The Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity
Augustine on Psalm 81
Trinity 13 Home
Psalm lxxxi, lxxxii | lxxiii; Galatians iii. 16 & St. Luke x. 23
Source of Collect: Bishop Leo I [440-461] Sacrementary. Archbishop Cranmer changed it to read as shown here: ALMIGHTY and merciful God, of whose only gift it cometh that thy faithful people do unto thee true and laudable service; Grant, we beseech thee, that we may so faithfully serve thee in this life, that we fail not finally to attain thy heavenly promises; through the merits of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Homily of Augustine on Psalm LXXIII
Then thought I to understand this; but it was too hard for me, Until I went into the sanctuary of God: then understood I the end of these men; Namely, how thou dost set them in slippery places, and castest them down, and destroyest them.
Augustine examined Psalm 73 in today's homily. This is an imprecatory psalm, ascribed to Asaph, and contrasts the plight of the wicked with the reward of the righteous: looking at the end times.
Let us hear now Augustine on the verse cited above:
.And he hath done this; for he saith how long labour is before him; "until I enter into the sanctuary of God, and understand upon the last things" (ver. 17). A great thing it is, brethren: now for a long time I labour, he saith, and before my face I see a sort of insuperable labour, to know in what manner both God is just, and doth care for things human, and is not unjust because men sinning and doing wicked actions have happiness on this earth; but the godly and men serving God are wasted ofttimes in trials and in labours; a great difficulty it is to know this, but only "until I enter into the Sanctuary of God." For in the Sanctuary what is presented to thee, in order that thou mayest solve this question? "And I understand," he saith, "upon the last things:" not present things. I, he saith, from the Sanctuary of God stretch out mine eye unto the end, I pass over present things. All that which is called the human race, all that mass of mortality is to come to the balance, is to come to the scale, thereon will be weighed the works of men. All things now a cloud doth enfold: but to God are known the merits of each severally. "And I understand," he saith, "upon the last things:" but not of myself; for before me there is labour. Whence "may I understand upon the last things"? Let me enter into the Sanctuary of God. In that place then he understood also the reason why these men now are happy.
Paul wrote in Romans 1:28: And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
God does not prevent the reprobate from their course. He allows perfect freedom for man to peruse temporal lusts while ignoring his call to righteousness. Indeed God will set him on a "slippery slope" and through their rise in this temporal world, with evil ways, they are falling further into the promise of everlasting damnation. Yet, he stands at the door and knocks and any who seek him shall find him.
I cannot help but to think of those in the world who have knowingly advanced their personal welfare through fraud and deceit at the expense of others. The recent financial fall in the world, Enron, and other examples come to mind. The other day in contemplating my role as a financial consutant, I browsed the proverbs and came across this which I think is applicable today, and with this psalm
A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight. [Proverbs 11:1]
Those who follow our Lord's admonitions and practice honesty with their fellows are a delight to the Lord, and those who practice deceit and fraud are abomination.
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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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