“When Did We See You?” – St. Matthew 25:31-46

When Did We See You?

St. Matthew 25:31-46

Pr. Karl Davies

31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left.

✠ In Nomine Iesu ✠

When the Lord Jesus ascended to the right hand of the Father, the angels asked the disciples who were standing there staring up into the sky, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

As we approach the end of the church year, our focus is always on the culmination of Christ’s work of redemption-his second coming in glory and the eternal joy that belongs to the people of God. God alone knows that day and when it will happen. For the people of God, we know that it will come as something good, and not something that we should fear. For this has been planned by our Heavenly Father, and we live by faith in His merciful care even as little children trust loving parents to care for them and nurture them. St. Peter writes in his first epistle: “Though you have not seen him (that is the Lord Jesus), you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with and inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls. “

Yet there continues to be a fascination if not obsession with trying to see the Lord. There are millions of people who flock to places where visions were to have happened, where paintings and statues are supposedly weeping, maybe hoping that a heavenly vision will happen for them. Even if it did, then what? Some people are out on a spiritual journey to look for some religious high, some earthly proof of heavenly things, or perhaps and emotional release.  For than reason, people often today succumb to manipulation and deliberate theatrics of cultic and sectarian preachers and groups.  As to the Lord’s return, some are looking at every item in the news to see if it relates somehow to a timetable to the Lord’s return. I remember that in 1967, when I was a college student, the United Arab Republic attacked Israel in the 7 days war, and some were convinced that Armageddon had started.  Today when Hamas is shelling Israel there’s more chatter about.  What good does it do? That day will come in God’s own time and by his own authority and as a thief in the night.

But where do we see the Lord and when will we see the Lord? Let’s look at the Gospel today, when the redeemed ask the Lord:

When Did We See You?

The last several Gospel Readings have been from the end of Matthew’s Gospel, in what you might call the first holy week.  Now this began on Palm Sunday in chapter 21, and here we are today in Matthew 25.  Our Lord is teaching daily in the Temple.  He was soon to submit to the judgment of the high priest and then of Pilate . Yet the teaching of our Lord is about his coming again in glory and judging the world that judged him. “When the Son of Man comes in His glory; and all the angels with Him, He will sit on His throne in heavenly glory.  All nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate the people from one another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.  He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.”

He welcomes those on the right, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance.”  Those whom he welcomes into the eternal kingdom, are those who bore the characteristics of discipleship and servanthood.  They are those, our Lord says, who ministered to Him in a variety of circumstances. Although the righteous do not know when it was that they ministered to Christ, our Lord answers them: “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”

            I suppose that there is always a risk in taking this text to mean that if you’re nice to everyone you go to heaven, and if you’re nasty you go to hell.  The problem with that is that we all end up in hell because we all fall short.  But there are two characteristics of the righteous, that is the true believers and disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ. The first is that their actions towards their neighbors were affected by the grace that they received from the all-merciful Lord. Here we are reminded that love toward neighbor is not just a feeling, but always shows itself in actions. “God commends his love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. We love because He first loved us and gave his Son as the propitiation for our sins.”

The second is that they were not aware of good things that they were done, because they were not done for recognition by either God or man, but were done simply because of their love for God, and because of the indwelling of Christ’s Holy Spirit in their hearts. The true motivation for all Christian discipleship is never for reward or that you might get something out of it, but simply because in Holy Baptism we died with Christ and are risen with Him to a new life that continues on to all eternity. The Scripture says:  “Henceforth we do not live unto our selves, but for him who died for us and rose again”

We don’t spend our lives gazing into heaven looking for something to happen. We find Christ and the new life he gave us in the needs of those closest to us, as well as those near and far away.

Those on the left are told that they did not do what the righteous did, and therefore they did not see Christ in their neighbor. They do not receive a welcome, but a “Depart from me.” It is clear that their hearts were not with the Lord, and their lives were self-serving.

These may well have been words of judgment for those Pharisees and scribes that our Lord said had the letter of the law but not the spirit. They were the ones of whom Jesus speaks, quoting the prophet Isaiah, “This people draws near unto me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.”

While none of us is capable of perfection, it is quite impossible to love God and not also learn compassion and mercy. It does not necessarily mean being totally reckless or indiscriminate in showing kindness and mercy to others. We know from the Bible and from real life that the world is full of scammers and thieves.  I have known of kind people who have let strangers into their home for a glass of water and found that they were robbed in the process.  Even St. Paul told the freeloaders in Thessalonika, who had quit their jobs and were living off of the donations and the food of other Christians, “If a man will not work, neither shall he eat.” Nor does kindness and generosity necessarily mean giving to each as they desire rather than what they need. Parents do not give their children everything they ask for, nor does God give us, his beloved children everything we ask for, but everything we need. In the same way we are to be good to all, but especially to those in the household of faith.

We also need  to recognize Christ in those who live and believe in His Name, who humbly confess their sins, and have learned mercy and compassion from Christ Himself in the power of His Word and Holy Spirit.  Our Lord Jesus tells us:  “So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit.  A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit.”  Where Jesus Christ is truly confessed and believed, where the Holy Spirit lives in peoples’ hearts, there are always fruits of faith.  Imperfect, to be sure, but good fruit nonetheless.  Remember the thief on the cross who turned to Jesus in his last hour.  At first he reviled Jesus with the other thief.  But when his heart was turned to accept Jesus as His Love and King, he admonished the unbelieving thief and bore witness of his changed heart with his sincere prayer, “Jesus, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.”  And truly in all of us who love the Lord, there are Christ-like qualities, and each have differing gifts, but the Same Holy Spirit that gives them all. We need to see Christ in one another, as God by his grace sees us in Christ.

The righteous answer Christ with a question: “And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’  And the King will answer them, “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers you did it to me.” We might well find this parable of our Lord to be more condemning than comforting.  There are times when we see our failures more often than our faithful service to our Lord and King.  For our many sins of neglect, for our many sins of omission in not showing the kindness, compassion and goodness of God to all, even to our families and those who are closest to us. For our preoccupation with ourselves and our material concerns, we beg the mercy of Almighty God.

Yet we continue to find that the King who will come to Judge is also the king who paid the price for our sins on Calvary, that we might not have to stand on our own before the judgment of God.  St. John tells us; “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin.  But if anyone does sin. we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.  He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.”

We find peace in the Word and Sacraments of Christ to deliver us from our sins and weaknesses, that we might have peace with God and know confidently that we shall be welcomed home when that time comes.  The same King that said to the repentant thief: “Today you shall be with Me in Paradise,” shall say to us, “Come, you who are blessed by My Father.”  And with such a faith, we might well be surprised how our faith has shined through our own sins and weaknesses, and that the light of Christ has shined.

When did we see Christ? In his blessed Word and Sacraments, to be sure.  But also in our neighbor and our neighbor’s needs.  We see Him in the fruitful discipleship of those who shine with his light. We don’t need to go far to see the Lord now. And as to the future, He will come in his good time, the right time. In the mean time, may we all see Christ where He told us that we should find Him!

✠ Amen ✠

“The Idiot Only a Samaritan Could Love” Trinty 12 2012

02. September 2012
Trinity 13
Luke 10:23-37; Galatians 3:15-22

Everyone cares about their reputation. No one wants to be the village idiot. Churches are no exception. The worst is when you’re the fifth leg at the fellowship table or the moron at Bible class. Better just to run away and hide than subject yourself to that again. And then life throws you another slider, you swing, and totally miss. Unemployed and broke, you’ve got nothing to offer. Your fellow pew-sitter gives you the evil eye as the plate is passed. I’d rather stay home. And then there’s your voice. Never trained apart from in the shower or while driving, you know that if you even gave this 16th century hymn a shot it’d sound worse than a bird in a bag squawking.

You care about your reputation. You don’t want to be made the fool, left alone, ashamed, or silently mocked.  At first its easier to run than deal with it. That only lasts for a while. Eventually you’ll resort to ego boosting. There’s no stopping your self-improvement goals. Maybe you go home trying harder, working like a madman, cracking your Bible open a couple times, and trying to open up with strangers. You try and still fail.

It’s no different for our church. We keep trying every strategy, technique, and improvement goal to grow, live, and thrive. We greet each other with “welcome to Grace!” We shake hands and put on a smiling face. We tightened the budget belt and encouraged better stewardship. We sit at booths, put up banners and signs, and send letters. We print resources for prayer. We broadcast our services live on the internet. Events and picnics round out the self-help fest.

We try to improve, to grow, and to thrive. And what do the congregation have to show for it? More members dying than joining. Less money coming in than going out. A sparse sanctuary and a wasteland for Bible study. Same with your personal life. People still don’t know who you are. Your life isn’t getting better. No more money is in the wallet than yesterday. Your prayers are weak. You still hate those old hymns.

Whether your reputation or the church’s, you’re tempted to ask the question: What must I do? How can I fix it? How can I and we as a church break free and live? On the surface these are fair questions but underneath utterly broken. If you are the subject of the verbs then you are responsible for the doing. Can you cause the rain to fall or the sun to shine? Can you grant faith to the unregenerate to become Christians and grow the church? Can your Protestant work ethic make any of this right? Did God promise success to people and churches that try harder, work harder, or pray harder?

So asked the lawyer of Jesus. “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” What can you do? Can the dead restart their heart, open their casket, unbury themselves, and draw deep breaths of fresh air again? What can you do? Claim an inheritance from a father who you neither deserve nor know? The age-old question has an age old answer from God: “What is written in the Law? … You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself… Do this, and you will live.”

Completely and utterly dedicated your whole life—heart, soul, strength, and mind—to the Lord… oh, and, love your neighbor as yourself… and you’ll live. Do this. This is the Law of the Lord. This is your self-improvement plan, the way of success, and the church-growth model for this congregation. Don’t just try harder but be perfect as your Father is perfect. Do this, and live. Do this, and inherit eternal life.

Right. By this truth, how do you stack up? How does God think of you? What about the neighbor? Are you Good Christian People? Is everything you do, say, think, and love for God and neighbor? Completely, all, wholly? I can’t speak for you but I can speak for God and His holy Law. You are dead in trespasses. Your flesh hates God and ignores the neighbor. Your reputation is worse than awful. You are criminal and murderous. You have stolen from God and abused your neighbor. What must you do to inherit eternal life? Not a damn thing. Game over, man, game over.

It was a false and misleading dream that man himself could redeem. We latched onto God’s holy Law and forgot the promise. The promise given to Abraham that came 430 years before. The promise of the offspring who is Christ. We’re no different than the lawyer testing Jesus. That’s a law question and gets from Jesus a law answer. What must I do? Do this and live. Where does it leave you? An utter wreck. Miserable. Hateful. Dead. A sinner.

We ask the wrong question. What must I do? Stop your piss poor attempts to justify yourself. Repent and remember the promise. Believe. What must you do? Nothing. Nada. Zippo. Remember the promise: “And to your offspring,” who is Christ. What has Christ done for you? Everything. He did not look upon you based on your work. When it comes to saving you, he doesn’t care about how lovely you are, how nicely you sing, how much money you put in the plate, or how friendly you are.

He gave you the Law in the Scriptures but to utterly imprison you in sin: to strip you, beat you, and leave you half dead in the ditch. You’re not on the path. You’re not moving towards eternity. You sick and bleeding. You’d pull up your bootstraps if those hadn’t been take from you, too. The Law robs you of your self-esteem, your pride, and your idols. You are exposed to God’s holiness and lay dying. This is God’s work.

Is it contrary to the promises of God? Absolutely not! God doesn’t want you to work out your own salvation. You are sinner and for you there can be no inheritance and no perfect obedience. Why bother, then? Not for life nor for righteousness. Why? For faith. To stop trying and start receiving. To believe and trust that only in the promise is there salvation. Only in the offspring do you inherit. Only in Jesus is there eternal life.

Nobody else can save you. Not the pious pastor. When he sees you dying, he’ll slip casually to the other side of the road. Not the pious family. When they come to your ditch of misery, they too will care more about their reputation or cleanness than to help you. Nope, not a single good person, with smiling faces, awkward handshake, or “welcome to Grace!” will get you or them eternal life. Even your neighbor ultimately cares more about themselves than your salvation.

You have one neighbor who cares more about you than even Himself. When He sees you, His bowels churn with compassion. When he sees you, he ignores your reputation and helps you anyway. You lay there naked before him, stinking of the ditch, and dead to the world, and he takes you up and bandages you. He chooses you and cleans you with holy oil. His beast shoulders you to the His holy inn where His innkeeper cares for you. Even then, do you pay the inn for these services? No, they are gift. No offering required. No service. Nothing but receiving healing and life from the blessing of the Samaritan. Nothing but receiving mercy.

Do not be like the lawyer, seeking to test Jesus. There is no life or righteousness in the Law. Believe and trust in the promise, the offspring, the Christ. Teach Him. Proclaim Him. Confess Him. What must you do to inherit eternal life? Nothing. What has Jesus done that you may inherit eternal life? Everything.

In Name of the Father, + Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Rev. Christopher R. Gillespie
Grace Lutheran Church
Dyer, Indiana

Festival of St. Mary Magdalene 2012 – Luke 7:36-50

22. July 2012
Festival of St. Mary Magdalene
Luke 7:36-50

The appointed lectionary and calendar of festivals and commemorations of our Lutheran Service Book offered us a unique opportunity this weekend, that is, to celebrate the festival of St. Mary Magdalene. Why bother? First, St. Mary Magdalene is not well known. Increasingly, Christians lack basic Bible knowledge nor do they crack open the Scriptures during the week for prayer and meditation. Despite Mary being one of the chief female disciples of Jesus, she is relatively unknown.

Second, much of what passes for knowledge of St. Mary Magdalene is really idle speculation and often contrary to the faith. Consider The DaVinci Code continued the millennia old speculation Mary was somehow Jesus’ wife. Author Dan Brown drew on sources hundreds of years after the Apostolic era and drudged up this long disproved theory to make a buck. Of course, people are gullible and easily fall into error when they stop reading the Scriptures and have no answer for such fictional nonsense.

Knowledge of the story and characters of Scripture is essential because it is your story and they are your family. An article in the Smithsonian Magazine in 2005 sought to disprove that St. Mary Magdalene is the model for Christian devotion, defined as a life of confession and absolution. True! Yet, certainly, the understanding and tradition surrounding her is often sketchy. This ought not stop us from trying best to know her from the evidence of the Scriptures alone. Why?

Every disciple of Jesus is an embodiment of the Christian discipleship and thus your life with Him. Even in Judas, we see how our sinful nature clings to our bones and given a willing heart can overcome the gift of faith. To ignore or confuse St. Mary Magdalene, is to ignore and confuse a model example of faith. Any distortion of Jesus’ own disciples is a confusion of Jesus, just as author Dan Brown, his friends in the scholarly world, and the gnostics of old have done. They get Mary wrong and thus get Jesus wrong.

What do we know of St. Mary Magdalene? First, there are many named Mary in the Scriptures: Mary, the mother of Jesus, Mary of Bethany, sister of Martha and Lazarus, Mary, mother of James and Joseph, and Mary, wife of Clopas. Plus, there are three women identified as sexual sinners who come to Jesus. There are many other women who follow in the train of disciples of Jesus, whom Luke says were cured of evil spirits and ailments. (Luke 8:1-3) Here, the Evangelist lists Mary, called Magdalene, from who seven demons had gone out.

This comes immediately following our Gospel reading for today, of which, St. Augustine, Gregory the Great , and others agree is about St. Mary. But because the account of Magdalene’s exorcism is not recorded, nor is she given a name in our Gospel, many have come to assume that today’s Gospel is not an account of Magdalene washing Jesus’ feet with her tears but rather some generic woman sinner. Yet, we know that Jesus had already exorcised her seven demons. We also know from all four Evangelists that St. Mary Magdalene was at the cross with the other Marys for the crucifixion and also went to the tomb early on the first day. While the accounts are slightly different, all agree she saw the resurrected Lord. Thereafter, she went and told the disciples.

Even if our Gospel for today is not a literal account of St. Mary Magdalene, it does demonstrate precisely what a disciple of Christ is like, both male and female. It also shows exactly how Christ our Lord deals with us with His Word. We know St. Mary fits the mold of Luke chapter seven, as she is one of the few, all women, who persist to be with our Lord to the bloody end and even thereafter, caring for his body. This is the duty of Christians, especially those who serve in roles of mercy and service. They care for Christ’s own body, the church, with their tears, their crowning glory, their wealth, and their kisses of friendship.

One of the Pharisees asked [Jesus] to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee’s house and took his place at the table. And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was reclining at table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment.

Mary is a virtuous example for every Christian of discipleship. This woman of Magdala followed after Jesus whom she knows is her savior. She shuns all social norms and taboos and serves her savior. This woman of ill repute does not belong at table with Jesus, nor in the house of the noble Pharisee. She

“Ah, what of that!” she says. “I am a sinner and I must meet my savior. My sins have brought me to the point of despair. I have violated God’s holy law and deserve punishment. I will go to Jesus with tears of sorrow and pleas for mercy. For surely, He will be gracious and forgive me, underserving as I am.”

And so she does, wiping Jesus’ feet with her hair wet with tears, and kissing them with affection, and anointed them at great cost. So it ought to be for the Christian. We come before Jesus humbly, acknowledging our sin, confessing we deserve death, but trusting in the promise of mercy, the forgiveness of sins, and thus serving his body with tenderness and compassion. This is self-sacrificial love, love as our savior Jesus has shown to us.

Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner.” Simon the Pharisee is far from the kingdom. Jesus did come to save the righteous, especially the self-righteous, but the sinner. He does not desire to see the sinner dead but that they repent and believe in Him. Such holier-than-thou attitudes are unbecoming of the Christian. Why?

The Pharisee wants all grace and no correction. He wants the benefits of God’s abiding presence in Jesus without either the knowledge or correction of the holy Law. He wants his preacher to turn his church into a social club of like-minded and righteous good people. He doesn’t want the adulterer, the idolater, the prostitute, the hypocrite, the gloomy and depressed, the alcoholic, the crack-head, or anyone not like him to come and sit at table with him.

He wants a church without acknowledgment of sin, without godly correction, and most especially without forgiveness of sins. He doesn’t want his church to turn him off by telling him he’s a miserable sinner. He doesn’t want anyone to disturb his perfect little dinner, especially anyone who makes him uncomfortable, be it woman, black, hispanic, child, or whatever.

And Jesus answering him, said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he answered, “Say it, Teacher.” A certain moneylender had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they could not pay, he cancelled the debt of both. Now which of them will love him more?” Simon answered, “The one, I suppose, for whom he cancelled the larger debt.” And he said to him, “You have judged rightly.” 

While Magdalene has already been brought low by the holy law, this Pharisee has yet to acknowledge and confess his sin. He cannot possibly understand why St. Mary who give of her tears, her hair, and even expensive ointment to serve her savior. He cannot comprehend what has moved her with such great love for this man. Yet, Jesus, out of compassion, tells the man a story to help him know. The woman has had a great debt forgiven in Jesus. And even he likewise has had his debts, though fewer, forgiven. All are debtors. All need the lender to forgive.

The turning toward the woman he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” Then those who were at table with him began to say among themselves, “Who is this, who even forgives sins?” And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

We do well to follow our savior and heed His every word. When He speaks a crushing Word of Law that humiliates, disgusts, or is shameful, we dare not hide this sin away like Pharisee. Nor should we act as if its nothing of consequence. Quite the opposite, we heed this sinful woman’s example and bring everything that burdens our conscience to the feet of our savior, even to the foot of the cross. We weep and mourn our sin, true, but our Jesus would never leave us in despair.

Jesus has granted his church the authority to bind and loose sins. (John 20) This does not mean we turn away the sinful woman from the door of this house, where a feast is celebrated and Jesus is the host, butler, and meal. Quite the contrary, we recognize her despair and grant unto her the forgiveness of sins just as Christ has forgiven us. She may come with “baggage,” whoring and six other unnamed demons. She might make us uncomfortable. So what? She who has been forgiven much loves much. She may be 100 denarii worth of sinner but listen to Jesus. You’re 50 denarii worth or worse.

For those who only want to feast with Jesus like this Pharisee but don’t want anything to do with sinners, they need to hear the holy Law. Those holy Ten Commands, good and right, are proclaimed, calling even the 50 denarii “righteous” sinner to repentance. All righteousness is obliterated first, and then all come to the feast with tears of sorrow and gifts of humility.

Luther says: “Neither of these can be neglected. The call to repentance and the rebuke are both necessary to bring people face to face with their sins and humble them. The proclamation of grace and forgiveness are necessary too, lest the people lose all hope. Therefore, the office of preaching must walk the middle way between presumption and despair, to preach so that the people become neither proud nor despairing.”

Therefore, it might be said that your story is the story of St. Mary Magdalene. But it is also the story of this Pharisee. The Christian, while he may not be an adulterer, murder, or thief, yet has sins that wage war against his soul (1 Peter 2:11), that is, against faith and a good conscience. Everyone according to the flesh remains a sinner in the eyes of God, hearts full of it, not delighting in God or His word, nor loving neighbor as himself. Its a sort of demon-possession, like St. Mary Magdalene, of which only Jesus can free us. Indeed, it sticks to us until the day we die and only then will be finally free of the horrible burden.

But as much as we are like the Pharisee, we are also like St. Mary Magdalene, who trusting in the promise of God fled to Jesus for refuge. While we know and feel the sinful nature, we do not let it rule over us or rage against the hope we have in Jesus. Nor do we let it drive us to despair nor drive us back to the Pharisaical pride, presumption, or arrogance against God. This is a life of struggle, waging each day in our prayers and meditation upon the Word and each week in the confession of sins and forgiveness of the Gospel.

Our hope is not in a righteous life. There is no one righteous, no not one. There is no hope for those who refuse to confess their sins, but on the contrary, defends them and refuses correction. Our hope is like St. Mary Magdalene’s: even while feeling our sins, we confess, submit to the discipline of the Word, and resists all our foes, confident in her sins are forgiven.

Thus, our Lord still ministers to us. He rebukes all sins and forgives them, and will do until the Last Day. We will never achieve in this life absolute purity and sinless perfection. We will be like St. Mary Magdalene, a sinner in need of forgiveness, and also the Pharisee, a sinner in need of rebuke, until the day we die. May God grant us His grace, that we may not fall into such error as to reject Him or His name, but rather let God be just and his words right, so that he may justify us.

In Name of the Father, + Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Rev. Christopher R. Gillespie
Grace Lutheran Church
Dyer, Indiana

(Adapted from Luther’s House Postils, volume 4.2 p. 365ff)