Homily for the Seventh Sunday after Trinity

A Homily for the Seventh Sunday after Trinity

14 July 2013

Holy Apostles Anglican Church, Pewaukee, WI

Mr. Zachary Braddock, Seminarian

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

When someone looks at you, what do they see? What do they experience? Do they see Christ, in and through you? Do they look at you, and see a member of Christ’s One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church? A member of that church, in the world, but not of it?

At the Incarnation, the Divine takes on the Human. At the Resurrection, humanity is raised from the dead. Because of this, everything changes. Those who have died with Christ and risen to new life have changed. Those who have been washed in the blood of the lamb and the waters of Baptism have been freed from slavery to sin and become servants of the Father. As St. Paul says, “the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus.”[1] Through our baptism we have been freed from the debt of original sin and we may enter into relationship with the Father, from whom we derive our very being. Once baptised, we are invited to return to the Father, invited to take up eternal life, invited to share in the Father’s plan of redemption, through which he wills that the entire world should be transformed and assumed into the divine plan.

When we rise with Christ, we rise as members of his Body, the Church. As members of the Body of Christ, as members of the Church, we are citizens of the Kingdom over which Christ reigns. Created in the image and likeness of God, and redeemed by his Son, we are called to reveal the kingdom, to reveal the unity of the Church, to reveal the redemption offered through Jesus Christ. We are called to be the Salt of the Earth[2]. This parish, this diocese, this church is called to be a city set on a hill.[3] We have been given the light of Christ. We cannot hide it under a basket. It must shine out into every corner of the world.[4] It must shine in every moment of our life.

That light must shine here, Sunday after Sunday, year after year. That light must shine in Baptism, in Confession, in Eucharist. It must shine on Monday, and Tuesday, and every day following. Christ must shine through us, in every moment, when we are alone and when we are with others. If we are to unite ourselves with the Father, our own will must conform to His. I like to say that our hearts need to beat in tandem with the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

I often hear people talking about how we are losing the culture wars, and about how we live in a post-Christian society. I won’t argue with that. It is not the first time, and it is not the last. Francis Cardinal George, Archbishop of Chicago, possibly said it best:

“I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square. His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the church has done so often in human history.”

When I was in college, I had the opportunity to meet the rector of a Russian seminary. I asked him what the wider church could learn from the Russian Church’s experience of the soviets. He said, “Never underestimate the value of the babushkas.” His point was simple: Grandmothers had saved the Church in Russia by being faithful.

We build Christian civilization by making ourselves holy. Step by step, brick by brick, soul by soul. We gaze upon Christ and accept him under the form of bread and wine at the Eucharist. But we also have to look at him in His little ones and let others see him through us, through the way we speak, through the way we act. We receive the blessing of the priest at the end of Mass… we must be a blessing to the world. We must be the salt that seasons the world.

This is the life of grace, eternal life lived in and for Christ, life lived as Mary, the virgin mother of our Lord lived, saying to God, yes. Yes, thy will be done. In all things, be it unto me, according to thy word.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.


[1] Romans 6:23 (RSV)

[2] Matthew 5:13

[3] Matthew 5:14


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