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Fourth Sunday after Epiphany

 Next Week's Calendar:

The Presentation of CHRIST in the Temple
commonly called
The Purification of Mary the Virgin
-- February 2nd

Chaplains of the USAT Dorchester February 3rd

Cornelius, Centurion at Caesarea, Bishop - February 4th

The Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany
Augustine on the Centurion of Capernaum, etc.
O GOD, who knowest us to be set in the midst of so many and great dangers, that by reason of the frailty of our nature we cannot always stand upright; Grant to us such strength and protection, as may support us in all dangers, and carry us through all temptations; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Matthew vii 

"I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof,"


Matthew vii. 1.

WHEN he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him. And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. And Jesus saith unto him, See thou tell no man; but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them. And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him, and saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented. And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him. The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. And I say unto you, that many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.


Augustine of Hippo

(Sermon XII in Vol VI, NPNF(1st)

1. We have heard, as the Gospel was being read, the praise of our faith as manifested in humility. For when the Lord Jesus promised that He would go to the Centurion's house to heal His servant, He answered, "I am not worthy that Thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and he shall be healed." By calling himself unworthy, he showed himself worthy for Christ to come not into his house, but into his heart. Nor would he have said this with so great faith and humility, had he not borne Him in his heart, of whose coming into his house he was afraid. For it were no great happiness for the Lord Jesus to enter into his house, and vet not to be in his heart. For this Master of humility both by word and example, sat down even in the house of a certain proud Pharisee, by name Simon; and though He sat down in his house, there was no place in this heart, "where the Son of Man could lay His Head."
see more here Homilies


Should Christians Fight?

I commend this article entitled: Should Christians Fight? from Plain Truth Magazine.
 It surveys the different views that have come down through the ages. 

"Does loving your enemy mean not punishing him? No, for loving myself does not mean that I ought not to subject myself to punishment -- even to death. If one had committed a murder; the right Christian thing to do would be to give yourself up to the police and be hanged. It is, therefore, in my opinion, perfectly right for a Christian judge to sentence a man to death or a Christian soldier to kill an enemy."

  • Mere Christianity
    C.S. Lewis


The Second Sunday after the Epiphany


The Second Sunday after the Epiphany
The Baptism of Chirst

ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who dost govern all things in heaven and earth; Mercifully hear the supplications of thy people, and grant us thy peace all the days of our life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Archbishop Cranmer translated this from Latin. Originally a prayer for outward peace.

In the Early Church, the birth of Christ, the Magi visit, and Baptism were all celebrated on the 6th. The Protestant Episcopal Church moved the baptism Gospel to the 2nd Sunday after Epiphany, to remember this event during Epiphany and so we have it today. The Lutheran Church remembers the Baptism on Third Sunday after Christmas. The Latin Church remembers it on the First Sunday after Epiphany. The Orthodox Church continues to celebrate the Baptism on the Theophany, 6 January, with the visit of the Magi. Theophany literally means "Manifestation of God".

coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit, like a dove, descending upon him: and there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

Isaiah 45:1,   Psalm 118,   Romans xii. 6  &   St. Mark i. 1

Chrysostom on Romans xii. 4

"Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another" [St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans 14:19]



The First Sunday after the Epiphany


The First Sunday after the Epiphany

O LORD, we beseech thee mercifully to receive the prayers of thy people who call upon thee; and grant that they may both perceive and know what things they ought to do, and also may have grace and power faithfully to fulfil the same; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Source Sacramentary of Bishop Gregory of Rome [600 AD]. It is based on James 4:17, John 13:17, and Luke 12:47 -[Barbee and Zahl] = DO WHAT IS RIGHT!

Isaiah lx. 1, Psalm 72 Romans xii. 1   &   St. Luke ii. 41

all that heard him were astonished at his understanding

"Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another" [St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans 14:19]



Epiphany 6 January

The Epiphany
or the Manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles

[January 6]

O GOD, who by the leading of a star didst manifest thy only-begotten Son to the Gentiles; Mercifully grant that we, who know thee now by faith, may after this life have the fruition of thy glorious Godhead; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Source Bishop Gregory of Rome [600 AD]. Cranmer in 1549 changed the original Latin which was "we who know thee now by faith, may be brought to the contemplation of thy Majesty through sight". Epiphany means "manifestation" and so this collect reinforces the first manifestation to the Gentiles by sight. We who only know our Master by faith, shall one day see him as a result of our faith. [Barbee & Zahl]

Ephesians iii. 1.   St. Matthew ii. 1.

A Homily by Gregory

Dearly beloved brethren, ye have heard from the Gospel how, when the King of heaven was born, an earthly king was troubled. For earthly greatness is brought to confusion when the might of heaven is made manifest. But let us ask a question: When the Redeemer was born, why was it that, to the shepherds of Judaea, an Angel was sent to bring tidings thereof, whereas it was a star that led the Wise Men of the East to worship him? It would seem that the Jews, who had been hitherto under the governance of reason, received a revelation from a reasonable being, that is, an Angel; but that the Gentiles, who knew not the right use of reason, were brought to the Lord, not by a voice, but by a sign, that is, by a star. Hence Paul hath it : Prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe. So the prophesying was given to them that believed and the sign to them that believed not.

It is worthy of notice also, that to these same Gentiles the Redeemer, when he was of full age, was preached by his Apostles ; whereas while he was as yet the little Child, and unable to use the organs of speech, he was shewn to them, not by the voice of Angels, but merely by the vision of a star. When he himself had begun to speak he was made known to us by speakers, but when he lay silent in the manger, by that silent testimony I in the heavens. But whether we consider the signs which accompanied his birth or his death, this thing is wonderful, namely, the hardness of a heart of Jewry, which would not believe in him either for prophesying or for miracles.
All things which he had made bore witness that their Maker was come. Let me reckon them after the manner of men. The Heavens knew that he was God, and sent a star to shine over where he lay. The sea knew it, and bore him up when he walked upon it. The earth knew it, and quaked when he died. The sun knew it, and was darkened. The rocks and walls knew it, and were rent at the hour of his death. Hell knew it, and gave up the dead that were in it. And yet up to the very hour the hearts of unbelieving Jewry will not acknowledge that he, to whom all nature hath testified, is their God. Yea, it is as though they are more hardened than the rocks and refuse to be rent by repentance.

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