The Sacramental Life, one of Transformation

Devotional Thought of the Day:

1 Jesus again used parables in talking to the people. 2 “The Kingdom of heaven is like this. Once there was a king who prepared a wedding feast for his son. 3 He sent his servants to tell the invited guests to come to the feast, but they did not want to come. 4 So he sent other servants with this message for the guests: ‘My feast is ready now; my steers and prize calves have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast!’ 5 But the invited guests paid no attention and went about their business: one went to his farm, another to his store, 6 while others grabbed the servants, beat them, and killed them. 7 The king was very angry; so he sent his soldiers, who killed those murderers and burned down their city. 8 Then he called his servants and said to them, ‘My wedding feast is ready, but the people I invited did not deserve it. 9 Now go to the main streets and invite to the feast as many people as you find.’ 10 So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, good and bad alike; and the wedding hall was filled with people. 11 “The king went in to look at the guests and saw a man who was not wearing wedding clothes. 12 ‘Friend, how did you get in here without wedding clothes?’ the king asked him. But the man said nothing. 13 Then the king told the servants, ‘Tie him up hand and foot, and throw him outside in the dark. There he will cry and gnash his teeth.’ ” 14 And Jesus concluded, “Many are invited, but few are chosen.”  Matthew 22:1-14 (TEV) 

In a radically converted, evangelically Catholic life, the love of Christ has transformed the disciple and brought him or her into an earthly experience of the love shared by the Holy Trinity— an experience of atonement, of being “at one” with God, made possible by the Paschal Mystery and the gift of the Holy Spirit. 29 That experience changes everything. It is the driving force behind the deep reform of the Church. (1)

In just a week, we come to Maunday Thursday, the day in which the church remembers the Last Supper, (even though some of us do every week, and some have the opportunity and blessing to do so daily.)

As a child, the celebration of the Lord’s Supper, the Eucharistic Feast was what I loved the most about church, and it didn’t matter which parish I was at.   St Joseph’s, which was our home parish, a more modern stone facility, or the dark and damp St Francis, where I went to school.  Or the Maronite church, or the Christian Formation Center – each place, each priest that celebrated it, whether the people communed at an all altar rail, or simply processing toward the priest and then returning to their seats, this was the highlight of the mass.

Now as a Lutheran Pastor – it still is.  My sermons, my homilies, are hopefully something that strengthens the trust that people have in God, and the reading of God’s word is promised never to be without return – without a gain.  But there is something incredible, as I see people receive the Body and Blood of Christ.  There  are bodies that visibly sigh, and relax, as burdens are taken, and peace descends upon them.  There are others, who realizing the great love of God, are moved to tears.  There are those who struggle with sin, that… struggle and squirm a little there, for they know, even if only intuitively, that they have hurt and pained the heart of God – who so desires them to come to repentance…to the transformation that is theirs, because Jesus was crucified for them.

The Body and Blood of Christ, given and shed for YOU.  O how I love to point that out!  O that all people would realize the depth of God’s love, the love in which we abide.

It is what comforts our soul, this love beyond measure, it is that love – that as Wiegel says above – transforms us, and bring us into the love that exists within the Trinity itself. As we dance and celebrate with great joy the fellowship, the communion, the love of God that changes us.

3rd quarter of 16th century

3rd quarter of 16th century (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And it not only transforms us, it will transform the church, our parishes our families.  It assures the sinner of forgiveness, of love – of a welcome home.

May we be like the bad and good  on the street – who once we are invited, come in to the feast…. the incredible feast….

and realize,,,

The Lord is with us!

 

 

Weigel, George (2013-02-05). Evangelical Catholicism (p. 48). Basic Books. Kindle Edition.

 

About justifiedandsinner

I am a pastor of a Concordia Lutheran Church in Cerritos, California, where we rejoice in God’s saving us from our sin, and the unrighteousness of the world. It is all about His work, the gift of salvation given to all who trust in Jesus Christ, and what He has done that is revealed in Scripture. God deserves all the glory, honor and praise, for He has rescued and redeemed His people.

Posted on March 19, 2013, in Devotions and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. The Lord IS with us; Immanuel!
    He comes unto us in His Word, He comes onto us in HolyBaptism, He comes into us in Holy Communion. What He finds in us and on us, He confronts. He separates as sheep and goats-
    the evil He treats with the Word kills and burns away as chemotherapy radiation treats the cancer.
    He plants anew what is lacking; He plants Love, His Love in hearts;
    He nourishes what He has restored with Gospel in Word and Sacrament.
    He binds together the weak, prunes the excessive.

    Soon His harvest!
    Much love from d to shining d !

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