The Sixth Sunday after Trinity.
Et veniat super me
LET thy loving mercy come also unto me, O Lord : even thy salvation, according unto thy word.
42. So shall I make answer unto my blasphemers : for my trust is in thy word.
43. O take not the word of thy truth utterly out of my mouth : for my hope is in thy judgements.
44. So shall I alway keep thy law : yea, for ever and ever.
45. And I will walk at liberty : for I seek thy commandments.
46. I will speak of thy testimonies also, even before kings : and will not be ashamed.
47. And my delight shall be in thy commandments : which I have loved.
48. My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments, which I have loved : and my study shall be in thy statutes.
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
Toon: “It seems reasonably sure that this Prayer is based on the words of St Paul as he quotes from Isaiah the prophet in 1 Corinthians 2:9, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. Of course, this Collect had a history in Latin before it was made into an English Collect by Archbishop Cranmer in 1549 and then slightly revised in 1661 for the Prayer Book of 1662.
The doctrine contained in the relative clause – who has prepared – is the mystery and yet the confidence of the Christian Hope. To be with the Lord Jesus Christ in heaven in the company of the saints and with all the angels and archangels and there to enjoy the beatific vision of the Father Almighty are the good things that pass our understanding. To live in perfect communion with the Holy Trinity [with the Father through the Son by the Holy Ghost] and in heavenly blessedness is the goal of the true Christian soul and the fulfilment of the promises of the Gospel.
But the enjoyment of God and the glorifying him for ever are only desirable and possible in and to those who truly love God - that is those who not merely love him as one amongst many, but who love him supremely and love others in the light of that love for him. The true quality of a saint is that he loves the Holy Trinity, the Father through the Son and with the Holy Ghost, chiefly and supremely and evaluates all else in the strength and light of this love.
And, since we are both sinful and morally weak, we can only love God in a way that is appropriate for loving our Creator, Redeemer and Judge, when he, as the Father, grants to us the gift and presence of his Holy Spirit, who brings the very love of God into our hearts, minds and wills. Thus it is this love, this divine and heavenly love, for which we ask here so that we can fulfil the law of God which requires us to love Him and our neighbour. In so doing we can experience by grace the fruit of such loving, including especially the enjoyment of the beatific vision of heaven.
The Lord Jesus in the Gospel for this week (Matthew 5) tells us that only in the possessing of a perfect righteousness can we enter into the kingdom of heaven. Happily, this is provided for us by the Lord Jesus Christ himself, as the Epistle for the week teaches. However, what we are reckoned by God the Father to be in Christ we are to strive to be in daily living.
St. Paul in the Epistle (Romans 6) tells us that it is only in union with Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Son of God, in his death, burial and resurrection that there can be genuine righteousness and therefore union with his Father and thus union with the Blessed, Holy and Undivided Trinity” (http://www.pbs.org.uk/the-bcp/sixth-sunday-after-trinity).