Sermon summaries and audio files
The love of God is as eternal as God; it is the love wherewith the Father loved the Son from before the foundation of the world, as He said. To dispel false notions that God is angry, or that He has forgotten us, we need look no further than the cross of our Lord Jesus, for in it we see the love of God manifested. In love the Father sent the Son to give His all, and redeem the world. Further, He did this for a world that had become His enemy. And more than this, He manifested His love in the sending of His Spirit, for this was the sending forth of the Apostles, the Preachers of Christ; without that we would never have known of this love. Thus, to know that the Apostles and the Preachers have been sent out is further to know of God’s love; and even to know that God sent a preacher to this very place to proclaim His truth faithfully, this too is a manifestation of God’s love. And this love, when one by grace becomes convinced of it, also melts the heart, and the Christian is moved to love Him in return, and to live by this love, for Him and for one another. Sermon for Midweek of Exaudi.
The testimony of the Comforter
Jesus’ words to His disciples are not meant to be taken as a promise that the Comforter would testify to them, for they had already heard Jesus’ words out of His own mouth; rather, the Comforter was sent to them to testify through them to the world, as He also went on to say, “Ye also shall bear witness.” To whom? To the world. So let us pay strict heed to their apostolic words, the words of Sacred Scripture, the words of the Holy Gospel, for in them is the testimony not only of Jesus’ officially appointed eyewitnesses, but of the Holy Spirit Himself. This alone provides abiding comfort and salvation. Sermon for Exaudi.
The love of God is unlike any love that comes from our hearts, for it is eternal. From eternity the Father has loved the Son and the Son the Father, and this love is also God, the Third Person of the Trinity. And it is this love which brought him to the world to redeem us by his blood. Yet since he must humble us and make our sinful hearts contrite in order to receive this love, he spoke to us from the beginning in mystery, in figures, in history mysteriously portraying what he would do in the fulness of time. And even when at last he came, still he taught in parables, until the end of his earthly ministry, when finally his disciples began to learn to love him reciprocally, and then he began to speak plainly and using no figure; and so they rejoiced on hearing this. But when they themselves went out and preached, even then they had to bring the world to repentance and humility before they could receive his word, his love, his eternal grace. So let us gladly receive it, and now, in this unity with God, freely call upon the Father as our own Father (through the only Son), addressing him as Our Father. And the greatest thing for which could ask is God himself, and we receive him here, in the Blessed Sacrament, the Bread of Life, our daily bread. Sermon for Rogate Sunday.
You shall know the truth, said Jesus, and the truth shall make you free. But the Jews to whom he said this were clueless, for although they called themselves the children of Abraham, yet they seem to have forgotten the history of Israel, saying, We have never been in bondage to anyone. Did they not know of the countless times the nation had been subjugated by their enemies, because of their own apostasy, until they cried out for deliverance? Or had they forgotten their greatest bondage, in Egypt? And that bondage was unlike the ones following, for there is no specific apostasy for which God gave them over to slavery. Rather, in that case they could only point to their original bondage to sin, in the Garden in the beginning. And this is the greatest bondage of all men, the original and primal sin of nature: we are by nature sinful and unclean. But the Son, who alone is without sin, makes us free by His wonderful works and words, and in this freedom, which comes to us in the forgiveness of sins, we shall be free indeed, eternally. Sermon for Midweek of Cantate
When the Comforter comes, he will convince the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. This is done through faithful preaching. For by the proclamation that everyone has failed to be what he was created to be, the conclusion is that everyone is guilty. Yet Christ has no guilt; he knew no sin; he was a spotless Lamb. In him alone therefore is righteousness, the righteousness of God. And he has given himself a ransom for many; and therefore the devil, the prince of this world, is judged. The glorious truth to be embraced in Christ is that he gave himself for us, and that therefore we may claim to have the righteousness of God in exchange. So let us live, as the children of God, redeemed. Sermon for Cantate Sunday.
The Evangelist St Mark wrote under the authority of St Peter. His style is quick, immediatte, and to the point, like preaching. He was also himself a preacher and a bishop to the people of Alexandria, where he gave his life on April 25, ad 68, his blood spread on the cobblestones of the city where he steadfastly proclaimed the blood of Christ, and his resurrection from the dead. Sermon for St Mark's Day.
When Jesus appeared on the shore, he asked Peter three times whether he loved him, a clear indication that he had not forgotten Peter’s three denials; thus the apostle was grieved. Yet now all is forgotten, for instead of chiding him he commands him, Feed my sheep. And thus Peter goes forth boldly into the world preaching Jesus and his resurrection. For when sins are forgiven, they are clearly erased from the record altogether. Sermon for Midweek of Easter I
From the beginning, God’s intention was to shepherd his sheep himself. He declared through the Prophet Ezekiel that he was angry with the shepherds of Israel who had spectacularly failed: “I am against them,” he said, and went on to say, “I myself will shepherd my people Israel.” And so in the fulness of time, Christ came to us, God in the flesh, saying in fulfillment, “I am the good shepherd.” He came to lay down his life for the sheep, so full and rich is his lovingkindness for them; he held nothing back from us that he has not given us; he gave his life into death, a sacrifice by which we have been redeemed. And he rose from the dead; but this was not his reward, for his reward is his sheep, whom he gathers to himself for eternity to share in his eternal lovingkindness. And so though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, we need fear not evil, for his with us; and we shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Sermon for the Second Sunday after Easter.
The first thing the risen Christ said to his disciples was Peace be unto you. That is, to fearful, faithless fools who forgot everything they should have remembered. He had told them all these things would happen, and then the angels told them, and still they did not believe. And in addition, they had all forsaken him and fled, denied they knew him, and lost all hope. But Jesus says Peace; that is, he forgives them. And the Sunday after Easter he also forgives Thomas, who had refused to believe all the rest. And this forgiveness he gives them to preach to all the world, and forgive sins in his stead; that is, to give this peace to all the world. So let us embrace it; for we are also fools who have repeatedly failed, and have been equally fickle and should have believed. But this is the Gospel: the delivery from the apostolic messengers of his mercy and forgiveness. In Baptism, in the Supper, in the word of absolution, in preaching. Sermon for the Sunday after Easter.
The disciples on the Emmaus Road told the strange visitor that they had trusted Jesus was the one who would save them. They were trusting; they are no longer trusting. Faith has died, when he died. But now he talks with them and rekindles their faith. And so we, fools likewise by nature, find in his holy word the rekindling of faith that we also need, that we may trust and not turn away. Sermon for Easter Midweek.