Note to readers: Liturgical entries on this blog are based on the traditional calendar of the Books of Common Prayer and the traditional one-year Eucharistic lectionary. If you follow a newer calendar or three-year lectionary, there are variations in names for some Sundays and in the readings.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Twelfth Sunday after Trinity

The Epistle for this Sunday is from 2 Corinthians 3:4-9 and includes some of the Apostle Paul's insights about ministry. Of course, he has his own apostolic ministry in mind, but much of what he says can apply to the service rendered Christ and His Church by any Christian, from the saintliest bishop to the simplest struggling layperson. In particular, let us notice verse 5: "...not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God...." Regardless of any natural gifts or lack of them, our service of the Gospel must not be focused upon ourselves; rather we must focus upon God's grace that can empower us to do what is needed.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Eleventh Sunday after Trinity

The traditional Epistle for this Sunday is 1 Corinthians 15: 1ff.  In these verses, St. Paul focuses on the core of the Gospel that he and other apostles preach. The key words are these:
Brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; by which also ye are saved.... For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: and that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: after that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once.... After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time. For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am... Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed.

According to Paul, the core of the Christian proclamation is that Christ died for our sins and rose again. In this perspective, all the other Christian teachings get their meaning from Christ's death and resurrection.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Ninth Sunday after Trinity

The Epistle is 1 Corinthians 10: 1ff.  Here the Apostle refers to the Hebrew wilderness journey as a type or foreshadowing of Christian experience. The Israelites were "baptized" in the sea and partakers of holy food and drink but many rebelled against God and died. The Apostle warns the Corinthian Christians that the same can happen to them. Temptations are bound to come, but God provides grace to continue the journey of faith. "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."