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The Twentieth Sunday after Trinity
excerpt from
COMMON PRAYER: A Commentary on the Prayer Book Lectionary
Volume 5: Thirteenth Sunday After Trinity to Twenty Sixth Sunday after Trinity 
St. Peter Publications Inc. Charlottetown, PEI, Canada
Reprinted with permission of the publisher.
O Almighty and most merciful God, of thy bountiful goodness keep us, we beseech thee, from all things that may hurt us; that we, being ready both in body and soul, may cheerfully accomplish those things that thou wouldest have done; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The theme for this Sunday is cheerful obedience and service to God. The Epistle today exhorts us to spiritual joyfulness: “be filled with the Spirit...singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.” This Christian joy is one of the great sources of spiritual strength and progress. The Christian life is not one of downcast eyes but of cheerfulness. The connection between this Epistle and the Collect is clear, the petition of the Collect echoing the teachings of the Epistle. We pray to be kept from all hurtful things which hinder us from cheerful service and, as the Epistle warns, from the carelessness, laziness and self-indulgence with which we are all so often tempted. The Collect concludes that, thus guarded and guided, we may cheerfully accomplish the things which God would have us do, in the joyful spirit described in the Epistle.

The Collect also takes its meaning from the Gospel reading which is the parable of the Marriage Feast of the King’s Son. This parable sets forth the privileges to which we are invited, and the danger of being too much absorbed in the cares and anxieties of the world. The invited guests refused the invitation and went their separate ways. We thus pray in the Collect that we will not be like the guests in the parable who refused to accept the invitation, but that we will accept the invitation of Jesus Christ to come to him and receive his salvation: “that we, being ready in body and soul, may cheerfully accomplish those things that thou wouldest have done.”

The second part of the Gospel reading, in which the man “not having a wedding-garment” is thrown out of the feast, teaches that without holiness no man shall see the Lord. Each time we come to Holy Communion we are taught by our Prayer Book that we must prepare ourselves to come to the Communion with our hearts clothed with holiness, love and spiritual joyfulness: “...so that ye may come holy and clean to such a heavenly Feast in the marriage-garment required by God in holy Scripture, and be received as worthy partakers of that holy Table” (Book of Common Prayer, p. 90). God invites us to his holy Table to receive the Body and Blood of his Son so that “our sinful bodies may be made clean by his Body and our souls washed through his most precious Blood.” We dare not refuse that invitation, but let us come with cheerful and loving hearts. Many are invited to the feast. May today’s Collect be our fervent prayer, that we may be “ready both in body and soul” to serve him and “cheerfully accomplish those things that  wouldest have done.”