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Lord, have mercy on us

Luke 18:31-43

Pastor David Ernst

Epiphany Lutheran Mission of La Caramuca  
Barinas, Venezuela

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Sun, Feb 27, 2022 

Grace and peace in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

In our gospel for today, we find the story of the last miracle of Jesus Christ before his last entry into Jerusalem in Holy Week. Also, a form of the Kirie Eleison, an integral part of our liturgy.

In this third formal prediction of the Passion, Luke places particular emphasis on the fact that Jesus is going to his death to fulfill all that the prophets have written about the Messiah. In Jerusalem all the prophecies of the Old Testament about the suffering and death of the Servant of the Lord, the Messiah, would be fulfilled. Everything would happen to the Son of Man as it is written in the prophets: Delivered into the hands of the Gentiles, mocked and mocked, despised, spit on. But always, in the end, the definitive certainty of his resurrection on the third day. Twice the Lord had spoken of his pending passion, but the disciples had not understood. In this case, too, despite the detailed account, they remained spiritually blind.

On the contrary, the physically blind beggar saw Jesus more clearly. The blind man's request was indeed a confession, for he called Jesus Lord, confessing him to be God, just as he had previously expressed his belief that Jesus was the Messiah with the title, Son of David. Here was a full confession of faith in the person and office of Jesus. In the strength of this faith he prayed for him to be able to see, for his eyes to be opened. And Jesus, in the depth of his sympathy for all men, in whatever trouble they may be, spoke the almighty word that opened his eyes.

Instantly he regained his sight and followed Jesus, his mouth brimming with praise to God. Trusting in God's mercy and Christ's love for sinners and his sympathy for those who suffer in some way from the curse of sin, he was healed without delay. And all the people who saw this miracle also gave thanks to God.

Now, notice that the phrase translated “have mercy on me” is eleison, a Greek word. The Kirie Eleison is a very old element of our worship. We find this phrase also in Matthew 9:27; 15:22; and 8:30-31 p.m. "Kirie" is the Greek word for "Lord." The Kirie is not the confession of sins, because we have confessed our sins and received absolution before the Introit, the beginning of the service of the Word. The invocation, the confession of sins and the absolution is the preparation to enter the presence of God and receive the Word and Holy Communion. Introit is a Latin word meaning “entrance” and consists of different sections of the Psalms announcing the specific theme of Sunday. It is followed by the Gloria Patri, a cry of praise to the triune God, and then the Kirie. Properly the Gloria Patri is a part of the Introit.

The Kirie is a humble request for help and mercy. In the liturgy, the Kirie Eleison is also a three-part prayer offered to each person of the Holy Trinity. Although we have already been assured of forgiveness of sins and peace with God, in whom we trust, we still feel our need for divine help and for this reason we unite our voices in this prayer. Because in the Our Father, the prayer that the Lord taught his disciples, let us learn that we can pray to God for our material needs as spiritual needs, as the blind man asked the Lord for his vision.

Normally the Kyrie is followed by the Gloria in Excelsis, but during the two seasons of repentance and reflection, Advent and Lent, we omit this part.

However, we always give thanks and praise to God for his mercy. When a Christian has received any evidence of God's mercy, in the innumerable benefits conferred through the means of grace, he really never has reason to complain, but must always find himself with his mouth singing the praises of him who has guided him. . from the darkness of sin and unbelief to the wonderful light of it.

May the peace that passes all understanding be with you. Amen.

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