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Fifth Sunday after Trinity
excerpt from
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. Thorne
Revised 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. 2. 2). 

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 godly quietness. 

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....”