There was the story going around that one year the final test in Christology consisted of our teacher writing on the board “Jesus” and saying “Have a go with that”. I’m not sure if it happened or not, but Jesus was the one our blessed teacher wanted to come clear for us. Jesus. His Father. His Spirit. His Word. His Name. His Cross. His Resurrection. His Baptism. His Body. His Blood. His Forgiveness. His Church. His Ministry. His Prayer. His Way. His Gifts. His More. Always More. And if we were to be men who were to give out Jesus and the gifts of Jesus, it first had to be gifts received. Jesus gave them to us through Norman Nagel, a man who was put in a place by Jesus to speak Jesus to us. He did it, and now for our blessed teacher it is Jesus, full go, the whole lot. But then there will be the More. Always More. Resurrection. Jesus.
“Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the Word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:7-8) No teacher has been more imitated by his students than Dr. Nagel. We loved him and wanted to be like him. And so we wanted to give out Jesus like he did - and continually failed the test because we weren’t supposed to be following and being like Norman, we were supposed to be following and being like Jesus. The Jesus way, that was the Norman way. To remember Norman, who has now died in Christ, we who are his sons in the faith should be having at life and the Holy Office like he did, the Calvary way, the Jesus way, the Gift way. And in that way, pass the test. Jesus.
The sermon here had us remember Jesus Christ. I remember the times when I was in the chancel to pray Matins when our teacher was scheduled to preach. Somehow I got to pray with him in the Chapel of St. Timothy and St. Titus three times. A week or so before, we would sit in his study and have our way around the propers and the hymn and talked of what Jesus was going to give us that day at Matins. I got sent over to the library one time to find out why the Invitatory was chosen for a particular commemoration day. And then the joy in the study when we got to talk about the Why. There were always gifts in the little details. In the end it would be Jesus in the way of the text. And so it was. And so it is for Norman now. Jesus.