The Arena
The Arena

Episode 586 · 2 months ago

Money Masks | Sunday of the Rich Man and Lazarus 2022.mp3


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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My Life in Christ: The Life & Teaching of Saint John of Kronstadt | 9 Lectures

Patristic Nectar Publications is pleased to present a new 9-part lecture series entitled My Life in Christ: The Life and Teaching of St. John of Kronstadt. This series consists of two parts. The first consists of four thematic lectures given in 2022 by Fr. Josiah to the St. John Chrysostom Catechetical School in Riverside, Ca. The second part of this series is five talks given by His Grace, Bishop Basil of Wichita, at a men’s retreat in Kansas in 2008. St. John of Kronstadt, the Wonder-Worker, served God in Russia during the second half of the 19th century and fell asleep in Christ in 1908. His life, miracles, and teaching have been cherished by believers as God’s love gift to the Church and to the world on the cusp of the 20th century, the most violent century in the history of humanity.  These lectures and discussions reveal the beauty of a life lived supremely in and for Jesus Christ the Lord.

Lecture #1 - The Life of Saint John of Kronstadt

Lecture #2 - On Prayer

Lecture #3 - The Eucharist and Divine Liturgy

Lecture #4 - On the Priesthood

Lecture #5 - The Russia of St. John of Kronstadt

Lecture #6 - Confession and Communion in St. John's Teaching

Lecture #7 - Q&A (Part 1)

Lecture #8 - St. John Counsels and Teachings on Prayer

Lecture #9 - Q&A (Part 2)

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Now available at Patristic Nectar dot org. Patristic Nectar Publications is pleased to present a nine part lecture series entitled My Life in Christ, The Life and Teaching of Saint John of Kronstadt. This series consists of two parts. The first consists of four thematic lectures given in twenty twenty two by Father Josiah Trenham to the Saint John Chrysostom Catechetical School in Riverside, California. The second part of this series are five talks given by His Grace, Bishop Basil of Wichita to a men's retreat in Kansas in two thousand eight. Saint John of Kronstadt, the wonder Worker, served God in Russia during the second half of the nineteenth century and fell asleep in Christ in nineteen o eight. His life, miracles, and teaching have been cherished by believers as God's love gift to the Church into the world on the cusp of the century, the most violent century in the history of humanity. These lectures and discussions revealed the beauty of a life lived supremely in and four Jesus Christ, the Lord. For these and other available titles, please visit our website at Patristic Nectar dot Org and now the arena with Father Josiah Trenna in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Blessed Lords, they to your brothers and sisters. I've entitled my homily on the gospel this morning, Money Masks, Money Masks. The gospel is from the sixteenth chapter of St. Luke. St. Luke is a marvelous gospel to read, not just because it brings to us the life of our Savior, as do Matthew, Mark and John, but St. Lou himself was a pagan who became a Christian, and his interests are found constantly revealed. He remembered and documented through his research in the church, Jesus is teaching on many subjects that he himself, as a gentile, was very interested in. There's a theme of universality that courses through Luke's gospel because it meant so much to him to be included. Though he was not of the lineage of Abraham in the flesh. He also had a tremendous interest in medical matters, being a doctor himself, and he had a tremendous interest in money. This gospel that you just heard is one of many teachings of Jesus that Luke brings to us about the subject of money, and that we should know us right from the beginning is extremely important to recognize. Jesus...

...addresses the practicalities of life and how to live in this world, how to touch and barter with those things that are so dangerous economic matters. As Syric says, right, there's a lot of sin between the two stones of buying and selling. Very hard to live in this world as a person who has to deal with money without being stained by it. Luke was particularly interested in this, and so he brings to us all sorts of beautiful teachings from our Savior about this. I gave a retreat this week, a zoom retreat. Those started in Covid, but they have remained even though Covid has said goodbye. I think a lot of priests and parishes found out that it's a lot easier to bring a priest to their parish via zoom and a lot cheaper than flying him across the country. So I did a zoom retreat with one of our parishes in Rhode Island this week, and the theme that they picked was the teaching on money, wealth, and poverty. According to the teaching of St. John Chrysostom, that was the theme. St. John constantly talked about money matters, not just in his commentary on the scriptures, but throughout his pastoral life guiding his people. Where did he get that emphasis. He got that emphasis from our Savior. He got the emphasis on teaching about a proper orientation towards money from Christ. If you were reading in your own Bible the Gospel this morning, and you'd be right in the middle of the chapters of St. Luke's Gospel, Chapter six, the Parable of the rich Man and Lazarus, starts at verse nineteen, but the chapter itself begins with a theme of money, and in fact it follows chapter five, which has the story of the lost coin that was so precious to the woman that she stopped everything and cleaned her house until she found it, a picture of the value of a single human being to God. Precious teaching. And also Luke fifteen has the Parable of the Prodigal Son, and in the Parable of the Prodigal Son, one of the sub themes that's so fundamental is money. The misuse of money by those who don't fear God, as the prodigal didn't, and so what did he do? Squandered all his assets and his inheritance and the use of money to celebrate repentance, the lavish expec enditures of the father.

When the prodigal came home, he clothed him with a purple robe. We're going to see that purple robe again on the rich man in today's gospel. He also was clothed with purple and fine linen. He didn't deserve it, but the man who repented did. The father closed his son purple robe, gave him a gold ring. I didn't say a word to him about how he threw his inheritance away, just lavished his love on him. So chapter fifteen has that as a theme. We come into chapter sixteen and we're confronted with this incredible teaching. Just before the gospel account, we heard this incredible teaching about the unjust steward. It has at its center the use of money. You might remember the account of the unjusteward. This was a man who was a steward, which means he didn't own the properties and the resources, but the master of the house had been weave them into his care and management. And so this Steward was the one who who oversaw the harvesting of the fields and the wine and the all the orchards and things. Well, he became uh odious to his owner, and the owner of the fields decided that he was going to fire him, and the unjust toward got word of it, and he called all of the people who had outstanding invoices with his master that he managed, and he said, come see me, and he said, let me see how much you owe ohe You owe a hundred of these barrels to my master. Quick right down fifty and I'll sign it. And then another man came and oh you have the oh this much oil too? Quick erase it and put down eighty where it says a hundred. He was thinking that he was going to be fired any day. And when he got fired, having done such a nice thing to these people, when he went job hunting, maybe one of them would open the door and give him employment and he wouldn't be impoverished. Of course, it was completely sinful and illegal. You can't take your master's moneys and resources and just delve them out. Even though how many of us who have worked for McDonald's or something like that over the years have done just that. We're not going to be talking about that right now. The amazing thing of that teaching is that when the Master came to deal with the steward, he praised him for being shrewd. He still fired him, he still fired him, but he praised him for being shrewd. He didn't praise him for being a liar. He praised him for using money shrewdly. And then our Lord takes those principles, the principles,...

...the two main principles of that parable, which is that we are stewards, not owners of our resources, and we should use them shrewdly to secure what's most necessary. And for us that means using resources with a perspective on eternity. This is the lesson that we're supposed to gather from the unjust steward. He knew what he needed to do, and Jesus says the sons of this age are often wiser than the sons of light. We too, should figure out what we're going to be losing, i e. Life, and how to secure it in the future through a shrewd use of resources. That is the background. The unjust steward is the background for the gospel. You just heard the gos full of the rich man and Lazarus is the adverse of the shrewd steward. The rich man had no judgment about money. He spent all his money on himself and his friends. He ate fancy food every day. He lived in luxury, He got the best clothes, and he was so into it. He would have made a phenomenal American, he really would. He was so into the making of money and the spending of money that he had no time for anything else. And you say, Father, why do you say that, because the text points out he never ever even noticed Lazarus at his gate. It doesn't say anywhere in the text that he saw Lazarus and just didn't give him anything. There's no recognition of Lastarus at all. The man was about his business. He had resources to invest, he had money to make in the stock market, he had money to spend. He was totally focused on this life and as a result, completely and totally ruined. Now Jesus is teaching us in this gospel today, dear ones, to know how to define what a rich man is and to know how to define what a poor man is. Let me help you with that. A rich man is not someone who has a great amount of possessions. A rich man is someone who does not need a great amount of possessions. A poor and... not someone who doesn't have possessions. A poor man is someone who doesn't have desires except those for the earth. You can have everything, you could have, all sorts of resources, but if all you're thinking about is here, it's never enough. It's never enough. Some of the rich that I've known in my own life have have helped me think through this state. One taught me the story of the Golden handcuffs. I think I might have shared it with you once before. Remember the story of the Golden handcuffs. You know, when you're young and you don't have a lot of resources, maybe you're coming out of school, you leverage yourself to the hilt, maybe just to get an education, and you think to yourself, you know what, once I finished this education, I'm going to get a decent job, and then I'm going to pay this off and I'm not going to be bound by the creditor like this again. And then as you begin to work hard and follow some principles, you start to in fact succeed. Many people start to succeed in their work. But if you allow your desires to increase with your income, if you don't decide what a reasonable method of life is, what a reasonable use of resources, what you will actually be happy with. If your attitude of desire grows with your income, you never get free. You just change the handcuffs from aluminum to gold, but you're still a slave poverty and wealth. St. John Chrysostom says, our only masks that people wear in this life. And if you think of it that way, would you ever call an actor or an actress who's playing someone fortunate or unfortunate? You're not gonna say they're fortunate, because you know they're playing. They're acting what their life is away from the movie. Away from the play. I mean, that's different. But they're just playing. And it's the same with money. Money or the lack of money does not make someone fortunate or unfortunate. We ought not talk that way. The Church does not talk that way. That is not what a rich man is, and that is not what a poor man is. Same basically great in his commentary on the First sum which I shared this last Wednesday in our series on the Psalms, he lays out three commonly appreciated goods earthly goods that people think are really important and constitute essential goodness, health, wealth, and renown. In his commentary on Some Someone,...

...he says, those three things are what the world thinks constitute goodness. If you have wealth, you're fortunate. If you have health, you're fortunate. If you have wealth, you're fortunate. And if you have renown, you're fortunate. And the Church says not so those are not essential goods. How do you know they're not essential goods? Because there are many people who have health and are miserable, and many people who have wealth and are miserable, and many people who have renown and who are miserable. There are also people who have health and are happy, and people who have wealth and are happy, and people who have renowned and who are happy with God and live a spiritual life, a quality life. It just shows that those things are not of the essence. They're just masks. No, the Gospel teaches us how to get rich. If you want to get rich in this life and then be poor and miserable forever, then spend all your time not trying to make money. Go for it. Good luck, good luck. Maybe you'll get it. Maybe you weren't. Just as a site note, the most unhappy people I have ever met in my life are wealthy the most unhappy. That's how you make you get richest in this life. You'll end up burning in the flames of Haiti's without any possibility of consolation, just like this man in the gospel, so obsessed and pleasures and money grubbing that you don't even recognize people that God had put around you to help, to serve, to love, and you might end up exactly like the rich man who didn't know himself. You know. The end of the account is him asking for just a little relief on his tongue, which you didn't get, and then begging Abraham to send Lazarus to his brothers. He thought, and this is why I bring it up. This shows how out of touch with his heart he is. He didn't know who he was. He might have known everything about business, how to make money, how not to lose money. I've never learned that one, how to do this and that, But what he didn't know is who he was and what his heart was. He thought, if someone came back from the dead, all of his brothers who shared with him in the their greed, he thought they would all believe all they needed to see was a miracle. If they could just see one person alive from the dead, they would change all their ways. And our Savior says in the mouth of Abraham, If they have Moses and the profits, and they don't...

...listen to the prophetic word of God, if they don't care about God's words, no miracle is going to do anything for them at all. You know. One of the most shocking things and the most painful as a young priest, when I first was ordained and I got to start seeing, as every priest does, the miracles that God performs through the sacraments for people who are crying out to Him. I remember the first healing I got to see through holy unction a woman who was completely done and she was young with fourth stag fourth stage breast cancer, and through the sacrament of Holy unction, God healed this one completely boom. I was so thrilled she fell away from the practice of her faith. One year later she was on the edge of death and God, through the mystery of function, completely removed fourth stage cancer from her life. And what could she give him in return? One stinking year of faithful living before she left, and that was decades ago, one year, and the miracle wasn't something she saw, It was the miracle in her Dear ones, don't flatter yourself that if you just saw a miracle, if you just had a more pious priest, if your parishioners were just nicer to you, than your whole spiritual life would be a lot better. Bologny not true. If you start caring about the Word of God, your life will change forever, permanently. If you open your ear as to Moses and the prophets, if you get to know your heart by listening, and there's no way to know yourself without listening. We have to learn to listen to God. If we listen to God, then truly we can make the right decisions about what wealth is. If you want to get rich, not in this life, but literally forever, then do pay attention to your heart, listen to the Word of God. You know the folly of the rich man. Luke documented too later. He thought, as a Jew related to Abraham that if you just saw some miracles, and if his brothers just saw some miracles, that they would believe if they just saw someone rise from the dead, they...

...would believe. Will you know what the whole Jewish nation saw exactly, that they saw our Lord rise from the dead. And st. Luke documents what Paul also articulates in Romans chapters nine through eleven, that though they saw him rise from the dead, only a minority of that wretched nation believed in Christ. Only a minority showed themselves to be true Israel, truly sons and daughters of Abraham. It's not about seeing the miracles. It's about this. Lazarus is the true rich man in this story. He's the one who is exalted forever. He endured in this life a long list of ailments which will comfort you just to hear these, because we all have a lot of problems, but not this many. Poverty, total poverty, illness, and his only physician were the dogs that licked his wounds. Loneliness, the sight of others who are being well cared for, no one else sick that he lived next to, who could even console him, and his own reputation ruined. He endured it all without complaint. He entrusted himself to God, and he is wealthy, with a wealthy can never be taken away. He is delighted. Known by name. You know what Lazarus means. It's the Greek form of the Hebrew e Liezer, and it means the one God helps. That's remember, money is a mask. We want to be rich. Let's be rich in faith and let's use the resources like the Unjusteward did that God gives us to secure a good eternal future. God b r hover on them. 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 w w W dot Patristic Nectar dot org. The Need of the PAS.

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