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Atlantis ‹the domain of the Stingray›
The guilty think all talk is of themselves.
‹Geoffrey Chaucer›
Atlantis: the domain of the Stingray
21Aug
2016
Sun
15:33
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity

Luke 10:23-37

Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity 2016 Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

“And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested [Jesus], saying, ‘Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?’” That’s an interesting question, isn’t it? It isn’t the only time Jesus is asked the question. If you ask two of our catechumens the question, they may give you the answer, since we talked about that just about one year ago—it won’t be the one Jesus gave, because He saw right through the question to what those who were asking really wanted.

What must you do to inherit eternal life? You do nothing to inherit anything! To be an heir and inherit something, you find yourself a beneficiary of someone who has died. You exist, for one thing, and find yourself related to or befriended by another. That person dies and bequeaths something to you. That you inherit anything is totally dependent on the person on the person who has died. That’s why what you do to inherit anything is nothing! Matter-of-fact, you are a passive part of inheritance.

14Aug
2016
Sun
15:33
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Twelfth Sunday after Trinity

Mark 7:31-37

Twelfth Sunday after Trinity 2016 Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

What Jesus does in today’s text is very indicative of St. Mark’s Gospel. There’s no soft and sweet beginning to his Gospel, no angel choirs, no lineage, none of those “tedious” details. In fact, there is no softness at all throughout the Gospel. No 12-year old Jesus causing Mary to marvel, in fact, no sweet Mary at all. No, for Mark, his point is to get to the meat of the story of Christ, so the first thing he does is introduce John the Baptist. Then, Jesus arrives on the scene and is baptized. Immediately, Mark’s favorite word, Jesus makes His way into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.

The same kind of thing is happening in today’s pericope. Jesus is making His way to the Sea of Galilee when a deaf man with a speech impediment is brought to Him. Jesus pulls him aside, puts His fingers in the man’s ears, spits, touches the man’s tongue, and shouts, “Ephphatha,” “Be opened!” Immediately (see, I told you Mark likes this word), the man could hear and speak.

7Aug
2016
Sun
15:33
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Eleventh Sunday after Trinity

Luke 18:9-14; Genesis 4:1-15

Eleventh Sunday after Trinity 2016 Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

I’m going to say it again: there are only two religions in the world. If it’s been a while since you’ve heard me say that, you may be surprised to hear it. After all, there are multiple -isms and -anities out there, and it’s impossible to keep them all straight. Volumes have been written which only give synopses of the world’s many religions. However, when you get to the core tenets and facets of these world religions, they fall only into two types of religions. In many ways, they are polar opposites, yet they can be indistinguishable in many instances. And while the religions are polar opposites, the core tenets are, for all intents and purposes, complementary. Today’s Old Testament and Gospel lessons show the two religions at work.

One religion is that of the Law; the other is the religion of the Gospel. Law and Gospel are complementary in that you cannot have one without the other—the Law shows you your need for the Gospel, since you cannot keep it, and the Gospel tells you that the Law in fulfilled for you by another. However, the religion of the Law and the religion of the Gospel are polar opposites. St. Paul relates that the religion of the Law is of the devil, the world, and your sinful flesh. He states that this religion is the way of death. For, walking “according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience...in the lusts of [the] flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind,...by nature children of wrath,” adherents to the religion of the Law are dead in the trespasses and sins. (cf. Ephesians 2:1-3) Elsewhere, the apostle wrote, “...the law brings about wrath....” (Romans 4:15a) However, the religion of the Gospel declares that we are saved by grace through faith—and this faith is the gift of God, it is from the Gospel, not borne of works, not of the Law, lest anyone should boast. (cf. Ephesians 2:8-10)