Fourth 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 God, the protector of all that trust in thee, without whom
nothing is strong, nothing is holy: Increase and multiply upon us thy mercy;
that, thou being our ruler and guide, we may so pass through things temporal,
that we finally lose not the things eternal. Grant this, O heavenly Father,
for Jesus Christ’s sake our Lord. Amen.
As we begin the Collect, we address God as our sole Protector and the only
one who can make us strong and holy. Throughout last week we prayed
in the Collect that God would defend and comfort us; our Collect today
expresses our perfect trust in this perfection. Our petition is that
God “increase and multiply upon us thy mercies”, echoing the opening words
of our Gospel: “Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.”
It is entirely the mercy and grace of God that begins our spiritual
life, sustains it while on this earth, and finally, will bring it to completion
in Jesus. Our spiritual life begins at our Baptism and is sustained
primarily throughout our life by God’s mercy as it comes to us in the Church
through its teaching, prayers, the absolution and forgiveness of our sins,
and the receiving of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ at the Holy Communion
—“the Blood of eternal life and the Cup of everlasting salvation.”
We pray for the increase of God’s mercies so that we might not lose
heaven: “that thou being our Ruler and Guide, we may so pass through things
temporal, that we finally lose not the things eternal.”
This theme is taken from the Epistle in which St. Paul contrasts the
sufferings of this present time with the glory that shall be ours in heaven.
May our hearts this day be set on Christ above and his love for us, for
our treasure is nothing other than heaven itself: “For where your treasure
is, there will your heart be also” (Man. 6. 21).