The BCP

Twelfth Sunday after Trinity

Author: The Revd Dr Peter Toon

Collect

Almighty and everlasting God, who art always more ready to hear than we to pray, and art wont to give more than either we desire or deserve: Pour down upon us the abundance of thy mercy; forgiving us those things whereof our conscience is afraid, and giving us those good things which we are not worthy to ask, but through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, thy Son, our Lord. Amen

Collect Commentary

Here we address the Lord our God on the basis of two convictions concerning him, convictions whose content we have learned from Holy Scripture ñ from the Parable of the Prodigal Son, for example (Luke 15:20).

First of all, we speak to God knowing that in his infinite compassion and mercy he is always more ready and prepared to hear our prayers and than we are to engage in prayer, petition, supplication and intercession to him. This conviction serves to make us humble and confident.

Then, secondly, we speak to God knowing that he is wont (accustomed in his normal relation to sinners) to be much more generous to those who make supplication to him than they can possibly put into words or deserve. For they ask out of the human context of sin and finitude and God hears in the divine context of grace and infinite knowledge.

Thus, knowing Godís character, we are bold in our petitions asking that He pours down upon us, out of the abundance of the sea of his mercy, two gifts of his grace. First, we ask for forgiveness for all our sins, especially those concerning which we are especially embarrassed and fearful; and secondly we ask for those further gifts which are needed to perfect our Christian lives, making us worthy servants of such a gracious Master. What these gifts are for each and every one of us we leave to Godís wisdom, as we surely ask that they be given unto us as truly ìgood thingsî.

We make sure to offer all our prayer in the Name of and by the Merits of and through the Mediatorship of the Lord Jesus Christ. For in him and with him and through him we are heard by the Father in heaven as we ask in faith. As the Epistle declares Christians belong to a new era, a new epoch, a new covenant and a new relation with God who is their all-sufficiency. And as the Gospel make clear, ìJesus hath done all things [for us and for our salvation] well.î

 

Epistle 2 Corinthians 3: 4 - 9

SUCH trust have we through Christ to Godward: not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God: who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. But if the ministration of death written and engraven in stones was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance, which glory was to be done away; how shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious? For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory.

 

Gospel St Mark 7: 31 - 37

JESUS, departing from the coasts of Tyre and Sidon, came unto the sea of Galilee, through the midst of the coasts of Decapolis. And they bring unto him one that was deaf, and had an impediment in his speech; and they beseech him to put his hand upon him. And he took him aside from the multitude, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spit, and touched his tongue; and looking up to heaven, he sighed, and saith unto him, Ephphatha, that is, Be opened. And straightway his ears were opened, and the string of his tongue was loosed, and he spake plain. And he charged them that they should tell no man: but the more he charged them, so much the more a great deal they published it; and were beyond measure astonished, saying, He hath done all things well; he maketh both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak.