THE WEEK OF TRINITY III – FRIDAY
LESSON: 2 CORINTHIANS 1:3-7
“There is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Luke 15:10
When sinners come to Christ in response to the invitation of the Gospel, He does not reproach them with their sins. He remains silent and covers their sins. He could put us to shame and trample us underfoot, as the Pharisees do, but He does not do that. At the last judgement, He will certainly come forth, and all that has remained hidden will be revealed.
We must follow the example of Christ. A maiden must place her garland of chastity upon a whore, a pious wife must give her veil to an adulteress, and we must be prepared to use any of our garments to cover sin. Every man will have his sheep and every woman her coin. All our gifts must be placed at each other’s disposal.
In God’s judgement, there is no greater sin on this earth than that committed by pious men, women, and maidens when they despise those who are held fast in their sins. At the same time, they are under the delusion that their natural endowment can help them out. They blow themselves up with their own perfections and self-importance and despise their neighbor.
Hence, this Gospel provides powerful consolation to poor sinners because it is so friendly to sinners, and at the same time it must be a source of some fear to the Pharisees.
SL 11:1240 (17-19)
PRAYER: Have mercy on us at all times, O God, according to Your steadfast love; according to Your abundant mercy, blot out all our sins in accordance with Your promises, in and through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Amen.
Editor’s note: No American Edition (AE) equivalent for today’s sermon excerpt exists at the time of this publication. For an alternate English translation of this sermon, see Lenker, Church Postil—Gospels, 4:57-66.