“AD TE LEVAVI”
Saint Matthew 21. 1-9
Ad Te Levavi: 30 November Anno + Domini 2014
Fr Jay Watson SSP
In The + Name of Jesus
All the ones who don’t understand, and don’t care to, because they are not our brethren…are already playing Jingle Bells and Jingle Bell rock. They embarrassed themselves and the Lord by their bacchanalian and Midas like excesses this past Friday. Consumerism is mammon-surfing on the devil’s ocean of fire. But they are you in so far as your sinful nature still gurgles deep in your gut, your heart, like heartburn from hell. You still remember the sickly delicious taste of Eve’s fatal fruit.
That’s why you are so sad and run-down. Your sinful nature, his, hers, theirs, ours, and its permeating and marinating stench and stain over everything, is why you and your loved ones are sick and dying; why marriages dissolve, why kids use drugs; why jobs dissolve, why people shoot those who don’t deserve being shot; why people steal and vandalize; why wars are fought and friendships shatter; and why you are a donkey to the devil tied up in his stables of offal!
Faith comes by hearing and hearing by The Word. Yes that is more than true it’s predestined. The Lord seeks, searches, and secures you by His Word and His Holy Ghost. You are washed + in His Blood of Calvary poured out into you at the Holy Font. You are new creations in His glorious resurrection. But, where is that glorified body that you could use right about now? Where is that peace that pass-eth all understanding in your long dark nights of the soul—brokenness and pain?
So, since even as royal priests you feel like lepers what does God do? If as Saints you still wander around lost and lonely what does The Shepherd do? You read your Book of Concord and your loved ones continue to die and your homes are still decaying…and This Word of Life contained in Holy Scripture doesn’t make you shine like Moses and Elias on Mount Transfiguration…what does the Rabbi from Nazareth do to help—help you?
Where is He when you cry out with His very words “Unto Thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul?”
Christ’s Kingdom isn’t a book. The Lord’s family isn’t platonic, Gnostic, or memorial. The Savior’s triumphal entrance into Jerusalem is not just the text for Palm Sunday and the 1st Sunday of Advent.
Jesus is the Prince of Peace for in His word of forgiveness for you is Peace—your peace, whether you feel it or not. Jesus draws near the Jerusalem of His new and eternal Jerusalem, His Church and His family right now—this very instant! This is Bethphage, this nave and this chancel is the Mount of Olives and He pours His love into you in absolution and Baptism active, whether you “experience” it or not. The Lord this day looks at you and knows that Satan has called you asses and maybe even convinced you that you are dumb animals (or at least that those around you are) but Jesus looses you. You have the fetters snapped off because He had thorns pushed deep and nails hammered through. This is not past story to inspire this is today’s feast to feed. If there is no actual and real presence, REAL not spiritual, than everything is meaningless and there is no respite from your pain or hope of rest and glory. The gospel is not “about” Jesus it IS JESUS for you here and now! Your salvation is not “about” words of absolution but IS forgiveness at this very moment: “I forgive you, in the Name of Jesus”—Christ forgives you! Where there is loosing there is life whether you have “warm & fuzzies” or not and whether your disease ceases or not and whether your loved one has to remain in the ground for a few more days or not!
His garments, not those of a distant past crowd, are upon you…you just can’t see them with your naked eyes. The angels see; they behold you richly adorned in His brilliant red blood—so shining and sparkling that they again shield their eyes at the whiteness and purity.
The actual bodily presence of your Lord and your God, the Christ, is so real that you are not just joined with archangels and the whole host of heaven in an English musical setting found in a 1941 hymnal but are actually in the cosmic court of the Holy Trinity at you sing the Sanctus, Agnus Dei and Nunc Dimittis!
Advent is here…now…it is always here because the Jesus that will return visibly, very shortly, is here right now. He loves you and He gives you the strength to soldier on under His Cross. In Jesus this cross is not heavy but as light and joyous as palm branches.
Blessed is He that is here in the Name of The Lord. Hosanna in the highest—right here for you!
In The Name of The Father and of The + Son and of The Holy Ghost