Homily 4

[Based on the Holt edition, ll. 2,685-2,874, with an excerpt from Jan van Vliet via Ker]

Orm bases this on Luke 1:39.

Latin pericope: Fuit in diebus Herodis Regis Judee sacerdos quidam nomine Zacharias. 

It says that St. Mary went with great haste that way, and that was so done for us through her to give an example, which we ought to follow and fulfill always with great haste, with great eagerness, all that goes to our soul’s remedy, for no one can know here how long a person may live, to continue to please Christ to obtain Christ’s mercy. Therefore, a person ought to be eager always while that person lives here to please Christ through holy life and through innocence, through truth and right, through wisdom and reason, through moderation and true meekness, through clean thought and word and work, through love, and hope, and belief, so that a person may be worthy to obtain Christ’s mercy, for there is no time in another life after this life’s end to take in the weak people to feed and clothe them, to wash them, to warm them, to provide a bed for and comfort them. There is no time in another life after this life’s end to give God the tenth part of all of your own possessions, to make offerings to God, to serve God, to eagerly seek church, to love and follow peace, and to celebrate mass days, to obtain Christ’s mercy in such a way and eternal life’s bliss. And, therefore, we ought to strive here to please Christ in life so that we may be worthy to obtain Christ’s mercy—and may God Almighty give us such to fly each chief sin so that we may be worthy to enjoy [eternal] bliss. Amen.

Because the lady Mary went, just as the Gospel makes known, to speak with Elizabeth in the hilly lands of the mountains where she was with her mate in a Jewish town, that signifies to us a very great thing about our soul’s need. As soon as the lady Mary was with child from the Holy Spirit, she rose up immediately and went up into the high mountains because she wished to submit there and to exalt her inferior. And it also behooves each person who is encouraged through God’s mercy and comforted here through the Holy Spirit and strengthened in his heart so that his heart is raised up to follow God’s will. It also behooves him immediately completely to rise up from sin and to always pass through holy life up into high virtues and to always exalt and submit to those who are his inferiors and to come in such a way through holy life into a Jewish town that is up into love and desire, to praise and honor God and also to always cleanse his life through true confession of all that is against God and speaks at all of the soul.

All this was signified to us well through that Jewish town, which St. Mary went to where it was in the mountains because she wished to submit there and to exalt her inferior, seeing as she was raised up to become God’s mother. And she remained there for three months because it should signify that God’s servant ought to always have true faith in Christ here, and true regard and hope in him, and true love in both, in the Lord and in each person in thought, in word, in deed, for whosoever it is who is armed with these three virtues, that same person is passing well up into high mountains, and he can stand well against the devil with such weapons.

As soon as the lady Mary came to Zachary’s home and spoke with Elizabeth there, immediately they were both filled with holy wisdom from God’s Spirit by their children, and that signifies to us clearly through the example of them both that the Lord gives holy wisdom to those people who follow him well. Then that Elizabeth spoke there to St. Mary and said, “Right after your word of greeting came in my ear, my child in bliss immediately began to rejoice in my womb.” That was just as if she said thus with speech clearly, “As soon as you began to greet me with your mild words, my child that lies in my womb began to thank you, for he began immediately to stir and to push and that because he was glad, Lady, because you came and also because he wished to hail in such a way the Almighty Lord who now lies, as he knew full well, in your unblemished womb.”

And that Elizabeth spoke there to St. Mary and said, “And you are made blessed because you were able to believe.” That was just as if she said thus with completely clear speech, “Your blessing is completely invisible because you received with faith that word that God’s angel brought to you on God’s behalf, and you are better than our priest who is unable to believe that word that was said to him through Gabriel on God’s behalf, for his speech was instantly completely taken away from him through the Lord.”

And that Elizabeth spoke there to St. Mary and said, “For all shall be fulfilled in you, that word that God said to you.” That was just as if she said thus with completely very clear speech, “All that shall be fulfilled in you through God’s holy might that God’s angel Gabriel said to you on God’s behalf, indicating that you should be with child from the Holy Spirit through God.” Here a person can see very clearly that Zachary’s mate—that good wife Elizabeth—was filled with the Holy Spirit that told the lady there about her great blessing, that the Lord had sent his word to her and that it should be fulfilled completely through Lord God in her; and St. Mary had not yet said then anything to her of such a thing. She understood it through God’s Spirit and not through a person, and she knew how St. Mary was made with child from God’ Spirit.

That our lady St. Mary was in the mountains for three months with her cousin Elizabeth, that was because she wished to see her bring forth her child, for that was, truly indeed, the chief reason why she had come there at that time. And also it behooves each person, whom the Lord has encouraged and strengthened at all through the Holy Spirit to follow high virtues, always it behooves him to have hope in God and true love and faith […]

[columns 69-76 missing; ends at line 2,874 in the Holt edition]

[…] to that he might see his reward & all the fruit of his labor.

[end of Homily 4, Ker ll. 416-417]

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