“BLESSED IS THE FRUIT”
Saint Luke 1. 39-56
THE VISITATION: 2 July Anno + Domini 2014
Fr Jay Watson SSP
In The Name + of Jesus
Blessed is The Fruit!
Do you believe that you are filled with the Holy Ghost? You should. You have been + Baptized. You spoke the Creed with its Christ centered 2nd Article. “No one can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost” [1 Cor. 12.3]
You daily read Holy Scripture so you know that The Spirit fell upon Samson and Elijah. You believe that King David, son of Jesse, spoke of the Trinity and The Son because you believe Jesus’ words “how then doth David in the Spirit call Him Lord.” [Mt. 22.43] The Holy Ghost filled Simeon, Peter, Paul, Stephen, and many others in the Book of Acts. You confess that Gabriel’s Annunciation is true “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee.” [Lk. 1.35] But now we are entering dicey territory for stubborn Lutherans. Now we are approaching the Blessed Virgin Mary—the “third rail” in the protestant mind-set. But Scripture is The Word reduced to paper. Scripture is The Blessed Fruit bled out onto pages of Grace.
God The Third Person who even spoke by the enemy Caiaphas, speaks tonight to all of you by a pastor who, like all the ones in Acts and the Epistles who had the Spirit fall upon them in the “laying on of hands,” also by Holy Ordination speaks by the command and in the stead of The Blessed Fruit.
But my words are the Holy Words of The Word. I speak this day of the Holy Ghost falling upon blessed Saint Elisabeth.
The Virgin went into the hill country into a city of Juda. Now, the Virgin, as the “type” of the New Testament Church itself, is here in this hill country where we see not Calvary outside the royal gates but the High Altar of Christ, within our very midst!
Saint Mary as our “mother” in the faith, both the New Testament Sarah and the recapitulation of disgraced Eve—restored—salutes all of us as she did her kinswoman with a Gospel greeting. For Mary always says “listen to Him,” and “whatsoever He saith unto you, do it.”[Jn 2.5]
Her “Magnificat” is the purest Evangel there can be for it is all about the Work and Person of Her Son: The Blessed Fruit!
We need constantly, daily, to repent of our envy and greed. There is no reason to deny the Lords love and honoring other Saints. We worship a hierarchical LORD, a monarchical Trinity and not the “rights of man” from Rousseau or Jefferson. Christ bestows crowns upon all of us but the crowns of the “12” shine with unique specialness; [Ap. Art VI p. 152, Jacobs] “what is that to you” [Jn. 21.23b] says Jesus.
Peter, James, and John were the Savior’s “inner-circle.” Moses was Moses. Abraham is called Father. David was the “apple of God’s eye;” His “anointed.” And dear sweet Mary—she is who God the Holy Ghost says she is by the mouth of Saint Elisabeth: “Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.” Do you hear the way that Divine sentence is constructed by the Paraclete? The lesser leads to the greater and the set-up to the conclusion. It’s all about Jesus: The Blessed Fruit!
Some four thousand years of prophetic history (His Story) is coming to fruition in This Fruit we see celebrated in Mary’s Visitation: “and I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; It shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise His heal.” [Gen. 3.15] As the young Virgin approaches her elderly relative a miracle takes place: “there shall come forth A Rod out of the stem of Jesse, and A Branch shall grow out of his roots.” As almond branches grew miraculously out of Aaron’s dry and dead staff [Nu. 17.8], a baby boy named John would grow out of a dead and menopausal womb. But THE FRUIT would spring forth from a Virgin. Esaias is vindicated and Eve’s man-child, her seed, comes to Redeem. “Behold, A Branch is growing of loveliest form and grace, as prophets sung, foreknowing; It springs from Jesse’s race, and bears one little Flow’r,” and “Isaiah hath foretold It in words of promise sure, and Mary’s arms enfold It, a Virgin meek and pure.” [TLH 645]
Mary’s Megalunei (magnify/Magnificat) is the Gospel of The Gospel enfleshed in her belly. This God/Man in-utero causes the in-utero Baptizer to leap for joy. Do you, equally weak and sinful do any less? At the Presence of Christ all believers are bathed in the juice, the ointment of THE FRUIT: “then shall the lame man leap as an hart.” [Is. 35.6]
How meet, right, and salutary that the one son, he who “among them born of women there hath not risen a greater” [Mt. 11.11] would one day salute The Son of the Most High with Ecce Agnus Dei, would at The Visitation have his mother salute The Virgin penultimately and Her Son begotten of The Father from Eternity with “Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is The Fruit of thy womb.”
Blessed is The Fruit! Mary is blessed because, in, with and under, The Fruit blesses; so too are Elisabeth, Zacharias, John, Joseph and all of you blessed. Blessed are all that the Holy Ghost has fallen + upon and created faith in. For “blessed is she (Mary, The Church, you) that believed; for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.” The performance is not yours but The Fruits. “Thy works, not mine, O Christ.” [TLH 380]. What performance from the “mother of my Lord?” None. Mary’s faith is but a picture of your faith. It is from “My Lord.” What performance? Listen to the Virgin, for her song is from the Spirit and it is the Evangel:
He has regarded your low estate as sinner, trespasser, enemy, and damned traitor. He cares!
You are not just called blessed but you are made + Blessed In Him.
With His bruised and pierced and bloody arms He has showed strength in vanquishing all your foes by being weak and passive on Calvary’s tree. He scatters your prideful sins by soaking them up into His Flesh.
He puts down the mighty of the hypocrites, the boastful and the gossiping tongue. He exalts them standing at the foot of the Crucifix with Mary and John—you the low degree in contrite repentance.
He sends away the “rich men” of this worlds mammon but He stays always, ever present, to feed your bodies with daily bread and your souls with Heavenly Word and with Gods own Body and Blood.
He always remembers you the New Israel, children of God, by being not just your God but your Savior-Brother.
He spoke to Abraham and to his seed forever, yes. “God, Who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the Prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son.” [Heb. 1.1]
Mary abode with Elisabeth about three months. The God/Man abode three days in death to bring you eternal life.
The Visitation was not just then, it is NOW and forever. Christ visits you for He is The Blessed Fruit and He desires you to taste Him and see that He is good! He Who dwelled in the womb of His Virgin Mother now dwells in Holy water, writ, and Eucharist. The performance of “these things:” “I baptize you; I forgive you all your sins; take eat and take drink the Body and Blood of Christ given and shed for you” are all for you.
Come and join Saint Mary for tonight’s special Visitation and be magnified in, with, and under The Blessed Fruit.
In The Name of The Father and of The + Son and of The Holy Ghost