The Arena
The Arena

Episode · 9 years ago

Yearning for the Light of the Transfiguration!

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The very fact that our saviour insistedon bringing with him his disciples, the fact that Moses and Elias were gatheredtogether to him shows that he wants to cast the radiance of his divinity onmen. He wants to cover us with his lift. Hewants to Illumine US and join us to it and to him. Ancient faith, radio and patristicnectar, publications present the arena Sunday Homilyes and theologicalreflections with father, Jossiah, Trenna, Father Jessiah is the pastor of SaintAndrew Orthodox Christian Church in Riverside California. He is also thefounder of Patristic Necta Publications, a nonprofit organization committed tonourishing the spiritually thirsty with the sweet teachings of the Holy Fathersfor more information on patristic connector publications. Please visitour website at www, got patristic nectar, Dotorg and now Father Jessiah,in the name of the father and of the son and of the Holy Spirid, one God, brothers and sisters. I want to speakto you about the transfiguration, but I was pressed in my heart by thatbeautiful epistolessen and by that text that frightened me just now where sintPaul said. Don't you know that your body is thetemple of the Holy Spirit, whoever destroys the Temple of God, God will destroy him. You eveer heard O homly on that. I have never heard of humily on thattext. Whoever destroys the Temple of God, Godwill destroy him wow putting this in my mind for next year,when this reading comes up, thank God for the leturgical calendar,thank God that we in the church, worship with forethought and dignityand that our holy fathers have given to us, the worship life that we havebrothers and sisters. You know the true God, because of it you understand the mighty works thatJesus is accomplished for you because of the letargical schedule that we havein the church. This is why you've been taught to bow and to have your heart dance at theincarnation of the son of God. You know how important, how beyond humandescription, the fact that the coeternal son of God in time became aman in the WOM of the Virgin Mary. You know this because for weeks we preparefor it in the church laturgically and we celebrate the Nativity and the fleshof our savior. You know how important theophony is when our Lord called the Holy Spiritdown upon himself in the waters of the Jordan and sanctified the water, sothat we too could be cleansed of our sins by water and the Holy Spirit. You know how important and magnificent his life giving cross his sacredpassion is because we celebrate it in holy week. We kiss it numerous time. You know that his resurrection is YourLife. You know that death has been trampledand that our future is bright because you celebrate Paska every year. Do yousee what I 'm saying? Brothers said sister, you know the Lord and you knowhis mighty work, because you faithfully...

...worship the trion God in the church.According to the Tirgical calander of the church, you learn to appreciate all the aspectsand the facets of our Savior's beauty of his saving power. We can give thanks to God. For that. However, we have some weak spots. Wehave some holes in our life in our mentality in our appreciation becauseof a number of feasts which are not properly honored by us. Yet in thisnation, these feats are fall out of great appreciation becausethey don't fall on Sunday and we are so formed and fashioned by this Protestantconcept of worship. That Sunday is it, and so the great feast of our saviour,like his ascension on the fortith day after his resurrection, which alwaysfalls on a Thursday, is not as central to our deep devotion to our savior, andI don't think many Orthodox could give a clear answeron. What's the big deal about ascension, I don't think so. Maybe some andbesides ascension another feast, just like it, no lessimportant to our salvation- is the feast we celebrate in its four feat today and infruition to morrow the feast of the transfiguration of our Lord onMount Table. This feast always falls on the sixth ofAugust, Forty days before the Exaltation of the Life Giving Cross onSeptember fourteenth because there's a tradition in the church that oursaviour's transfiguration on the mountain took place. Forty days beforehis passion, it means six out of seven years. Youdon't see it unless you throw off the concept, that worship is a Sunday thingalone and you come to the great feas during the week when transfigurationfalls. This is the only way to actually have the transfiguration every year, beprefed into your heart, into your mind, into your experience so that you canunderstand and really know what the big deal isabout transfiguration and it is a big deal. Our Saviour chose three of his dear disciples, PeterJames and John, and he went up onto the mountain tabloe and there it says in the text of theGospels as he began to pray. The countenance of his face wastransformed and that he began to shine with a lightbrighter than the sun, and there appeared with our saviour on themountain Moses, the Godseer and Elias The prophet, and they were conversingwith him about his coming exodus about his coming death, his saving passion, the disciples were undone overwhelmedtransfixed. By seeing the uncreated light, they were not prepared for it and they were undone and fell down, and then the voice of the father cameand spoke, and he said this is my beloved son in him. I am well pleased, hear him and the Holy Spirit appeared as a clouddescending on to the mountain. When the disciple shook off there days, they didn't see mosis and EliasAnymore, and there was the Lord and the Lord said to them. What you have seenspeak to no one until my death,...

...this is the transfiguration. What is it, what is it and what does it have to dowith your salvation? Why is it such a big deal, brothers and sisters? Thetransfiguration of our saviour on table was revealed to the disciples so thatthey could have a deep conviction about who he is Peter had just confessed. Hisdivinity Peter had just before they went up. TheMountain Peter had just said to him: Thou Art, the Christ, the son of theLiving God, our saviour blessed. Him said that that statement was arevelation not from men. Peter didn't learn that from men but from God aboveand then manifested his divinity on the top of Taboar. He said to his disciples: There aresome who are standing here who will not die until they see the Kingdom of God comewith power. Having said that, he took his threebeloved to the top and he showed them the Kingdom of God with power. He revealed the Kingdom of God, andthat is what happened on the top of the mountain Jesus is divinity his radiance, hisglory, which had been sheltered by his humility by the assumption of humanflesh, which confused so many and kept so manyin the dark about who he really was our saviour pulled back that veil he lifted the blinders so that thedisciples could see not just his flash, but his divinity to which his flesh isinseparably united. They saw the Kingdom of God. They sawthe king of that kingdom in his radiance, that he's always had with thefather and that he did not give up in becoming a man. He simply cloaked itfor a time. This is mounttabor and you learnsomething else. The very fact that our savior insistedon bringing with him his disciples, the fact that Moses and Elias were gatheredtogether to him shows that he wants to cast the radiance of his divinity onmen. He wants to cover us with his ligft. Hewants to Illumine US and join us to it and to him. You knew this already because ofMOSIS's life. Moses had already experienced it on the top of Mount Sina.Remember his face was radiant so much so that no one could look upon him. Elias was already living in it becausehe had been taken up in some mysterious and Glorious Way and chariots of fire into the very nearness of God, but the disciples learned they learnedthat this glory that our saviour possesses by nature, which permeateshis flesh is intended to be given to them. The Lord desires his light, hisradiance his glory, His grace to be ours. This is extremely important. If youwant to understand how Jesus has saved you, brothers and sisters, we don't acceptthe concept that salvation is just forgiveness. This is the standard concept inAmerican civil religion about what Jesus has done. Jesus hascome and has forgiven us by the work of the Cross. We've delight in that. Werejoice in that. We proclaim it with a loud voice for sure, but it does notend there. That is not in fact, what salvation is. Are you listening to me? Salvation is a lot more than that. In our tradition. We call this...

...fullness of salvation being in thelikeness of God. Sometimes Saint Paul describes it as being in Christ orbeing united with Christ, Saint Peter cals. It becoming a partaker of thedivine nature. It's the fullness in Saint Paul'slanguage, our great fathers call it theosis ordeification. It means that we actually have aneternal progress to make with God and drawing near to him and coming intocommunion and union with him and in the process of connecting to the Lord, likethat so intimately and deeply. We ourselves are transfigured such thatour destiny is to be like Christ in his glorified human existence, that body which was able to look downdeath. That body, which was able to triumphover sickness that body, which was able to delight in the presence of hisfather and no longer be a slave to earthly, needs worn down by weariness,worn down by lack of sleep, worn down by hunger covered with tears. That isnot our future. To have that. Our Future is deliverance from all of theall of that fallenness and to possess a human life such thatthere is no great separation between God and us. We live in his life. Jesus is the lightthat has come into the world to enlighten every man, Saint John says,and believe me, those three disciples never were the same. Peter was so gripped his whole ministryuntil his Marg ar done by the transfiguration he wrote about it inhis second epistle. He said the things I'm telling youdon't think that I'm making this up. He said we were Ey witnesses of HisMajesty on the top of the mountain. This is second Peter One. We heard themajestic voice. This is my beloved son with whom I'm well pleased. Believe me.He was never the same after his pime on Taboe John was so altered by his time ontable that he became the mouthpiece of the glory of Christ, the one whodescribed the word becoming flesh and tabernacling among us, and we havebeheld his glory the glory, as Have The only begotten of the father full ofgrace and truth. This came from his experience. He wasable to say these things, not as ideas but as a description of his life, Tay more matters, brothers and sisters,and it should matter to you there's no way we can live a normalorthodox ly without transfiguration at the heart, because we will always havesome reduced bogus concept of what it means to be a human being and what itmeans to be Safed, and we won't have the vision for our life that enablesthat strengthens and gives birth to a trueChristian life. Let me tell you specifically what I mean and I'm going to tell it with this rock. There were a couple other times thatJesus took these three with him, not just to table. He took them and to getsemine to his agony. He experienced the AGONEA in thepresence of his disciples and it was very important that he was on taborbefore he was in gatsemine with the disciples he also took them to the passion to the Cross there. Seeing his glory is what enabledthem to understand his death and his suffering, because suffering cannot beendured in truth, without the transfiguration,without a knowledge that behind all...

...suffering lies the unconquerable gloryand power of Christ, nothing happened to him. That was not his will. Hevoluntarily embraced the passion and get semone, and at any moment he couldhave called twelve legions of angels to put an end to the opponents that he had. He didn't because it was his will to dothe father's good pleasure to suffer and save us and the parcels he wanted them to knowthis. This is why he took them to Tayboar so that when he would come tohis passion, they would know he was embracing this not of necessity but ofpure love, voluntarily, brothers and sisters. If you have thisin your mind, if you know in fact that the Godman is governing your life that you're his and that the glory that is his is promised you which he has said so many times, hesays that in his parabellic teaching that we will shine like the sun in theKingdom of his father, this is our future theosis. If you havethis conviction- and you believe this, then you can accept the sufferingthat's going on in your life. The way that the disciples learnd to accept oursaviors passion, the way that he accepted it. This rock is a rock from the Holy Land someone gave. Then our Paris gave thisto me about ten years ago. It's taken literally from the top of Mounttaybor. I call it the transfiguration rock, because it's from the amount oftransfiguration a place that has been visited by pious believers on the timeof our Savior's ascension, the mother of God, used to kneel on thetop of this mountain and pray that her passage to the next life would beglorious and unfettered by demodic opposition and the Lord heard herprayer and our brothers and sisters have gonethere ever since I keep this in my office, but not very long, usuallybecause it's gone around the members of our parish for the lastten years and as been with most of those who have passed to the next lifewhen they passed. This was in the hands of Andrew whenAndrew passed away several months ago. As a matter of fact, it was verydifficult to get it back. People get attached to thetransfiguration rock and they don't want to pass it back. Sometimes I haveto pry it from their hands, but brothers and sisters is a fantasticwitness and a reminder, and this is what its purpose is. One day maybeyou'll hold the transfiguration rock before a surgery or before your own repose, and everytime you look at it. You'll remember that your destiny is not dust. Your destiny is not suffering. Those things are God's means to glorify you. Your destiny is beauty radiance beingpermeated with the live, grace and spirit of God. This is the truth of thetransfiguration, and you may be think you a father, that's nice, but you'resounding a little ethereal little on the mountain top father. I needsomething practical. I hear this a lot. I heard this a lot. This is not a fantasy. Every saint inthis church has a Nimbus around his or her head to bear witness of the factthat they actually accomplished it. They actually became one with God andHis light actually deified them. There's lots of degrees of teificationbrothers and sister. There are some who are in it but barely, and there are others that are way uphere, sint Paul and his language. He...

...says there are many different gloriesof the stars, and Star differs from star in glory. Some have seen the light even in thisparish. Some have found a little bit of quietness in their heart and have seenthe light of God and tasted it so that when they siingthat we have seen the TRU light. Some of you even know that by experience,others have been able to establish that as something that isn't that irregularsome who are at the very top over here are able not just to remain near to Godin the light, but they're able to become agents of communicating thelight to other people and they're able to see all created existences in thatlight, which is the destiny of all human beings who make it to paradise. There are all sorts of degrees, butbrothers and sisters. This is your future and it takes place. Here's thepractical, Heve, the practicaly it takes place the same way it took placeto Jesus on the top of Mounttaboer when he said it says, while he was praying, the countenanceof his face was transfigured. This is what we seek in prayer is to be with God, near God, we're not just hoping that he listensto us so that he can answer what we're asking. That is not what we're shootingfor in prayer. What we're shooting for in prayer is to actually come into thepresence of our father to actually become united to him, to beone with him and for him to give to us that light, so that we can beIlluminateng so that he would give us of his Holy Spirit so that we would notfall into the abyss of separation from God, which is the cause of all ourtroubles. prayerlessthess, brothers and sistersis why we have misery so why we have anxiety Tso, why we get depressed its because we drop the communion ball this week this week I was driving oneof my sons to basketball game and he caught me off guard a little bita on the way he said. Pop's. Can you say a prayerfor my game. I said sure what do you? What do you want meto ask? I was very, very proud of him that hedid not say ask pops that we crushe them under the sols of our feet andthey begged for mercy he id. He did not say that you didn't say that, although he is competitive, I'm happyabut that no, he said you know, he said, pop'spray, that you know that everything goes fine. Everything goeswell and I thought to myself- and I did so Iprayed, and I asked God you know grant that they might compete with amanliness. It might compete in a manly fashion,but with self control that they might be able to be honorable sportsman that no one we would be damaged, no onewe injured and that it would be a way that wecould be with him be with our God. What I was so delighted about was the fact that he had made the request at all. You know that brothers and sisters ayswhat we should shoot for. There shouldn't be this dicotomy in our lifeof church life, secular life. I pray in the morning, but then I turnoff the SPIGOT and I go to work and then maybe I turnit BAC on before. I go to bed we're trying to end that turning off anthisis my practical encouragement to you. This is the path to becoming illuminated. It's the pathtothail US sanddeification, to try to go where you're going with God, Saint Paul says: Whatever you do, eventhe mundane eating and drinking. Do it all in the name of our Lord JesusChrist, to the glory of God...

...elsewhere, he says, pray without ceasing. God helped us to do that onmen. We hope that you have enjoyed and havebeen edified by this presentation offered to you by Patristic Nectar,Publications, a nonprofit organization committed to nourrishing thespiritually thirsty with the sweet teachings of the Holy Fathers. If you are interested in otheravailable titles or if you would like more information on patristic necarpublications, please visit our website at the www dotpatristic nectar. DODORG.Again, that's www dot, patristic nectar, Godall.

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