Commentary appears after the Proper Collect, Epistle and Gospel
First Sunday after Trinity
Augustine on 1 John 12-16
First Sunday after Trinity Home
O GOD, the strength of all those who put their trust in thee; Mercifully accept our prayers; and because, through the weakness of our mortal nature, we can do no good thing without thee, grant us the help of thy grace, that in keeping thy commandments we may please thee, both in will and deed; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Source: Sarum Missal. Note: The system of numbering Sundays from Trinity was part of the Sarum Missal. 21 years after the first Prayer Book, Rome changed their system to number Sundays after Penetcost... a method that has been adopted by many churches
I should like to comment on the appointed collect. It comes from the Sarum Missal and was carried over into the English Prayer Book. Note it says, " through the weakness of our mortal nature, we can do no good thing without thee, grant us the help of thy grace" I now refer you to our Vow (Sacamentum), which each Centurion affirms at the time he applies for registration, and which each centurion is invited to reaffirm annually, as did the legions of Rome. We say, " through faith and the aid of the Holy Spirit, fear God and do what is right." Augustine, whose homily we feature this day, resurrected the Doctrine of Grace in his day. It was emphasized by the Reformers of the 16 th Century. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, Augustine struggled against the heresy of Pelagianism that we see so plainly today in the post-modern church. Let us remember what the Church said in 419AD at the Council of Carthage when Pelagius was condemned, " Whoso preaches that without grace we could keep the commandments although with difficulty, is to be thrice execrated. For the Lord says, " Without me ye can do nothing." I invite you to look at other Biblical and Church teachings that I have collected here.
Sundays after Trinity: We are entering the long Church season of Sundays after Trinity. It will run until Advent. This season, unlike the others, does not focus on a portion of the life of Christ (However, it does have the Feast of the Transfiguration as a Holy Day of our Lord in August.) The Sundays after Trinity are marked with green in many churches. Some have, in hindsight, associated this with Christian growth, where in this season we focus on the teachings of Christ and the Apostles. May we grow in Christian knowledge week-by-week in this season.
The Homily for this Sunday is from another from Augustine. It picks up on the second part of John's First General Epistle that is appointed for this Sunday. It is published for the first time on the Order's site this year. Lord willing, next year we will feature the third homily of Augustine that touches on this epistle. Recently I read an article entitled "Islam and Us" by George Cardinal Pell, Archbishop of Sidney, Australia (First Things , June/July 2006 p. 33). The Most Reverend Pell speaks of the optimists who paint Islam as a religion of Peace… and then says, "On the pessimistic side of the equation, concern begins with the Qur'an itself. I started, in a recent reading of the Qur'an, to note invocations to violence—and abandoned the exercise after fifty or sixty pages, as there are so many of them." A good read, I recommend the entire article
Compare that, if you will, with John in our appointed epistle today.
If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.
Throughout the New Testament we find the general theme of Love of Neighbor and prayer for enemies. This is a theme carried over into our very Rule in the Order, where we pick up the Summary of the Law. Our Lord has showed us the way to perfection through love. May God, through the Holy Ghost, give us the grace to love, and guide us toward that ideal love of Christ day-by-day.