The Arena
The Arena

Episode · 3 months ago

Radical Generosity


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, DadOrg, patristic nectar. Publications ispleased to present a four part lecture series. My Father Josia Trinum,entitled God's Prodigal Prophet An exposition of the prophecy of Jonah.This text is found amongst the minor profits of the Old Testament and ismuch beloved by believers, not only for its Christological typology, in whichit sets forth the death, burial, plundering of Hades and resurrection ofour Lord Jesus Christ, but also because it is simply packed full of spiritualthemes. Like obedience, repentance sinful nationalism, God's call tomission, the enlightenment of the nations, brokenness rebellion and gracethe love of enemies and much much more for these and other available titlesvisit our website at patristic nectar, not a work, and now the arena with Father JosiahTrenta, in the name of the father and of theson, and of the Holy Spirit, blessed Lord's Day to all of you,rothers an sisters. I've entitled my humly this morning, radical generosity, radical generosity and it's based uponthe Gospel lesson that you just heard. I have a blessing in my life, and that is that Iam the grandson on my mother's side of Ruby, green. Some of the old timersmight have heard me speak about him a number of times. I love speaking abouthim. I love thinking about him. I have his picture above my bed. I wake upevery day and look at him. I do that because he was such an inspiration tome in my life. He died there. I became a priest. I remember that because it was thehardest, an APHARA. I ever prayed finding out that morning of mygrandfather, Ruby's repose, he was a seed farmer in the northeastpart of Missouri in a little town called Kerkil and hespent his entire life. He died as an old old man. He'd spend his entire lifeas a SE farmer. He sold seed to farmers, he had a seed house in the downtown ofthe of the town, it's a town. Last time I was there with there's about fortythousand people there and I would go visit him. My parentswould send me in the summer time to visit my grandparents. He lived on alittle house right in the middle of town, had five acres of grass and hegrew things in the back and we got to eat my grandmother's. Sweet corn andher gravy, and Oh just everything, was homemade. Everything was canned is...

...fantastic. It was a beautiful and quitea shock for a southern California boy I'll tell you quite a shock. He went bankrupt three times in hislife. The reason he went bankrupt was becauseon all three occasions he didn't stop giving seed to the farmers when theycouldn't pay and he kept them alive as long as hepossibly could. Until the bank pulled out the rug on him and he had to shuthis doors, he recovered all three times. He was an extremely exquisite responsible charitable person. What athis funeral? My jaw was on the ground, as I watched one person after anothergoat to the podium and bear witness to his generosity, how he endowed thelocal college, people from the hospital people from his church people from themission society everywhere, one after another. I wasn't surprised, I knewnothing about it. All I knew was his generosity in mylife. All I knew is what he had done for his grandchildren, making sure thatI had some money since I was since I was a young team, he gave each of hisgrandchildren a little money. We couldn't touch it. It was to make surethat, no matter what happened, we would be able to go to college. This is my grandfather. I respect him because he did whatalmost no one can do. WHO's blest. He decided to practice radicalgenerosity and not to take the blessings that God gave him and justdrink them himself, which is what most people do. You know the story of thegolden handcuffs. I've told it a few times, people who are never have anymoney, no matter how much money they're making because the more money they makethe more bills they accumulate, the higher standard of living they embraceand therefore they're always out of money, and even when the priest callsand ask for money for the San Andero Academy, there's none to give. That is exactly what my grandfather wasan. He was a man who decided on a level of contentment a little a level ofresponsibility. What he thought was right before God, and he lived that way.Whenever else God gave him, he would use it to bless people, he would use itto bless those who had need that, in my mind, was Christianity. I sought, Irecognized it as authentic to the Gospel teaching that you just heard.You know the Gospel Lesson to day is a real shocker. It certainly was ashocker to the apostles. I promise you Jesus was commenting upon the best ofthe world's ethics loaning to people in need being kind to people who needed it. Loving people, it's all there and Jesussaid the shocking things. This is the shocking thing that all ofthat best kind of virtue, worldly...

...virtue, loving people giving to peoplelending to those in need sinners. Did it nothing special to us it's kind ofspecial. Maybe we know to men to Mitte downright greeting unloving people orsomething but Jesus said, don't be impressed.There's nothing impressed about loving those who love you there's nothingimpressive about giving money to people from whom you hope to receive back inthe future. This is what sinners do and it hasnothing to do with us. The Christian Standard is to love enemies, to do good to those who hate us to give and to lend not like Moses, say at no interest to a brother, but to give and lend with no thought ofever seeing it again and to do it all with the great joythat those acts are an a absolute tangible expression that we are thechildren of God who loves that way and gives that way. This isn't a this is a radical teachingtoday who could keep it? Who can keep it give to those who askedof you without a second thome, he didn't say a dollar, that's in your pocket! I clap. If you give a dollar, that'snice, but that's not what he said. That's not what he said give to anyone who asks you, what with no thought of getting it back, myhard earned money. Certainly Lord! Certainly this ishyperbole. Is it? Is it what an incredible passage? HowGenerous God is it certainly wasn't a hyperbole in Jesus's case was it we are the children of the God whodidn't just love us a little bit who didn't just give to us a little bitwere the children of the God who chose not to give us what we deserved everyone of us. You know Saint Paul's, teaching thewages of sin is death. God is certainly within his riots. Ifhe was interested in his rights to have brought us all to judgment assinners, God is certainly would have, nobody could have criticized hisjustice if he brought us all to judgment, but he didn't because that'snot his desire. That's not God he's a God who loves, even when he isn't loved,who loves, even when the love that...

...should be given to him is given toidols and to others like most of the worldwas doing at the time when he gave the greatest love gift of all and sent hisown son to us to come here to save us to cover us with his love to cover overevery one of our sins, to remove every vulnerability that we have in life to squash under his divine human fee,every one of our enemies that make us so terrified. He sent his son for thatto reclaim us to make us his children as she, and he wasn't even content withthat. This is the God who loves us so much.He insists on being with us at all times, literally in dwelling USnourishing a communion with us in every service. Why do you think he commandsthat you come to litery only so he won't miss you Onlys, so he can be with you. If youdon't come, how can you be united to him? How can he be in you and how canyou be in him? This is the God that we serve. You know to day is also the Feast Day of an incrediblesaint who got this. He understood the radical generosity ofGod and at changed his life. His name is Saint Dionysius, the areopagite, thefirst or the Bishop of Athens. You heard the story from the axe of theapostles appointed for today, on his Feast Day, Saint Paul went to thecapital, the intellectual, philosophical capital of the PaganWorld, Athens, where all the philosophers spent all of their daysstudying the world teaching their in their schools. He went to the very heart of it to theareopagus that place in Athens which, by the way, is still preserved. It's anIT's. A massive rock outcropping Ariaga actually means the rock of aries, and this is exactly where Paul went.This was the center of the Supreme Court of Athens. The areopagite council,there are only nine men, interesting number for a Supreme Court. Isn't ityet there were nine men and Dionysius was one of them. Togetherwith his good friend Herophilus. When Paul arrived to preach the Gospel tothe Pagans, he did so with great great care. He spoke in their language. He quotedtheir pagan books, you don't just quote Pagan Literaturewithout studying it. He didn't study it so that he could become conformed tothe Pagans. He studied it out of love so that he could make connections forthe Gospel with these people and he did he coted their profits to describe thecharacter of God. He used that statue to an unknown Godas an Avenue to preach Christ to them,...

...and he told them look. You need to knowthis. God has set a day in which he will judge every man by Jesus Christ that day's coming, and God has shownthat this is his son by raising him to the dead. He did this to prove it toevery man on earth and, as he was preaching Dionysius, his heart wasmoved. He invited Saint Paul home to his houseand Paul spent hours with him speaking about Christ. Dionysius told Paul thatwhen he was a young man, he was studying Heliopolis in Egypt, studyingphilosophy there, and he was there on the day that our Lord was crucifiedand the Sun was eclipsed and Dionysius being a great student of the heavensrecognized that this was a completely out of time eclipse and he noted it inhis own journal that it was unexplainable and he told Paul that atthat time he turned and said to his companion either. God today has died or he iswrithing or it's the end of the world. He found out later years later in the slates. When Paul came to Athens to recorded an act, seventeen pausejourney. He learned exactly what it was. Helearned that it was Christ crucified. He was baptized by Paul. He became amissionary just like his spiritual father and he began to travel. Hetravelled to Crete. He travelled to the Holy Land. He wanted to meet the motherof God. When he met the mother of God. He told every one. I knew who she wasthe first time I saw her every every way that she moved the way that shespoke, the way that she carried herself. I knew that this was our Lord's mother.He was, he loved her so much the Lord allowed him to come with the apostles to her dormition. He ended up going all the way to Gauland becoming an incredible missionary in Paris when Paris was just a smalltown he's beloved there to this day he ended up evangelizing. As far asBritain. We owe him a ton for the preaching of the Gospel in the West,Saint Dionysius, but I want to end my homily by sharing a story that was from his life. That highlight sin shows just thisradical generosity, which is the character of our God and the characterof Christians. He had gone to create and he had disembarked and he waspreaching the Gospel in creed, and there was already the church wasflourishing there and he was hosted by a priest named father, Carpus, FatherCarpus was an unbelievable believer. He he loved God. He celebrated theLiturgy. The textt says always after...

...seeing a vision, he would stand beforethe holy table and God would give Him a vision and then he wile to Hark theliturgy that was just his normal life. That's how close to God he was. He hada precious spiritual son that he had catechised and formed, and a terriblething happened on an atheistic philosopher had on his spiritual son,away from the faith had led him away into a postice, and it so burned in theheart of other Carcosa was so wounded that he allowed bitterness. He allowedbitterness to be in his heart and he allowed the bitterness to actually take form in words and worse in words of aprayer and he prayed to God, and he asked thatthis terrible man and his spiritual son, whom he had invested so much in and whohad completely apostels and renounced the faith that God would bring themboth to judgment. What a thing to pray. What a thing topray God instead showed Father Carpus, a vision. Father Carpus was sitting in his house,and his house began to shake and the floor split open and he saw it descend,Jesus himself with the apostles, and they were standing right on the ridgeof the whole and the whole was a hole basically into hades. Flames werecoming up out of Hades snakes. He said I saw snakes writhing up fromunderneath the ground coming up to the ridge. Jesus was there standing on theedge and he had his hands out like this supporting two people and he lookedacross and he saw his spiritual son who had apostatized and the terrible man,the atheistic philosopher who had converted him and they were bothwalking on the edge of the cliff so close to falling into the flames ofdestruction. But Jesus was upholding them and then Jesus looked at father, CarpusCurialia. He looked at Father Carpus and he saidfather who? Why don't you go ahead and strike me, because I am ready to becrucified again in order to save these men and everyone else and be carefullest you yourself fall in that dear ones, is the Lord that we serve. He is so radically generous, so loving to his enemies, so mercifulto those who aren't worthy of being receiving mercy that we ourselves are here, because welove him. For this very reason. This is...

...why we love him. This is why we aredoing what we're doing for him. You know this week. It's been a beautifulweek here, a super beautiful week and to see thesekids every day. Forgive me, I'm I'm in heaven before heaven all of the wonderful kids teachers putting all their desks and decoratingtheir rooms been so wonderful and I've heard something I'm telling Iheard it ten times. I heard it this morning very, very short statement. Two words: I'm exhausted. I heard it ten times it made my heartsaying because in fact lots has been going on. That's that to exhaust us,credible investment, incredible devotion, incredible love! That's goingon! It's all together altogether! Christian! Let me tell you it'saltogether Christian, but let me warn you as your priest. You are a very dangerous spot. Those ofyou who are investing so much. They are a very, very dangerous spot. You are, I think, right on the edge of,if you're doing it in your strength, you're right on the edge that you'regoing to fall off the cliff, if you're doing it in the Lord'sstrength, which is how we have to do it right,then, were exactly where we should be were exactly where we should be andbeing exhausted for the reasons that we're all exhausted. Is there anythingbetter than this? Who would we want to pour out our lives for more than thechildren of this parish to give theme, the smiles and the light and the loveand the support that were able to give them that we've been giving them thesethree weeks? But if we try to do this in ourstrength, if we try to do this according to the goodness of thesinner's ethic, where we're looking for pats on theback, we're looking for people to tell us how great a job we're doing we'relooking to get something back, then we could really mess this up. We could really mess us up and it'sgoing to be one of the other, because this is way too hard. A task dear ones,its way to heart attacks and by the way, it's not just the teachers, the staff, it's all of us, it's all of us I mentioned when westarted this, that it will never end, there's no being done with the school.You know that I don't know a single parish that hasstarted a school and then stopped...

...having to invest in it time, energymoney and I'm not just talking about development, just to maintain, there's no end. We embraced it all of us together. Weembraced it because we consider this to be an act of the Gospel. We considerthis to be a work of charity, which it most definitely is. We are loving each other, the stronger helping the weak. Thosewho have resources are helping those who don't have resources in order thatwe might collaborate, give an education. What we mean by aneducation, a nourishment in Christ, to our youngpeople. Of course the fruits are going to be unbelievable, unbelievable wealready seeing them, but we're only going to do it by radical generosity bykeeping the Christian disposition in spirit. We have it if we who havestarted, especially you faculty and You staff, who are laboring so hard, I'mseeing you I'm watching you, I'm praying for you, so is Father Joseph sois Deacon, although Deacon is to be prayed for more than anybody else, he's more exhausted than anybody but wow. This is an opportunity for all ofus, for our Christian faith, to practice the character of our God,which it is our honour to imitate by His grace the character of radicalgenerosity made his name be praised, O men. We hope that you have enjoyed and havebeen edified by this presentation offered to you by patristic nectar,publications, a non profit organization committed to nourishing the spirituallythirsty with the sweet teachings of the Holy Fathers. If you are interested in otheravailable titles or if you would like more information on patristic nectarpublications, please visit our website at the www dot. patristic nectar, dot,Org. Again, that's W W W dot, patristic nectar Dodo. I.

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