and God bless yourhealth. It's been chilly and may the time come soon when the only reasonsomeone have to be outside is because there's not a square inch left in thechurch. We had seven hundred in here for the consecration. You know thatwe're on a short hiatus from finishing the iconography in the Church temple. Wereso close we didn't need just two more installation. We've done eight. Youknow it was a ten year project. We've taken a short hiatus to turnour attention to a ministry that the Lord has been pressing on us and wefelt he was saying get to it now. But I can't wait. Once wehave completed the St Andrew Academy and we've done the Great Hall and werenovated the Fellowship Hall, we're going to complete the Baptismal Chapel with beautiful iconographyand hang too beautiful bass bells. Can't...

...wait for those belts, massive bells. They cost thirtyzero dollars each. They weigh threezero pounds, about the weightof a car. Will winch them up, tie them onto the posts which arealready there waiting for them, where the other five Russian bills are,and then we'll seal off that third story, because if we don't, when wering those bells, your soul will leap out of your body. Thosebells will be extremely important, for instance in holy week, to hear afuneral toll on great Friday from one of those bells. They'll be used,of course, for our own funerals, and we could also use it todayif we had one, because today is Zechisk Sunday. This poor man,completely ruined man, an inheritor of the promises of Israel, who turned hisback on everything good, everything godly, and totally gave himself to his ownpassions, his own avarice, his own greed, collaborating with the God awfulRomans. This Day, Zach Caius Sunday, is a tolling of the liturgical bell, because you you know, maybe some of the young ones, someof our green parishioners, don't, that Zach Caius is a marker in thethe turtical year. Za caus is telling US soon the most sacred portion ofthe year will be here, soon the days of repentance and salvation will behere, soon the great lent will be upon us. This is the liturgicalmessage of Zachaius. Zachaius is followed by the Publican and the Pharisee, whichis followed by the Prodigal son, which is followed by the great judgment Sunday, which is followed by forgiveness on day and the launch into great lent.So if we had that great bell, I'd right now give the look tothe bell ringer. You know, we have quite a complicated system here becausethe bells are three stories up. So we bless God in this one occasionfor facetime, because the bell ringers keep their little facetime phone and there's onethat's being held by the subdeacons so that they know exactly when to ring thebells based upon the liturgical movements that are going on inside the altar. Iwould look at him right now and tell him give us one toll just toremind us where we are. Get Ready,...

...have a heart of anticipation. Ican't wait because I want to heal all my wounded memories of last lent. I want a good lent together so that we never have to remember thishorrible, horrible, perhaps unheard of, covid lent that we had this lastyear. And if, if God wills, if God wills, and I certainlyhope he does, please Lord, will have an undisturbed lent and wecan give ourselves to the services together and to repentance. Let's hope. Let'shope. I have a few words to say about Zychaius and I want tostart with one of my favorite nursery rhymes, Humpty dumpty. Humpty dumpty sat ona wall. Humpty dumpty had a great fall all the king's horses andall the king's men and could never put Humpty dumpty together again. Humpty dumpty. I tried to figure out exactly where Humpty dumpty came from. No onereally knows. We do know that it was published first in a nursery rhymetype book by Samuel Arnold in one thousand seven, hundred and ninety seven.We do know that, but we're not exactly sure what it's president was,where he got it. Some people think it's a riddle, that an earlyseventeen century riddle, and so the person would have said, tell me whatthis is, who is or what is Humpty Dumpty, and then you saythe riddle. Some people think it actually has historical references to the murder ofKing Richard the third. The Wall evidently was his horse and he was Humptydumpy and he fell off his horse and he got slaughtered by the enemies.I don't know, I don't know, but I do know this. Ido know this. Today Humpty dumpty is presented, of course, as anegg and not as a riddle, just as a story in our nursery rhymes. He's an egg that fell and he broke into so many pieces that itwas simply impossible for the king's horses, in the King's men or anybody toput them back together again. I want you to know something as a witnessof this gospel text. None of you, on principle, there are no Humptydumpties. No one is so screwed up, no one is so broken, and certainly we can relate to Humpty dumpty. We've all had a greatfall and if we're honest. We know that the consequence of that great fallis that we are in pieces. Some...

...of us are on the process ofwholeness further than others, but no one here without wounds, no one herewithout a history of patching. But the witness of this gospel is a manso ruined, so totally destroyed as Zachus was not beyond fixing, he wasnot beyond saving and no one is. We have to remember this, brothersand sisters. We have to keep this in the depths of our heart.We can't have Jesus's view of the world, a Christian mind, unless we believethis. No one is beyond redemption. There are no Humpty dumpties. ZachCaius was a man who was in Israelite. He was a Jew waitingfor the Messiah at the time of Christ it should have been the happiest timefrom that from his youth, to be that generation that was going to seethe promises of the prophets come to fulfillment, the long for Messiah Appear, thetyranny of the Romans and even more the tyranny of the devil overthrown bythe Messiah. He should have been right there ready, but no. Instead, he turned his back on his people for his own personal game. Hecollaborated with a godless pagan power to suppress his own people, his own relatives, his own family members, so that he could get rich. He sworean oath, a pagan oath, to the emperor and to his genus inorder to become a tax collector. And it wasn't just the tax collector.He was the chief Teloni's, the number one, the richest, most abusive, criminal tax collector, rich on the backs of his people. This ishim. This is him. If there was anyone who was past redemption,we would think it's at this man, Zechaius. But not only was henot past redemption, he becomes the paradigmatic convert. This man not only keydid Jesus is words, he heard Jesus was coming. I don't know whowe heard it from, but I was wondering maybe it got through his circles. Just think he wasn't the first tax collector Jesus saved. Think of theApostle Matthew, one of the twelve. Jesus went right into his tax collectinghouse and said you follow me, and he was completely taken aback. Andthen the next scene, Jesus is at...

...his house with all his other taxcollector friends. It's in Matthew United. It's an incredible text. Next thingyou know he's an apostle. I just wonder, I don't know if theyhad like the text collectors union. I don't know exactly how that works,but my guess is that he heard that some of his other tax collectors achanged. When someone like you changes, when someone in your own world changes, maybe not from complete darkness to light. That's a big, huge change,of course. Maybe it's just change from a sin to something. It'ssparks beautiful things. It's stirs up talk, it stirs up hope. If Fredcan do it, and I know Fred, maybe I can do it. This is the thought. This man went from being a sinner to aseeker, to a sorrower, to one who was saved, to a servant. It's not that Huh Tho's five essays. That's what happened to Zakus. That'swhat happened to him, and you know that he ended up becoming abishop of the Church and it becoming a servant of Christ, a martyr inRome under Nero. Yes, there are no Humpty dumpties in the church,brothers and sisters, and today is the great encouragement. This is the timeto repent. We can become like him. And he became a child, Jesussaid. We just talked last week about how Jesus said, unless youbecome like children, you'll never enter the Kingdom of God. And what dochildren love to do? Climb trees, which is exactly what Zak's did,much to no doubt the Chagrin of all the upstanding people in the area.He climbed a tree, he became a child in his desire to see Jesusand Bam. Now I want to say one thing about the Lord here beforeI close. Zachus is a great encouragement to all of us, all ofus broken ones, that we can be put back together by Christ, thatrepentance is powerful and what a message that is. On the edge of lent, something can happen good for us if we take lens seriously. But Ialso want you to see how marvelous, how marvelous, the Lord Jesus isin this text. The Lord was with the crowd, constantly hassled by crowds, constantly followed by crowds, overwhelmed. Do you know? I'm just alittle priest and my crowds are little, but I can get numb very quickly. The number of hands that touch you... the same time, from differentdirections, from little ones, big ones, old ones, young ones, thenumber of requests, it can make you feel Numb, and I'm justa little priest with little crowds. The Lord how he was able to keephis composure surrounded by so many people all the time seeking things from him allthe time, and yet could look at Zachaeus, whom he's never met,in a tree and call him by name, Zachaeus, and I loved what hesaid. It's a great message for all of our spiritual lives. Ye'llknow what he said. First word, hurry, hurry. Why Hurry?I have no idea what need to say. Come down, nice to see.Is that case? I'm coming to your house. No Hurry. Andthen the next text says Zak has hurried down. Salvation is not to beplayed with. It's time to get on with it. It's a beautiful message. He spoke his name, he knew him. Zakos must have just beenlike a flower coming into the sun that just started bubbling and growing and blossoming. And he did because he as soon as Jesus came into his house,he said, Lord, Fifty percent of everything I had, and that wassomething. Can you imagine, if Jess Bezos has a conversion moment, whatcould happen to people who are poor, if he has a conversion moment andsays, half of what I have I give to the poor at anything Istole, which is a lot, which is a lot, I give backfourfold. Just flowered his life, just flower his whole priorities changed in thepresence of Jesus. I want you to see this. And then he wentright into the man's house and that crowd which had just been following him startedmurmuring. Oh, the fickle ones who wanted what they want, but whenthey got something else, when they saw something else that they didn't like.Jesus hanging out with that man. Oh, all the criticisms, all the condemnationof Christ. How dare he go into the house to eat with asinner? Now, let me, let me help you be a little bitsympathetic with those people. We rejoice in what he did, but it wasa scandal. The Lord was absolutely scandalous. Think of the first Psalm, whichis all about him, by the way, the blessed man, wellless it is the man who doth not walk in the council of Sinners,nor stand in the path of the UNRIGHTEOUS,...

...nor sit in the seat of thescoffer. But if delight is in the law of the Lord and onhis law, he meditates day and night. What's the very definition of the righteousman? The very definition of the Godly man is that he neither walks, stands nor sits with sinners. That's what he does. So what ifJesus doing? If Jesus breaking his own law? Is Jesus violating his ownstandards? This is what the people thought. Hey, Jesus, why are youactually sitting with a wicked man? That is exactly what the Psalm says. You're not supposed to be doing. How do you put these two thingsto other? It's a good question. Jesus answers it for us at theend of this account. He says, for the son of man has cometo seek and to save the lost. His whole reason for coming, brothersand sisters, is to enter into the lives of sinners, to start walkingnext to sinners, to sit down with sinners, to enter into the homesof sinners and even to eat with them. Why? In order to save them. And this is the difference. It's one thing to walk in theCouncil of the sinner in order to perhaps take some counsel from him. Badidea. It's something else to stand and have a conversation with the sinner,as sinners talk. It's something worse to sit down with them and to getinto league with them and start doing what sinners do. That is not whyJesus came and that is will not what he was doing. Is Not whathe did with Matthew. It's not what he did with that case, andhe's not what he did with us, and it's not what we do either. We pursue everyone and we, yes, talk to people and invest ourselves inpeople who are outside the church, who are away from God, evenwho are Godless Democrats, are godless Republicans, or whatever you think is the definitionof like evil. Okay, we we talk to them, we seekthem, because this is our very mission. It doesn't need explanation. It's twothousand years old. That's why the church exists. We are those peopleconverted. This is US broken people who prove that there are no Humpty dumpties. This is how the church interacts. For this reason, there are somewho shouldn't do too much of that,...

...because they can't yet go out andinteract in those places without being compromised and being weak. They should get stronger. They should get stronger for the sake of your neighbor. So that youcan interact with someone. You can have a conversation with a CO worker thatyou know is a dishonest person, that you know is cheating on his wife, you can still sit with them and interact heart to heart, not becauseyou are at all interested in collaborating in that kind of stuff, but becauseyou love this person, you want to help this person and you're in aposition to do it because you're stuck permanently in a sycamore tree so that youcan see Jesus. That's where you want to end up. Brothers and sisters, we all should end I want to end this by saying we should allbe permanently in the sycamore tree. You know that Sycamore Tree. Don't getthe out wrong idea. For those of you who have been to my house, the best part of my house are my sycamore trees. They're humncous things. A matter of fact, I just had people in them like that Kuslast week trimming them because just before the rains, because they were about tofall on my house, big huge branches, and I saw those guys up there, hundred feet up, cutting things down. The Sycamore Tree we're talkingabout in Jericho was a sycamore fig and it's still there. By the way, you can go to Jericho, they have it all walled off. Zakusis tree is a place of sacred tilgrimage, but he did what he had todo in order to have a clear line of sight to Jesus in themidst of a crowd, and that is exactly what we should do. Ifwe're going to be like this, if we're going to be like the Lord, if we're going to be like Zakus and be done with that which pleetdispleases God, we have to have Christ in our life and we got totake whatever position we can so that we can see him. This may meanembarrassing yourself, like he embarrassed himself. It certainly means to act like achild and to put it the matters that the world doesn't consider important to beimportant so that you can see him. This means keeping your prayers, itmeans faithfully coming to church, it means trying to see his face in otherpeople and not looking at people what they can give you, but how they'dreflect him. These are ways that you can stay in your syc of Martry. And All was seen Christ. What an incredible, glorious account we havetoday. Be encouraged, brother, since sisters be encouraged. There is noone still messed up that they can't be healed by Christ. Comment. Wehope that you have enjoyed and have been edified by this presentation offered to youby Patristic Nectar Publications, a nonprofit organization committed to nourishing the spiritually thirsty withthe sweet teachings of the Holy Fathers.

If you are interested in other availabletitles or if you would like more information on patristic nectar publications, please visitour website at www dot patristic nectar dot org. Again, that's www dotpatristic nectar dot org.

In-Stream Audio Search


Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (551)