THE WEEK OF TRINITY I – WEDNESDAY

LESSON: MATTHEW 25:31-46

Through love be servants of one another. Galatians 5:13

One sin follows another. The rich man clothed in purple and faring sumptuously every day forgot his love towards his neighbor. He let poor Lazarus lie at his door and gave him no help. Even if he was disinclined to give Lazarus some help personally, he could still have ordered his servants to make a shed available to him where they could have done something for him.

This came about because he had no real understanding of God and had never experienced God’s goodness. He who has experienced God’s goodness also has some feeling for his neighbor’s misfortune. But he who has never experienced God’s goodness, also has no feeling for his neighbor’s misfortune. Even as he finds no pleasure in God, so also his neighbor’s plight never touches his heart.

Faith is so constituted that it looks to God for all that is good and relies on God alone. Out of such faith man learns to know God, how good and gracious He is. From this knowledge of God, man’s heart is also softened and inclined to mercy, so that he readily does for everyone what he feels God has done for him.

The result of all this is love, by which a man begins to serve his neighbor with his whole heart, with body and life, with property and honor, with soul and spirit. He is ready to bestow everything on his neighbor, as God has done this for him. He does not look for healthy, high, strong, rich, noble, and holy people, who have no need of him, but for the sick, the weak, the poor, the despised people who are sinners, to whom he can be useful. On these he can exercise his mercy and serve them as God has served him.

SL 11:1197 (7-8)
AE 78:57

PRAYER: Teach us, O Lord, that it is always better to give than to receive, better to serve than to be served, after Your own example, that we may always help our needy neighbor, for Your mercy and truth’s sake. Amen.