Showing posts from April, 2018

Cantate, the 4th Sunday after Easter + John 16:5-15 + April 29, 2018

Grace and Peace be unto you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
Jesus tells His disciples that He goes away to God the Father. He speaks this on Maundy Thursday, the night in which He was betrayed. Sorrow fills the disciple’s hearts, and understandably so. But Jesus consoles their troubled hearts, “Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.” Jesus promises the Helper, who is God the Holy Spirit, whose coming we will celebrate in three weeks on Pentecost. In some translations the word is translated “Comforter,” while others transliterate it: “Paraclete.” As Christ says this to His disciples, He approaches His suffering and death for the sins of the world. He will accomplish the atonement and declare from the cross “It is finished” (John 19:30). Christ runs His course. He atones for the sins of the entire world. But then He must go back to G…

Jubilate, the 3rd Sunday after Easter + John 16:16-23a + April 22, 2018

In the Name of the Father and of the Son + and of the Holy Ghost. Amen. 
Jesus tells the disciples that they will have sorrow because He goes away for what He calls “a little while.” By “a little while” Jesus means His suffering, death, and time in the tomb. His disciples will weep and lament at this. Their Lord is taken away from them. The One of whom they confessed, “You have the words of eternal life” (John 6:68), will be separated from them in death. Of course they would sorrow, weep, and lament. The world, on the other hand, will rejoice at this “little while” that Christ is gone. By “the world” we mean everything in this life that is set against Christ and the righteousness that comes by faith in Him. When Christ is crucified, all His enemies make a joyful shout and rejoice in their victory over God’s Son in human flesh. The world’s rejoicing will make the disciples’ sorrow that much worse. It’s terrible to lose your teacher and Lord. That loss stings worse when everyone else glo…

Quasimodo Geniti, the 1st Sunday after Easter + John 20:19-31 + April 8, 2018

Grace and peace be unto you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
The first part of today’s gospel lesson occurred on the evening of the day Christ was raised from the dead. The disciples had heard the report of Mary and the other women who had found the stone rolled away and the tomb empty. The doors are locked because they feared the same Jews who had arrested and crucified their Lord. Perhaps they reasoned that as word of Jesus’ resurrection got out, the Jews would come for them next. They also had fears within themselves. Each of them had, after all, fled from Jesus in the Gethsemane garden. Peter had even drew his sword and cut off a man’s ear. He later followed Jesus to the High Priest’s home where he publicly denied Christ three times. It was in the midst of their fear and guilt that the resurrected Christ suddenly appeared in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.” He goes on to show them His hands and His feet, where the nails had fastened Him to His cross. …

The Resurrection of Our Lord + Mark 16:1-8 + April 1, 2018

Christ is Risen! He is Risen Indeed. Alleluia!
Christ is risen from the dead. It was impossible for death to hold him because death had no real claim on Him. We die because we sin. This is the order established in Paradise when the Lord told Adam concerning the tree, “in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Genesis 2:16-17). By his disobedience Adam brought death upon himself and his entire race. “Through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men” (Romans 5:12). The Lord says in Ezekiel 18:20, “the soul who sins shall die.” St. Paul tells us in Romans 6:23 that “the wages of sin is death.” It is only because we are sinners that death has become part of this life. Death has a claim on us because we are born of sinful stock and our sinful nature spends a lifetime bringing forth its wicked fruit of actual sins in our thoughts, our words, and our deeds.
But death has no claim on Christ for two reasons. First, as a man He had no sin.…