Sermon summaries and audio files
Eckardtesian Thought: I think, therefore I write . . .
The healing of the deaf mute (St. Mark 7:32-37) is an astonishing Gospel, because in it we see the entire story of our salvation. Jesus heals a deaf man, who could not even begin to bring himself to hearing; he required the Physician to do it all. So also the grace of God; it is not something that cooperates with us, but rather it comes from outside of us. And this he does in Decapolis, a Gentile region, for it was always his intention to go finally to the Gentiles with his Gospel. And he does this miracle in a very intimate way: he touches the man's ears and tongue. Never before in all of history was this possible, for it was not until now, in the fullness of time, that he became incarnate. Now at last the Almighty God has bound himself to our flesh in his holy incarnation. He becomes our Brother for eternity. And in our flesh he redeems our flesh, by his sacrifice in the flesh; and he rises from the dead in the flesh: he is forever bound to his creation. But also, he looks up to heaven, acknowledging his eternal Source and Father. From eternity he was begotten of the Father in love, and so now he looks up to his eternal Father, whose will he has come to do. And next he sighs, that is, he breathes out. This is his holy breath, which is none other than his Holy Spirit, which proceeds out of his blessed mouth. It proceeds also from the Father, through him, out, into the world. But the Spirit is not silent. He is never silent. He is always where his word is. And so Jesus speaks: ephphatha! In the Hebrew tongue he speaks, for this is the mother tongue of God, in which he spoke through the entire Old Testament. But his speech is also translated into our own language, that we might understand it, even as happened on Pentecost Sunday. So we hear: Be opened! And here, behold, is the very Gospel. Be opened! For Jesus had said to Peter, in giving him his keys, that whatever he loosed on earth would be loosed in heaven. This is the word of forgiveness and mercy, by which we are saved, believing. And finally, this reaches its culmination here and now, in this place, as we ourselves find ourselves in the Gospel. We were taken aside from the multitude in Baptism, and his holy water was applied to us, with his word. And he touches us in the Blessed Supper, and heals us, forgives us. And so we now, with the people of the Gospel, speak plain. We confess the faith, saying He hath done all things well! Sermon for Trinity XII.