“COMFORTED IN CHRIST”
Saint John 15.26-16.4
Exaudi: 12 May Anno Domini 2013
Fr Jay W. Watson SSP
In The + Name of Jesus
If you don’t think (i.e. believe, teach, and confess—to the point of death) that Jesus is here, then you shouldn’t be here. If you don’t believe that Christ the God/Man is really here, in more than “spirit” and fuzzy warm feelings, then you can have those in the comfort of your living rooms with your latte and I-pads.
Only sectarians and works-righteous synergists go to church because they feel they “have to!” Evangelical royal priests, kin of the Nazarene, come Sunday after Sunday, through thick and thin, coughs and sneezes, heart-aches and heart diseases, ups and downs, because THIS IS where God the Son IS: FOR YOU!
If you were blind would you still be in the presence of Jesus, of me, of your fellow parishioners? Yes, of course. If you were deaf would you still be in the presence of the Word, of my actions, of your neighbors activities? Yes, of course.
God promised His Disciples that He would send them the Comforter. He did. Jesus promised the “12” that He would send the Holy Ghost, the Ghost of Truth. He did. The Third Person of the Trinity, the invisible breath of the God-head, yet an individual “person” with an actual distinct and separate personality, proceeded from the Father by the actions of the Son in time, in a temporal way (we call it Pentecost!). This is not to be confused with the eternal “spiration” (breathing) procession of the Holy Spirit from both the Father AND THE SON (filioque), which occurs mysteriously within the Godhead from eternity and to which the Latin Western Church confesses in the Nicene Creed against the Arian heretics to this very day!
God the Holy Ghost is invisible but always busy and active in protecting and enlightening you. The Spirit breathes into you and breathe in you, breathes into you Jesus’ Words and creates and sustains your very faith—your heart, lungs, reins, soul of BELIEF!
No one says Jesus Christ is Lord except by the Spirit. That means no one believes Jesus is God and Savior except the Holy Ghost creates faith. The Spirit dwells in your body making it His tabernacle or tent—a Temple of Faith; a lantern of light—Christ the true light.
Jesus said to the “12” that they would bear witness because they had been with Him from the beginning. They were literally with Him from the beginning of His public Ministry when John Baptized Him in the Jordan; and they, like Philip sitting beneath the ‘fig tree,’ were with Him from the beginning as “elect” and predestined to faith and salvation IN CHRIST from all eternity!
The “12” gave their of their lives preaching and teaching; they gave their lives as witnesses—MARTYRS shedding their blood in imitative cruciform visible testimony of the Christ’s Saving Atonement. Any Christian can, should and must witness with his words. And some are so blessed that they witness with their bloody sufferings and deaths.
I speak these things to you this week, and every week, that you should not be offended. The giving away of earthly goods be they food, clothing, medicine, housing, cash, friendship and empathy are NOT offensive. The Church must do these things, but, even pagans are kind and sharing to other pagans. Dispensing wisdom and understanding is not offensive. Power, authority and “sovereignty” are not offensive in and of themselves. The Cross of Jesus is offensive—it is a scandal, a “stumbling stone.” The Blood of God which is what it took to forgive you and restore you is offensive to Old Adam. The Body of God sliced and diced like the sacrificial lamb that He was is offensive to your sinful natures as much as it is to the heathens. The “particularity” of Christ: “no one comes to the Father but by the Son,” is offensive! The crucifix offends sectarians as does the truth of the Sacrament of The Altar—and its attendant closed communion practice of the Church Catholic. The Truth offends as it has no compromise with falsehood or sin!
But you have a Comforter who stands by you as you live your life as Jesus’ brothers and sisters. You will be put out, tossed out, chased out, murdered out of men’s synagogues but you will always have a home and refuge, and mighty fortress in the Lord’s Church—In His pastures of forgiveness and peace; at His pulpit, font, and most especially His altar.
Jesus is with you. You can’t see Him, much as when a sick child falls asleep in its bed it can no longer “see” the loving Father seated at the side.
Be comforted now, once again, by the Holy Ghost. He calls you in forgiveness and restoration. He calls you in Jesus’ Word of love and says come to the feast to receive your God and Lord!
In The Name of The Father and of + The Son and of The Holy Ghost