Resurrected Life - Part 3

" He who hears My Words"


anyone okay cuz didn't get my Burger
King joke alright in the name of the
Father the Son and the Holy Spirit one
God amen Christos Anesti Christ is risen
not bad
you know usually by week three were kind
of over the coast Osen st right but
sometimes we have too many cookies in
our mouth or something like that but
actually this greeting Christ is risen
is a very important reminder I'm gonna
give you guys a mental exercise to do
right now okay so instead of saying
Christ is risen insert your name say my
name is risen just say it in your head
it sound weird right sometimes it sounds
a little awkward right like I say George
is risen do I really believe that that
George is risen well I should believe
that you know why because we're not just
celebrating the resurrection of Christ
but we're also celebrating my
resurrection or what should be my
resurrection if you guys are paying
attention to the Pauline epistles of
today it says if then you were raised
with Christ seek those things which are
above where Christ is sitting at the
right hand of God set your mind on
things above not on things on the earth
for you died do you remember your
funeral during Holy Week you died and
your life is hidden with Christ in God
when Christ who is our life appears then
you will also appear with him in glory
see to understand the resurrection to
understand what it means to live a
resurrected life we have to understand
what really death and life mean alright
so what I'm gonna do before we get into
today's talk is I'm gonna talk a little
bit about life and death so first I want
to talk about death you guys know in the
beginning that God was very clear with
Adam and Eve he gave them a very clear
choice he said if you choose to eat from
this tree you will die it was very clear
and they chose death so when they chose
death they were not only subject to
physical death but they were subject to
many other things death had consequences
beyond just dying in the flesh so we'll
take a look at some of those
consequences then to Adam he said
meaning God because you have heeded the
voice of your wife and have eaten from
the tree of which I commanded you saying
you shall not eat of it cursed is the
ground for your sake in toil you shall
eat of it all the days of your life both
thorns and thistles it shall bring forth
for you and you shall eat the herb of
the field in the sweat of your face you
shall eat bread till you return to the
ground for out of it you were taken for
dust you are and to dust you shall
return so here in the underlined parts
we have some consequences of death
first thing is cursed is the ground for
your sake cursed is the ground so not
only did Adam and Eve have to suffer an
all of mankind but all of nature ended
up suffering you know one of the
punishments was to Eve was that you will
give birth in labor pains and st. Paul
tells us that all creation has birth
pains so all creation was corrupted
that's why we have hurricanes and
tornadoes and earthquakes and all these
things all these things unending reign
for weeks at a time as a result of sin
and its consequences okay death and its
consequences the toil the thorns and
thistles the sweat of your face what do
you think that means that means that in
this life you are going to have
difficult times when you till the ground
it's going to be difficult for you the
thorns and the fizzles are going to hurt
you you will have some pains as a result
of your decision and to be honest we are
living in exile now you notice in the
liturgy we say when we disobeyed your
commandment by the guy of the serpent we
fell from eternal life and were exiled
from the paradise of joy we are living
in exile this is not our home all the
things that we experience in Earth are
not supposed to be the way that God
created but something very interesting
here what what's what's interesting
about this phrase that we say in the
liturgy when Adam and Eve disobeyed your
commandment when we disobeyed your
command we fell from eternal life and we
were exiled why because we were in Adam
when he sinned okay so that's death and
death as I said came with consequences
it came with something called corruption
you know in the beginning of the liturgy
we say oh god the great and eternal who
formed man in in corruption that's
God created us in corruption but then
after the fall became corruption we say
corruption we're talking not only about
your body when you die your body's
corrupted we're talking about the
corruption of the human nature so all
these things that you see appear hunger
fatigue weakness sickness sadness fear
these are all things that come natural
to human beings any child who is born
will suffer some sort of you know these
things every child will go through
stages of fear no matter how spiritual
you are yes you can overcome fear yes
you can overcome sadness but these are
kind of part of what we inherit okay
this is part of the fallen nature now
Christ came to renew our nature and in
Baptism we receive a renewed nature but
we have to keep that okay so these are
things that I said kind of come
naturally all right no matter how
righteous you are you will most likely
experience these things but that's in
addition to the willful sins or the
passions or the things that we can
control a little bit more so when you
here look here at this list pride anger
bitterness idolatry greed jealousy
sexual immorality see the problem is
that we think that these on this side
are kind of normal and just get lumped
in with this side all right that's not
the case at all
the ones on the right are the ones that
we have more of a control over okay this
is what we call darkness sitting in the
shadow of death corruption all these
things together have this kind of
interchangeable name okay so that is
death all right that is death so what is
life because the resurrection is life
overcoming death well last week we
learned that eternal life is not a place
but it's a person it's a relationship
and this is eternal life that they may
know you the only true God and Jesus
Christ when we have sent
okay so eternal life is knowing God in a
very special way in the same way the
resurrection is not an event that
happened two years ago it's not an event
you know why because Christ when he was
speaking to Mary and Martha when you
speaking to Martha at the tomb of their
brother Lazarus he asked her he said do
you believe she said yes I believe at
the end he will rise again
and what if Christ tell her he said I am
the resurrection and the life if I'm
here there's a resurrection if I am here
there is life
resurrection is Christ's you know in the
liturgy before we read the gospel the
priest says you are the hope of us all
the life of us all the resurrection of
us all we're speaking about Christ so if
we're going to talk about living a
resurrected life we need to understand
resurrection as I said it is life
overcoming death practically speaking
how does that look it means overcoming
the life of sin and its consequences all
those things that I put up there which
was not a a comprehensive list but
overcoming sin and its consequences so
that I may know God more clearly and I
may have life so let's look at some
practical examples here living a
resurrected life means I turn my pride
into humility I turn my anxiety into
peace i turn my stress into joy i turn
my anger into love
i turn my bitterness into forgiveness
see these things that i put here the
pride anxiety stress anger bitterness
these are choices and I have a choice
for me to turn my pride into humility is
a choice that's a decision I need to
make and that's what it means to live a
resurrected life see these are all signs
of death my pride my ego the stresses
that I have the worries that I have the
anger that I have the bitter all these
things are death and I have to
acknowledge that death and I have to
overcome that death in order to live a
resurrected life that makes sense
no this is practical meaning of what it
means to live a resurrected life so let
me give you an example let's say at your
job you're having a very difficult time
okay you work for the toughest boss
there is the amount of stress that it
puts on you it makes you miserable and
it's all coming from your boss now
usually there's two options right either
he leaves or I leave right
so let's say he leaves and I get a new
boss who's to say that the next boss
won't be the same way right let's say I
leave I go to another job same
so am I just running away from the issue
or do I need to learn to overcome and
have victory over the stress over the
the anxiety all the things that are
caused to me by this little thing the
thing is that we are called to live a
life of virtue how can I live a life of
patience unless I'm given circumstances
that test my patience right we're called
to live a life of Christ a life of
virtue how can I truly love unless I'm
put in a position where people are very
difficult to love yes even Jesus said
that he said the sinners love each other
right but what credit is that to you
right so if you see me as a proud person
and then later on you see me become a
humble person that's a resurrected life
that's what it means to live a
resurrection so as I said it's a choice
every day I have a choice in Deuteronomy
30:19 it says I call heaven and earth as
witnesses today against you that I have
set before you life and death blessing
and cursing therefore choose life that
you and your descendants may live Adam
and Eve were given a very clear choice
life or death in the same way I'm given
a very clear choice every day when I
wake up in the morning I have the chance
to choose life or death when I go to
work life or death when I deal with my
family life or death so let's see now
how we can go from this death to life
let's look at the words of our Lord
Jesus Christ he says most assuredly I
say to you he who hears my word and
believes in him who sent me has
everlasting life and shall not come into
judgment but has passed from death into
life and if you're paying attention
liturgy today it was the Catholic
epistle which talked about loving our
brethren and that's how he passed from
death into life that's gonna be a
separate talk in this series but what
I'm gonna talk about today when I'm
gonna focus on is he who hears my word
and Christ there's a very interesting
parable that that every time I read it
it's like something new comes out the
parable of Lazarus and the rich man you
guys know the story that Lazarus in the
and Lazarus was a very poor man he was a
beggar he used to sit in front of the
rich man's house every day and the rich
man passed by him every day anyways he
lived a miserable life very hard life
they both died the rich man suffered in
Hades and Lazarus was in paradise and
God sent Abraham to this rich man and
let's look at this conversation that
ensues then he said the rich man
I beg you therefore father a brother
that you would send him to my father's
house send Lazarus to go warn my family
for I have five brothers that he may
testify to them lest they also come to
this place of torment so this man was in
Hades suffering and he what he asked
Abraham to send Lazarus to his family so
he can war them so they don't come to
the same place Abraham said to him they
have Moses and the prophets let them
hear them and he said no father Abraham
but if one goes to them from the dead
they will repent but he said to him if
they do not hear Moses and the prophets
neither will they will they be persuaded
though one rise from the dead so God is
telling us that we have what Moses and
the prophets we have the Word of God if
you don't listen to the Word of God it
doesn't matter if someone rises from the
dead it doesn't matter what miracle
happens if you do not heed the Word of
God this is very very important and the
Word of God is not like any other word
okay the word words take their value by
who says them right so let's say for
example after the talk I say you know
what after this talk the first one who
comes to see me in the back I'm gonna
give you half of everything that I own
who would who would raise their hand
I'll give you half of whatever I have
anybody some of you like maybe maybe
this guy has some inheritance or
something that I don't know about maybe
I'll take a chance but what if I told
you I'm a million dollars in debt you
still want half of what I own but if my
name was Bill Gates and I stood up here
and I said I'll give you half of what I
own how many would take it you would
write because you know he's a rich guy
he has lots of money there's nothing you
need to worry about how much more the
words of Christ he says heaven and earth
will pass away but my words will by no
means pass away everything
Under the Sun everything that he ever
created will go away but one thing will
last my words he says the words that I
speak to you are spirit and they are
life spirit and life so the thing that
we have to recognize about God is we
don't separate God from his word they
are the same it's not like you and I
like for example if I said something to
offend you maybe you know maybe my wife
would say you know what George didn't
really mean that you know he was just
having a bad day he didn't really mean
it but God is not like that
God's word is his person let's take a
look at how the early church fathers
used to used to treat the Word of God or
how they interpreted the Word of God
st. Maximus the Confessor says the Bible
is the Word of God with a capital W
incarnate in human words Word of God
here meaning logos or Jesus Christ when
Saint John wanted to describe describe
Jesus Christ he described him as the the
logos or the word so st. Maximus says
the Bible is Christ in human words and
you notice that in the church when we
read the gospel what do we do we stand
we light candles we say blessed is he
who comes in the name of the Lord the
priest is offering incense because we
believe that we are in the presence of
God it's not just words on a page st.
Jerome says ignorance of Christ
ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance
of Christ's and he later says you are
reading know your betrothed is talking
to you it is your betrothed that is
Christ who was United with you he tears
you away from the solitude of the desert
and brings you into his home saying to
you enter into the joy of your master
you see how these people approach the
Word of God it wasn't just words on a
page for them it was they were
interacting with Christ Himself the Word
of God is life-giving okay when God says
a word he creates all the heaven and
earth when he says a word he calms the
storm when he says a word he gives
healing to the sick when he says a word
he cast out demons the Word of God has
the Word of God is living and powerful
and sharper than any two-edged sword
piercing even to the division of soul
and spirit and of joints and marrow and
is a discerner of the thoughts and
intents of the heart see the Word of God
is not like any other word any other
book can you read that will penetrate
and discern your thoughts and intents of
your heart there's no way the Word of
God is like a mirror for us it is my
it is my weapon st. John Chrysostom says
ignorance of the holy books is the cause
of all evil if we enter into the battle
with no weapon how can we expect to
conquer you know unfortunately the Word
of God even though it's so prevalent in
these days you can get it on your phone
you can get it on your computer on your
iPad you can listen to it you can watch
it you can do but it doesn't have the
same meaning in our lives and sometimes
I feel like the Word of God has become a
little bit cheap to us you know
sometimes it's on in the background or
sometimes it's just if I come listen to
a servant that's good enough for me but
that's not how we treat the Word of God
so I hope today we can have a new
approach to the Word of God you know I
do read the boat the phone the Bible on
my phone
definitely no doubt I take the Metro in
the morning so I'm always like you know
what my phone is easier I have access to
it I have access to different
translations it's great but you know
what sometimes it's a hindrance you know
why because when I'm reading I'll get a
text message or I'll get an email alert
or I'll get something and when I treat
the Word of God the same way I treat my
phone I think there's a problem there
I'm talking about something that's like
in our mindset we need to have a new
approach to the Word of God something
different when we spend time with I'm
not saying it's wrong to read on your
phones it's great I do it all the time
but I'm saying sometimes we need to have
a special approach sometimes I need to
go into the inner chamber and say Lord
I'm going to come and sit at your feet
I'm gonna put away my phone all my
distractions and I want to sit with you
because when we treat it just like
anything else it becomes like anything
else when I treat it like my emails it
becomes like an email I check it I don't
check it I can wait that doesn't matter
we need to have a new approach to the
Word of God
we need to be like st. James who says
therefore lay aside all filthiness and
overflow of wickedness and receive with
meekness the implanted word which is
able to do what to save your souls the
implanted word that means it is sown in
their deep inside because the Word of
God has the ability to do what to save
your souls from what to save from death
you want to go from death to life we
need the Word of God so the question is
how can I have the Word of God implanted
in me so that it's deep in there it
doesn't go anywhere so I don't know if
you guys have ever seen this can you
click for me in the back please if
you've ever seen this graphic before
it's actually very well known you can
google it hand the Word of God or
something you'll find it very easily I'm
not going to talk about each of these
because each of these needs their own
talk but here read study memorize
meditate apply this is how we make the
Word of God implant it inside of us so
here read and study those are easy you
can figure those out on your own and
memorize and meditate and apply what I'm
gonna do today is I'm gonna try to give
you one simple exercise to do to try to
combine the memorization part and the
meditation part okay you know the last
few weeks I've had I've had a lot of
personal struggles actually it's been
it's been a it's been a really rough
time for me and like a couple of weeks
ago I was praying the egg baya one
morning and then for the first time in a
long time
there was a verse that jumped out of me
and it said the troubles of my heart
have multiplied free me from my anguish
the troubles of my heart have multiplied
free me from my anguish and that was
exactly the feelings that I was feeling
at that time and I felt like you know
what I'm going to pray this prayer until
I start to receive the peace of God in
my heart
so I've been using it ever since and
when I found myself getting them said I
found this verse for the wrath of man
does not produce the righteousness of
God as I said the word of God is our
weapon when you have those feelings
inside Saint Athanasius has a beautiful
sayings he says the Scriptures usually
speak to us but the Psalms speak for us
and it's no wonder that the church when
they wanted to give us a book of Prayer
it gave us the Book of Psalms and some
selections from the gospel we should
pray the Word of God we should pray it
day and night even if it's just one
sentence these are not I don't even
think these are full verses this is just
one part of the verse so when you have a
struggle when you have some death
working inside of you use the word of
God to overcome that death because as we
learn the Word of God has the power to
save it has the power to give life and
has the power to give light wherever
there's darkness because we're in the
Holy 50 today I'm gonna conclude with
this last section of Scripture you know
the story of the disciples of Emmaus
this was right after the resurrection
this is in Luke chapter 24 and in the
beginning Christ appeared to them and
they didn't notice him right and he
started to talk with him and then he
said to them something he said o foolish
ones and slow of heart to believe that's
tough for Christ to tell them o foolish
ones and slow of heart to believe but
you know what to be honest this is you
and I Oh foolish ones and slow of heart
to believe in all that the prophets have
spoken aren't not the Christ have
suffered these things and to have
entered into his glory and beginning at
Moses and all the prophets he expounded
to them in all the Scriptures the things
concerning himself what's interesting
about this passage this is Christ
himself walking with the disciples and
they didn't notice him yet and he tells
them what if that was me what would you
do what would you do if you were Christ
and these two disciples were
you know talking about all the things
that happened and you were there and
they didn't recognize you
I would probably smack them along the
back of the head and I say look guys
it's me I'm right here
did he do that he didn't he gave them
probably the best Bible study in the
history of all mankind and he walked
with them for hours explaining the
scriptures to them and explaining how
everything had pointed to him so my
friends this is an important lesson for
us the Word of God is our life the Word
of God is Christ and later on when he
opened their eyes for the Eucharist they
said to one another did not our heart
burn within us while he talked with us
on the road and while he opened the
scriptures to us how many of us can say
that when we read the scriptures that
our heart is burning within us if not
that's a prayer we need to pray Lord
open the scriptures to me Lord let my
heart burn inside of me let my heart
burn with your love if we want to live a
resurrected life we have to have a
relationship with the Word of God it's
all it's a it's a great chance for us to
just be renewed I know we hear that read
your Bible everyday read your file every
day but let's try to approach the Word
of God with something different okay
with a new mindset that I'm sitting at
the feet of Christ and I know we've
heard it a million times
but let's start again let's start new
and if you're struggling with reading
the Word of God that's okay it's it's a
process okay but we have to feed
ourselves every day on the Word of God
so I'm gonna give you guys a homework
assignment okay you can do it don't do
it doesn't matter it's just a suggestion
that I thought was appropriate because
if you're struggling with the Word of
God and maybe you don't understand its
power or its life-giving or if it's its
authority psalm 119 is the longest
chapter in the entire Bible it's 176
verses it is all about the Word of God
every single verse your commandments
your law your your statutes your word if
you struggle with the Word of God I'm
gonna give you an exercise every day
this week read 30 verses of this Psalm
every day and chew on them and meditate
on them and every day Monday for example
find a verse in those thirty and pray
that verse you I guarantee you there's
no shortage of beautiful wonderful
promises in there about God's Word and
let's say it over and old like the Jesus
Prayer you know the monks who pray the
Jesus Prayer they say it over and over
say it over Lord your word is a lamp
unto my feet Lord I will not neglect
your word Lord
your words are sweetness to my mouth
okay find a verse every day and say it
over and over and over until you
memorize it and by the end of the week
you'll finish this song all right and
one other exercise as you heard any
announcements earlier if you haven't
attended a Bible study in a while
we're actually it's a great way to learn
about the Bible and we're actually gonna
try to revamp the Bible study soon okay
we are coming up with a long term plan
hopefully a roadmap of what we're gonna
study so people can follow along so
people can read along so perhaps you'll
have some homework you'll you'll dig
into the scriptures yourselves but we
want people to interact with the Word of
okay so hopefully today it's a renewal
for us we begin with the Word of God in
a new way a different way and we ask God
we claim the promises Lord I want to be
taken from death to life whatever areas
of death you have in your life whether
it's stress or anxiety or financial
problems physical problems whatever the
deal is let's put them all before God
and say Lord give light to my eyes give
life to my death and glory be to God