Μεγαλύνει ἡ ψυχή μου τὸν Κύριον [Luke 1. 46b]

Sunday, July 28, 2013

9th Sunday after TRINITY: Homily

Saint Luke 16. 1-9
9th Sunday after Trinity: 28 July Anno Domini 2013
Fr. Jay Watson SSP

In The Name + of Jesus

   Christ commends the unjust steward, not for being unjust, but for being a steward. The Lord approves of his dealing shrewdly—prudently, with the gifts and skills he had, and with the trust and reliance he still had in his master—the rich man.

   Jesus is clear to Moses when He wrote with His finger on stone: “thou shalt not steal,” “thou shalt not covet,” and that lying, deceiving and using false scales was trespass against the His holy Law!

   But Christ tells you this morning that if even an accused, soon-to-be-fired, disgraced and wasteful steward can be wise in self-preservation; can make to himself friends with the mammon in his hands, so too you as children of light can insure everlasting habitations in heaven and eternal friends of the Heavenly Host! For you have a better Steward!

   For you, as you, can NOT do it, can NOT insure it. You are not faithful stewards but thieves. You constantly fight the urge to even “fess up” to your own pilfering and embezzlement. You waste the goods which have been placed into your un-just hands: you waste the Scriptures by not treasuring them in reading, meditation and prayer; you waste Holy Absolution in not availing yourselves of daily contrition, remembrance of Baptismal regeneration, and private confession; you waste the Lords’ Eucharist by not always attending Blessed Mass.

   “Behold God is mine helper.” Yes He is.

   Jesus feeds His Disciples with His words, His parabolic wisdom which is Righteousness that saves and sustains. Jesus is the rich man, God of very God, being of the same substance with the Father, who for all the damning accusation made against you (which are all true) came down from heaven to rescue you. Jesus knows that you can give no account for your “old-Adam” misfeasance, malfeasance, and mis-stewardship. Jesus knows that you cannot dig—that all your good works are dust in the wind and that all your “righteous deeds” are like filthy rags. Jesus knows that you won’t even beg properly, because to beg would be to admit a need for mercy—a recognition of falleness which your pride eschews.

   Jesus the rich man leaves Heaven’s mansions and descends to your imminent ruin and intervenes. Jesus becomes accused for you and stands convicted off all your crimes. Jesus pays on your accounts, not with gold or silver but with His precious Body nailed to a tree; not with measures of oil and wheat but with His innocent Blood canceling all your debts.

  He Who is Light of Light, the Light of the World, the Life that lightens your own eyes and your now FORGIVEN consciences, became dark unto suffering and death—dark in the burial shroud and cave of Joseph’s tomb. Jesus the Wisdom of God became a foolish scandal and accursed criminal to make you not just “technically not-guilty” but INNOCENT and Righteous once again to the Rich Man of Our Father Who art in heaven.

   Not only then, A.D. 30, but now and forever Jesus is your Good and Godly steward. Jesus the ever Servant-Savior makes you His friends, makes you friends with The Holy Ghost and His beloved Father; makes you friends with the angels and saints in the everlasting habitations.

   Jesus starts with the humble mammon of His creation, now unrighteous in the falleness of sin: water, wine, and bread. Jesus attaches, places His very Word and Self into these elements and His Righteousness is now the Righteousness of the Sacraments, The Word tangible, to give you the tangible God/Man and the tangible Peace and Home.

In The Name of The Father and of + The Son and of The Holy Ghost

Sunday, July 21, 2013

8th Sunday after TRINITY: Homily

Saint Matthew 7. 15-23
8th Sunday after Trinity: 21 July Anno Domini 2013
Fr Jay Watson SSP

In The Name + of Jesus

   There was Cain, a false prophet and there was Able a true speaker of God’s Word. Never the twain shall meet. “What communion hath light with darkness?” [2 Cor. 6.14b] There was Noah a true prophet and there were scores of scoffing and sweet-talking false prophets: “and God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth.” [Gen. 6.5]. There was the most famous of all prophets, Elijah—humble and meek, yet bold in the Lord; and, there were the most foul and pagan prophets of Baal. It was this majority opinion, the man-made words of the Baalim which had the ear of the king—the government (the official church, press, media, and educational establishments); it was these syncretistic, idolatrous, sickly sweet “peace peace where there was no peace” falsehoods that tickled the ears of the people. There was Jeremiah, elect from all eternity to be a faithful (if not successful) prophet of the Trinity—chosen while yet in his mother’s womb to preach the Lord’s Law and Gospel. And, there were the false pastors and faux-shepherds that persecuted him and doomed the people who hardened their hearts in heathen rejection and un-repented sin. There was the apostolic band gathered by Jesus—the “12” who were His ambassadors and prophets to the catholic world; His God-speakers of the New Testament. And there were, are, and always will be the false prophets: the non-called, non-ordained, schismatic, sectarian, self-appointed, misguided, goof-ball, female, homosexual, heterodox, and heretical wolves.

   Christ tells you “beware of false prophets.” Christ informs you that they will not have horns, tales, and speak nasty “hard-truths,” but rather will be wearing sheep’s clothing! Modern day prophets of Baal should not be confused with the 7th Day Adventists, New-Agers, Mormons, or Jehovah Witnesses. These and other non-Christian pagans are clearly and distinctly outside the scope of Biblical Faith, the Christian Church Catholic.  In our current context, Jesus is talking about false prophets who are conservative and kindly Romanist priests, Orthodox Priests, pro-life and flag waving Protestant “pastors,” and Lutheran Ordained who have given up the Symbols for modernism’s mammon of “church growth” and oprah-fied ecumenical treason.

   Your sinful hearts constantly rebel against God’s Law. Your fallen natures constantly reject that you even do sin. You rationalize, minimize, compartmentalize, and fantasize your trespasses and death-disease into foibles and faults that can be worked out with discipline, spiritual medicine, and American (i.e. Arminian) “stick-with-it-ness.”  REPENT! “If thou return, (repent) then will I bring thee again, and thou shalt stand before me.” [Jer. 15. 19] Repent because it is God’s will for you. But beware lest you think that your repentance saves you. Your contrite hearts are not nailed to the Tree, the innocent and pure God/Man’s flesh and blood is crucified, dead, and buried for your freedom and release.

   “Ye shall know them by their fruits” speaks the TRUTH!

   Christ is not talking about the flock but about the Shepherds. Yes, a Christian is known by his/her confession of faith and by the works that then flow automatically from said Christian. But HERE, the prophet is also known by the profession and confession of THE FAITH…not his personal faith, his feelings, plans, blue-prints, visions, programs, or other emotional belches and wind-breakings…but by THE FAITH—the WORD OF THE LORD as contained in Holy Writ and the WORD OF THE LORD (the Sacraments) as established by Christ’s testimony in Holy Writ.

   Does the prophet, that is, the Shepherd (pastor) bring forth for you to eat good fruit or evil fruit? The question is not about you or your sinful appetite but the content of the fruit. The ones dancin’, shuckin’, barking, fore-head slapping, and quoting out of context will be greeted by Christ with “I never knew you, depart from Me.” The ones promoting universalism, synergistic decision theology, women’s ordination, acceptance of homosexuality (or heterosexual fornication), and the murder of unborn children, will be greeted by an angry visage of Judge Jesus pronouncing a guilty verdict “I never knew you, depart from Me.” And I submit by the Word of the Lord, the so-called Lutheran pastors who feed you any other fruit than Jesus Christ and Him Crucified for the forgiveness of your sins will be anathema. Let your shepherd speak only of your sin and death, and let him answer the tragedy with only Jesus’ perfect obedience and life; with Jesus’ perfect atoning suffering and death at Calvary and His resurrected eternal life. Let the true green and vibrant pastor feed you the green fresh living Truth that flows from the Lord’s Body and Blood. The true living fruit which hung ripe upon the Tree of Life is now in drinking cup and eating bowl. This IS His true Body and This IS His true Blood given and shed for you for the remission of your sins. This IS the good/God fruit that makes you everlasting fruit.

In The Name of The Father and of + The Son and of The Holy Ghost

Sunday, July 14, 2013

7th Sunday after TRINITY: Homily

Saint Mark 8. 1-9
7th Sunday after Trinity: 14 July Anno Domini 2013
Fr Jay Watson SSP

In The Name + of Jesus

   In the beginning there was nothing to eat. But even before the beginning the Lord loved His own; He loved Adam and Eve before He breathed His Son, Spirit and Self into them. “In the beginning was The Word…all things were made by Him…in Him was life.” [Jn. 1.1, 3a, 4a]  “In the beginning God created…let the earth bring forth…the herb yielding seed…and the tree yielding fruit…and fowl that may fly above the earth…cattle…to you it shall be for meat.” [Gen. 1]  “And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, ‘of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat’” [Gen. 2. 16]  

   The Word feeds. The Word is food that saves!  

The Lord Jesus creates and feeds. Jesus makes life, restores life, and maintains life. Jesus doesn’t just feed He nourishes, delights, and lavishes good food—the finest of fat meats and wines on the lees; the freshest and most delightful bread and refreshing pure water.

   “This day at Thy creating Word” we sing in TLH # 12 “first o’er the earth the light was poured; “O Lord this day upon us shine.”

   He is the Good Shepherd who pastures His multitude, His flock, upon His own green pastures which are in His own Flesh and His own Blood. His multitudes need to eat not just to stay alive but to BE ALIVE in Him—vibrant, healthy, and growing green in life—branches to the vine…not phloem and xylem from a cellulose center but living stones from the Rock of Ages, the wounds, pierced side, mouth, and heart of the God/Man.

   Sin and rebellion, deicide—trying to kill God and be “like gods,”—drove Man from paradise and the feasting banquet. Sin produces hunger, famine, malnutrition, wasting and death. Your sin produces gnawing emptiness, fainting on the way, and death—both spiritual hunger as well as physical wants, an empty gut.

   Jesus doesn’t just want to give you a minimum, a survival ration; He desires to “satisfy.”

   “From whence can a man satisfy these men with bread here in the wilderness?” Nowhere, and No one: “I believe that I cannot by own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him…” writes the Reformer in the 3rd Article’s explanation. What man can’t do the God/Man can and does!  The Word feeds. The Word is food that saves.

   Only Jesus satisfies and feeds in the 40-year desert of Exodus sin. Seven loaves of bread point to Creation’s perfection which man destroyed in piggish gluttony and prideful spite. When the Lord also fed the 5,000 in John 6 He spoke the truth about real food and real feasting: “I Am the bread of life, he that cometh to Me shall never hunger,” and “and the bread that I will give is My Flesh.” Note well that these words came after that miracle of multiplying fish and bread. He is talking there about Calvary; about the paschal mystery of the vicarious satisfaction of the Lamb of God slain and cooked on the crucifix in the fire of God’s wrath against your trespasses.  For God so loved the world…in this precise way, that the Crucifixion of the Only Begotten full of Grace and Truth was necessary to fill your lifeless corpses not just with re-birth, but with a Eucharist Wedding Gourmet-Graced “three-course” + extravaganza!

   The language that Saint Mark uses in his Evangel typifies what Jesus will do on Maundy Thursday, and on Sunday 14 July: “gave thanks, and brake, and gave to His disciples to set before them.”

   Miraculously multiplying a few fish and loaves of bread does indeed show Divinity and Omnipotence…the mastery over matter and supernatural control. That’s nice…especially for the four-thousand that were strengthened for the journey back to their homes. But this “sign” isn’t about temporary satiation or even daily bread—daily. The feeding is the Word. The Word is the Word made flesh: Christ Jesus. The Word made flesh is His Scripture whetting your appetite and giving you forgiveness and peace and salvation. The Word made flesh is His very true and real and actual Body and Blood in His feeding in The Sacrament. The Word feeds. The Word is food that saves. Sacramental, that is, “mysterious” what happened that day?  Sure. But for He to Whom all things are possible, this character of His giving, satisfying, doing, and merciful nourishing is present every Mass!

   The Cross of Christ, even before Golgotha, was planted firmly into the ground that day in the midst of all those people. Jesus’ Body, obeying the Law, and loving God and His neighbor (the multitude) fed them. The Cross of Christ, at Golgotha, planted firmly into the pierced Body of Jesus produced Blood, Water, and Flesh. But that was then and now is now. NOW…right now…that which was prepared for distribution by His disciples…is given to you that you might be satisfied. Perfection is restored; the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church—the reconstituted paradise of seven baskets filled—is here in this Nave.  Eat, drink, the Body and Blood of Jesus for the forgiveness of your sins!

In The Name of The Father and of + The Son and of The Holy Ghost

Sunday, July 7, 2013

6th Sunday after TRINITY: Homily

Saint Matthew 5. 20-26
6th Sunday after Trinity: 7 July Anno Domini 2013
Fr Jay Watson SSP

In The + Name of Jesus

   Part of the righteousness of the Scribes was that they were Old Testament scholars. They knew their Torah. They studied the prophets. They memorized the Psalter. They loved their Bible.  This is all totally meaningless without Jesus as the bleeding, dying, law-keeping Lamb at the very center and core. Knowing the Bible without believing that one is a poor miserable sinner incapable of doing anything to “get right” with God except fall at Christ’s feet—at the foot of Calvary—is all totally worthless. So, knowing your bible verses better than all of the people you don’t like, the ones you loathe won’t do anything for you save get you an aisle or window seat in the pits of burning sulfur.

   Part of the righteousness of the Pharisees was that they were meticulous in keeping all the rules and regulations. They were also very good at keeping the 10 Commandments, in so far as, the Commandments read at a “surface level.” They were also very active in scuttling about “doing” things and being very busy. But not fornicating or cheating on one’s spouse is worthless if one secretly lusts. Not embezzling or shop-lifting means nothing if one has a larcenous heart. Not murdering someone is worth less than zero if one hates, or if one doesn’t love one’s neighbor. So, no matter how much you scurry around trying to fix your immediate little world to be ordered to your desires; no matter how much you profess the rules and regulations of lc-ms, or Book of Concord orthodoxy, unless you keep the original Decalogue the way the Lord demands, your own pharisaical hypocrisy damns you to hell. Jesus must be at the root of your Law Keeping…your must cling solely to Jesus as the One Who righteously keeps the Law for you!

   The Lord accepts your gifts laid at His altar when those gifts are naturally out-flowing expressions of love based on the faith which He has kindled in your hearts; faith which produces works of prayer, praise and thanksgiving.  The forgiven woman, of Luke 7, is so filled with love because Jesus had forgiven her all her debts, and thus she overflows, literally, with tears of joy and gratitude, staining His feet with salty appreciations of adoration. So too, in faith, you should bring your gifts of silver and gold to His throne so that His throne might be replicated in many, many other parishes throughout the world. You should bring your time and efforts to His church so that sick would be given medicine; homeless given shelter; and hungry first fed with bread, water, and wine and subsequently with the Body and Blood of God. You should bring the gifts of your own attention, focus, and meditation to His Word every day, to His Sacramental Word every Lord’s Day and other days when it is offered.  But of all the gifts He desires from you the greatest are never your works, even works rightly flowing from true faith, but rather the true faith itself! The Lord desires a broken and contrite heart. Jesus wants the true gift of your confession of sin so that He might absolve you and animate you with His own righteousness. Jesus wants the true gift of your confession of faith of The Right Doctrine of His righteous activity and identity, where He fills you with His own righteous words and righteous Body and Blood.

   If you have harmed your brother go and ask for forgiveness. You have hurt others, but you deny it and always cast yourselves as the victims and the heroic innocent party; you’re not, repent and go and confess. When your brother has a complaint with you, even when your brother IS at fault, go anyway to him or her and seek to be reconciled.  Love in deeds not only in rote and memorized formulaic words.

   The greatest sin is pride which simply means self worship—the breaking of the greatest commandment to love God perfectly above all things.

   To do what you don’t the Son of God left His gift of Trinitarian communion with His beloved Father at the Altar of Heaven and went to be reconciled to His brother—i.e. His brothers and sisters who had become blood enemies of enmity, and haters of all things Godly. The Lord came to work, sweat, and humbly do all the dirty work. Jesus not only knew the Scriptures of the Scribes but He did them. Jesus not only knew the ceremonial requirements of the Pharisees but He kept the Law of Moses, the Torah, perfectly—He did them in deep and inner meaning as well as in surface form. Because the hard heart and stiff neck of sinful unregenerate man—the hater of Jesus and His work—would not, COULD not do its own part in reconciliation, Jesus fulfilled both parts, ALL parts of the covenant; by making it a testament—a gift, bequest, Last Will and Testament.

   Jesus did not “agree” with the great adversary, the devil, rather He surrendered on behalf of the devil’s captives—all of you—and became your substitute prisoner and victim.  

   Rather than agree to disagree or to cowardly make concessions to evil, sin, and imperfection, Jesus simply took all of your trespasses upon Him and to Him and suffered and died.  For you and your sin, Jesus was delivered to the Judge (Pilate); delivered to the officer (the Centurion and his execution squad); and cast into prison (sent to the hellish torture chamber and gallows of Satan himself).  By paying the very last, the uttermost farthing—His precious Body and Holy Blood; the life of God, the enfleshed God/Man—you are free and safe and at ever peace.


   As a coda…even now your old Adam, imprisoned in the fallen flesh of sinner, pauses, and grumbles…yes Pastor, all true, all true…but I’m still suffering from depression and heartache. Some of my closest loved ones appear lost, my beloved country is heading to destruction, I hurt all over, I’m afraid of disease and of dying, and everything in my life STILL appears lost and fleeting EVEN AFTER the words of Gospel.  What can I do? What can you do for me to take away the still lingering emptiness and fear; the weakness.

   It is truly meet right and salutary that we should at all times and in all places…therefore with angels and archangels and with all the company of heaven…Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of Sabaoth…blessed is + He that cometh in the Name of the Lord…take eat THIS IS MY BODY, which is given for you…DRINK YE ALL OF IT…MY BLOOD, which is shed for you.

   I pray you are as hungry and thirsty now as I am…

   The Peace of the Lord be with you alway!

In The Name of The Father and of + The Son and of The Holy Ghost