News of the Order and commentary appear after the Proper Collect, Epistle and Gospel
The Fourteenth Sunday after Trinity
Chrysostom on a healing Gospel story of Matthew vii
ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, give unto us the increase of faith, hope, and charity; and, that we may obtain that which thou dost promise, make us to love that which thou dost command; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Source of Collect: Very earliest of the Sacramentaries . 1 Corinthans 13:13 "now abideth faith, hope, and charity... There are two petitions, to give us increase, and secondly to make us to love reminds us of Romans 6:17... being "obdient from the heart" [Barbee and Zahl]
The God of the second Joshua (Jesus), is the God of the first Joshua also. Although now for a time he reaches out to the whole world with the gospel (and commissions his people urgently to carry his offer of peace to all nations), the sword of his judgment waits in the wings—and his second Joshua will wield it ( Rev 19:11-16) [NIV Study Bible, page 290]
The psalm selected to go with the readings today is Psalm xix. It has one of the more familiar verses of Scripture, which is one that is appointed in my tradition to be read before Morning and Evening prayer, and one that I often use publicly before an homily. The Authorized Version has it as:
Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.
The verses just before read:
Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults.
Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not
have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be
innocent from the great transgression.
Who indeed? This is a point that Augustine took up against the heresy of Pelagianism:
For how great soever ever a man's righteousness may be, he ought to reflect and think, lest there should be found something blameworthy, which has escaped indeed his own notice, when that righteous King shall sit upon His throne, whose cognizance no sins can possibly escape, not even those of which it is said, "Who understandeth his transgressions? (Ps xix. 12) [Philip Shaff: NPNF1-05. St. Augustin: Anti-Pelagian Writings]
This lesson is echoed in the words of Chrysostom, whose homily is featured for this 14th Sunday after Trinity on the Order's site for the first time. It is similar to the passage appointed in Luke as it tells of the healing of a leper.
"… the more we advance in virtue, so much the more make ourselves contrite; for indeed this, more than anything else is virtue. Because, as the sharper our sight is, the more thoroughly do we learn how distant we are from the sky; so the more we advance in virtue, so much the more are we instructed in the difference between God and us. And this is no small part of true wisdom, to be able to perceive our own desert. For he best knows himself, who accounts himself to be nothing. Thus we see that both David and Abraham, when they were come up to the highest pitch of virtue, then best fulfilled this; and would call themselves, the one, "earth and ashes," the other, "a worm;" and all the saints too, like these, acknowledge their own wretchedness ." [Chrysostom on Matthew viii. 4ff]
Master, have mercy on us
How much are our souls, in their naked view to God, like the skin of the lepers? Who is it that needs not the hand of our Master to heal their spiritual disease? Read it all at the link above.