How Pleased is the Father with the Son? And so with Us?

Epiphany 1 Saturday

Matthew 3:16-17

“And when Jesus had been baptized, he immediately went up from the water. And look, heaven opened up above him. And he saw the Spirit of God descend like a dove and come over him. And look, a voice from heaven said: This is my dear Son with whom I am well pleased.”

What does this word of the Father do? Look and listen! It teaches us to know Christ. In this knowledge consists our salvation fully and completely, as Isaiah, Paul, and Peter teach. How does this word teach us to know him? It teaches us that he is God’s Son and pleases God, his Father, well. By these words, God makes the hearts of the whole world laugh and glad and infuses all creation with pure divine sweetness and comfort. How so? Well, when I know and am certain that the man Christ is God’s Son and is pleasing to the Father–of this I must be certain since the divine Majesty himself, who cannot lie, says this from heaven–then I am also certain that everything this man says and does is purely the word and work of the dear Son, which must delight God most highly. This I note and comprehend well. Thus, from now on,
when I hear Christ say something or see him do something that he says or does for my benefit–he does this always, as he says that he does and endures everything for my good; that he came to serve, not to be served, Matthew 20:28; Luke 22:27–then I must remember that such speaking, doing, and suffering of Christ–done for my benefit, as he says–must please God wholeheartedly. Now, how could God pour himself out more or how could he give himself in a more loving and sweeter way than by saying that he is wholeheartedly pleased with the fact that his Son Christ speaks to me in such
a kind manner, that he so wholeheartedly means me, and that he suffers, dies, and does everything for me with great love. Do you not think that if a human heart should properly feel the pleasure God has in Christ when he serves us in this manner, it would have to burst into hundred thousand pieces? For if the heart-felt this pleasure, it would see into the abyss of God’s fatherly heart, that is, into the bottomless and eternal goodness and love of God he entertains for us and has entertained for us from eternity…We don’t take it to heart how the excellent and ineffable love and delight are in it.
Otherwise, we would, without a doubt, see in it that heaven and earth are full of the fire of divine love, full of life and righteousness, full of honor and praise, while hell with its fire, with death and sin, is no thing but something painted…
Thus, you see that God, by these words, draws Christ into himself and draws himself into Christ by declaring that his pleasure is in all that Christ does. At the same time and by the same words, he pours himself and Christ out in his dear Son over us, pouring himself into us and us into himself, drawing us into himself, so that he is completely humanized while we are completely divinized. How so? This is how: Because God says that he is well pleased with everything Christ is and does, these words lead you to see God’s pleasure and his whole heart in Christ, in all his words and works; they also lead you to see Christ in the heart and pleasure of God. And both are within each other most deeply and most highly.
And none of this can fail you because God cannot lie. Furthermore, since Christ–the dear and pleasing child, comprehended in such pleasure and in the heart of God–is yours with all his speaking and doing, serving you thereby, as he says himself, you too are certainly also in this same pleasure and are as deeply in God’s heart as Christ, and God’s pleasure and heart is as deeply in you as it is in Christ. In this way, you and God along with his dear Son are completely within you, while you are completely within him, so that everything is one thing: God, Christ, and you.

St. Louis ed., 11:2142-2144

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