04 August 2016

"I Thank You, God..."

Luther has one sermon in the Church Postils, and two in the House Postils for Trinity XI. I really love the way he approaches the parable in the second in the HP, a homily from 1533.

"If the Pharisee hadn't been so arrogant, but in humility had offered his gifts to God and said, Lord you have shown me much mercy in that you have so graciously have kept me from this and other sins; this is a gift from you and I will rejoice in it; I will not be presumptuous because of it, nor despise anyone, for you could recall the gift if you wished. If he had reacted thus, God would have from day to day bestowed greater gifts and would not have been inimical toward him."

"When God has blessed a person with money or possessions, he certainly ought not foolishly think of himself as a poor beggar. If we have helped the needy with good counsel or gifts, we certainly should not deny that this by saying that we have done nothing good. No, that would not be true. One should recognize God's gifts, praise him for receiving them, and do it gratefully. But in addition one should humble say, My God, it is yours and not mine; you have given it; I thank you for the same. That would the right and humble way to receive them. We must not consider God's gifts insignificant or of little value, but recognize them and esteem them, never becoming arrogant and despising others. Rather, as we have said repeatedly, one should say, Dear God, it is your gift which you have given me; if another person does not have the same, that is of no count, for he has the same gracious God as I; so why should I despise him?" HP II:393

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