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The First Sunday after Easter

 Augustine on the Gospel

ALMIGHTY Father, who hast given thine only Son to die for our sins, and to rise again for our justification; Grant us so to put away the leaven of malice and wickedness, that we may always serve thee in pureness of living and truth; through the merits of the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Source of Collect: Archbishop Cranmer [1549 AD]. This was originally used for the second communion, if any, on Easter. Lost in the 1552 revision, and restored in 1662. From 1 Cor v. 8 "Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth." [Barbee and Zahl]

1 St. John v. 4.; Psalms 110, 111 | 2, 57; John xx19

Homily of Augustine on the Gospel

Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.

Today we look at the worlds of Augustine on the Gospel. He wrote,
 "As the Father hath sent me," He adds, "even so send I you." We know the Son to be equal to the Father; but here we recognize the words of the Mediator. For He exhibits Himself as occupying a middle position when He says, He me, and I you. "And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost." By breathing on them He signified that the Holy Spirit was the Spirit, not of the Father alone, but likewise His own. "Whose so-ever sins," He continues, "ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever ye retain, they are retained." The Church's love, which is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, discharges the sins of all who are partakers with itself, but retains the sins of those who have no participation therein. Therefore it is, that after saying "Receive ye the Holy Ghost," He straightway added this regarding the remission and retention of sins.

There was an interesting discussion going on amongst some folk concerning the question, "Why do Calvinists evangelize? " It keyed off of a discussion with  John Piper and a You Tube video called The Sovereignty of God and Human Responsibility. One response that is often heard is: because Jesus commanded it; and he will work through our efforts to accomplish his purposes.
In our Gospel reading today we certainly see that command as it is quoted above. Jesus sent forth his disciples into the world to preach the Gospel.  Ultimately, today, we preach the Gospel because our Lord commanded us to do so, any other reason in my mind is secondary to his command.  
At the end of Piper's interview, he said in so many words what the Orthodox often preach: the Mystery. God's ways are not always known to us, and that which may appear contradictory is nevertheless true and beyond our comprehension.
Prayers for mission: 1914 Book of Occasional Services

O God, our heavenly Father, who didst manifest Thy love by sending Thine only begotten Son into the world that all may live through Him: Pour Thy Spirit upon Thy Church that it may fulfil His command to preach the Gospel to every creature; send forth, we beseech Thee, laborers into Thy harvest; defend them in all dangers and temptations and hasten the time when the fulness of the Gentiles shall be gathered in, and all Israel shall be saved; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 O Lord Jesus Christ, who didst charge Thine Apostles that they should preach the Gospel to every nation; Make us to show our gratitude for Thy benefits by earnestness in fulfilling Thy command. Prosper all missions, both at home and abroad, with an increase of sanctity, that they may win many to the acknowledgement of Thy truth (especially those in ——), and give them all things needful for their work, making them to be centres of spiritual life, to the quickening of many souls, and the glory of Thy Holy Name, our only Mediator and Advocate. Amen

Released by Primus Pilus
Legio Christi-Ecclesia Militans
"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]


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