Collect of the Day

Almighty God, who called Your faithful servant Boniface to be a witness and martyr in the lands of Germany and Friesland, and by his labor and suffering raised up a people for Your own possession, pour forth Your Holy Spirit upon your Church in every land, that by the service and sacrifice of many Your holy Name may be glorified and Your kingdom enlarged; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Biography:  Boniface was born in the late seventh century in England. Though he was educated, became a monk, and was ordained as a presbyter in England, he was inspired by the example of others to become a missionary.  The 8th century the Church was international: Rome, England, Germany, Frisia (Holland) were all part of the Boniface’s bio and mission.   The Word created the uncommon common culture of the Church. Upon receiving a papal commission in 719 to work in Germany, Boniface devoted himself to planting, organizing, and reforming churches and monasteries in Hesse, Thuringia, and Bavaria. After becoming an archbishop, Boniface was assigned to the See of Mainz in 743. Ten years later he resigned his position to engage in mission work in the Netherlands. On June 5, 754,  Pentecost that year, and at sunrise, while reading the Gospel to a group of the newly Baptized, a band of pagan Frisians attacked Boniface and the neophytes.  Boniface and the neophytes were massacred. According to reports, Boniface was carrying a Bible and it was stabbed. So his emblem is the one you see above. In Fulda, Germany, are the remains of Boniface along with the purported Gospel book he was holding with slash marks. Boniface died while catechizing. He was around 80 years old.

The Feast Day of St. Boniface is June 5, A.D. 754. On June 6, 1944, was D-Day, the greatest invasion force in the history of mankind was launch from England upon Fortress Europe, the Nazi Empire and Tyranny.   Boniface was an English priest and pastor and he and many others began another great invasion force into the German lands, with angels and archangels and the whole company of heaven, to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ into those dark lands of paganism (for instance, many worshiped the Norse god, Thor), with the light of the Gospel to call them out of darkness into His most marvelous light.  The invasion into Europe and Nazism took two years.  St. Boniface and mission took ten years…and continued and  still needs to continue…as Europe is in the tyranny, as our beloved nation, of socialism, materialism and spiritualism that willingly kills babies in the womb. Bishop Boniface and the catholic Church were up against stupendous odds, as were the Allied Forces…but the Lord and His Church is up against the powers of sin, death and the devil over and in the hearts of men.  Which is easier to conquer?  Boniface was up against a lot (see the quote below from one of  his letters)…and this is the good fight of Faith for the Lord has made us His own.  Like war, in the spiritual war there are casualties like St. Boniface and others in his company.  There is some good in the world and it’s worth fighting for and Jesus the Christ has won the battle and reclaimed who is His own.  The fight goes on, as C. S. Lewis taught during World War II:

“In all of us God “still” holds only a part. D-Day is only a week ago. The bite so far taken out of Normandy shows small on the map of Europe. The resistance is strong, the casualties heavy, and the event uncertain. There is, we have to admit, a line of demarcation between God’s part in us and the enemy’s region. But it is, we hope, a fighting line; not a frontier fixed by agreement.”

 From a letter from Bp. Boniface to Bp. Daniel of Winchester, “…we have fightings within as well as fears, caused especially by false priests and hypocrites, enemies of God, ruining themselves, misleading the people with scandals and false doctrines, and crying to them, as the prophet says, “Peace! Peace! when there is no peace.”  They strive to cover and choke with weeds or to turn into poisonous grain the seed of the Word which we have received from the bosom of the Catholic and Apostolic Church and have tried to sow.  What we plant they do not water that it may increase but try to uproot that it may wither away, offering to the people and teaching them new divisions and errors of divers sorts…that murderers and adulterers who persist in their crimes may nevertheless be priests of God.”

When Boniface was killed, the assailants stabbed the Gospel book he was carrying
American propaganda against the Nazis, and yes over the centuries many, even from our midst, want to kill the Word and His messengers….

It is as obvious as the nose on my face that Memorial Day is about remembering those who fell in battle in defense of our Nation, the Constitution and the freedoms and responsibilities  contained therein.  We forget.  We need to be reminded so much these days as  we live in age of forgetfulness that thinks history began with us and that there was nothing before us. We can’t look any further than the current screen before our eyes. We suffer from cultural dementia.  Memorial Day is about our Nation’s history from 1776 till today and the many wars fought so I can write this reflection and you can read it in free nation. We go merrily our way and forget our way as Americans and also as Christians in  our houses, in the Lord’s House, in the nation which is a house divided and remembering and learning the way of political and spiritual freedom. The price of freedom is eternal diligence. What can grab hold of the mind and soul is to know that in military cemeteries here and over the world, real men and real women, of all races and religions, died to keep us free and there were laid to rest.  President Lincoln at a cemetery in Gettysburg, PA called the nation to remembrance and after the Civil War began the good custom of remembering the fallen and  remembering the Lord Who calls us to freedom..  What Lincoln said that day so many years ago is not only about the Civil War but every war at every military gravesite and cemetary as a call today that,

“…the brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” 

So, help us God!

Reflection:  The word “spirit” in Biblical Hebrew is “ruah”.  Spirit in Biblical Greek is “pneuma”.   Our English word, which is from the Latin, “spirare” translates well both Hebrew and Greek: all three words can also be translated as “breath” or “wind”.  So our Lord uses these different definitions in a word play  in John 3.  Scripture reports in Acts 2 that the descent of the Holy Spirit was like a “mighty rushing wind.”

Now our English word “spirit” is from the Latin original “spirare” is also the second syllable of these following words and taken together form a whole Bible study of the work of the Holy Spirit.

  • expire
  • respire
  • inspire
  • conspire
  • transpire
  • perspire
  • aspire

Expire:  literally without breath .The “s” has dropped out in our pronunciation.  We were dead in our trespasses, spiritually dead, expired.  In sin we are spiritually in the tomb with Lazarus until the Lord calls out by His Word: Come out!   When we sin again we are without breath till repentance and forgiveness.

Respire:  literally, to breathe again. The Holy Spirit performs resuscitation in the work and word of Jesus Christ so we  can breathe again.

Inspire:   breathe in.  All Scripture is inspired by God, God-breathed.  He breathes in the Word and makes it alive as Jesus Christ is alive.  Scripture is also for the Holy Spirit to rebuke sin and reconcile us once again to the Lord.  Every Word of the Bible, either Law or Gospel, is inspired.

Conspire:  literally breathe together.  The Holy Spirit builds us up in Christ to the glory of God the Father, a holy conspiracy, that is, His Church so that the Word is preached, taught, administered, served, confessed and believed upon in the world.

Transpire:  literally breathed across, as in the whole history of Israel culminating in the 3 great feast days of the church and in the Church today till the day when forgiveness will no longer be needed in the Resurrection and the new heavens and earth: Come, Lord Jesus, come. The Spirit and the Bride say come!

Perspire:  literally breathe through, that is sweat! The Holy Spirit works and man sweats, when we know the depth of our wrong and nothing we can do to extricate our selves from it.  We sweat and panic and the Holy Spirit blows upon us the Word of Christ to soothe,cool, heal…forgive and so make us holy. 

Aspire:  to breathe towards, to want to do better.  We can not aspire and be saved on our own, we are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ.  But once baptized and forgiven, we aspire to be made holy in our lives through faith, the fruit of which is love, joy, peace, etc. by walking in the Spirit, feeding on His Word and Sacrament day by day, for as branches are to the vine, we can do nothing without Him.

All of these words describe the work of the Holy Spirit in the preaching and teaching of Jesus Christ.  The Holy Spirit is not an independent operator but works in perfect sync with the Father and the Son, who is forever to be worshiped and glorified in His Church, one God, one Lord,  both now and forever. Amen!

 Almighty and ever-living God, You fulfilled Your promise by sending the gift of the Holy Spirit to unite disciples of all nations in the cross and resurrection of Your Son, Jesus Christ. By the preaching of the Gospel spread this gift to the ends of the earth; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

The Ascension of Our Lord: Ascension Day is the coronation celebration of our Lord as He is proclaimed to be King of the universe. Jesus’ ascension to the Father is His entrance to the greater existence beyond the confines of time and space, being no longer bound by the limitations of His state of humiliation. Jesus now sits at the right hand of God, which Luther correctly taught is everywhere, having again taken up the power and authority that were His since before time. Yet our Lord is present with us who remain bound by time and space. He is with us as true God and true man, exercising His rulership in the Church through the means of grace which He established: His Word and His Sacraments. We mortals in those means of grace can grasp the King of the universe and receive a foretaste of the feast to come.


Acts 1:1–11  Ephesians 1: 15–23   St. Luke 24:44–53

Collect of the Day

Almighty God, as Your only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, ascended into the heavens, so may we also ascend in heart and mind and continually dwell there with Him, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

The Ascended Lord Jesus Is with Us Always in His Church on Earth

After He rose from the dead, the Lord Jesus presented Himself alive to the apostles, “appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God” (Acts 1:3). When He ascended to the right hand of the Father, He did not orphan His Church, but He fills all things in heaven and on earth and gives gifts to His disciples. Even now, through His Church, He continues “to do and teach” (Acts 1:1), preaching “repentance for the forgiveness of sins” (Luke 24:47) even “to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Though the cloud hid Jesus from the sight of His disciples then, and He remains hidden from sight even now, He remains with His people through His Gospel and Sacraments. He comes to us by the Word of His apostles, by the promise of His Father and by the power of the Holy Spirit, whom He pours out upon “the church, which is his body” (Eph. 1:22–23). In this holy Christian Church, we bless God and worship Christ with joy, for in His Church He blesses us with forgiveness, lifts us up in His hands and seats us with Himself “in the heavenly places” (Eph. 1:20).

At his Coronation, King Charles III held the Orb which signifies that Christ is the King of all Nations, indeed of the universe. To me he looks like he could say, “Now what am I suppose to do with this thing!?” He would be right in so asking and the answer is: nothing. Maybe the King was humbled by this symbol as rule is subject to the King of the Univese. The King of England, any monarch, prime minister, corporate billionaire, dictator, etc. etc. and ad nauseum can’t do anything. Yet, the King of England as head of the Church of England can do something: protect the rule of Christ in the United Kingdom of his subjects and His subjects which is for eternal life, the Kingdom of God that Jesus proclaimed, died for and lives that we may live: ascended, over all authorities and powers, Lord of all nations.

Fallen Adam’s intention is the desire to absolute rule as monarchs, prime ministers, corporate billionaires, dictators, etc. etc. and ad nauseum testify over the long history of Adam. These rulers, even the old Adam in each of us, resist and rebel against His rule of power and love. His rule is not the love of power, but the power of His love. The love of power marks the old Adam, the power of love marks the rule of the Man from heaven. He sends out His Church at His Ascension into all the world to spread His reign. This King. the only true King is with us. We are to follow His outstretched arm and our task, unlike the rule of fallen man is not to master the public but to make public the Master.

As Fr. Richard John Neuhaus wrote and preached that we are emissaries of a disputed Sovereign. Again His rule is not liked, to say the very least and many of those whom He has sent are derided and killed, as of the 12 Apostles, eleven of whom were executed. Their blood, and of so many martyrs, testify to His forgiveness which sets us right in true repentance. As Fr. Neuhaus preached:

In the right ordering of our loves and loyalties, we are patriots of this foreign country called America, which is also our homeland; but we are patriots bound by a higher patriotism to the country that is our true home,¯the country, the Kingdom, where the sovereignty of the ascended Lord is no longer disputed. Like St. Thomas More, we are “the king’s good servants, but God’s first.” And we are the king’s better servants because we are God’s first…Jesus says, “And you will be my witnesses.”…Our only power is the power of witness. We should want no other, we need no other. The Church is the people ahead of time the community that bears witness now to what one day will be recognized by all when “every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.”

We live in the clash of Kingdoms. The kingdoms of this world, when necessary, use the sword of steel, but the Kingdom of God we are wield the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. Again, Fr. Neuhaus:

In the midst of the clashes of the principalities and powers of the present age, you have been “clothed with power from on high” to bear witness to the One who was and is and is to be…you bear witness. Your only power, our only power, is the power of witness. We should want no other. We need no other. “Amen, come, Lord Jesus.” Amen.

(These quotes are from a Sermon that Fr. Neuhaus, now of blessed memory, preached at the annual Memorial Mass of the Military Vicariate at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., on the Feast of the Ascension, 2007.  It can be found here.)

St. Luke 12: 8-9 “And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God, but the one who denies me before men will be denied before the angels of God.

“Let us be calmly confident in this cause which has to do with God’s word. Christ, whose cause it is, will staunchly defend and uphold it against the cunning of the vile devil and the tyranny of the wicked and deceitful world. For those who confess him before this evil and adulterous generation and must suffer much thereby, Christ in turn will confess them before his heavenly Father and requite them for their suffering with the delights of eternity [Matt. 10:32]. God himself says, I Samuel 2 [:30], “He who honors me, I will honor.” Even if the waves of the sea are strong and huge billows rise up and roar furiously as though they would drown us, the Lord is still on high and has begun a kingdom as wide as the world which he now rules and s decreed that it shall endure. He is greater, yes, almighty, and he will accomplish it. Amen.…

“Therefore the only thing necessary for us to do is to believe and to pray most confidently in Christ’s name that God will give us strength, since he has erected his kingdom and this is his doing. It is he who without our help, counsel, thought, or effort has brought his kingdom forth and has advanced and preserved it to this day. I have no doubt that he will consummate it without our advice or assistance. Because “I know in whom I believe,” as St. Paul says [II Tim. 1:12], I am certain that he will grant me more, do far more abundantly, and help and counsel us beyond all that we ask or think [Eph. 3:20]. He is called the Lord who can and will help in a wonderful, glorious, and mighty way, particularly when the need is the greatest. We are meant to be human beings, not divine. So let us take comfort in his word and, trusting his promise, call upon him confidently for deliverance in time of distress and he will help.—Martin Luther

Concordia Publishing House. Treasury of Daily Prayer (Kindle Locations 8097-8099). Concordia Publishing House. Kindle Edition.

The sure side of being on the “right side of history”, per Athanasius, is that the world will be against you.

Concordia and Koinonia

st. athanasius | Tumblr

Collect of the Day

Almighty God, your Holy Spirit gives to one the word of wisdom, and to another the word of knowledge, and to another the word of faith. We praise you for the gifts of grace imparted to your servant Athanasius, and we pray that by his teaching we may be led to a fuller knowledge of the truth which we have seen in your Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

Readings:Acts 20:19-35 Psalm 71:1-8 2 Corinthians 4:5-14 St. Matthew 10:23-32

Athanasius was born in Alexandria in Egypt in A.D. 295. He served as a church leader in a time of great controversy and ecclesiastical disagreements. At the Council of Nicaea in 325, he defended Christian orthodoxy against the proponents of the Arian heresy, which denied the full divinity of Jesus Christ. During his 45-year tenure as bishop of Alexandria, Athanasius wrote numerous works that defended the orthodox…

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As I look at myself, I have much to learn to be conversant for Christ. Maybe we are still learning to talk! And so, “As newborn babes: desire the sincere milk of the Word.” (see 1 Peter 2:1-3!)

Concordia and Koinonia

Collect of the Day for the Second Sunday of Easter

Grant, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, that we who have celebrated the solemnities of the Lord’s Resurrection, may, by the help of Thy grace, bring forth the fruits thereof in our life and conversation; through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end. Amen.

Collect for the Festival of St. Mark, Evangelist

O Almighty God, Who hast instructed Thy holy Church with the heavenly doctrine of Thy Evangelists: Give us grace, that being not like children carried away with every blast of vain doctrine, we may be established in the Truth of Thy holy Gospel; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end. Amen.

Readings:   Isaiah 52: 7-10  Psalm…

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One of my favorite comedians is Steven Wright. Quite frankly, I had not thought about his stand-up in some time but was recently reminded of him on Facebook. His delivery is very understated which makes his observations pop and made me pop about truth. Go to You Tube and check out his routines! Below are some of his one-liner comments.-Pr. Schroeder

  1. I’d kill for a Nobel Peace Prize.
  2. A conscience is what hurts when all your other parts feel so good.
  3. A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
  4. If you want the rainbow, you got to put up with the rain.
  5. All those who believe in psycho kinesis, raise my hand.
  6. OK, so what’s the speed of dark?
  7. If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something.
  8. When everything is coming your way, you’re in the wrong lane.
  9. Hard work pays off in the future; laziness pays off now.
  10. I intend to live forever…So far, so good.
  11. If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends?
  12. Eagles may soar, but weasels don’t get sucked into jet engines.
  13. What happens if you get scared half to death twice?
  14. My mechanic told me, “I couldn’t repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder.”
  15. Why do psychics have to ask you for your name?
  16. If at first you don’t succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried.
  17. Experience is something you don’t get until just after you need it.
  18. The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard.
  19. The sooner you fall behind, the more time you’ll have to catch up.
  20. Everyone has a photographic memory; some just don’t have film.
  21. If at first you don’t succeed, skydiving is not for you.

“…Christ shows in actuality what is the universal hour for help from God the Lord: When everything else has declined to a dead end, when human reason no longer knows how to come up with answers.  Philo wrote a beautiful saying about this: ‘Where human help come to an end, there divine help comes to the rescue.”

“Through His resurrection, the Lord Christ entered into His glory, Luke 24:26, and became a partaker of heavenly brightness and highest majesty. In such a state of His exaltation, what was to be His role? Was He to use His joy and glory only for Himself and no longer have a concern for how it is going with His disciples? Not so! Instead, He was concerned that His resurrection be made known to them and that thereby they be transformed from their sadness into joy. That’s why He was not content just to let the angels make the proclamation about His resurrection to the disciples. Rather, He Himself came and first appeared to Mary Magdalene, and soon thereafter to the other women who had come to the grave, then to the apostle Peter, and in particular to these two disciples as they were going towards Emmaus, to make known thereby His kindly disposed heart, that He gladly associates with people like us.”

Johann Gerhard Postilla*: An Explanation of the Sunday and Most Important Festival Gospels of the Whole Year, Volume 1, Sermons for the Church Year from Advent through Pentecost (Quotes from Page 161; Page 323) *Postilla is a Book of Sermons

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