Fourth Sunday after Trinity
O GOD, the protector of all that trust in thee, without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy; Multiply upon us thy mercy; that, thou being our ruler and guide, we may so pass through good things temporal, that we finally lose not the things eternal. Amen.
Collect Source: Sacramentary of Bishop Gregory of Rome [ca 600AD]. See Latin. English prayer book translation does not have "good" as does the Latin
Lamentations iii. 22, Psalms 19, 20 | 24, 25 ; Romans viii. 18 & St. Luke vi. 36
Can the blind lead the blind?
Lamentations iii. 22
It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD. It is good for a man that he bear the yoke of his youth. He sitteth alone and keepeth silence, because he hath borne it upon him. He putteth his mouth in the dust; if so be there may be hope. He giveth his cheek to him that smiteth him: he is filled full with reproach. For the LORD will not cast off for ever: But though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies. For he doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men.
Psalms 19, 20 | 24, 25
Romans viii. 18.I RECKON that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
St. Luke vi. 36.BE ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch? The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother's eye.
Other homilies Cyprian, in a letter touching on schismatic Blind Guides of his day
Augustine on Psalm XIX | XXIV
Ambrose: Duty of Clergy I as touching Luke
Rom. VIII. 18
Ver. 18. “The sufferings of the present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”
In what went before, he requires of the spiritual man the correcting of his habits , where he says, “Ye are not debtors to live after the flesh,” that such an one, for instance, should be above lust, anger, money, vainglory, grudging. But here having reminded them of the whole gift, both as given and as to come, and raised him up aloft with hopes, and placed him near to Christ, and showed him to be a joint-heir of the Only-Begotten; he now leads him forth with confidence even to dangers. For to get the better of the evil affections in us, is not the same thing with bearing up under those trials, scourges, famine, plunderings, bonds, chains, executions. For these last required much more of a noble and vigorous spirit. And observe how he at once allays and rouses the spirit of the combatants. For after he had shown that the rewards were greater than the labors, he both exhorts to greater efforts, and yet will not let them be elated, as being still outdone by the crowns given in requital. And in another passage he says, “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (2 Cor. iv. 17): it being the deeper sort of persons he was then speaking to. Here, however, he does not allow that the afflictions were light; but still he mingles comfort with them by the compensation which good things to come afford, in the words, “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared,” and he does not say, with the rest that is to come, but what is much greater, “with the glory which is to come.” For it does not follow, that where rest is there is glory; but that where glory is there is rest, does follow: then as he had said that it is to come, he shows that it already is. For he does not say, that which is to be, but “which shall be revealed in us,” as if already existing but unrevealed. As also in another place he said in clearer words, “Our life is hid with Christ in God.” Be then of a good heart about it. For already hath it been prepared, and awaiteth thy labors. But if it vexes you that it is yet to come, rather let this very thing rejoice you. For it is owing to its being great and unutterable, and transcending our present condition, that it is stored up there. And so he has not put barely “the sufferings of this present time,” but he speaks so as to show that it is not in quality only, but in quantity also, that the other life has the advantage. For these sufferings, whatever they are, are attached to our present life; but the blessings to come reach themselves out over ages without end. And since he had no way of giving a particular description of these, or of putting them before us in language, he gives them a name from what seems to be specially an object of desire with us, “glory.” For the summit of blessings and the sum of them, this seems to be. And to urge the hearer on in another way also, he gives a loftiness to his discourse by the mention of the creation, gaining two points by what he is next saying, the contempt of things present, and the desire of things to come, and a third beside these, or rather the first, is the showing how the human race is cared for on God’s part and in what honor He holds our nature. And besides this, all the doctrines of the philosophers, which they had framed for themselves about this world, as a sort of cobweb or child’s mound, he throws down with this one doctrine. But that these things may stand in a clearer light, let us hear the Apostle’s own language.
Ver. 19, 20. “For the earnest expectation of the creation waiteth,” he says, “for the revelation of the sons of God. For the creation was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope.”
And the meaning is something of this kind. The creation itself is in the midst of its pangs, waiting for and expecting these good things whereof we have just now spoken. For “earnest expectation” implies expecting intensely. And so his discourse becomes more emphatic, and he personifies this whole world as the prophets also do, when they introduce the floods clapping their hands, and little hills leaping, and mountains skipping, not that we are to fancy them alive, or ascribe any reasoning power to them, but that we may learn the greatness of the blessings, so great as to reach even to things without sense also. The very same thing they do many times also in the case of afflicting things, since they bring in the vine lamenting, and the wine too, and the mountains, and the boardings of the Temple howling, and in this case too it is that we may understand the extremity of the evils. It is then in imitation of these that the Apostle makes a living person of the creature here, and says that it groaneth and travaileth: not that he heard any groan conveyed from the earth and heaven to him, but that he might show the exceeding greatness of the good things to come; and the desire of freedom from the ills which now pervaded them. “For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same.” What is the meaning of, “the creation was made subject to vanity?” Why that it became corruptible. For what cause, and on what account? On account of thee, O man. For since thou hast taken a body mortal and liable to suffering, the earth too hath received a curse, and brought forth thorns and thistles. But that the heaven, when it is waxen old along with the earth, is to change afterwards to a better portion hear from the Prophet in his words; “Thou, O Lord, from the beginning hast founded the earth, and the heavens are the work of Thy hands. They shall perish, but thou shalt endure; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment, and as a cloak shalt Thou fold them up, and they shall be changed.” (Ps. cii. 25, 26.) Isaiah too declares the same, when he says, “Look to the heaven above, and upon the earth beneath, for the heavens are as a firmament of smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall perish in like manner.” (Is. li. 6.). Now you see in what sense the creation is “in bondage to vanity,” and how it is to be freed from the ruined state. For the one says, “Thou shalt fold them up as a garment, and they shall be changed;” and Isaiah says, “and they that dwell therein shall perish in like manner,” not of course meaning an utter perishing. For neither do they that dwell therein, mankind, that is, undergo such an one, but a temporary one, and through it they are changed into an incorruptible (1 Cor. xv. 53) state, and so therefore will the creature be. And all this he showed by the way, by his saying “in like manner” (2 Pet. iii. 13), which Paul also says farther on. At present, however, he speaks about the bondage itself, and shows for what reason it became such, and gives ourselves as the cause of it. What then? Was it harshly treated on another’s account? By no means, for it was on my account that it was made. What wrong then is done it, which was made for my sake, when it suffereth these things for my correction? Or, indeed, one has no need to moot the question of right and wrong at all in the case of things void of soul and feeling. But Paul, since he had made it a living person, makes use of none of these topics I have mentioned, but another kind of language, as desiring to comfort the hearer with the utmost advantage. And of what kind is this? What have you to say? he means. It was evil intreated for thy sake, and became corruptible; yet it has had no wrong done it. For incorruptible will it be for thy sake again. This then is the meaning of “in hope.” But when he says, it was “not willingly” that it was made subject, it is not to show that it is possessed of judgment that he says so, but that you may learn that the whole is brought about by Christ’s care, and this is no achievement of its own. And now say in what hope?
Ver. 21. “That the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption.”
Now what is this creation? Not thyself alone, but that also which is thy inferior, and partaketh not of reason or sense, this too shall be a sharer in thy blessings. For “it shall be freed,” he says, “from the bondage of corruption,” that is, it shall no longer be corruptible, but shall go along with the beauty given to thy body; just as when this became corruptible, that became corruptible also; so now it is made incorruptible, that also shall follow it too. And to show this he proceeds. “Into the glorious liberty of the children of God.” That is, because of their liberty. For as a nurse who is bringing up a king’s child, when he has come to his father’s power, does herself enjoy the good things along with him, thus also is the creation, he means. You see how in all respects man takes the lead, and that it is for his sake that all things are made. See how he solaces the struggler, and shows the unspeakable love of God toward man. For why, he would say, dost thou fret at thy temptations? thou art suffering for thyself, the creation for thee. Nor does he solace only, but also shows what he says to be trustworthy. For if the creation which was made entirely for thee is “in hope,” much more oughtest thou to be, through whom the creation is to come to the enjoyment of those good things. Thus men also when a son is to appear at his coming to a dignity, clothe even the servants with a brighter garment, to the glory of the son; so will God also clothe the creature with incorruption for the glorious liberty of the children.
Ver. 22. “For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.”
Observe, how he shames the hearer, saying almost, Be not thou worse than the creation, neither find a pleasure in resting in things present. Not only ought we not to cling to them, but even to groan over the delay of our departure hence. For if the creation doth this, much more oughtest thou to do so, honored with reason as thou art. But as this was not yet enough to force their attention, he proceeds.
Ver. 23. “And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first-fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves.”
That is, having had a taste of the things to come. For even if any should be quite stone hard, he means what has been given already is enough to raise him up, and draw him off from things present, and to wing him after things to come in two ways, both by the greatness of the things that are given, and by the fact that, great and numerous as they are, they are but first-fruits. For if the first-fruits be so great that we are thereby freed even from our sins, and attain to righteousness and sanctification, and that those of that time both drave out devils, and raised the dead by their shadow (Acts v. 15), or garments (ib. xix. 12), consider how great the whole must be. And if the creation, devoid as it is of mind and reason, and though in ignorance of these things, yet groaneth, much more should we. Next, that he may give the heretics no handle, or seem to be disparaging our present world, we groan, he says, not as finding fault with the present system, but through a desire of those greater things. And this he shows in the words, “Waiting for the adoption.” What dost thou say, let me hear? Thou didst insist on it at every turn, and didst cry aloud, that we were already made sons, and now dost thou place this good thing among hopes, writing that we must needs wait for it? Now it is to set this right by the sequel that he says, “to wit, the redemption of our body.” That is, the perfect glory. Our lot indeed is at present uncertainty to our last breath, since many of us that were sons have become dogs and prisoners. But if we decease with a good hope, then is the gift unmovable, and clearer, and greater, having no longer any change to fear from death and sin. Then therefore will the grace be secure, when our body shall be freed from death and its countless ailments (or passions). For this is full redemption , not a redemption only, but such, that we shall never again return to our former captivity. For that thou mayest not be perplexed at hearing so much of glory without getting any distinct knowledge of it, he partially exposes to thy view the things to come, setting before thee the change of thy body (Gr. changing thy body), and along with it the change of the whole creation. And this he has put in a clearer light in another passage, where he says, “Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious Body.” (Phil. iii. 21.) And in another place again he writes and says, “But when this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.” (1 Cor. xv. 54.) But to show, that with the corruption of the body the constitution of the things of this life will also come to an end, he wrote again elsewhere, “For the fashion of this world passeth away.” (1 Cor. vii. 31.)
Protector in te sperantium Deus, sine quo nihil est balidum, nihil sanctum; multiplica super nos misericordiam tuam; ut te rectore, te duce, sic transeamus per bona temporalia, ut non amittamus aeterns
Per. - Greg. Sac --- Miss. Sar.
The collect in Latin reads:
Da nobis, quaesumus, Domine, ut et mundi carsus pacific nobis tue ordine dirigatur, et ecclesia tua tranquilla debotione laetetur. Per Dominum - Leo Sac. -- Miss. Sar.
Which has been interpreted by Ed. Gulburn as
Grant to us, Lord, we beseech thee, that both the course of the world may be directed peaceably for us by thy ordering, and that thy Church may rejoice in tranquil devotion. Through our Lord.