THE WEEK OF TRINITY XII – THURSDAY

LESSON: LUKE 12:35‒40

“Then all those maidens rose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise replied, ‘perhaps there will not be enough for us and for you; go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’” Matthew 25:7-9

It is important for you to know how far another man’s faith can help you. The merits of others can prompt you to acquire merits of your own, but that is their limit. Even if all the angels and God’s mercy itself took your part, it would not help you, unless you adhered to that mercy with a faith of your own. One thing another man’s faith can do for you is to help you acquire a personal faith for yourself.

Similarly, even if Christ, after dying for us and giving His body and life, blood and flesh for us, were to intercede for us, it would still not help us, unless we believed in Him. But He can help us by interceding for us with His heavenly Father and saying, “Dear Father, all this I have done for men; give them faith that they may avail themselves of it.” This also helps us after we regard His works and merits as our very own possession. The same thing applies in respect to all the other saints. Their intercession and merits are of no avail at all to us unless we have personal faith.

You see this also from the events set forth in this Gospel (Mark 7:31‒37). The poor man lies there helpless; he cannot speak or hear anything. Those who brought him to the Lord can speak and hear. He does not acquire the ability to speak through their hearing and speaking. Even if they had all come forward and said, “We want to speak and hear for you,” he would have remained speechless and deaf forever and never have acquired the ability to speak.

If you make use of your faith to help me to personal faith for myself, that is helping me. Otherwise, no work or ties of brotherhood are of any avail.

SL 11:1520 (11‒12)

PRAYER: Lord God, heavenly Father, make our faith a living power in our lives, not only to believe all that You have promised us, but also to do all You command us, for Jesus’ 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, 4:370-380.