THE WEEK OF TRINITY VI – FRIDAY
LESSON: LUKE 12:57-59
“Make friends quickly with your accuser, while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison; truly, I say to you, you will never get out till you have paid the last penny.” Matthew 5:25-26
We do injury to our neighbor in many ways. When I do not protect his good name to the best of my ability and when I am unfriendly to him and refuse to help him, I am already his enemy. If I want to be acceptable to God, I must first become reconciled to my neighbor. If I do not do this, I cannot be acceptable to Him. God rejects any service I may render Him if I have previously failed in service to my neighbor.
Our lives hitherto have left much to be desired. In our insane rush to secure personal benefits for ourselves from the saints, we have almost completely neglected our neighbor. The lord reminds us here that, instead of doing such wonderful things for departed saints, we should be doing things for our living neighbors. We should pay the closest attention to the services we render our neighbor. God attaches no importance to a church we build for Him if it means that we have neglected the needs of our neighbor.
We have been taught the very opposite of this. We have been taught to put everything into pretentious foundations and institutions at the expense of our needy neighbor.
It is God’s will that we serve our neighbor, render him his due, put all matters right with him, and become reconciled to him; otherwise, He does not want to see us or hear us. Moreover, if my adversary makes an approach to me, I should willingly forgive him.
SL 11:1341 (15-18)
PRAYER: You have shown us, O Lord, that there is never any gain in putting off reconciliation and even great danger to our faith and piety in postponing it. Give us an open heart and spirit that is ever ready to forgive and forget, after Your own example and for Your name’s sake. 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, 4:167-178.