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

Saturday, July 26, 2014

6th Sunday after TRINITY (2014): Homily

Saint Matthew 5. 20-26
6th Sunday after Trinity: 27 July Anno + Domini 2014
Fr Jay Watson SSP

In The + Name of Jesus

   “The Lord is the Strength of His people!”

   You are not your own strength. Your good works and commendable deeds are not your salvation. Your prayers and devotions are not your sanctification. Unless your righteousness exceeds, is better than, is superior to, the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not go heaven—you will not be saved.

    Jesus restates the Torah, the Law of God: to be saved you must be perfect. To be righteous, i.e. to be “right with God,” you must obey all the Law, all the time, all the way.

    The scribes and Pharisees were the “cream of the crop” of “religious Israel.”  They read and “knew” what the scrolls said. They didn’t just read, they studied, memorized, recited, and made commentary upon Scripture. They “knew” the Hebrew texts, insofar as they sinfully interpreted God as rules, regulations, lists, and responsibilities. But they were only surface skimmers with an ocean of superficial knowledge a few inches deep. They had lost faith. They had lost the truth of blood sacrifice, of sin—their true “old Adam” sin. They were all hypocrites and most of them were not even believers in The suffering servant Messiah that the Holy Prophets (e.g. Esaias) had foretold.

   So, for your status with the Lord being right and acceptable (“righteousness”) and surpassing scribes and Pharisees it will do you no good to study Scripture “better,” or to know the teachings and doctrines of the Creeds and the Confessions more thoroughly. Jesus tells you, you modern day “wannabe scribes” and contemporary Pharisees, that YOU trespass daily and that you DON’T obey the Commands of God to the letter!  Later in Christ’s “sermon on the mount” He says “be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” [Mt 5. 48].  With the Law, the 10 Commandments, it’s all or nothing; it’s obey or die, be holy or be damned: “whosoever shall keep the whole Law and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” [Ja. 2.10]

   Jesus says in verse 28 “whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” [v.28]   When you break the 6th Commandment you break the other 9 as well!

   If you are angry with your brother without a cause you are in danger of the judgment; the judgment of hell for “whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer; and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.” [1 Jn. 3.15]

   Do you always go and try to reconcile with your brother who “hath ought against thee” before you come to Church, or before you fall asleep, or before you simply “block it out” in self-righteousness? Repent!  Hell will be filled with the self righteous for only “The Lord is the Strength of His people!”

   Your failure to obey and your weakness to sin and to damn yourself find its only solution in Christ Jesus. When you refuse to set your “gift” down, to let go your golden calves, mammon Baals, and bloated egos, before worshipping yourself and your own deluded image of a “safe” Jesus…the radical, authentic, and real God/Man Jesus comes to do what only He can do: Redeem, Save, and Strengthen you IN HIM!

   “The Lord is the strength of His people.” He was the strength of Adam when exiled from paradise. He was the strength of Noah and the church of 8 aboard the ark.  He was the strength of Abram in all his fears, dislocations, and struggles. He was the strength of Moses and the Children of Israel during their Exodus in the desert. He was the strength of Jeremias and the deportees to Babylon as well as Nehemiah and the returnees from Babylon. He was the strength of the “12” during their ministries and martyrdoms. He was the strength of the Apostle plagued and buffeted by a “thorn in the flesh” a “messenger of Satan.” That great disciple was assured, and so are you: “My Grace is sufficient for thee; for My Strength is made perfect in weakness.” [2 Cor. 12. 9a]

   It is there, HERE, that you have your righteousness which exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees. Their non-belief and rejection was manifested in their self-righteous rejection and idolatry of the “rules of religion.” Your righteousness is HE WHO IS THE RIGHTEOUS ONE.  Jesus is Godly “right” with the Father in all His words; His obedience in Law-Keeping; His atoning suffering and death for your anger and adultery; His Body given; His Blood shed; His Words spoken in Peace to give Peace!

    Jesus’ Strength is not His omnipotence but His love. His miracle is not walking on water or healing lepers but in His Incarnation from the Virgin and in His substitutionary life and death as the Lamb of God for all of you. His Strength is made perfect in His own weakness (perceived weakness) His “state of humiliation.”  It is never a “Game of Thrones” but a “crown of thorns!”

   You hate your enemies. You refuse to forgive and reconcile with your antagonists. Repent! Jesus loved your adversaries and all enemies of His Father—of The Trinity—He loved you when you were an enemy and even dead. He raises you to life and eternity by burying you + with Him in His own death.  His love was at the Cross and His Strength was in His crucifix for it was there His Body and Blood won you. His Grace flows this love and forgiveness to you now at His altar and pulpit and in His Holy Chalice and Ciborium where that self-same Body and Blood is given and shed for you to eat and drink—and believe!

   He brought the only and real “gift to the altar” when He let Himself be led to the High Altar of Calvary. He reconciled all of you to The Father in His enthronement on the wood. The gift was God’s own Son. You are free from prison, from eternal death and hell because Jesus paid the “uttermost farthing” when He hung His sacred head and gave up the Ghost.

   Receive that Ghost, that Spirit of Sonship and royal-priesthood once again. Come and be placed into your dwelling place—the Tabernacle of His side; His holy Church. Come ye righteous and eat and drink the God/Man, the Righteous One.

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

Sunday, July 20, 2014

5th Sunday after TRINITY (2014): Homily

Saint Luke 5. 1-11
5th Sunday after Trinity: 20 July Anno + Domini 2014
Fr Jay Watson SSP

In The + Name of Jesus

   Yes; fishermen think that they and only they know all about fishing. Professional fishers don’t need some goat-herder from Nazareth suggesting they may have missed a “hot-spot.” We are all such self-possessed and arrogant “professionals;” professional sinners that is!  Lawyers and doctors don’t like the Wikipedia-armed autodidacts correcting them. Contractors, dentists, architects, pastors, gardeners, nurses, programmers, musicians and candlestick makers also have a rugged individualism and independence that daily slides into pride: “I have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing.”

   People pressed around the Lord for various reasons. It’s still that way today. Some people come to Jesus out of curiosity or novelty. Some gather around Christ and His followers to do them damage—enemies from the Sanhedrin and the modern day Sanhedrins.  Others are drawn by hopes of seeing signs and miracles, loaves and fishes, or as brother “Joel-O” preaches the heresy: “health, wealth, happiness and prosperity.”

   But the Holy Ghost calls you by the Gospel. The Good News is the only thing that fills the emptiness. The Word is the only thing that calms and banishes the fear. The Christ is the only One Who embraces you with the love you crave and need.

   The devil’s lie is to convince you that you are special because after all you are YOU!  No. You are special because the Lord loves you and has loved you from before the beginning. You are special because He has purchased and won you back from sin, the devil, and death itself. He has redeemed you and given you the worth of God’s own son.  It doesn’t matter that you are a lousy fisherman, a failed businessman, a no-name, mediocre, run-of-the-mill, and unnoticed, man and woman in the crowds.  For He has come to you in His Scriptures preached and taught; in His mysterious Word united with water, wheat and grapes; in His pastorly hand of absolution and forgives you for your failures, fleeings, and ferocious sins of murder and rebellion.

   The Spirit gave Peter the Word made flesh right in his own boat. The Holy Spirit gives you the Word, and the Word made flesh and blood right in The Christ’s own saving ship this morning. You have thrust out from the burned out, ravished, dying, and groaning land for this hour or so of mystical Mass wherein heaven and earth meet together, justice and righteousness kiss at the Crucifix which is our mast, standard, ensign, and only miracle!  “Simon, brothers and sisters of my Bride Augsburg, launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.”

   The nets broke, ripped under incredible strain, because the draught was so great, so large. The Lord desires all to be saved.  Did some fish spill out and swim away?  And what of it?  What is this to you? The elect will be saved. No one who is written in the Book of Life—i.e. the Body and Blood of Jesus—will be lost for none can pry a Saint from the nail wounds of the God/Man!

   The net separating, ripping, is a symbolic way to show there was still atoning work and atoning suffering and death for the Messiah to do. There was also a mission to task upon these Galileans, and these Shawnee-ians!  Be joyously about the Gospel. Be the Christians He has made you. For you know that the net of the Church, the Old and the New, the Hebrew and the Greek, the Jew and the Gentile is stitched and knitted together in the flesh of the Nazarene. In His Body which is the Church Catholic there are no more, nor can there ever be, rips and fissures, for He suffered all the holes and openings on the Cross…once for all.  Now, as we see in John’s Evangel, post-Resurrection, another great draught of fishes where the net does not break…the Church, which is Jesus with His flock, cannot be defeated, silenced, or put from Her joyous mission—which is God’s Mission.

   Christ’s Mission is that you follow Him, that you forsake your past lives of bondage and servility to sin and boldly walk in His cruciform.  The Churches mission is to receive Her Savior in His Blessed Word and to be fed His precious Word.  Transformed by His Word you praise and give thanks and serve your neighbor with the self-same Good News of Christ Crucified!

   And, what do you have to do?  The doing has been done. You now live in Christ.  It is a joy-filled life but not necessarily a happy life; not an easy life; not a life spared from sickness, loss, and temporary death; but a supernally joy-filled life of Peace is yours every day as you receive into your boat the Christ of God.  Simon fear not! 

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

Saturday, July 12, 2014

4th Sunday after TRINITY (2014): Homily

Saint Luke 6. 36-42
4th Sunday after Trinity: 13 July Anno + Domini 2014
Fr Jay Watson SSP

In The + Name of Jesus

   Christians are called upon to judge and weigh doctrine. Followers of The Christ follow His teachings and truths and not the doctrines of men. You are to be very familiar and comfortable with the doctrines and dogmas of His Holy Word so that you can avoid heretical beliefs as well as pagan practices.

   You are not to judge others. You are to be dispensers of mercy.

   To love your neighbor as yourself means just that. You wouldn’t want to go to hell by denying the Trinity or the Personal Union of Christ’s two natures in One Person. You wouldn’t want to die unrepentant by willfully breaking the 10 Commandments. You are grateful when a teacher points out some heterodoxy that has crept into your mind-set and you joyfully come to confession to kneel and receive your merciful Lords absolution. You desire these same things for those you come into contact with and those you might have some influence upon. The way you speak with a casual one-time contact is always going to be somewhat different and nuanced than how you converse and relate to someone you see every day at work or in a social setting.  So remember that The Lord is the Judge.  It is the glorified and returning God/Man Who sits upon the throne separating the sheep from the goats—not you. Don’t “jump the gun.” Some people that you assume are damned are not even dead yet.  God desires all men to be saved; so do you.  So stop judging like a Pharisee and continue loving like a caring brother or sister.

   This is not indifferentism or libertinism. No one is being instructed to turn a blind eye to flagrant sin and harmful behavior. You are to speak the truth about the sins of divorce and sodomy. You are to share the Law with those who gossip and lie. You are to defend traditional marriage and sexual chastity before the wedding vows. You are to urge people who don’t come to Mass to start attending the Divine Service. You are to counsel repentance and Christian virtues.

   But all of that is borne of love—Christ’s love for you. Because Jesus has forgiven you for sins every bit as disgusting and heinous as those you “cluck about” you are more than eager to pass on this kind of mercy. You don’t condone someone in the hardness of their heart true enough; you don’t slather them with pious platitudes about forgiveness if they’re gloriously and happily embedded in their sin, luxuriating in its filth, true enough. But what did Simon Peter once say? If my brother comes to me…how many times must I forgive?

   The Christian, who refuses to forgive, is a “Christian” who doesn’t believe the Our Father’s 5th petition! One who won’t forgive is in more danger than the one whose sins seem to be the object of his self-righteous condemnation.

   But your “old Adam” is a buzzard that can’t be lectured or hectored into becoming an angel of mercy. Your sinful self gets too much pleasure in petty and malicious grudges and snits! Only Jesus the Forgiving One can rescue the sinner…that would be the one you’re so obsessed with, and YOU AS WELL!  Jesus takes both of your trespassing selves into Himself as He is crucified and killed.

   You can give, you do give, because Jesus gave for you. You can love, you do love, because you are loved. You can bear, you do bear your brothers burdens, because Jesus bore yours on the Tree.

   Can the blind lead the blind?  No. Can someone without any moisture, any water, give a drink to someone else? No.  Can an empty sack provide food to someone starving?  No.

   Jesus is the answer. Christ is the source for He is SAVIOR and FORGIVER. You point your wounded selves and your former antagonists and adversaries to the Redeemer’s rood, His crucifix. At the foot of the Cross the rain of righteousness, the deluge of Divine Blood washes, nourishes, and fills all with rest and peace.

   Where is that Calvary? Not inside your heart and not in downtown Jerusalem. Those are ditches of emotionalism and mysticism. Christ’s forgiveness is where He has attached it; where He has cemented it with the gracious glue of His Word, Blood, Body, Water, and actual presence!

   Because Jesus HAS given to you the merits of His obedience and His atoning death for your sin…you have “good measure, pressed down, and shaken together.” You have The Body which was pressed down on the wood, The flesh that was shaken by slaps, whips, and spikes. The “good measure” is God’s measure of forgiveness and oneness which is “running over…into your bosom.” The Blood of The Lamb is gushing out of His pierced bosom into yours, into your now eternally beating and vivified hearts of Grace. You are a constantly bubbling, gurgling, spewing forth fountains of faith not because of “your” faith, but because of The Faith—The Grace—The Christ Who is all in all. As lush and succulent green branches connected to The Vine of Life and Light, you naturally give “good measure” and “ye mete withal” to all you come into contact with.

   Not condemning…God’s Law will work its way without your Sanhedrin voting; but showing mercy…it’s what those who have been shown and given Mercy do.

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

Sunday, July 6, 2014


Those dastardly "Catholics" (cue hissing sounds)...they cunningly also use:
The Lord's Prayer
The Creed
Historic Collects
The Sacrament of Holy Baptism

how, HOW CATHOLIC of 'em....
off with their fish-eating heads.

Pastor P. R. Ostestant

3rd Sunday after TRINITY (2014): Homily

Saint Luke 15. 1-10
3rd Sunday after Trinity: 6 July Anno + Domini 2014
Fr Jay Watson SSP

 In The + Name of Jesus

   Jesus always draws near. He approaches His own as well as those lost sheep that He wants in His sheepfold. Tax collectors and sinners appreciate His concern and charity. They accept on bended knees His mercy and gifts. But Pharisees, Scribes, and the hypocritical selves that “are you” murmur saying “this man receiveth people that are disgusting, and eats with them.” Hatred of the other is “hard wired” in the sinner from the “fall.”  Not only was Luther correct when he said that man by nature is a schwermerai, i.e. an “enthusiast,” but man by nature is also a Manichean, i.e. a “dualist,” seeing everything in black & white, hero & villain; with himself as the good guy and every strange, foreign, and different thinking person as the bad guy—the enemy. Repent!  Christians should not murmur or complain they should praise and give thanks. Christians should not gossip and criticize they should put the best construction on everything and build up their neighbor—putting him first. Christians should not constantly have their feelings hurt and luxuriate in grudges they should forgive and forgive and yes forget! No follower of the Christ should be mean, disagreeable or domineering—period!

   For before you were brothers and sisters of Jesus you were all worse than prostitutes or lepers. Before you were rescued you were even more pathetic than breathing, mammalian lost sheep—you were inanimate and dead coinage; inert and useless, no better than bent slugs, because you were lost—gone!

   But you were found by Jesus. He found you. His parable beautifully illustrates in its last section how you were found. You did not have the Rabbi from Nazareth approach you directly like He did Zacchaeus or Jairus. Jesus ascended to fill all things and to be the Head of His Body the Church.  No matter how infected you are by the heresy of American independence and individualistic, atomistic hegemony, the truth of The Church remains the Truth. The Church is Christ’s way of His means of saving to take place. The woman in the parable is His Church—His pastors, His people, His Sacraments, His rites, rubrics, liturgy, His lections & hymnody, and His gifts and grace!

   Yes the woman, the Church, has ten pieces of silver. Ten is the number of the Law. The commandments are the launching out point but not the destination. There is joy in obedience and service but for fallen man that will not be realized until heaven.  The Law kills. The deposit is misused, not complied, buried and lost and despised. There is now rest and surcease in Christ only, for only Christ has obeyed and fulfilled the Ten Commandments. The coinage of work and duty has been all assembled and completed by Jesus: “Who has redeemed me, a lost and condemned creature, purchased and won me from all sins, from death, and from the power of the devil; not with gold or silver, but with His holy, precious blood and with His innocent suffering and death.” [SC pt 2]  His Blood redeems lost silver. His Blood takes all the tarnish of trespass away. His Blood removes the irritant of sinful specks; of sand, dust and ash of original death, and turns the pearl into an organic living jewel!  IT IS FINISHED.  You the lost piece have been found. The One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church has found you for Christ has called you by The Holy Ghost through the Gospel. The Church is that family of Jesus where His Good News is spoken clearly and His Word attached to earthly elements is carried out according to His establishing. The Good News of Jesus’ sacrificial work and loving substitutionary death is proclaimed at this pulpit and this altar. The Holy woman, His spotless Bride, lights the candle which means she preaches only Jesus, “Christ crucified for the forgiveness of your sins!” The Church, His Body, sweeps constantly, or to use the Galilean fishing analogy, throws out the nets constantly. The sweeping is the broom of His words preached and shared by all of his bristles tied together in the unity and bond of Truth.

   You now as part of that Holy virgin Body also diligently search and seek until you too have found all the lost coins that the Lord wants found. They may not be shining American gold-eagles…speaking perfect King’s English…but they are precious to God. Red and yellow black and white they are precious in His sight.

   Friends, neighbors, Augsburgers, all those we desire to be with us, rejoice this morning with me and with the presence of angels, archangels and all the company of heaven for there is joy—the joy of Christ Jesus over repented sinners. The lost pieces are found. The lost pieces have been assembled into a community chest; a heaven-on-earth treasure trove of Peace…Peace In He Who is Peace.

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