THE WEEK OF TRINITY XII – MONDAY

LESSON: PSALM 57:1‒3

Bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2

The Gospel for this week (Mark 7:31‒37) describes works of love. These men seize the initiative and go to the poor, deaf man with speech troubles to lend him a hand. Without their merits or any initiative from them, Christ sends forth His Word and attends to the spreading of His goodness and mercy. Accordingly, after drawing from the fountain, there is an outflowing from them which is quite spontaneous. They now share gratuitously with their neighbor, without any condemnation of merits.

Love must always do its work in this way, quite freely and with no other consideration but the neighbor’s welfare. Among other things, St. Paul says of love that it “does not insist on its own way” (1 Corinthians 13:5). To the Philippians he writes, “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:4).

This is the attitude which we find here also among these pious people. They do not need the work in question. They do not consider simply their own interests; they think only of the poor, deaf man and of how they can help him. They seek no reward. They render their services to this man quite gratuitously.

This is also the kind of sincerity which should mark your good deeds to your neighbor or otherwise you are not Christians. Mark well, then, how love is described here. It takes upon itself another man’s troubles. If we follow this example, good for us. If we refuse to follow it, God can punish us with the blindness which afflicted our forebears for almost four hundred years.

SL 11:1517 (5‒6)

PRAYER: It is your will, heavenly Father, that we should always practice our faith, especially in the love which we show to each other. Grant us your grace that we love each other without any self-interest, looking not to our own things but to the things of our neighbor, in and through Christ our 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, 4:370-380.