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Passion Sunday (Fifth Sunday of Lent) - 2013

The Fifth Sunday in Lent.
The Collect.
WE beseech thee, Almighty God, mercifully to look upon thy people; that by thy great goodness they may be governed and preserved evermore, both in body and soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

{The Collect from the First Day of Lent is to be read every day in Lent after the Collect appointed for the Day.}

Old Testament Reading: Isaiah 1.10-20
Psalter: Psalm 42, 43 | 119.145-176
Epistle Reading: Hebrews 9.11-15
Gospel Reading: St. John 8.46-59

Barbee and Zahl: “The Collect is from the Gregorian Sacramentary. The original Latin “familia” is here rendered “people” (“household”). ( . . . ) Why do we need to be governed? Because we need to be preserved. Such is the reasoning of the Collect. The thought process is as follows: Without some restraint or order, the human situation moves irresistibly towards chaos: party out of bounds! God’s government of the world, and God’s government of the self, is parallel. Sin, the even distribution of human nature, erupts chronically and constantly. Sin needs to be kept in bounds. Only with sin restrained, will the self, let alone the plural selves that make up society, find itself preserved. The world descends to chaos, goes this argument, when the evil impulse is not checked. The argument is unavoidably true. It is empirically verified. The question now becomes, How is sin checked? How is human nature governed? Is it governed by external restraint imposed, or is it governed by internal restraint engendered? ( . . . ) The Prayer Book answers the question decisively. We are ruled “by thy great goodness.” ( . . . ) The root of sin’s abeyance is the goodness of God. We become better from the effects of mercy, not from the effects of judgment” (42-3).

Primus Pilus II

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