Showing posts from February, 2018

Reminiscere, the 2nd Sunday in Lent + Matthew 15:21-28 + February 25, 2018

In the Name of the Father and of the Son + and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
In today’s appointed gospel lesson, St. Matthew shows us a woman in dire need. Her daughter is severely demon-possessed and the woman has no way of helping her. She of herself has no strength to save her daughter. So she goes to Jesus. He had left the ancient boundary of Israel and gone into the region of Tyre and Sidon where this woman and her daughter lived. She seizes her opportunity. The woman goes to Jesus and prays mightily, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed.” She is not an Israelite, yet she knew that Jesus was Lord. She knew that He was the Son of David. She knew that Jesus was merciful to people who called upon Him in the hour of utmost need. The good report about Jesus had spread to this far away region and she believed it. In faith she approaches Jesus and asks Him to have mercy on her utterly helpless daughter. This is a great picture of faith. Faith hears…

Wednesday after Invocavit + Luke 10:38-11:13 + February 21, 2018

In the Name of the Father and of the Son + and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
On Sunday St. Matthew told us once again how our Lord Jesus Christ defeated the devil’s temptations in the wilderness. This is important for us to hear every year, so that the Holy Spirit can remind us that we are in a great battle in this life. The Son of God assumed human flesh, just like yours and mines, except without sin, and was tempted like a flesh and blood man. But this is not written so that we only know we have a Savior who can sympathize with us, though that is a wonderful comfort. The temptation of Jesus was put into writing to teach us that although we are beset by all sorts of temptations every day, we have the victory through Jesus Christ our Lord. When we believe the Gospel, that Christ has died to make full satisfaction for our sins, all of our sins are forgiven and we are given Christ’s perfect righteousness and merits. Not only are we declared to be righteous, we are declared to be victorious ov…

Invocavit, the 1st Sunday in Lent + Matthew 4:1-11 + February 18, 2018

In the Name of the Father and of the Son + and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
The Holy Spirit leads Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. This was necessary for our salvation because it was by the temptation of the devil that mankind fell into sin. We heard again in the Old Testament lesson, how the devil used a piece of fruit that was “was good for food” and “pleasant to the eyes” (Genesis 3:6) to deceive Eve. All mankind fell in Adam’s fall since He was the head of our race. The guilt of Adam’s sin is counted against all of Adam’s descendants. Every man, woman, and child bear this hereditary guilt. Not only that, but our hearts are defective so that no one truly fears God, no one fully loves God, and no one certainly trusts God above all things. The devil’s temptation was about so much more than disobeying God’s command. The devil’s temptation was for Eve, and Adam who was there with her, to make themselves their own gods and make their way. The serpent told them, “You wil…

Quinquagesima + Luke 18:31-43 + February 11, 2018

In the Name of the Father and of the Son + of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
Jesus tells His twelve disciples privately, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man will be accomplished. For He will be delivered to the Gentiles and will be mocked and insulted and spit upon. They will scourge Him and kill Him. And the third day He will rise again.” Jesus is blunt about it but He has always been quite to the point about His purpose. Why does He tell the disciples this one more time as He makes His final approach to Jerusalem? To fortify their faith so that in the coming days they may not fall away when they witness the scandal of the cross. He wants to teach them first that it is His will that He enter into these sufferings. The events of Passion Week are not haphazard or coincidence. Jesus is not the unwitting pawn of sinful men with unjust desires. Jesus is not purely passive as evil men work out their evil schemes. This has a…

Sexagesima + Luke 8:4-15 + February 4, 2018

In the Name of the Father and of the Son + and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
Moses tells us in Genesis 2:7, “the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” God created man from the soil of the earth and to remind him of his ancestry, God called him ‘Adam,’ which in Hebrew means ‘earth.’ The Lord God created man out of soil to signify that as man was cultivate and seed the soil of the earth, so God would cultivate and seed the heart of man, which had been brought forth from the earth. As the ground beneath our feet was created to accept seed and bear fruit, so God created the hearts of men to accept the seed of the divine word and bear spiritual fruit. God implanted the seed of His Word into Adam. That seed took root in Adam’s heart, but was soon torn away from him by the wiles of the devil. The devil tempted our first parents to be like God, to turn away from faith in their Creator and turn towards thems…