The Ninth Sunday after Trinity.
O LORD, thou hast dealt graciously with thy servant : according unto thy word.
66. O learn me true understanding and knowledge : for I have believed thy commandments.
67. Before I was troubled, I went wrong : but now I have kept thy word.
68. Thou art good and gracious : O teach me thy statutes.
69. The proud have imagined a lie against me : but I will keep thy commandments with my whole heart.
70. Their heart is as fat as brawn : but my delight hath been in thy law.
71. It is good for me that I have been in trouble : that I may learn thy statutes.
72. The law of thy mouth is dearer unto me : than thousands of gold and silver.
GRANT to us, Lord, we beseech thee, the spirit to think and do always such things as be rightful; that we, who cannot do any thing that is good without thee, may by thee be enabled to live according to thy will; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Old Testament Reading: 1 Kings 10.1-25
Psalter: Psalm 46, 47 | 44, 45
Epistle Reading: 1 Corinthians 10.1-13
Gospel Reading: St. Luke 16.1-9
Toon: “This is a powerful petition in which we ask God to conform us, both internally and externally, to his righteousness (to what is rightful). Further, there is the honest admission that, in and of ourselves, that is in our wisdom and strength, we cannot please God by seeking to live what we consider to be the righteous and good life. (Note that this Collect is true to the meaning of the original Latin prayer, which is so terse that a literal translation of the second part would be, that we, who cannot even exist without thee, may have strength to live according to thee.)
Today we learn from our society and in our education and culture that each of us is an autonomous being. That is, I am in charge of my life and destiny and so are you! We think of the human being as being the centre of the universe and if we think of God at all in relation to the world it is as an Extra.
In contrast, genuine Christian thinking sees a person in total dependence upon God for his creation, his existence, his sustenance, his salvation and his eternal destiny. Whatever measure of free will and free determination a person possesses is itself from God and is only beneficial if conformed to the known will of God.
True freedom is not known in the exercise of personal autonomy and pursuing one’s own selfish will, but rather in thinking according to God’s ways and purposes and in doing his will, assisted and guided by his revelation and his Spirit. That is, the genuine life of righteousness and goodness is following the Way of Jesus Christ as his Spirit indwells the heart and mind and directs the will.
This Collect helps us to move from the mindset and spirit of the fallen world and evil age into the mindset and spirit of the kingdom of heaven and of God’s righteousness. And it presupposes that we are diligent readers of the sacred Scriptures where the mind and will of God is revealed to the Church.
The Epistle recalls the history of the Israelites in the wilderness in order to provide for us instruction in the moral and spiritual dangers we face and how they are to be overcome. The Gospel provides the Parable of the Unjust Steward in order to impress upon us the need and duty to make wise use of the present in providing for the life of the age to come” (http://www.pbs.org.uk/the-bcp/ninth-sunday-after-trinity).