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quod pro nobis traditum est

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Advent Vespers - Homily

Week of Populus Zion - Advent II
Homily on Romans 15:4-13

Why ought the Church offer a daily office like Matins in the morning or Vespers in the Evening?

The Scriptures say that "we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope" The Scriptures give hope therefore, not despair. They also do not provide hope to sinners who are unrepentant and who continue in their sin.

Therefore the Scriptures encourage us in the faith and give us patience and comfort. This is what we need at this time of year. This is what we need every day as we live in these Last Days since the First Coming of the Lord.

The God of the Scriptures grants patience and comfort so that:
- we are like-minded toward one another, according to Jesus Christ (united in Christ and in His words)
- we glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ with one mind and one mouth (as we do this evening and on the Lord's Day)

Christ has received us to the glory of God. In Holy Baptism we are in Christ. Therefore we are to receive one another as Christ has received us. We are to forgive one another as we have been forgiven. The Church is where Christ welcomes us and unites us as one, we who are of many different backgrounds.

Jesus Christ came and became a servant to circumcision to the glory of God. Thus He submitted Himself to the Law and the covenant to bring the promises made to the fathers, that is, to the Jews. So He fulfills the truth of God. Also, He does this so that the Gentiles, that is, you and I, "might glorify God for His mercy."

In Christ the Gentiles are united with the Jews as God's people. In Christ they rejoice together in His salvation and praise and glorify God. Their hope is in Christ, the root of Jesse.

God grants hope in the Scriptures. That hope is for the people of God who received the promises made to the fathers. Jesus came as was promised. As the Suffering Servant He bore the sins of all people on the cross. So it is through the seed of David that the Messiah comes and becomes the hope of all people who believe. The Scriptures give us hope because we have hope in Christ.

Therefore, all are reminded by the Scriptures to get rid of our hard-heartedness toward one another and not despair in temptations. Christ is coming again as He has promised. He is with us to the end of the age as written in divine revelation and received in the divine gifts at the altar for the forgiveness of sins. The hope in Christ is the hope that God gives; the same gift that comes from the Father by the power of the Holy Spirit.

"Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit" who with the Father and the Son be glory forever and ever. Amen.

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