The BCP

Twenty-First Sunday after Trinity

Author: The Revd Dr Peter Toon

Collect

Grant, we beseech thee, merciful Lord, to thy faithful people pardon and peace; that they may be cleansed from all their sins, and serve thee with a quiet mind; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Collect Commentary

God never does things by quarters, thirds or halves. The verb ìto grantî from the Latin largire has the sense of ìgrant largely or bountifullyî. We know that God is ìwont to give more than we either desire or deserveî (Trinity 12,Collect), and that when he feeds a multitude there remain of fragments twelve full baskets (Matthew 14:20).

We can humbly yet boldly use the verb ìgrantî and address the Almighty Father as the ìmerciful Lordî because of the expiation and propitiation provided for our sins at Calvary by the Incarnate Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. The Father has demonstrated in the fullest and clearest way in the Incarnation, Death and Exaltation of Jesus that he loves us with an infinite and eternal love and that he is ready to give unto us pardon, remission and forgiveness of our sins, to reckon us to be righteous in his sight, justified by faith, and to adopt us as his children.

In fact not only is the Father, because of the merits of his Son, always ready to be in a state of peace or reconciliation with us, so that we are no longer his enemies, but he is also desirous to place in our souls by the presence of the Holy Ghost that internal peace, which passes understanding and which endures through pain and tribulation, persecution and trials.

In response to such a bountiful provision by the grace and mercy of the Holy Trinity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, we ought to be enthusiastic about and consecrated to the service of God, with a mind, heart and will that are focused.

The Epistle describes the armour that God supplies to his children so that they can truly be his soldiers, fighting for righteousness against sin and Satan.

The Gospel describes the second ìsignî or miracle performed by Jesus. For those with eyes to see this ìsignî reveals the identity of Jesus, the Son of God incarnate.

 

Epistle Ephesians 6: 10-20

MY brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and, having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth; and having on the breast-plate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked: and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance, and supplication for all saints; and for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the Gospel, for which I am an ambassador in bonds; that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

 

Gospel St. John. 4: 46-54

THERE was a certain nobleman, whose son was sick at Capernaum. When he heard that Jesus was come out of Judaea into Galilee, he went unto him, and besought him that he would come down, and heal his son; for he was at the point of death. Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe. The nobleman saith unto him, Sir, come down ere my child die. Jesus saith unto him, Go thy way, thy son liveth. And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way. And as he was now going down, his servants met him, and told him, saying, Thy son liveth. Then enquired he of them the hour when he began to amend: and they said unto him, Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him. So the father knew that it was at the same hour, in the which Jesus said unto him, Thy son liveth; and himself believed, and his whole house. This is again the second miracle that Jesus did, when he was come out of Judaea into Galilee.