St Hilda's Anglican Catholic Church Service Times

You are invited to join us for Anglican Catholic Holy Communion / Mass on:
Every Sunday, Maitland NSW Australia. Venue: St Marys School Chapel in Victoria St. Mass at 11am.
Fr Matthew Kirby for further details.
Check here for any additions or cancelations of services.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Sermon Summary For Trinity 14 - 2013

Luke 17:11-19 (KJV)
And it came to pass, as Jesus went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.
And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go show yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God,And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.
"[W]hen he saw that he was healed, [he] turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at [Jesus'] feet, giving him thanks". + 

There's an old hymn, "Count your blessings", which reminds us of the importance of gratitude. There is so much we receive that is good that we did not, could not earn. Life itself, of course, as the primary blessing allowing all the others, and which we could not earn for the obvious reason that you can't earn anything before you exist. But the world around us that sustains us, through both the rich complexity of nature and the cultural and physical structures built by the human community, is something we inherit more than create. And then there are the blessings specific to us as individuals, most importantly through friends or family, less importantly through material things that bring us happiness. And, of course, God is the Creator, and so all these good things are ultimately from him. 

But whether they are general or specific, we often find it easy to forget or overlook them. Yet we find remembering pains and inconveniences quite easy. Ironically, although evils were not in themselves chosen by God, but are instead caused by the Angelic and Human Falls into sin, humans are quick to blame God for suffering, yet slow to ascribe to Him the credit for joy. 

Now, today's Gospel shows us the grateful man is one in ten. Note, however, that he is not the only one healed. The other nine were still healed, still blessed. They even must have had some faith, because, like the grateful Samaritan, they headed off to the priests at Jesus' command, in order to be certified as cured [and so able to re-enter society], before the healing had taken place. Remember, it says they were healed on the way to the priests, after leaving Jesus' presence, so they had to believe the healing before they received it. But they did not receive the commendation of the Lord and his word of encouragement, like the Samaritan did. Jesus does not condemn them or take back their healing, but they do miss out on something special. They miss out on a more personal encounter with the Lord, and the joy that comes from gratitude. 

Now all of lepers experienced the joy of healing. But the exuberant gratitude of the one who returned rejoiced in the goodness of God, not just in the goodness of what God had done. He "glorified God", that is, praised Him and proclaimed His beauty, power and love. So, his physical healing led to something even greater: spiritual wholeness, and a recognition of the highest Good, the highest happiness. 

So, thankfulness to God and praise of Him has great spiritual effect. 

But the Samaritan also thanked Jesus, who he would not have known was God, though he knew he was a powerful prophet. In other words, an attitude of gratitude is appropriate to those humans God works through to bless us in multitudinous ways. 

 In a modern society that can often seem unendingly brash, loud, rude and contemptuous, it is right for us to shine light even in small ways by graciousness and courtesy. Say thank you and mean it. Be quicker to be grateful for any good done to you, and slower to resent others' discourtesies. Making the effort to be thankful to the person who has just done the right thing by you, even though you and they both know they had not being doing so before, can make an impact. It combines forgiveness with encouragement. There may then not be any need to point out verbally the improvement in their behaviour, as the 'gratuitous gratitude', so to speak, will have done enough on its own. Be aware of your own weaknesses and idiosyncracies, and think about how often those around you have turned a blind eye to them. The Bible explicitly says "Be quick to hear and slow to speak", but it also implicitly teaches the principle, "Be quick to give thanks and slow to complain". 

Foster gratitude towards friends and family, and even strangers for small courtesies of theirs. And, above all, give thanks to God, the source of all that is good, and do so at every prayer-time and Eucharist. For what does "Eucharist" mean? Thanksgiving. Let there be no doubting his wisdom and might, beauty and holiness. 

He is worthy of all thanks and praise. +

Join us for prayer and worship during our St Hilda's Anglican Catholic communion / mass. In the chapel at St Marys Campus of the All Saint College in Victoria St Maitland NSW Australia. Our next service is on Sunday 6th October 2013 at 11am.

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