O Lord we beseech thee, mercifully hear our prayers, and, having set us free from the bonds of sin, defend us from all evil, through ...
Latin original Collect:
Preses nostras, quaesumus Domine, clementer exaudi, atque a peccatorum vinculis absolutos, ab omni nos adversitate custodi, per.
Introit: Be thou my strong Rock…
Ps. In thee O Lord do I put my trust..
Epistle: 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 Though I speak with...
Gradual: Thou are the God that doest wonders…
Gospel: Luke 18:31-43 Then he took unto him the twelve...
Our Governor, we beseech thee Lord, graciously hear us, from the bonds of our sins deliver us, and keep us from all adversity, through.
Again, I was reminded of Luther's Bondage of the Will. There are many who go about these days with the notion that there is no such thing as evil, and that bondage to it is an illusion. There is a recent news story in America of a man in bondage to pornography and molestation. That evil bondage culminated in a several murders.
Don't be fooled. Evil is ubiquitous in our world. This very medium of the Internet, upon which you are likely reading this collect-reflection, has allowed the world wide web to become a worldwide network of evil where every type of perversion is freely practiced and which enslaves humans to unnatural lusts. Hollywood panders evil with new releases of vampires, chain-saw massacres, unbridled sin and lust -- you just about have to have an "R" rating to make it in the box office receipts these days.
What shall we do?
Seek protection from God, pray, and keep praying for your own protection and for those who are in bondage. Don't surrender to those who declare the bondage as just a normal condition. You and I both know better. It is destructive not only to the person in bondage to sin, but to all those who interact with them. Drugs, pornography, violence, hatred, stealing, bickering and backbiting, unhealthy and abnormal practices -- all are a marks of sin to one degree or another as they depart from what is good, and beautiful, and in God's order that he has laid out for us.
We hear a lot about various social, psychological, and therapy programs, most of which have very poor success rates. Often folk go into these programs and "graduate" only to soon fall back under the bondage. So it was with a music star this week. Whitney Houston, who began her musical journey in a church choir, and ended it in an early death due principally to poor health from abuse of drugs. Everyone is subject to these temptations. So what is a person to do? Let us look at our collect for some idea.
"Preses nostras, quaesumus Domine"
-- Our Governor, Lord
First, acknowledge Jesus of Nazareth as God's Messiah, the Christ, the Lord. Know that he is the Anointed one who was sent into the world to gather his own and deliver them from the bondage of sin and its consequences, to include eternal death. Humbly accept his sovereignty. Invite him to rule in your heart. Surrender your will to his. In every way be subject to him as King. Paul wrote, "if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." [Romans 10:9]
-- Mercifully hear us
Second, call on your Lord in prayer. Those with who Jesus abides have no fear. The Holy Ghost within them prays continuously for them in groans that are known to God Almighty. With your lips and heart pray to God through Jesus your King for those things you need, and believe that God will give those good things that are helpful for you. Jesus said, "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?" [Matthew 7:11]
"atque a peccatorum vinculis absolutos"
-- the bonds of our sins
Third, recognize, pray for, and through hope and faith come to realize that the Great Physician is the only power that can release you from the bonds of sin that ensnare mankind. It is our curse in this life through the sin of the one man Adam that we fall prey to this cursed evil, and it is the will of God through Jesus Christ that by his power sin is defeated, death is defeated, we are made free indeed, the bonds are broken, and our will is bound to his goodness. Paul wrote, "For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous." [Romans 5:19], and Jesus said, "If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." [John 8:36]
"ab omni nos adversitate custodi"
-- keep us from all adversity
Finally ask for protection. Our Lord never promised a rose garden for his followers. He never promised or even intimated that they would be delivered from earthly woes -- quite the opposite. That is a false Gospel pandered by false teachers of prosperity. God did promise that the elect would be delivered from evil, forever. Paul clearly identified that evil. He wrote, "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places" [Ephesians 6:12]. Who is our champion, our protector? Jesus said, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand." [John 10:27-29.]
In the ancient tradition, today's epistle is 1 Corinthians 13:1-13. In it, Paul clearly identifies those three great spiritual virtues that will aid us in our journey: Faith [in the Lord Jesus Christ], Hope [in his promise and our end state], and Charity [Love of God first, and our neighbor as ourselves].
In the appointed Gospel the blind beggar mercifully beseeched Jesus to heal him, and knowing the man's heart, Jesus said to him, " Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee". [Luke 18:42]. It is faith and faith alone that God responds to as he breaks the bonds of sin and keeps his own in this world and the next.
These lesson from Paul relate to our collect today. Read them all at the link above. See an homily of Chrysostom on a parallel gospel account of the healing here
(Portions were paraphrased and passages cited from The Collect of the Day, by Paul Zeller Strodach, 1939, The United Lutheran Press, Philadelphia) http://www.cyberhymnal.org/bio/s/t/r/strodach_pz.htm
The Ancient Collect: Its history and form
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]
* ORDO CENTURIONUM * IN HOC SIGNO VINCES * TIME DEUM ET OPERARE IUSTITIAM