22. August 2018

Sermon on July 22th, 2018

Sermon: Christoph Petau

About Eph 2,11-22 and Mk 6,30-34.53-56

Sometimes we call the holiday season the 5th season. Now in the second half of July, the resorts have high season. Holidays: a time of relaxation and recreation. Sometimes a time of animation and a restless search for climaxes and ultimate kicks or lying on the beach in the rhythm of the swell and the weather.

In today’s gospel we encounter such a holiday text. Jesus says to His own: Come to a lonely place where we are alone, and rest a little. Now I add Ephesians to the Gospel, put it as a template over the text.

Paul describes Jesus as a „threefold gift of peace“. He is our peace. He donated peace. He proclaimed peace. I think this is the central message of today’s readings: Peace needs space, a time to grow, a time out. Peace thrives in pausing and resting.
Away from this idyllic scene on the lake a completely different situation. Jesus had been rejected in his homeland, whereto he sent the disciples just out before. His fame had spread. People were looking for his closeness. Between departure and arrival at the lake was also the miracle of bread and the way of Jesus on the water.

Jesus knows about the power of being alone. „For this is an experience not only of the life of Jesus, but of our own and every human life: that something true can only be formed in the hours when we are with ourselves and in aloneness with ourselves close to God. Our life is, if we do it true, in a harmonious swing between demarcation and fusion, between self-sufficiency and commonality, between self and I, in a constant alternation of ebb and flow, of silence and language, of collecting and sowing of contemplation and communication, of being-with-oneself and attention, in a pendulum stroke of time between coming and going, waiting and fulfillment, yearning and completion. „(Drewermann, Markus). In this fifth season may they discover or (at least a little) discover this natural rhythm between inhaling and exhaling, between being and acting, between preserving and probing life „(ibid.).

What is the saying by the little prince? You only see well with your heart. The essential is invisible to the eyes. Or in a lyrical text from the Rule of Saint Benedict: Silence and hear. Tilt your heart’s ear. Seek peace.

Paul also develops the doctrine of the gift of grace, the so-called charisms. Our skills are given to us. Therefore I spoke of a threefold gift of peace from Jesus. The charisms are given to us. Free. Whether we take the roots of the language from Latin or Greek, the gifts of the Holy Ghost are meant to serve the construction of our self, the community, the community or society. The house where Jesus Christ himself is the keystone. – Or we are like a herd that does not have a shepherd. The herd described here does not just walk around on an alpine pasture. 

Ezekiel describes the flock as follows: The shepherds graze only themselves, drink the milk, take the wool and use the meat. The weak animals do not strengthen her, the sick do not heal, the injured do not connect, the scared do not bring her back … (Ez 34,1ff)

He who touches the edge of Jesus experiences hope and healing of all turmoil. I would like to use this experience as a template for the parables and healing miracles.

At the end of this sermon, I would like to present to you the translation of the sermon text from the Bible in fair language. This text version can hardly be surpassed by its relevance (Ephesians 2: 19-22): So you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but you are fellow citizens of the saints and housemates of God, built on the foundations of the Messengers and prophets whose Cornerstone Christ Jesus is. The whole structure is put together by him and grows into a holy temple by God. On this foundation, too, you are co-founded by spirit power to become a place of abode for God.

I just want to hint at what’s in the 3 verses as topics. Practicing a good stewardship, cooperation in a renewed creation and faithfulness to the origin as an essential feature of the church. Paul could rightly understand himself as the ecumenical theologian of his day.

Amen

Literature: 

Bibel in gerechter Sprache. Gütersloh 2006

Eugen Drewermann. Das Markusevangelium. 2 Bände. Olten 1987, hier 5. Auflage 1989, Seite 425f