ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who art always more ready to hear than we to pray, and art wont to give more than either we desire or deserve; Pour down upon us the abundance of thy mercy; forgiving us those things whereof our conscience is afraid, and giving unto us that that our prayer dare not presume to ask, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Source of Collect: Leo , revised by Gelasius . (An 1662 revision by Bishop Cosin added and giving us those good things which we are not worthy to ask, but through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, thy Son, our Lord. [Barbee and Zahl]
He hath done all things well
2 Cor iii. 1.
John Chrysostom [ca 400AD]
Are we beginning, again to commend ourselves? or need we, as do some, epistles of commendation to you or letters of commendation from you?
He anticipates and puts himself an objection which others would have urged against him, 'Thou vauntest thyself;' and this though he had before employed so strong a corrective in the expressions, "Who is sufficient for these things?" and, "of sincerity…speak we." (2 Cor. ii. 16, 17.) Howbeit he is not satisfied with these. For such is his character. From appearing to say any thing great of himself he is far removed, and avoids it even to great superfluity and excess. And mark, I pray thee, by this instance also, the abundance of his wisdom. For a thing of woeful aspect, I mean tribulations, he so much exalted and showed to be bright and lustrous, that out of what he said the present objection rose up against him. And he does so also towards the end. For after having enumerated numberless perils, insults, straits, necessities, and as many such like things as be, he added, "We commend not ourselves, but speak as giving you occasion to glory." (2 Cor. v. 12.) And he expresses this again with vehemence in that place, and with more of encouragement. For here the words are those of love, "Need we, as do some, epistles of commendation?" but there what he says is full of a kind of pride even, necessarily and properly so, of pride, I say, and anger. "For we commend not ourselves again," saith he, "but speak as giving you occasion to glory;" (2 Cor. v. 12.) and, "Again, think ye that we excuse ourselves unto you? For in the sight of God speak we in Christ. For I fear lest by any means when I come I should not find you such as I would, and should myself be found of you such as ye would not." (ib. xii. 19, 20.) For to prevent all appearance of a wish to flatter, as though he desired honor from them, he speaketh thus, "I fear lest by any means when I come I should not find you such as I would, and should myself be found of you such as ye would not." This however comes after many accusations ; But in the beginning he speaketh not so, but more gently. And what is it he saith? He spoke of his trials and his perils, and that every where he is conducted as in procession by God in Christ, and that the whole world knoweth of these triumphs. Since then he has uttered great things of himself, he urges this objection against himself, "Are we beginning again to commend ourselves?" Now what he saith is this: Perchance some one will object, 'What is this, O Paul? Sayest thou these things of thyself, and exaltest thyself?' To do away then with this suspicion, he saith, We desire not this, that is, to boast and exalt ourselves; yea, so far are we from needing epistles of commendation to you that ye are to us instead of an epistle. "For," saith he,
"Ye are our epistle."
Read it all at the link aboveA thought: Paul's letter and Chrysostom's homily are valid for this day. Measure the worth of any minister based upon his heart, his pure thoughts, his fideliety to the faith once delivered, and his witness as evidenced in the life of the cure for which he cares, but not upon the papers and letters he may or may not present. Hell is paved with the skulls of doctors of theology who had glowing commendations from others, but they knew not Christ -- nor he them.For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God's word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.[2 Corinthians 2:17 ]Finis
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The Twelfth Sunday after Trinity - MMXI
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