The Sixth Sunday after Trinity.
Diligam te, Domine
I WILL love thee, O Lord, my strength; the Lord is my stony rock, and my defence : my saviour, my God, and my might, in whom I will trust, my buckler, the horn also of my salvation, and my refuge.
2. I will call upon the Lord, which is worthy to be praised : so shall I be safe from mine enemies.
( . . . )
O GOD, who hast prepared for them that love thee such good things as pass man’s understanding; Pour into our hearts such love toward thee, that we, loving thee above all things, may obtain thy promises, which exceed all that we can desire; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Old Testament Reading: Isaiah 57.13b-19
Psalter: Psalm 28, 29 | 30, 31
Epistle Reading: Romans 6.3-11
Gospel Reading: St. Matthew 5.20-26
Barbee and Zahl: “Note the order of ideas in this Collect. “Pour into our hearts such love towards thee.” We do not or cannot love God without His help. That is because the human being fashions counterfeit gods continually. True God Himself, the God of the First Commandment, can be construed also as wrath and destruction, hurricane and straight-line winds. So the prayer asks God to give us love for Him! Without the love having shone in the face of Jesus Christ (II Corinthians 4:6), we would be kidding ourselves to love God without keeping our fingers crossed. The result of this given love is that we come to love God in all things. Here is the Augustinian and Reformed insight: God is active in all things, the bad (from our perspective) as well as the good. He is to be loved in all circumstances. This suggests a very deep level of acceptance. “Who is sufficient for these things?” (II Corinthians 2:16) But the fruit of loving God in all things is, according to the prayer, the obtaining of the promises. And the promises are so good, that they “exceed all that we can desire.” God is therefore not only Love, and to be loved; but He is good. The Collect is unconditional. It leaves no room for human bargaining, exemptions, or intellectual escape clauses. His love surpasses “all man’s understanding,” causes us to love Him “in all things,” and results in (more than) “all that we can desire.” This is the pummelling clarity of Prayer Book religion” (81).