Scripture: 1 Corinthians 11.26
For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
Reflection: Doing Justice to the Sacrament :: Throwback Thursday
By Martin Luther — 1519 AD
We at present see to our sorrow that many masses are held and yet the Christian fellowship which should be preached, practiced and kept before us by Christ’s example has quite perished.
This is the fault of the preachers who do not preach the Gospel nor the sacraments, but their humanly devised fables concerning the many works to be done and the ways to live aright.
But in times past this sacrament was so properly used, and the people were taught to understand this fellowship so well, that they even gathered material food and goods in the church and there distributed them among those who were in need.
Christians cared for one another, assisted one another, sympathized with one another, bore one another’s burden and affliction.
There are those, indeed, who would share the benefits but not the cost, that is, who gladly hear in this sacrament that the help, fellowship and assistance of all the saints are promised and given to them, but who, because they fear the world, are unwilling in their turn to contribute to this fellowship, to help the poor, to endure sins, to care for the sick, to suffer with the suffering, to intercede for others, to defend the truth, to seek the reformation of the Church and of all Christians at the risk of life, property and honor.
They are unwilling to suffer disfavor, harm, shame or death, although it is God’s will that they be driven, for the sake of the truth and their neighbors, to desire the great grace and strength of this sacrament. They are self-seeking persons, whom this sacrament does not benefit.
Just as we could not endure a citizen who wanted to be helped, protected and made free by the community, and yet in his turn would do nothing for it nor serve it. No, we on our part must make others’ evil our own, if we desire Christ and His saints to make our evil their own; then will the fellowship be complete and justice be done to the sacrament.
For the sacrament has no blessing and significance unless love grows daily and so changes a man that he is made one with all others.
The Morning Psalm
The Lord has heard the sound of my weeping. The Lord has heard my supplication; the Lord accepts my prayer. — Psalm 6.8-9
– From The Divine Hours: Prayers for Autumn and Wintertime by Phyllis Tickle.