Second Sunday after Trinity
excerpt fromCOMMON PRAYER
Volume 4: Trinity Sunday to the Twelfth Sunday After Trinity
Daily Reading on the Lectionary of the Book of
Common Prayer by W. J. Hankey, D. P. Curry, J.A. Matheson, B.L.
Craig, R. U. Smith, and G. W. ThorneRevised by D. P. Curry, P. W. Harris, and B. M. Large
St. Peter Publications
Inc. Charlottetown, PEI, Canada, 1999.Reprinted with permission of the publisher.
O Lord, who never failest to help and govern them whom thou
dost bring up in thy steadfast fear and love: Keep us, we beseech thee,
under the protection of thy good providence, and make us to have a perpetual
fear and love of thy holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The two great themes of this season of the church which are both stated
and tied together by our readings are (1) the vision of God and (2) the
fruit of good works. The Holy Spirit comes so as to raise us to the
right hand of the Father where our Lord Jesus now lives and reigns (“to
exalt us whither our Saviour Christ is gone before” so to “continually
dwell” with him). The Spirit opens for us a door in heaven so that
we may see the one who sits on the throne (Lesson for Trinity Sunday);
this is why everyone must be born again by water and the Spirit (Gospel
for Trinity Sunday). This theme is the sole concern of the Book of
Job, which we have been reading since Trinity Sunday. Its conclusion
is “I have heard of thee (God) by the hearing of the ear: But now mine
eye seeth thee” (Job 42. 5).
The second theme is the fruit of good works, which is symbolized in
the colour of the season, green. The Epistle of James was occupied
especially with the unity of faith and works: “faith without works is dead.”
And the stress on sanctification (holiness of life) through the thankful
exercise of God’s grace, is a strong characteristic of the Book of Common
Prayer and our Anglican tradition.
The unity of knowledge (or sight) of God and of holiness of life shown
in the love of the brethren is the message of the Second Epistle of Peter
as well as of the First Epistle of John which we read this week.
This is why I John is so strongly represented in the readings set for the
Eucharist at the beginning of this season. This epistle has been
read in this season for at least sixteen hundred years. The opening
line of the Epistle for the First Sunday After Trinity sums up the whole
message and aim of the Spirit in his Church for us in this season: “Beloved,
let us love one another: for love is of God, and everyone that loveth is
born of God and knoweth God” (I John 4. 7).