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Notes for Easter 3 – Misericordias Domini

by pastorjuhl ~ March 31st, 2008

Pius Parsch, “The Church’s Year of Grace”, Volume 3

It was, in fact, by Jesus’ death and resurrection that Christ proved Himself to be a Good Shepherd. On the cross He laid down His life for His sheep. After His resurrection He lovingly gathered together His flock. (p. 73)

Pervading the entire Mass is the note of joy struck in the Introit: “Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous.” (p. 74)

An abiding Easter joy here on earth and the everlasting joys of heaven hereafter form the object of our request in the Collect. The Good Shepherd theme is not absent from this prayer. Fallen mankind is the Lamb He has rescued. See how poetically this is expressed: “God, who by the humiliation of Thy Son didst raise up the fallen world…”. The lamb now rests upon His shoulders, blessed with an abiding joy while awaiting those heavenly joys of which Easter time is a foretaste. (p. 74)

St. Ignatius of Antioch, Letter to the Philadelphians (ANF 1:79f., 84)

Wherefore, as children of light and truth, flee from division and wicked doctrines; but where the shepherd is, there do ye as sheep follow…. He is the door of the Father, by which enter in Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the prophets, and the apostles, and the Church. All these have for their object the attaining to the unity of God.

Shepherd of Hermas (ANF 2:47f.)

“First of all, sir,” I said, “explain this to me: What is the meaning of the rock and the gate?” “This rock,” he answered, “and this gate are the Son of God…. And the gate is the Son of God. This is the one entrance to the Lord. In no other way, then, shall any one enter in to Him except through His Son.”

Blessed Martin Luther, House Postil (Complete Sermons Volume 6)

“Whoever is a pious preacher and Christian does not allow himself to be intimidated when he sees the wolf; rather, he is ready to give up his own body and life before he permits his neighbor to be robbed of the Word and a true understanding of Christ. This was true of the holy apostles, as well as the beloved martyrs; they did not flee, but bravely defied the jaws of the wolf. That is how it should still be. Whoever wishes to be a pastor must be committed with his whole heart to seek only the glory of God and the welfare of his fellow man. If, however, he does not solely seek God’s honor and the good of his fellowman, buy by his office seeks for personal gain or his neighbor’s hurt, you may be sure that he will not stay the course. Either he will shamefully flee and leave the little flock, or he will be silent and leave the sheep without pasture, that is, bereft and deprived of the Word. These are hirelings who preach for their own aggrandizement; they are greedy and never satisfied with what God daily and benevolently provides for sustenance. We preachers really require no more from our calling than food and raiment. Those who want more are hirelings who have no love for the flock; a devout pastor, on the other hand, gives up everything for the flock, even body and life. (p. 81)

A faithful preacher, therefore, should present nothing other to his people than Christ only, so that people learn to know Him, Who He is, and what He gives, and do not wander away from His Word of promise, “I am the Good Shepherd, and I give my life for the sheep,” but believe that He alone is to be esteemed as the true Shepherd and Bishop of our souls. That is what should be preached to the people, so that they may learn to know their Shepherd. Thereafter, then, we must emphasize the example of how Christ for our sake did all and suffered all, so that we, in turn, for the sake of the Word might willingly do and suffer all. Even as He carried His cross, we, too, should carry our cross. These two topics need to be preached in Christ’s Kingdom. (p. 82)

Blessed Johann Gerhard (Postilla Vol. 1)

God created the human race (along with the holy angels) as one flock, as one Church, so that both angels and men were one flock and had one Head. However, man did not stay in this flock; he jumped over the fence and confinement of the divine commandments with which God had enclosed this flock. And man fell into the raging clutches of the hellish “wolf” as a result. Thereupon the faithful Shepherd, Christ, undertook to lay His life on the line for mankind so that these poor, errant lambs might once more be ripped away from the clutches of the raging devil and once more be brought into the flock of God. That’s why the sheep are now His own, because He, along with the Father and the Holy Spirit, not only had created them but because He also accordingly has purchased them with His own blood. (p. 372f.)

1 Response to Notes for Easter 3 – Misericordias Domini

  1. Historic Lectionary » Blog Archive » Additional Notes for Misericordias Domini - John 10:11-16

    […] addition to the notes I published last […]

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