Posts Tagged ‘John’

The quote below is an entire article by Peter J. Leithart on First Things (the original article can be found here).

Four times in Revelation, John is directly told not to do something.

When he falls at the feet of Jesus, Jesus touches him with his right hand and says, “Do not fear” (1:17; Gr. me phobou).

When no one in heaven, earth, or under earth can be found to open the book, John begins to lament. One of the elders tells him, “Do not weep” (5:5; Gr. me klaie).

When he sees the harlot riding on a beast, he marvels. His guiding angel wonders at his wonder: “Why marvel?” (17:7; Gr. dia ti ethaumasas), he asks, with more than a hint of rebuke (cf. 13:3).

Twice at the end of the book, he falls at the feet of an angel and is told not to worship (19:10; Gr. ora me).

It’s a neat manual of discipleship: Do not fear. Do not lament. Do not marvel at the whore. Do not worship angels, but God.

And it’s a neat little summary of what is missing in the new Jerusalem, in the city where God dispels all fears, wipes all tears, where He alone is the Marvel who is worshiped.

One comment on Revelation 17: 7 and John marveling at Babylon the whore.  We tend to marvel, as did our brother John, the powers of this world and their magnificence.  Marveling at such power is hair’s breadth from worshiping the same.  The Lord, the Holy Spirit is clear:  do not marvel at evil.  For all its pomp and show the insides are putrefying death and hell.  Second comment: this verse verifies the reality of the Lord’s vision in the sense that John demonstrates in his marveling that he too is a sinner redeemed  in Christ.  This is no white-washed narrative but truthful as it is God’s Word.

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Text:  St. Matthew 17: 1-9

Please note:  Today we worshiped in the Sanctuary/multi-purpose room of the Hillel House, the Jewish Campus Ministry center, for Washington and Lee University (see previous post) . If you are unfamiliar about synagogues, the center of a synagogue  is the bema (the place for the Torah Scrolls) and behind it the niche for the Scrolls.  The Hillel House is quite new and contemporary and the Torah niche is locked behind large wood sliding doors.  To my pleasant surprise, the doors were unlocked.  During the Sermon I opened up the niche at the point indicated in the sermon.

Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

There are three set of threes in the Gospel lesson: 

First set:  Jesus takes up on the high mountain apart Peter, James and John

Second set:  Jesus conversing with Moses and Elijah

Third set:  The Son is transfigured, and then soon the cloud “overshadows” them all.  As when Mary asked the angel Gabriel, How can she conceive, “And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God.”  The overshadowing cloud is the sign of the Holy Spirit and then the Father speaks, This is My Beloved Son. The third set of threes is the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, three yet the one God and Lord of us all.

 The first set:  Peter, James and John

Why did the Lord select Peter, James and John from the twelve disciples?  This happened on more than one occasion, for instance, He took them apart when He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane when the Lord was sorely distressed. Yet, on both occasions, Peter, James and John fell asleep. Asleep during the glory they wanted so much.  In the previous chapter from Matthew, Peter confessed Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God.  Upon this confession, Jesus said, I will build My Church. Sounds glorious, doesn’t?   To build His Church, He said He would be arrested, beaten, crucified, cast out and on the third day rise again. Not so glorious and so  Peter basically said, God forbid.  Peter wanted glory without the Cross, that is, the full pardon of sinners in the necessary judgment of sinners which Jesus bore fully in His sinless body and soul.  Luke tells us Peter and company fell asleep during the Transfiguration, overwhelmed by the light, not able to take it in.   James and John make the request of Jesus to sit on His left hand and His right hand…Jesus told them it wasn’t for Him to give but to those so appointed, in a sense Jesus was telling James and John  they could not take in such glory.

The Old Adam cannot take in earthly glory.  When in ancient Rome, after a military victory, there would be a great parade of the soldiers, exotic animals taken in the conquest, musicians and dancers to honor the conquering Roman General and then a slave would whisper in the general’s ear:   “All glory is fleeting”.  “Sic transit Gloria mundi”, thus passes the glory of the world.  The Romans got some things right but they said it with nostalgia for a glory that would persist and endure but they could not grab with all their military might and cultural glory. We see day in and day out, famous people at the pinnacle of achievement and power, acting to the world as if the glory would last forever and we think so as well, then stupendously fall.  Proverbs 16: 18: “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.”  We will hear next week  in the Gospel for the 1st Sunday in Lent, the devil tempting Jesus three times and the two times, devil takes Him, where? The heights.  First to the pinnacle of the Temple then it is to a high mountain and then shows him all the kingdoms of the world, “…and their glory”.  We do not win in the Faustian bargain.  We cannot be safe in the devil’s dealing on our own.  Now most of us do not have to concern ourselves with such, but we do hanker after it…like at a gas station, a dollar and a dream in a lottery ticket. The Old Adam cannot take in temporal earthly glory in our depravity and so eternal glory? Hardly.  When the three disciples hear the Voice, then they fall down in terror, and Jesus touches them and they see Jesus only.  He goes to Jerusalem. No man nor woman can grab and hold on to glory, but the glory of the Word made flesh holds them and His hand is strong to save.  He is love’s pure light, His love to give and forgive in His hands.

So it was to the first set of three that the Lord showed His glory.  This is the main reason He took them with Him to the “high mountain apart”;  and then, at the end, before Good Friday, He showed them His suffering of soul in Gethsemane:   they may know that the One who goes to the Cross is fully God as He is fully man and a man, so we fully know in faith.

Second set of threes:  Jesus conversing with Moses and Elijah

Peter wanted to build three tents for the second set of threes, equally built.  Maybe another reason Jesus took the first set of three is this:  they were quick learners but like many quick learners, they can also get the lesson quickly wrong, as Peter did wanting to build those three tents.  In the midst of the glory of uncreated light, Peter butts in, he asserts himself when he should have been listening.  Not a shred of modesty and humility. 

 “…what we suffer from today is humility in the wrong place. Modesty has moved from the organ of ambition. Modesty has settled upon the organ of conviction; where it was never meant to be. A man was meant to be doubtful about himself, but undoubting about the truth; this has been exactly reversed. Nowadays the part of a man that a man does assert is exactly the part he ought not to assert—himself.” (G. K. Chesterton) 

Peter is very careful in his speech: a tent, one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah, implying Jesus is an equal with Moses and Elijah. Peter got that wrong.  Jesus is Moses’  and Elijah’s Lord. 

 “…He asked them:  Whom do men say that the Son of man is, they said to Him: Some say Elijah;  some others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.  And so He led them up into a high mountain, and showed that he was not Elijah, but the God of Elijah;  that neither was He Jeremiah, but He had sanctified Jeremiah in his mother’s womb; that neither was He our of the prophets, but the Lord of the prophets, and he had that had sent them.”—St. Ephrem

 Now in this place, to even say Jesus is equal to Moses and Elijah might be hotly contested, let alone He is the God of Elijah and Moses.  Elijah and Moses were talking with Him.  Luke tells us  the content of their holy conversation: it was about Jesus’ departure, literally His exodus.  Jesus does not insist on some bragging rights over against Moses and Elijah which would be sinful.  He wants us to know that all of that which the Lord inspired Moses and Elijah to write and to speak is to point us to the Lord. Joseph Smith and Mohammed, both heretics, rewrote the Bible, Jesus did not, He could not, for He know whom He inspired and knew what He needed for us to hear: the Law and the Prophets. These Words, in the these Scrolls, the first five books of Moses.  He did not rewrite the Bible,  He fulfilled it for us all, and He is clear that the Old Testament is God’s unaltered Word.

“…you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.(2 Timothy 3)

The Lord who called Moses and Elijah, not because they were great, but to show them His Word and now the Lord’s Word shines upon them as it did so many years ago. Still does.  In many and various ways God spoke to His people old by the prophets but now in these last days he has spoken by His Son. 

 Third set:  Father, Son and Holy Spirit

The Son is transfigured, the Holy Spirit descends in the cloud of light and the Father speaks.  Epiphany begins with Jesus’ baptism.  As the Son came up out of the water, the Holy Spirit descended as a dove and the voice spake:  Thou are my beloved Son with whom I am well pleased, the exact words the Father said of His Son in His Transfiguration but now He adds, Listen to Him.  The Father does not merely say, my Son, but my beloved Son:  for in the Lord, the Father loves the Son and that holy love pours forth in the Holy Spirit. “…God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. Peter, James and John fell in terror, not at Jesus transfigured, not at the bright cloud but at the Word of God, yet it is the Word of such holy love…maybe that’s why they were sore afraid.  On another occasion when the Lord filled his fishing boats with so many fish the boats began to sink under the weight of so much goodness, Peter fell down before Him and said, Depart, from me O Lord for I am a sinful man.  Sinful man can not gaze into the unmasked utter goodness and mercy of the living God without terror at their own wretchedness.  The Father says to them and to us all, Listen to Him.  We will hear next week, again Lent 1, tell the devil, Man does not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God, quoting the Bible, specifically Deuteronomy.  We listen and hear every Word from God in the Bible and from the Word made flesh.  The love of God in Jesus Christ, literally touched them, Rise and fear not, Peter, James and John, I have loved you from before the foundations of the world and I will go down to die and then to rise. The first set of three is you and me.  The second set of three, the Church, in which we are made part of, His Body by our baptism into the Holy set of Three, In the Name of the Father, and of the +Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

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Collect of the Day
Almighty and ever-living God, You strengthened Your apostle Thomas with firm and certain faith in the resurrection of Your Son. Grant us such faith in Jesus Christ, our Lord and our God, that we may never be found wanting in Your sight; through the same Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  

Appointed Scripture for this day:  

Judge 6:  36-40

Psalm 139: 1-12

Romans 10: 8b-15

St. John 1:  35-42a

All four Gospels mention St. Thomas as one of the twelve disciples of Jesus. John’s Gospel, which names him “the Twin,” uses Thomas’s questions to reveal truths about Jesus. It is Thomas who says, “Lord, we do not know where You are going. How can we know the way?” To this question Jesus replies, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life” (John 14:5-6). John’s Gospel also tells how Thomas, on the evening of the day of Jesus’ resurrection, doubts the report of the disciples that they had seen Jesus. Later, “doubting Thomas” becomes “believing Thomas” when he confesses Jesus as “my Lord and my God” (John 20:24-29). According to tradition, Thomas traveled eastward after Pentecost, eventually reaching India, where still today a group of people call themselves “Christians of St. Thomas.” Thomas was martyred for the faith by being speared to death.

 (Collect and Intro from The Treasury of Daily Prayer, Concordia Publishing House)

 Reflection on St. Thomas and this Verse:

Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.            St.John 20: 29

 We may think that our Lord’s only Beatitudes are those recorded in St. Matthew 5 at the  beginning of His Sermon on the Mount.  No, they are throughout the Gospels including this one to Thomas and us all.  In a sense, Thomas was privileged in his doubt to be an example of the maxim “seeing is believing”.  But our Lord’s beatitude directs us to the more Biblical understanding of the centrality of the Word of God:  hearing is believing.

14How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”  (Romans 10)

The Lord was preparing Thomas and his brethren for the apostolic Ministry of preaching and teaching the Word of God, the Word of His Gospel to repentant sinners for many to hear and so believe.  Even what Thomas and the apostles saw that first evening of the new creation were wounds of a crucifixion.  Not glorious by any stretch of worldly imaginations  but glorious in love’s pure light who died for sinners…as Thomas, as you, making faith.  His wounds are preached scars of our forgiveness in the One Who alone is the way, the truth and life, no one else, as Thomas also heard.  Pastors are called to preach the blood, preach the manger, preach the cross: preach Jesus Christ and Him crucified.  And Thomas was called to preach His wounds! From His side flowed water and blood (John 19:34), Holy Baptism and Holy Communion.  Pastors are called to administer the Sacraments.  Thomas’ eyes were blessed in seeing but his feet were beautiful in the sermon he preached: Jesus Christ.

Crown him the Lord of love.
Behold his hands and side,
Rich wounds, yet visible above, 
In beauty glorified.
No angels in the sky
Can fully bear that sight,
But downward bend their burning eyes
At mysteries so bright.

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Text:   And Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”  St. Matthew 11: 5-6

The prophet of the Lord, John the Baptizer was unsure of Jesus’ identity.  This is a puzzle  that John is not sure regarding the identity of Jesus:  Are you the one or should we expect another?  After all, John and Jesus’ Mothers were kinswomen, cousins.  Mary visited John’s Mother Elizabeth and Elizabeth exclaimed that when Mary’s greetings reached her ears the child in Elizabeth’s womb leapt.  How could you have doubts, John?  One interpretation is  John sent his disciples to Jesus so John’s disciples would be sure; and yet the clear meaning of the text is that John has doubts.   John too needed consolation and comfort.  Tell John what you see and hear, the deaf hear, the blind see, the lame walk, the dead are raised and the poor are preached good news. As the Apostle Paul was inspired to pen:  ” For all the promises of God find their Yes in (Jesus Christ). That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.”  2 Corinthians 1:20  All of the promises of God are fulfilled in the Man who sandals John said he was not worthy to stoop down and untie.  

We all need reassurance, comfort and consolation. John was in a noble company of those who were afraid, tired, frail…even though we hail them as great saints.

  • The Lord sent Moses with His message of freedom to Pharoah: Let my people go.  Through Moses the Lord wrought great signs and wonders, but Pharoah double-downed on Israel by taking away the straw to make bricks, though they had to make more. “O Lord, why have you done evil to this people? Why did you ever send me?23 For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has done evil to this people, and you have not delivered your people at all.” (Exodus 5:22-23) This would not be the last time Moses would so pray to the Lord.
  • Later, when by God’s grace and power the false prophets were disgraced on Mount Carmel, the prophet Elijah was on top of his game, if you will.  Then in practically the next verse we read that King Ahab’s wife Jezebel had sworn to kill Elijah.  Elijah fled for fear of life and hid himself in a cave.  
  • Jeremiah was thrown into a muddy cistern, left to die, for preaching God’s Word.  He was hounded day and night, and he cried out cursed was the day when they said to my mother, you have a son, it would have been better I were never born. 
  • St. Paul appealed in prayer to the Lord three times for Him to removed Paul’s “thorn in the flesh”, some debilitating disease, it was not granted.  My grace is made sufficient in weakness. 

The Lord, Emmanuel, God with us, did not let Moses, Jeremiah, Ezekiel or Paul go. He went with them, not necessarily to get them out of the trial and temptation but to guide them through it, for His purpose which is always faith, hope and love, desires all people to be saved.  Likewise, the Lord pursued John.

Why should John be doubting?  He baptized thousands upon thousands, preached the Word of God, led an exemplary life, obeyed the Lord…couldn’t he trust in his own works to give himself comfort? Not when faced with imprisonment, torture and the threat of almost certain capital punishment.  Tell John what you hear and see…Jesus preached the promise:  Go and tell John what you see and hear:  the lame walk, the blind see, the dead are raised and good news is preached to the poor.  It is so clear that good works do not save us, nor give us counsel in the hour of trial and temptation. .   Many times you have heard about my friend and mentor Pastor Lou Smith.  He spoke  in some five languages.  He could preach in German.  He taught Lutheran seminarians in Namibia, Southern Africa.  He was generous with his time to teach and counsel, he was a faithful husband and father and brother in Christ…yet in 2004, before he was taken in for surgery, (he died before he was brought into surgery), he asked his pastor, Jim Pence:  Are the promises true? Yes, Lou, they are true.  We all need to hear God’s Word of promise.  Lou could not trust in his own good works to save him. Good works are obviously good but it is the Word of promise alone, the Gospel which revives the soul, strengthens the heart in true faith, stirs up hope and produces the good fruit of love.

What was the promise Jesus preached to John?  For awhile the disciples of John became Jesus’ disciples:  go and tell John what you hear and see.  They were hearing and seeing the promises fulfilled.  Jesus’ good works are His sermon.  The most remarkable of which is not the dead are raised but the good  news is preached to the poor.  As Luther preached, The Father sent the rightful king to preach to the poor is a far greater miracle.  Jesus’ first formal sermon begins with the beatitudes, the first one being:  Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God. Present tense, present tense blessing from the present tense Savior.  The Lord does not ordain the great and powerful, the wise and omnicompetent to preach His Word.  Luther, days before he died, preached, it is true we are all beggars.  Jesus is the beggar king, to raise out of the depths, beggars, sinners.  He preached His sermon through the dead, the lame, the blind, the deaf, the poor, for the dead, the lame, blind, deaf, poor.  He does so gently and sweetly, tell John, what you hear and see, the  sermon of His undying love for John and for you.  Now John, in prison knows, that first beatitude, blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. And he hears another beatitude, And blessed is the one who does not stumble on account of me.  Jesus Christ is Himself the beatitude of the Father to weary sinners.  His manger and His Cross are His sermon to us, the living Christmas card and greeting for you:  telling us what He did, is doing and will do when He comes again at the final Advent.

Jesus asked the the crowd, What did you go out to see?  A reed shaken by the wind? Luther called preachers shaken by a reed, by popular opinion in order to “…temper the truth to the sensitive fastidiousness of fashionable hearers”, ”reed preachers”.  John was no reed-preacher. Then there are those preachers who teach that yes, Jesus will sure help you do the good deeds to get into heaven, if you just do good works, are purpose driven, witness to 10 people this week, give God the glory everyday.  I will call them “deed preachers”.  And there are those who preach Jesus Christ for weary sinners, those who mourn, who are poor in spirit, who make for peace, all whom Jesus blessed in the Beatitudes.  The Church catholic and confessional which preaches Jesus Christ, the fullness of God, the fullness of man, who came down to heaven, who’s Advent we celebrate as He drew near in the Womb of the Virgin Mary. The Church with those preachers are Creed preachers.  Reed, deed or Creed preachers.  John was no reed preacher, with his polling numbers in hand to tailor the message, to make millions and live in soft clothing in a mansion built by ministry dollars.  John preached the Creed that the Messiah is coming, the Coming One and out of the Creed, faith,  comes forth deeds, maybe not as great as John’s, but the fruit of love, joy and peace endures in families, churches, societies and cultures.  John was steadfast in the Word.  He did not blow with the prevailing wind, yet he could be shaken. Living the creed in our daily vocations, but even if they are outstanding deeds, they do not save the soul, only one deed has and will,  the deed of Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh. And like Isaiah preached God’s Word another time:

The Lord God has given me
    the tongue of those who are taught,
that I may know how to sustain with a word
    him who is weary. Isaiah 50:4

We too can sustain the weary with a Word, God’s Word.   We know only God’s good work:  Jesus Christ.  The violent, like Herod who killed all the male children under two to kill the Christ, lay violent hands on God’s reign to stop it.  They can not.  His good work won’t allow it.  It’s stupid to try to take Christ out of Christmas, the Lord has not allowed it. He seeks us to find us.  John prepared the way.  John was Elijah in every which way, including being in the cave of doubt and worry.  Oh, for a love that will not let me go.   He held John in His promises fulfilled is what He wills for you as well.

The peace of God which surpasses all understanding, guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Amen.


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This is He who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not by the water only but by the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth.7 For there are three that testify: 8 the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree.

Reflection:  John reports in his Gospel that when the Roman soldier lanced the Lord’s side, “…and at once there came out blood and water.” (St. John 19: 34)  The text does not say something “like” water and blood issued forth but actual water and blood.  Earlier in John’s Gospel, in our Lord’s conversation with Nicodemus, John 3, He taught him and us saying,Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.  This refers to Holy Baptism.  After the Lord feeds the 5,000 men, and women and children, He taught, John 6:  “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.” In Matthew, Mark and Luke,  in the night in which He betrayed, Jesus taught  His chosen disciples: This is My Body over the bread and over the cup, This is My Blood.  In the Gospels this is practically the only time the Lord links His Crucifixion with the forgiveness of sins is in the Words in Institution:   “…for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” (St. Matthew 26: 28)  The Apostle Paul reiterates the same Words of Institution in 1 Corinthians 11.  The water and the blood are Holy Baptism and Holy Communion. The Holy Spirit’s proper and good work is to teach Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.  Like a good teacher, He uses means, the Word and the Sacraments are His power point pointing us to Jesus said and did.  So, as it is written,  all three testify in the unity of the three, as it is written in 1 John, today’s epistle reading, so that we believe.

The Word became flesh.  The sacraments are, if you will, His delivery system for the quickening of faith, hope and love.  Baptism and Communion are the means of grace, His means of grace.  He comes to us in actual water and wine and bread, all part of His good creation, with His Word promised and incorporated and comprehended in the water, wine and bread.  Man is unity of body and soul and will be raised as such, even as Jesus Christ rose body and soul.  The reason He gives us Himself in Holy Communion is “bodies do not believe and souls do not eat” (Rev. Hermann Sasse).  Why does the Lord do such?  As C. S. Lewis wrote, God likes matter, after all He created it (see Genesis 1!).  Anyone who talks about “spirituality” divorced from creation is preaching and teaching the devil’s air (cf.Ephesians 2:2).  True spirituality is Holy Spirit-uality, as today’s Epistle reading eloquently states.  

Water, blood, and Spirit crying,

By their witness testifying

To the One whose death-defying

  Life has come, with life for all.

     –Water, Blood and Spirit Crying (Lutheran Service Book, #597: 1)

For a longer reflection:  The following quote is from Leo the Great, Bishop of Rome (c. 400 – 10 November 461), as cited by Pastor Scott Murray in  A Year with the Church Fathers (Concordia Publishing House) on today’s Epistle:

“If anyone receives the Christian faith and does not turn his ears away from the preaching of the Gospel, let him see what nature hung pierced with nails on the wooden cross; and when the side of the Crucified was opened by the soldier’s spear, let him understand from what that blood and water flowed so that the Church of God might be watered from the font and from the cup. Let him hear also the blessed apostle Peter, proclaiming that the sanctification of the Spirit takes place through the sprinkling of Christ’s blood (1 Peter 1:2). And let him not read cursorily the same apostle’s words when he says, ‘Knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot’ (1 Peter 1:18-19). Let him not resist also the witness of the blessed apostle John, who says, ‘The blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin‘ (1 John 1:7).

And again, ‘This is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? This is He who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not by the water only but by the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. For there are three that testify: the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree’ (1 John 5:4-8). The Spirit, that is, of sanctification, and the blood of redemption, and the water of Baptism, because the three are one; they remain undivided, and not one of them is separated from this connection. The Church catholic lives and advances in this faith, that in Christ Jesus we do not believe in the humanity without the true divinity, nor in the divinity without the true humanity” (Leo the Great, The Tome, 5).

Prayer of the Day

Lord God, heavenly Father, Your Son, Jesus Christ, began His ministry through a water Baptism in the Jordan River that led Him to a bloody baptism on the cross. Even now, He saves us through the water of Holy Baptism and the blood of the cup of the new testament. Grant us steadfastness to trust in water and blood as the means by which He continues to offer us His gracious presence; for He lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. 

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