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Showing posts from July, 2017

Wheat or Weeds?

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“Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, ‘Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn’” (Matthew 13:30). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! A man and his wife had just moved from an apartment in a large city to a new home out in the country. It was springtime and he was eager to get outdoors and work in the large flower garden the former owners had made back of the house. But everything was pushing up at once—tulips, thistles, blades of grass, hyacinths, weeds, and dandelions! And then there were those curious, fuzzy leaves that were coming up all over the garden. The garden had to be weeded. But there was a hitch—which ones were the weeds? The obvious ones were no problem. But what about those with the fuzzy leaves? So he asked his neighbor. “Oh, they’re weeds!” the neighbor answered. His wife said, “No, I think they’re…

The Sower Still Sows

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“A sower went out to sow” (Matthew 13:3). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! Leaving the house where He was staying in Capernaum, Jesus went out and sat by the lake. As large crowds gathered around Him, Jesus got into a boat and sat down to teach. With the rise of land on the west serving as a natural amphitheater, the people stood on the shore and listened as Jesus told a series of parables. Parables are stories of comparison, using something familiar in human experience to teach and to bring home a better understanding of the kingdom of God. The Greek word means literally “to throw alongside,” as in “throwing” a story of something well-known alongside a corresponding lesson with a deeper, hidden meaning. So, in more ways than one, “The Parable of the Sower” is a fitting example for Jesus to use to explain to His disciples how to understand parables. A sower sows his seed, and some falls upon the hardened pathway divi…

The War Being Waged Within

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Grace and peace to you from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ! There’s a war being waged in our very midst, but not many people are aware of it or they’ll try to deny it. The tyrant who once ran roughshod has been defeated for some time now, but there are still pockets of resistance. A remnant faithful to the previous regime stubbornly holds on. Insurgents stream in, wreaking havoc. Oh, I’m not talking about Iraq or Bin-Laden or any part of the so-called war on terror. I’m speaking of a war much closer to home right now in our very midst. It’s the war being waged within each Christian every day of our life.   Many people think Christian faith is about having a good attitude. Just try hard enough to follow God’s law and you’ll be able to live a Christian life. Such people haven’t truly experienced Christian faith. They don’t know how it works. Yes, Satan, that old, tyrannical dictator has already been defeated and is now imprisoned, but he still …

Jesus Has Prepared a Place for You: A Funeral Sermon

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Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! Though we would each wish it might be for another occasion, it is fitting to be here in this place today. It was here in this place that the Holy Spirit worked faith in Don’s heart through the blessed sacrament of Holy Baptism on June 14, 1936. It was in this place where Don was catechized and then confessed his faith publicly in the Rite of Confirmation with the class of 1950. If you check out the north wall of the church basement, you’ll see his picture there. It was those two formative events in Don’s life and other memories of his early years at St. John’s that influenced him to request his funeral service be held in this place. But as important as this place was to Don, there is a more crucial place we will speak of today. Jesus spoke of this place in our Gospel: “In My Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you…