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The Fifth Sunday in Lent (commonly called Passion Sunday) - 2014

The Fifth Sunday in Lent.
Psalm 54
Deus, in nomine
SAVE me, O God, for thy Name’s sake : and avenge me in thy strength.
2. Hear my prayer, O God : and hearken unto the words of my mouth.
3. For strangers are risen up against me : and tyrants, which have not God before their eyes, seek after my soul.
4. Behold, God is my helper : the Lord is with them that uphold my soul.
5. He shall reward evil unto mine enemies : destroy thou them in thy truth.
6. An offering of a free heart will I give thee, and praise thy Name, O Lord : because it is so comfortable.
7. For he hath delivered me out of all my trouble : and mine eye hath seen his desire upon mine enemies.

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

Toon: “The Church has arrived in her Christian Year at the point when she is only 14 days from Easter. In the Jewish Year there is 14 days of preparation before the Passover when on the 14th Day of Abib the Passover Lamb was slain. So this Sunday is called Passion Sunday as the suffering and death of Jesus as the Lamb of God is much in view - see the Epistle, Hebrews 9, which makes mention of the shedding of Christ's blood.

Human kings that faithfully do their duty take care of the governing of their people according to righteousness and the preserving of their subjects in peace. The King of kings, Almighty God, the Omnipotent One, also takes care of his people and preserves them unto everlasting peace. And he does so in their total being, for the Christian hope is not merely of the immortality of the soul but also the resurrection of the body to life everlasting in the courts of heaven. The reason he cares for the whole person, soul and body, is because of "thy great goodness".

As the worst that the world can do to the Son of God incarnate - reject and crucify him - is to be the theme of some of the Church's reading and meditation until Good Friday, it is good and right that on this day the Church asks her King in his mercy and grace, and by his great goodness, to hear her prayer and to govern and preserve his Church in this particular time. In this part of the Christian Year God's people especially need to know that, despite all the evidence to the contrary in a world of sin, the sin that caused the substitutionary and expiatory death of Jesus, God is still not only the LORD but the bountifully good Lord.

Further, as the Gospel declares, Jesus as the Son of God, existed as the only-begotten Son of the Father before he took flesh in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary. "Before Abraham was, I am," said Jesus. Therefore, as they approach Holy Week Christians have the assurance that he who dies for their sins and rises from the dead for their justification is none other than the pre-existent Son of God in human nature, flesh of our flesh and bone of our bone.

In 1689, in the proposed revision of The Book of Common Prayer, it was decided to replace the present Collect with another written by the Bishop of Chichester and focused on the Passion. Though this revision scheme failed, the Collect is worth remembering and praying for it does fit neatly into the theme of the latter part of Lent, as the Church moves quickly to Holy Week.

"O Almighty God, who hast sent thy Son Jesus Christ to be an High Priest of good things to come, and by his own blood to enter in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us; mercifully look upon thy people, that by the same blood of our Saviour, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to thee, our consciences may be purged from dead works, to serve thee, the living God, that we may receive the promise of eternal inheritance; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen” (

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