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Sermon for Wednesday of Proper 19 – Br. David Allen

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1 Tim 3:14-16

The 1st Reading for today is an excerpt from a letter of Paul to Timothy.  Before we come to the verses that are actually used for the 1st Reading of today’s Eucharist, there are almost three chapters of Paul’s first letter to Timothy as it appears in our Bibles that are background for our reading.

In the first part of that letter, after the usual greetings to Timothy and his fellow workers, there are a number of instructions about the teachings received as followers of Jesus.  This is followed by reminders about behavior appropriate to bishops and deacons, and other workers in the household of God.

It is at this point that the first reading of today’s Liturgy begins.  Paul wrote these things to let Timothy know that he hoped to come to them soon. (1 Tim 3:14-15)

At the end of those remarks Paul concluded his thoughts saying: “Without any doubt the mystery of our religion is great!” (v.16) To add greater emphasis to this Paul quoted some poetic words, perhaps from a hymn familiar to them.

He was revealed in the flesh,

                       Vindicated in spirit,

                              Seen by angels,

               Proclaimed among Gentiles,

                              Taken up in glory.”

What is Paul saying here in these poetic words?

The mystery is this: the message of Jesus in the Gospels:

Love God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and all your strength.
Love your neighbor as yourself.
Love one another.

Can you do this?  Do you do this?

Amen.

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