Fifth 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.
Grant, O Lord, we beseech thee, that the course of this
world may be so peaceably ordered by thy governance, that thy Church may
joyfully serve thee in all godly quietness; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.In today’s Collect we pray for the peace of the world in order that the
Church may joyfully serve God. This same theme is echoed elsewhere
in our Prayer Book. In the Collect for the Queen (p. 70, Book of
Common Prayer) the reason we pray for her well-being and our obedience
to her is made clear, namely that we may “faithfully serve, honour, and
humbly obey her, in thee, and for thee, according to thy blessed Word and
ordinance.” In the Intercession (p. 75, Book of Common Prayer), we
pray that all nations may enjoy the blessings of freedom and peace, “to
the maintenance of thy true religion and virtue.” Such prayers are
in accordance with St. Paul’s advice in his first letter to Timothy, where
he prompts prayers for kings and all in authority, in order that: “....we
may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty” (I Tim.
This Collect was composed in a time of war and unrest when it seemed
that the Roman Empire was to be devastated by the Goths, Huns and Vandals.
What hope could there be for the safety and continuance of the Church if
such devastation took place? Our Gospel reading answers this question.
Simon had fished all night but caught nothing. The troubled sea offered
Simon no indication of prosperity or success, but Simon had faith in Christ:
“...nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.” The
sea brought forth bounty beyond measure. The Collect begs God’s presence
and peace so that the waves of this troublesome world may be stilled and
the Ark of the Church serve him by gathering souls into her nets in all
Finally, even if the rulers and governors of nations turn away from
God to seek war and destruction, no true harm can actually be done to the
Church. We pray for peace, but the Church does not depend upon world
peace for her safety or existence. The Epistle brings us this message:
“And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is
good? But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye,
and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; but sanctify Christ
as Lord in your hearts....”