THE WEEK OF TRINITY XIX – THURSDAY

LESSON: MARK 9:38‒41

“Whoever gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.” Matthew 10:42

We must spread the Word very diligently and energetically among our fellowmen. I must eat and drink, adorn and clothe myself, not merely to preserve my life but to spread the Word. Wherever the best interests of God’s Word are not the determining factor in a Christian’s life, that life is not as it should be. I must help men in regard to their conscience according to the Word. I must provide my neighbor with food and drink and do all I can for him to assist him in the most important matter of all, the settlement of his conscience.

This is the service that his friends render to the paralytic in this week’s Gospel. They certainly render him a bodily service or work, but they are also at the same time instrumental in the settlement of his soul. Hence, if I feed a hungry man, give a thirsty man a drink, clothe a naked man, and so forth, I do it not only to give him this bodily help, but in the hope that by these works I may also influence him to turn to Christ and to win him for Christ.

These works are performed outside of the kingdom, for those not in the kingdom, in the hope of bringing them into the kingdom. Whether you are man, woman, or child, you should know that Christ gives you His Gospel and brings you into His kingdom so that you should make it the one aim of your whole life to help others, the sick and the needy, in the hope of bringing them also into Christ’s kingdom or confirming them in their Christian faith.

SL.XI.1719,22‒23

PRAYER: Lord God, heavenly Father, it is Your will that we should readily help our fellowmen in every need and wherever possible make Your wonderful goodness known to them through us. Enable us at all times to let our light shine so that men may glorify You, through Jesus Christ our Lord. 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, 5:196-210.