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The Third Sunday after Easter

Homily of Augustine on Psalm CXXII
Third Sunday after Easter Home

ALMIGHTY God, who showest to them that are in error the light of thy truth, to the intent that they may return into the way of righteousness; Grant unto all those who are admitted into the fellowship of Christ's Religion, that they may avoid those things that are contrary to their profession, and follow all such things as a

re agreeable to the same; through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Source of Collect: Sacramentary of Leo, Bishop of Rome [440-461AD]. The Vigil of Easter was the traditional time for Baptism, and this collect speaks to the newly baptized "all those who are admitted into the fellowship". One had to be baptized to be present during the Eucharist. Christiana professione censentor

Isaiah lix 8 , Psalm 120, 121, 122 | 123, 124, 125; 1 St. Peter ii. 11. St. John xvi. 16.

Homily of Augustine on Psalm CXXII

I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.


Today's homily by Augustine is on Psalm 122. He tell us that Psalm CXXII is one of the Songs of Ascension.  It was likely used by the folk who sang it as they came up to Jerusalem for one of the several festivals, and especially at Passover.  It is a verse that is very familiar to me, as in the 1928 prayer book that I use, it is the second standard opening sentence at the very start of Morning Prayer appointed daily. 

Augustine discusses the true Church of Christ, as one that is built up not of brick and mortar, but of the faithful folk on the foundation laid down by the Apostles with Jesus Christ as the corner. He wrote concerning the third verse,

 "Jerusalem that is being built as a city" (ver. 3). Brethren, when David was uttering these words, that city had been finished, it was not being built. It is some city he speaketh of, therefore, which is now being built, unto which living stones run in faith, of whom Peter saith, "Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house;"  that is, the holy temple of God. What meaneth, ye are built up as lively stones? Thou livest, if thou believest: but if thou believest, thou art made a temple of God; for the Apostle Paul saith, "The temple of God is holy, which temple are ye."  This city is therefore now in building; stones are cut down from the hills by the hands of those who preach truth, they are squared that they may enter into an everlasting structure. There are still many stones in the hands of the Builder: let them not fall from His hands, that they may be built perfect into the structure of the temple. 

Let them not fall-- indeed.  

This week I read of a survey by the Barna Group that found of the many unchurched people in the United States (37%) had some negative experience with people in the local church so that they avoided attending.  They have fallen away from the visible Church.  They would have problems in saying the opening verse of the psalm.   I think of the many orthodox who have seen their churches seemingly embrace heretical beliefs and practices to the offense of the faithful so they would rather absent themselves than subject their families to the apostasy.   I cannot help but think also of those who have suffered trememdously at the hand of pedifile ministers in the church--conduct that is  shameful and hateful.  Let each of us always endeavor to ensure that our Church homes do not offend folk for lack of compassion, truth to the Apostolic faith and traditions, and right behavior by our members. As our collect says, may God grant that 

Christians avoid those things that are contrary to their profession, and follow all such things as agreeable to the same.


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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