Thursday, March 29, 2012

Thursday of Lent 5

How can bodily eating and drinking do such great things?

It is not the eating and drinking, indeed, that does them, but the words, which stand here, namely: Given, and shed for you, for the remission of sins. Which words are, beside the bodily eating and drinking, as the chief thing in the Sacrament; and he that believes these words has what they say and express, namely, the forgiveness of sins.

Who, then, receives such Sacrament worthily?

Fasting and bodily preparation is, indeed, a fine outward training; but he is truly worthy and well prepared who has faith in these words: Given, and shed for you, for the remission of sins. But he that does not believe these words or doubts is unworthy and unfit; for the words For you require altogether believing hearts.

 When Christ tells us that His body was given and His blood was shed “for the remission of our sins” He expects us to believe this; and believing these words, we have “what they say and express namely the forgiveness of sins”. Faith is the hand that takes what the words of Christ here offer. Such faith is spiritual eating and drinking. We appropriate to ourselves the blessings of the Sacrament, while with our mouths we receive the pledge of this promise, namely, the body and blood under the bread and wine.

O Lord, our God, in Holy Baptism You have called us to be Christians and granted us the remission of sins. Make us ready to receive the most holy body and blood of Christ for the forgiveness of all our sins, and grant us grateful hearts that we may give thanks to You, O Father, to Your Son, and to the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Collect For the right reception of the Lord’s Supper, Lutheran Service Book © 2008 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis
Julius Schnoor von Carolsfeld ©WELS

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