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The Second Sunday after Easter

 Homily of Augustine on Psalm 117

ALMIGHTY God, who hast given thine only Son to be unto us both a sacrifice for sin, and also an ensample of godly life; Give us grace that we may always most thankfully receive that his inestimable benefit, and also daily endeavour ourselves to follow the blessed steps of his most holy life; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Source of Collect: Archbishop Cranmer [1549], The Collect calls forth the idea of a lamb in saying that Jesus became a sacrifice for us; and complements the image in the Gospel by following the steps of the Good Shepherd. In those days sheep were not driven; they followed [Barbee and Zahl}

O PRAISE the LORD, all ye nations; praise him, all ye peoples. For his merciful kindness is ever more and more toward us; and the truth of the LORD endureth for ever. Praise the LORD.

Jer xvi. 19, Psalm 21, 23 | 116, 117; 1 St. Peter ii. 19. St. John x. 11.

Homily of Augustine on Psalm CXVII

Grace be unto you, and peace from God the Father and the Risen Lord Jesus Christ.

We enter the second week of our Easter season with the collect that reflects the Gospel of the Good Shepherd,

Jesus said,

Other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one flock, and one shepherd.

Today we shall examine Psalm 113. It the shortest psalm of the psalter, and the shortest chapter of the Bible, and is quoted in its entirety above.

 I have selected Jeremiah xvi to accompany this psalm. He wrote

 "Gentiles shall come unto thee from the ends of the earth, and shall say, Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit"

Augustine wrote of Psalm 117

"O praise the Lord, all ye heathen: praise Him, all ye nations" (ver. 1). These are the courts of the Lord's house, this all His people, this the true Jerusalem. Let those rather listen who have refused to be the children of this city, since they have cut themselves off from the communion of all nations. [5099] "For His merciful kindness is ever more and more towards us: and the truth of the Lord endureth for ever" (ver. 2). These are those two things, loving-kindness and truth, which in the CXV^th Psalm I admonished you should be committed to memory. But "the merciful kindness of the Lord is ever more and more towards us," since the furious tongues of hostile nations have yielded to His Name, through which we have been freed: "and the truth of the Lord endureth for ever," whether in those things which He promised to the righteous, or in those which He hath threatened to the ungodly.

 Christ had told all that he would become the new Temple, established in the hearts of the faithful. That promise was not for the Hebrews alone, but for all who would come to follow our Lord, and to believe on him and confess him as Lord. These would be the other sheep of his fold.

Likewise, note that Augustine speaks of the opposite condition, of those who know not the Risen Christ, the ungodly who shall know the strength of God's wrath threatened in the last days. 

I am disheartened by many of the post-modern churches whose key clerics deny the uniqueness of Christ for salvation. They do not serve our Lord. They disobey his direct command. They preach "lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit" They hold up a golden Buddha next to the Risen Christ and say that both can convey salvation. Lie! They say a man does not need Christ to come to God. They even claim a man has the power within himself to realize the god in him. Vanity! Finally, they imply works of this world deserving of salvation.. No Profit!

Remember the words of our Lord how he said,

He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. [1Jn 5:12]

What shall we say of them? What did Jeremiah say? "Shall a man make gods unto himself, and they are no gods? Therefore, behold, I will this once cause them to know, I will cause them to know mine hand and my might; and they shall know that my name is The LORD"

Amen. Come Lord Jesus!

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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