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

Saturday, August 31, 2013

14th Sunday after TRINITY: Homily

Saint Luke 17. 11-19
14th Sunday after Trinity: 1 September Anno Domini 2013
Fr. Jay Watson SSP

In The + Name of Jesus

   “For the Word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” [Heb. 4.12]

   In the fullness of time, doing God’s will, the Nazarene journeyed to Jerusalem. The Trinity’s will was that the Son obey the Torah and do all that Adam and his spouse failed to do. The design of God’s salvation was that the flesh and blood Messiah, the true Israel, would restore fallen man by suffering and dying for all trespassers. And on the journey of buy-back and liberation the God/Man would reveal to some just Who it was marching freely to the tree of death and the resurrection of family and life. God in the flesh would heal and restore many during His brief visible Palestinian ministry.

   Ethnic rivalries and Jewish theological politics aside, to get from northern Israel to Jerusalem in the south, one had to walk from the region of Galilee through Samaria as one headed up hill to Judea and King David’s ancient city. Jesus was in an area that had a mixture of Jews and Gentiles, a mingling of pedigreed and “correct-thinking” Jews, heterodox half-breed Samaritans, and pagan syncretistic Greeks/Gentiles. As Jesus entered a “certain village, there met Him ten sinners.” These ten men, by the way were lepers. Let us Lutherans deliciously borrow from Thomas Aquinas and correctly note that by essence, by true inherent ontological nature, the ten men were sinners…their incidental “accidents,” i.e. form and outward appearance just happened to be that of leprosy. For you see, all sinners are flawed, broken, decayed, dying, and horribly disfigured. Some are deaf, some are mute, some are dead 12-year old girls, some are women with unceasing flows of blood; some are cheating tax-collectors; some are “fallen women” with alabaster flasks of spikenard, and some are Samaritan women at wells with collections of husbands. And some are you: every one of you with your moral leprosy of disfiguring and ugly sins of daily omission and commission.

   The John 3.16 of “for God so loved the world” is because of the Romans 5.11 of “all have sinned.” The wages of sin is death for you and every human since the sentence was first pronounced on Adam. And along the way there’s heartburn and heart disease; astigmatism and blindness; bad backs and ALS; baldness and leprosy. With the lepers--

   He heals all ten of physical decay—but that’s NOT the point. Earlier in Matthew’s Evangel Jesus speaks the truth that The Father “maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” [Mt. 5. 45]

   And while it’s true that re-born Christians are still simul iustus et peccator (simultaneously sinners AND saint) what our text shows is that good things happen to Greeks and Jews, pagans and believers, Muslims and Lutherans. They were all healed by the Word of the Lord. They had all cried out to Him in anguish and heart-felt need “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us” and He did. Whether they were all sincere in their Old Testament confession of Genesis 3.15 and following is NOT the point. Their cry is not why He healed them, in so far as their desire to be healed (their faith) is not what healed them. Cancer wards are packed to the gills with old and young who desire to be healed AND who still love Jesus. The point is always and ONLY about the Christ of God, Who He is and what He does! Jesus can do miracles upon anyone He chooses to but ONLY His gift of faith by the Holy Spirit can create a living man out of dead man. Only Jesus finds lost sheep, a  lost Samaritan leper and gives Him back a beating heart that can receive a transfusion of eternal Godly Blood and fresh + live-restoring water.

   Yes of course good works and an attempt to strive for a sanctified life of obedience ALWAYS follows faith and regeneration…but the word is “follows.”

   It’s not that the Samaritan who “turned back” was not going to subsequently “go shew himself unto the priests,” sure he was…but first things first. JESUS.

   The nine who left, who did not return are the fallen and rejecting Jewish nation, a picture of all who driven by works righteousness and glory to seek to show others themselves and have others recognize them for their deeds, good fortune, and glory. The returning Samaritan is the blood-bought saint found and created by God to receive all that the Son can bestow—yes, health, but so much more by faith: LIFE ETERNAL in the forgiveness of sins. For only in forgiveness does Jesus then bestow more of His words of Peace and His banquet of rest and love.

   In this encounter with Jesus the God/Man, Saint Luke gives you your own family history and your daily diary, including what you’ll be doing now, and in a few short minutes at the communion rail.

   To be sure, perhaps the nine, or some of them were later to seek Jesus out (but BY THE POWER of JESUS—His Word and Spirit) and that too is Grace filled joy for all of us. But the crux is that true worship, true servanthood, is not what you do but Who you receive. As Melanchthon notes in the Apology, true worship is to receive the gifts of Jesus. Receive your king with the Samaritan, you my fellow Samaritans. Receive Him on bended knee. Fall with your face at His pierced and scarred feet and give glory to God by eating and drinking the God/Man. The very content of Jesus-given faith: JESUS—has made you whole, and Holy.

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

Saturday, August 24, 2013

13th Sunday after TRINITY: Homily

Saint Luke 10. 23-37
13th Sunday after Trinity: 25 August Anno Domini 2013
Fr. Jay Watson SSP

In The + Name of Jesus

   And what did the “12” see that day when the Nazarene spoke the words of Luke 10? Jesus was speaking to His chosen ones and not to a crowd.

   They saw the Messiah promised to Eve. The Disciples beheld with their earthy eyes the Incarnate God born of the Blessed Virgin. Abraham had seen smoking pots and had lunched with angels dressed as men. Jacob had struggled with a mysterious wrestler.  Moses had seen burning bushes and pillars of flame. Joshua had viewed the “Captain of the Host,” and Samuel had communication with the Lord. Elijah heard a “still small voice.” The “apple of God’s eye” the great King David had mostly “seen” God through the voice of Nathan the Prophet and Gad the Seer.

   The Patriarchs, Prophets, and Good Kings had all believed the Gospel promise spoken to Eve, and had all waited in faithful trust for the arrival of Messiah to redeem His people from sin and sorrow. They all gave their prayers and lives to guarding the deposit which had been entrusted to them. And everything they did was a gift of God the Holy Spirit. Every virtue of fidelity and perseverance was simply Christ active in them. But they would also have given the heavens themselves to have seen what “12” got to see—the face and countenance of Mary’s Son, in the flesh, the fullness of the Trinity in Bodily Form!

   All the Hebrew Saints of the First Covenant did indeed “hear” God’s voice as He spake through the prophets by the Spirit. They heard the preaching of Esaias, Elias, Jeremias and the others. But in these last days God spoke to the “12” by His Son. Andrew and Peter, Matthew and Bartholomew actually heard and knew what Jesus’ voice sounds like! They saw God keep the Commandments and love the Father and all men. They heard God preach the condemning Law written on stone and then also preach the Kingdom of the Son Who came to fulfill the Law and to die for all breakers of the same. They saw and heard Jesus, God enfleshed heal the sick, love the loveless, and forgive sins. They saw God and heard Him speak of His impending suffering and death in Jerusalem. And two of the “12” along with Saints Paul, Luke and John Mark recorded it for you!

   Moses was not the end but only the beginning. The Law was not god to be worshipped and kept, but the rod from the mouth of God to condemn and kill. The Lawyer who stood up to tempt Jesus was an expert in the Torah and knew the Hebrew Scriptures at their surface level. He did not know, believe or confess The Fulfiller and End of the Law that he, like the “12,” was looking at eye-ball to eye-ball. He knew that the Tables of Sinai said: Love the Lord and Love the neighbor. Feeling a bit of a “sting” from Christ’s words “…this do, and thou shalt live,” he then asked the famous question: “and who is my neighbor?”

   No one can “do” for perfection is not possible for sinful creatures. The Lawyer could not love God with all his heart, soul, strength and mind, and neither could Peter, James, John, or the Apostle Paul; neither can you. The Lawyer could not love his neighbor as himself, no matter who the neighbor was; neither could the “12,” or the parishioners of Augsburg.

   Is this a moral teaching of the sanctified life? Should you strive and work and endeavor to be just like the “Good Samaritan?” “Go and do thou likewise.” Should you be the one to “show mercy” as the Lawyer correctly concluded? Sure… you do that.

   This parable is not about working or doing or loving better or stronger. Yes you should be more like the Good Samaritan, so repent and confess your sins. The parable is not just all about Jesus; Jesus is the parable in all of its truth.

   Jesus is the “certain man,” the God/Man Who “went down” (He descended from heaven) from the Jerusalem on high to the Jericho of the fallen world—the broken earth, crushed under the same uncompromising trumpet blasts of the Decalogue as were the original walls which fell to the First Covenant’s typological Joshua. Jesus allowed Himself to fall “among thieves,” and among bragging fishermen, angry zealots, thieving tax-collectors, doubters, betrayers, cowards, lepers, mutes, foreigners, and sinners…such as you. Jesus permitted the sins of all men, of all of you, to attack Him, to strip Him of His royal raiment, to beat Him, wound Him, and leave Him “half dead” nailed to a tree.  Your trespasses of hypocrisy, self-justification, and prideful self-will both condemned Him, and also “depart[ed] from Him as you ignore God’s Word, Jesus the Word, and walk by like the Levite and the Priest.

   Jesus is the Samaritan for He is GOOD and His Mercy endureth forever. Jesus does the finding and the rescuing. He found you dead in the ditch and brought you to His Baptismal + font to save you. His compassion filled the shell and the hand of His Samaritan servant with oil of anointing and soothing re-birth as His Blood and Water, gushing from His side, was poured on your wounds. Jesus carried you on THE BEAST of Burden, on His own back and neck with His own arms. Jesus the beast beaten and slain for you…an ass to the world of unbelief, but the Lamb slain from before eternity to His elect and chosen. Jesus has carried you here to the Inn of Inheritance and life everlasting—the Church of His New Testament.

   Jesus has done it all. He has gone and done likewise—loving the Father with all of His heart, soul, strength and mind—loving the neighbor (all men) as Himself. Jesus forgives you. Jesus buys you back and gives you new life and new beginnings. Jesus dines with you at the Inn this very day. You are ensconced and elevated on high to receive Him along with the host; along with the “12.” And you now also see the things that they saw and hear the things that they heard. Jesus IS speaking to His chosen ones and not to a crowd: “Peace to + you. I will come again for you. Take eat. Take drink.”

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

Sunday, August 18, 2013

12th Sunday after TRINITY: Homily

Saint Mark 7. 31-37
12th Sunday after Trinity: 18 August Anno Domini 2013
Father Jay Watson SSP

In The Name + of Jesus

   O Lord, open Thou my lips. And my mouth shall show forth Thy praise.

   Satan closes, locks, binds, and imprisons. Satan separates, isolates, and makes solitary confinements.

   Adam had perfect vision and hearing in Eden. He could see God, hear God, and sing forth with angelic harmonies his praises for his Lord and God.

   Satan, sin and self destroyed all of this goodness.

   Bad news would be to tell a blind man that he has to cure his own blindness. Sad and tragic information would be for a deaf person to learn that he has to heal his own deafness. A mockery of Grace would be to inform a prisoner in maximum security lock-up that he must decide, choose, and cooperate to be free.

   But the Evangel is Christ Crucified; Jesus for you. For God so loved the world that…”departing from the coasts of Tyre and Sidon, He came…”

   The Good News is that He had His followers, disciples and saints bring to Him one that “was deaf, and had an impediment of…speech.”

   Great story, these seven verses from Saint Mark. But you know (don’t you?) that most blind people stay blind until they die and that most deaf people stay deaf and mute until they die. Most cancer victims are not cured and others with catastrophic and esoteric diseases die from their illnesses. You can’t fix stupid so goes the saying; but YOU can’t fix brokenness either. And even the Lord Christ, Who did fix the unnamed man, did not heal everyone in Israel, and those whom He did restore, still died. This miracle is not about temporary glory, ease, or victory for the moment. Jesus is Christ Crucified. Jesus’ work of obedience and atoning sacrifice on the cross is too important for just temporary cosmetic improvement. Christ Crucified is for the forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation. Ephphatha (be opened) is in fact the Gospel of Christ Crucified. Ephphatha is to be opened, loosed, freed, restored, bought back, liberated, and at Peace with Father, Son + and Holy Ghost. Ephphatha is the loving father embracing the prodigal and Jesus letting the sinful Disciples embrace Him on Easter eve.

   Ephphatha, be opened, is the fiery cherubim sword-wielding gate being torn down, being extinguished and cooled in the soothing waters of baptism—spit…touch[ing] tongue—stuttering and stammering gone forever, paradise and communion restored. Ephphatha is the Son speaking and opening the ears, and loosing the tongues of Abraham, Moses, Samuel, Balaam, Samson, Elijah and Elisha. Ephphatha is the Son speaking and opening the ears from death for the Widow of Nain’s son, Jairus’ daughter and Lazarus of Bethany.

   Ephphatha is not simply healing your physical wounds and corporeal functions; it is restoration to home, family, Father, peace, and joy.

   Ephphatha is not sitting in a pew and hearing, observing intellectually a story of light—of light in a laser focused and narrow beam going from point “a” to point “b”—from Christ to the deaf mute two millennia ago. Ephphatha is being handled by (and then handling in response) being bathed by (and then daily + washing) being draped (clothed), fed, given to drink by (and then constantly attending the Eucharist)…i.e. being surrounded, embraced, immersed, marinated, compassed, by Christ Crucified—the Word—The Word made flesh. Jesus is that surround-sound, the still small Word that is also the uncreated Light of Life and immortality. Jesus speaks to each and every one of you: Ephphatha, be opened, and you are; it is!

   Ephphatha is when the thrice-fold + pouring of the Word’s water and blood in the Baptismal Flood washed onto your head—washing away sin and washing on/in Jesus! Ephphatha is when His servants speak His absolving forgiveness in His opening and loosing stead! Ephphatha is when you come to His altar and receive Him in His Body and Blood; “take eat, take drink, the true Body, the true Blood” is simply Ephphatha, be opened.

   You will get sick one day and die. You will lose the ability to see, to hear and to speak one day and you will die. But the only real death, the only real bondage to silence, darkness, aloneness, was already endured for you by Christ on the Cross. Your only significant decay and death was when you were in/with/and under Christ Crucified in your Baptisms. It was in that watery Ephphatha that you were loosed and open and the strings of Satan were cut. You will die one day but it will be no death, but rather a further and more glorious opening to the realms of heavenly splendor.

   Celebrate this, your victory and triumph, in He Who is your liberator and Brother; for He does all things well. Come to the banquet and receive Ephphatha.

“O Lord, open thou their lips. And their mouths shall receive Thee—and then, show forth Thy praise.”

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

Sunday, August 11, 2013

11th Sunday after TRINITY: Homily

Saint Luke 18. 9-14
11th Sunday after Trinity: 11 August Anno Domini 2013
Fr. Jay Watson SSP

In The + Name of Jesus 

   Parishioners sitting back stroking their chins while this parable is being preached, judging and analyzing the presentation for homiletical emphases would resemble to a “t” the pompous Pharisee. The Law is not meant to be handled and observed; the Law is meant to cut your faces open, creating raw bleeding flesh; the Law is meant to knock your arthritic knees out from under you and finally get you down on the ground, wounded, impotent and blind! REPENT!

   Your “old Adam” your odd and twisted Adam, loves this parable because you turn it into an “us versus them.” You see yourself as the repentant, humble, confessional tax-collector and you see your enemies—those who don’t bend to your will—as the popinjay Pharisee. Your sinful heart likes what it likes and dislikes what it dislikes. The heart of the pagan is a lifeless seemingly impenetrable rock of granite, to be sure; but the heart of a Christian, a sinful Christian (i.e. ALL Christians) is a hard shell like a walnut—a tough nut to crack.

   This sermon, any sermon, any preacher, will not crack your old nature and “make” you “feel” anything—certainly not with clever stories, winsome anecdotes, and well constructed word-play; neither with historical minutia, anthropological-ethnological insights or even poetry most beautiful. Only the Holy Ghost taking the text can crack you open so that you will then crack yourself with the beating of hands upon breasts: “my fault, only my fault, my most grievous fault!”

   You are the Pharisee. The Pharisee goes up to the Temple to pray and you come to your parish likewise. The Pharisee was not talking to the LORD, he was orating to an audience of merit (himself) and to the peons (everyone else). The Pharisee was the 1st century’s contemporary worship avatar: “it’s all about me and my desires; it’s all about me and my works and accomplishments!”

   Professor Justo Gonzalez correctly points out that we act the part of sinful Pharisees when we demonize and caricaturize the Pharisees as only the “black-hat” the dark hearted melodramatic villain. The Pharisee in reality was the best that 1st century Judaism produced. Pharisees were serious, focused, devoted, intelligent and confessional Jews. They labored to make the faith more than rote ritualism; they sought a personal component that fostered accountability not lukewarm accommodation. But all of the merits of a dedicated catechesis and personal rectitude are worthless when the object becomes the subject. The Pharisee was not praising God; he was looking in a mirror admiring his real Lord. He was you! REPENT!

   Jesus is the rescuer for all Pharisees which is why He spent so much time speaking with them, eating with them, and interacting with them. 

   The Pharisee spread his arms wide in self-adulation—finger-tips no-doubt gesturing back to his own fat head. Jesus, the God/Man allowed His own innocent arms to be spread wide—and nailed to the wood of the Cross—finger-tips quivering in searing pain as severed nerves spasm-ed and blood spurted; and His head swelled from the wounds of the crown of thorns.  Jesus talked to God your Father on your behalf: “Father, forgive them, forgive the Augsburgers for being Pharisees!”

   “I tithe” puffed the Pharisee. “I’m a member of the LC-MS (and a “confessional” parish to boot) and not one of those liberal congregations.” Jesus, the Christ didn’t just give a measly tithe, a 10% for your foul misdeeds, he gave 100% of His Body and Blood.

   “I fast twice a week” went the braggadocio. “I give more of my time and talents as well as paying more attention to personal piety…at least if it’s what I learned during the formative years of my confirmation class”—which is of course the MOST relevant three years of the Church’s two millennia. Jesus, God, fasted for your arrogance and petulance 40 days and 40 nights; He fasted from all companionship and even from the Presence of His Father for six hours at Calvary’s bone-yard.

   “I thank Thee that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this Publican.” “Thanks be that I am white, conservative, prayerful, Book-of-Concord reading, un-divorced, un-convicted, employed, and not like the parasites, druggies and faggots.” Jesus not only ate with the thieves, whores, lepers, traitors, and half-breeds, He became all of them, all of you, when after taking all of your flesh and blood upon/INTO Him in His Incarnation, He carried all of your sin on His shoulders and was crucified as your Sin offering, your atoning sacrifice of God’s wrathful blood-judgment against YOU!

   But there’s more. Only the Lord Christ, The Word and the Holy Ghost make a repentant tax-collector the Brother of Jesus and son of The Father. You don’t make or earn your right to be the Publican in the parable. You, your Pharisee double-dealing and self-justifying heart doesn’t feign or mimic true contrition. Your holiness and sanctification is Christ active in you (as Paul writes in Galatians and as Chemnitz teaches). Soli Deo Gloria!

   Even deep within a humble and repentant Publican beats the festering seeds of original sin and the sprouting trespasses of daily sin—including false modesty, empty ritualism, and an inflated sense of pride in doing contrition. Seems like even the “good guy” in the parable—in the parish, can’t win for losing. Only Jesus wins for you by losing +.

   Confession of sins left solo and uncompleted by reception of Holy + Absolution becomes works-righteous pride. Breast-beating must quickly be dealt with by heart-massage, mouth-to-mouth and transfusion. Jesus descends in the Flesh and Blood to give the Publican, and you, His Flesh and Blood; His nourishment, love, care, and AFTER CARE in His Word. For Jesus is your Publican. For you Jesus kneels at Gethsemane, kneels in utter contrition over your sins at the Crucifix; Jesus permits His breast to be struck and pierced over all your guilt; and Jesus pleads with the Father in full and total reliance and confidence that God IS merciful to you a sinner.

   I tell you the Gospel; I feed you the Good News, this day: you are exalted in, with, and under the Humble One, and Mercy Enfleshed is placed on your tongues.

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

Sunday, August 4, 2013

10th Sunday after TRINITY: Homily

Saint Luke 19. 41-48
10th Sunday after Trinity: 4 August Anno Domini 2013
Fr. Jay Watson SSP

In The + Name of Jesus

    God has will and desire. “God is love” records the Disciple who rested his head on the Lord’s breast. The Love of God is self-sacrificing and giving beyond our understanding. And, while a Spirit cannot cry and an omnipotent 1st Person cannot cry (at least not as we might think…we think) God can cry, for the Christ did.

   While humans cry for many varied reasons, the main two seem to be: for happiness and for sorrow, grief, and loss.  You cry when deep inside of you something elemental and core is moved and affected.

   The Creator and Sustainer God Who made human emotions as well as human senses and intellect, would (did) always cry with Perfect holiness and righteousness.

   The Lord’s deepest yearning is that all men would be saved and come to the knowledge of His Christ—His love & communion in the Flesh!

   Thus God cries for both his Lambs, and for those not in His flock.

   The Lord wept with Adam and Eve as they cradled their dead boy Able in their arms…but He ALSO cried for the wayward and lost Cain. God cried for the heart-ache of barren Sarah and again with her in her joy over baby Isaac…but He ALSO cried when Hagar and Ishmael wandered off.  There were salty sorrows over Esau’s callous indifference and Samson’s foolish and headstrong misadventures. The Lord’s tears could have turned the entire desert wasteland into an ocean over His passion for the rebellion of the Hebrews’ 40 years of murmuring sin.  When King David wept over dead Absalom, the Pre-Incarnate Angel of the Lord also wept…for both David’s grief and for Absalom. When Elias, Esaias and Jeremias wept over their own persecutions the Son of God wept with them and with their stiff-necked rejecting congregations…God cried for His ancient people Israel even BEFORE the Christ approached the City of David.

   The tears of God are more than supportive sympathy or even the presence of empathy. The tears of Jesus are part of the whole of the entire activity of Jesus to save. Jesus’ tears create and give life; they wash; they refresh and fill; they keep alive, vibrant, and at peace.

   The Messias born of Mary is the Man Who weeps over Jerusalem and Shawnee. The Christ begotten from eternity is the God Who weeps over the saved and the lost of David’s city and over the saved and lost of you and your cities (your nuclear families, your communities, states and countries).

   For all those who do not know the things which belong to their peace; for you during every day when you forget, neglect, or even maliciously spurn the things which belong and ensure your peace, HE WHO IS PEACE weeps and acts. For the tears of Jesus are BOTH passive and active. The Water of Life is both, still and moving; calm like a pool, and alive like a white-rapids river!

   Jesus beheld you and your lost city, your lost and condemned condition, from the Garden, all the way to His gates of Heavenly Grace. He left the Mount of Transfiguration, Trinitarian splendor, and descended to your traitorous squalor. He ascended to Jerusalem to be Salem, “The” Peace Which passeth all understanding. “These things,” Jesus’ Person and Work—His God/Man identity and His Paschal Sacrifice, are hid from the eyes of unbelief, and even from the daily eyes of sinful trespasses. But He reveals them in the tears of His Word!

   “For the days shall come upon thee…” and the days came upon the God/Man—born in the “fullness of time.” The Christ permitted His enemies to cast their siege trench against Him in the mob of Sanhedrin thugs and assassins. He deigned, as the passive Lamb, to let them compass Him “round, and keep [Him] in on every side.” They bound Him, beat Him, scourged Him, mocked Him, and “laid Him even with the ground”…so that the Roman executioners would have better leverage in pounding the iron spikes through His innocent and spotless flesh! It was Jesus’ will and love that accepted, yea embraced, His enemies and persecutors who did “not leave one stone upon another,” as He suffered, died and was laid broken of life in the grave. He, The City of God, the Temple of the Trinity was destroyed and in the shambles of ruin—apparent…but not eternal…only three days.

   Today is the Third Day—Easter Sunday all over again. Today is The Day of the Lord’s Visitation. He wept for you before Genesis 1 that He might weep for you at the summit of Jerusalem, at Lazarus’ tomb, at Gethsemane, at Golgotha, and at the Day you were + first visited. His tears, Water from the God/Man, from His side—His heart—yes, but also from His eyes, which beheld you, like Bartholomew, under the fig tree of His New Jerusalem, His Peace which is found in His Church, in His written Word and mysterious Word. He weeps in tears of sorrow over your “buying and selling,” your mammon worship, your thievish temple desecration in thought, word, and deed; but He weeps this morning over your reception of His Absolving + forgiveness. Jesus’ tears are the Blood and Water of love-incarnate that are eaten in His Body and drunk in His Chalice.

   Cry and weep with the Christ in repentance, and then be visited by your Shepherd at the well of His tears, and rejoice in salvation.

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