The Arena
The Arena

Episode 564 · 9 months ago

Yielding to God | Palm Sunday 2022


The Arena Podcast is the flagship of Patristic Nectar Publications and contains the Sunday Sermons and other theological reflections by Father Josiah Trenham delivered from the ambon of St. Andrew Church in Riverside, California and begun in 2010. Currently there are more than 550 sermons and lectures covering ten years worth of preaching through the liturgical calendar.

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Now available at patristic nectar dot Org. patristic nectar publications is pleased to present a seven lecture series by Reverend Doctor Kalinique Burgher, entitled the Divine Identity of Christ. The highly esteemed Hiero monk scholar, father Kalinique sets forth the majestic and high Christology of the early church. In these lectures, Father Kaliginique refutes the secular criticisms of Orthodox Christology and reveals that Jesus himself taught his divine identity to his disciples, that the early church both honored and preached this High Christology and that this Christology is codified in the pages of the New Testament and the nicene creed. Along the way, he also reveals the vacuous secular quest for the historical Jesus, unpacks the historical theological witness about Jesus in the pre Nicene Church, through NICEA ephesus and to the fourth Ecumenical Council at Chalcedon. Here is a feast of Faith for Christians, sure to illumine our hearts and minds concerning the deity of our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ. For these and other titles. Please visit our website at patristic nectar dot org. And now the arena with Father Josiah Trenum, the name of the father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit. A blessed Palm Sunday to all of you shiningy Embodiki. Today, dear ones, are king comes for us, himmed by the masses, especially by the children, revealing his great humility yet again, riding on a cult, not being born on the shoulders of...

...his servants on a golden throne. This entrance into Jerusalem today fulfills to prophecies St John Chrysostom says in his commentary on John. It fulfills the obvious prophecy of Zechariah Chapter Nine, that behold your king comes to you humble, meek, mounted on the full of an ass. But he says, it fulfills a second which is also represented by that cult, and that he comes to call the world, the world of the Pagans, the gentiles, the nation's to himself, no more containing himself and a small piece of sacred geography in the Middle East, no more. After today, all the crowds are rejoicing. Gone is the time. Our Saviors hiding his identity. Remember how many times he told his disciples, don't say anything about what I just did. How many times he healed someone and said so, go see the priest, but that's it. Don't say anything to anybody. Those days are over. Today, The Times are full, the moment pregnant, and so our Lord Raises Lazarus from the dead. He does that which can't be hidden. Just think in our own lives. Just think what happens when a weeping icon shows up in town. Think what happens when the skull of St Luke, the physician, arrives in Riverside, the divine magnet. People come out of the woodwork. I discovered that I have far more parishioners than I ever knew. That's just with a little icon, just a little icon, Jesus raises a...

...well known man after he has been in the grave for four days. This is not the action of a savior trying to hide his identity. This is the action of a savior revealing himself to everyone. The Pharisees and the chief priests are terrified and they say in the next from John, recounting our Savior's triumphal entry, they say this to each other the world has gone after him. If we did the Father Josiah's translation, we would start by saying, oh no, the world has gone after him. Little did they know, those blind pharisees. Little did they know how absolutely literally that's true. From this moment the world would go after Jesus, from this moment on. In fact, St John's account in chapter twelve that you just heard a little bit further beyond what we read. The Gospel tells us that immediately after the Pharisees said this to each other, in their terror that they were losing control of Jerusalem, to this rabbi that the world is going after him. Immediately after that, John Records this. Now there were some Greeks among those who were going up to worship at the feast, and these came at that time to Philip and began to ask him, saying, sir, we wish to see Jesus. Philip came in told Andrew, Andrew and Philip came and told Jesus, and Jesus answered them saying, well, what did he say? The...

Pharisees are worried that the world is going to go after him. All of a sudden, the next second, the symbolic Greek shows up with his demand, that would become the demand of the world. We would see Jesus. What did Jesus say when Andrew and Philip came there? Did he say, as he had said previously, do not go in the way of the gentiles. No. Did he say, as he had said previously, I have come only for the lost sheep of the House of Israel. No. Did he say it's not right to give the bread of the children to the dogs, like he had said previously? No. What did he say? This is what he said. The Hour has come for the son of men to be glorified. Truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone, but if it dies, it bears much fruit. He sang this. It's time for me to be known by everyone everywhere. It's time for me to be loved and received as king by every person on this planet. He's saying that, having fulfilled his mission to Israel, he goes now to the cross, to fall into the earth and die and, by doing so, to win the entire world, to, in his words, bear much fruit. This is why we who dwell here in the distant West rejoice today. Christ comes today to call us into his service. He comes to call us and ask us if we will be his subjects. Will we accept his kingship? Will we accept his...

...loving rule in our life? The Pharisees couldn't do anything. They couldn't do anything against the Lord. When they complain, Jesus simply told them that if the children weren't praising him and if all the crowds weren't throwing their garments on the ground and waving palm branches, the very stones would cry out in praise and acceptance of his rule. This is what he said to those pharisees. He said this, by the way, as he was crossing into Jerusalem, approaching the gate, coming from the Mount of Olives. Interestingly, you go right over the ancient cemetery there, which is still there. I wonder if a reference to these stones crying out has more a direct reference maybe to those tombstones and the people who were yearning and waiting for him to come. Some of them in fact, did come out of their graves. In just a few days after his resurrection, those tombs right there shook and the bodies of some of the faithful who had yearned for Christ for a long time, literally stood up like another Lazarus resurrection, except this much longer than four days, and they went in to bear witness to what happened to them. What a day it is. Dear once I want you to think with me for a moment about the proximity between this Glorious Day of Palm Sunday, Jesus's triumphal entrance and grit, and holy Friday, only five days from now. I want you to think about the connection between these two. To Day, I stand with you, rejoicing in the coming of our king, but also deeply puzzled... the development of the cries of the crowd that would go, in a short five days from Hosanna to crucify him. What happened? How did this change? How can palm Sunday and holy Friday coexist in such a short period of time? Well, this is why I've called my homily yielding to God. That's a good title, yielding to God. The great crowds. They wanted Jesus as king for sure, they show it today. They wanted him desperately, but evidently they wanted him only as a certain kind of King. They had two wills. One will was expressed today on palm sundry, in the Joseph was in the shouts of Hosanna. Another was expressed on holy Friday, when many of these same people let out, brought blood curdling demands for his death, for his crucifixion, literally calling God's curse on their children. His blood be on us and on our children. What happened before we find ourselves in the Gospel and in this two willed crowd? I want you to also notice that Jesus, at this time, is also described as having two wills. I'm not making reference to his divine will and his human will, each appropriate to his two natures as God and man, united in his one person. I'm referring rather to Jesus his own attitude and disposition towards his coming crucifixion. We see the Lord and his Agonia and getsemite expressing a very strong will to avoid the cross. He went to get semony to pray that it...

...might be removed from him, that he might not have to do it. He prays in great tension and incredible pain that, if possible, this Cup might pass him by. We see here the natural expression of his human desire to avoid this frightful death. But note also, we see in his prayer a second will, a second resolve, that such a death pass him, that such a death be removed from him only if such a scape was combatible with his father's will, and if it was not, we see his absolute, perfect readiness for obedience. Here we see the great difference between our Lord and the fickle crowds. The crowds wanted God's will as long as it was in accord with their own will. They wanted him as a king as long as he did the things that they wanted a king to do for them, which was mostly focused on delivering them from this awful situation that they were in with the Romans. Jesus wanted his father's will, no matter what. This is the difference. One will, the will of the fickle crowd, deeply diseased but very redgis deeply diseased but very religious. One will is perfect and holy and would lead to the accomplishment of the salvation of the entire world by the cross. Today, as we reflect, dear ones, on the masses who welcomed Christ only to brutally betray him within five days, we need to also reflect on Jesus's Aguinia and honor and worship, his magnificent obedience, his...

...unwillingness to do anything that would displease his father. There's a beautiful reflection on this conflict on palm Sunday that C S Lewis makes in his very, very famous mid twenty century text mere Christianity. I love this reflection and I want to end my homily with it. This is what he says. He says I think that many of us, when Christ has enabled us to overcome one or two sins that were an obvious nuisance, are inclined to feel, though we don't put it into words, that we are now okay, he has done all we wanted him to do and we would be very happy now if he would leave us be. But the question is not what we intended ourselves to be, but what he intended us to be when he made us. HMM. C S Louis goes on to write, imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild the house. At first perhaps you can understand what he's doing. He's getting the drains right, he's stopping the leaks in the roof and so on. You knew that those jobs needed doing, and so you are not surprised. But presently he starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense. What on Earth is he up to? The explanation is that he is building quite...

...a different house from the one that you thought of, throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor. They're running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were going to be made into a decent little home, but he is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it himself. That is the purpose in giving him our hearts and yielding our wills to him, that we might be a new creation in him. That's what accepting Christ, that's what the resurrection is all about. Wow, let's all groan together on three AH glory to our king, who not only delivers us from what we really need to be delivered from, but, in his great mercy, nurishes our faith so that we also can yield our wills to him and be amongst those who cry. Only has Anna blessed friast, 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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