THE WEEK OF TRINITY VIII – SATURDAY
LESSON: LUKE 6:46-49
No other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 3:11
We must remain free judges with authority to judge, accept, or reject even what popes or councils decide. If we accept anything, we should accept it because it agrees with our conscience as instructed by Holy Scripture, not just because pope or council orders it. St. Paul says in Romans that if a man has prophecy, it should be in agreement with the faith (Romans 12:6). All prophecy slanted towards works and not leading genuinely to Christ or to your own consolation is not in agreement with faith, no matter how pleasant it may be, like the revelations of the hobgoblins, masses, pilgrimages, fasts, and the search after the merits of the saints.
In these matters, many of the fathers have erred, including Gregory (the Great), Augustine, and many others. Not the least of their errors was to take away our authority to judge doctrine for ourselves. The false idea that we owe obedience to the pope and councils without question is a heart-breaking affliction which began at a definite point in history. So, you must also once again begin to say, “God has said this; God has not said this,” or “The councils have decided this,” you are building on sand.
There is no other judge on earth in spiritual matters and on Christian doctrine than a human being who has the true faith in his heart, whether it be a man or a woman, young or old, servant or maid, learned or unlearned. God is no respecter of persons. All who live according to His commandments are alike dear to Him, and so they all have authority to judge doctrine.
SL 11:1398 (14-15)
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, You have bestowed great and wonderful privileges upon us as Your children by faith in Christ Jesus. May it please You to preserve and keep us in these privileges, strong in faith and hope, for Christ our Savior’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, 4:234-245.