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Resources 30th Ordinary – 29 October 2023

Heart in the Bible

Let us pray (in silence) [that God’s love strengthen us to do God’s will]


Almighty everliving God, [or God of holiness]
increase within us your gifts of faith, hope, and love,
and make us cherish what you command,
so that we may obtain what you promise;
through Jesus Christ
who is alive with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

The above ancient prayer is used by Roman Catholics and Episcopalians/Anglicans and others – and on the same day! It has a long, shared history which you can find here with commentary and reflection: Ordinary 30, or see below. The above is my rendering in my Book of Prayers in Common.

Lectionary Readings Introduction

This site provides something different: many sites and books provide a brief summary of the reading – so that people read out or have in their pew sheet an outline of what they are about to hear. They are told beforehand what to expect. Does this not limit what they hear the Spirit address them? This site provides something different – often one cannot appreciate what is being read because there is no context provided. This site provides the context, the frame of the reading about to be heard. It could be used as an introduction, printed on a pew sheet (acknowledged, of course), or adapted in other ways.

Exodus 22:20-26

The Book of the Covenant (Exodus 20:22-23:19 see 24:7) is understood to be the oldest legislation in the Hebrew scriptures, probably dating to premonarchical times. There are many parallels to Mesopotamian laws. Usury (22:25) applied only to the Hebrew people – there is no forbidding taking interest on a loan to non-Hebrew.

Deuteronomy 34:1-12

This is the conclusion of the book of Deuteronomy, and the conclusion of the long pentateuchal saga of Israel’s formation. It is unclear if Moses’ grave was kept secret or forgotten.

Leviticus 19:1-2, 15-18

Holiness is here expressed as copying and sharing in the life of God through a series of commands expressing loving the neighbour (fellow Israelite), and including the alien (19:34).

1 Thessalonians 2:1-8

Paul’s faithfulness to the good news, and his care for the Thessalonians was the motivation for his actions whilst in Thessalonica.

Matthew 22:34-46

This is another question posed to test Jesus in the ongoing challenge of Jesus. 613 commandments are identified in the Torah – 248 positive injuctions, and 365 negative commandments. Hillel had “That which is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor. That is the whole Torah”.

Today’s readings online

Reflection on the Collect

The above is part of my attempt to provide a set of collects with history and commentary.

The original is:

Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, da nobis fidei, spei, et caritatis augmentum:
et ut mereamur assequi quod promittis, fac nos amare quod praecipis.

Once again Episcopalians (Anglicans) and Roman Catholics now pray the same prayer on the same day. It was used at Vespers in the Leonine sacramentary (#598). The Gelasian sacramentary had sixteen Sunday Masses (#1209) where this is the initial prayer of the eighth mass. By the Gregorian supplement this has settled as the collect (#1168) for the fourteenth Sunday after the Pentecost octave – in other words Trinity XIV where the Sarum missal and English prayer books from 1549-1928 had it. Pre-Vatican II Roman Catholic Missals had it for the thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost. After Vatican II Roman Catholics pray this on the Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Episcopalians pray it on the equivalent Proper 25 – the Sunday closest to October 26.

The Latin has God’s commands as the objects of faith, and God’s promises the objects of hope. It has “that we may be worthy to obtain what you promise” – Cranmer has removed any concept of merit. The original was clear that our being worthy is dependent on our loving which is dependent on God’s action.

Archbishop Thomas Cranmer translated this for the 1549 Book of Common Prayer as:
ALMIGHTYE and everlastyng God, geve unto us the increase of faythe, hope, and charitie; and that we may obteine that whiche thou doest promise; make us to love that whiche thou doest commaunde, through Jesus Christe our Lorde.

ICEL 1973 translated this for Roman Catholics as:

Almighty and ever-living God,
strengthen our faith, hope, and love.
May we do with loving hearts what you ask of us and come to share the life you promise.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

In the failed 1998 English Missal translation:

God of holiness,
increase within us your gifts of faith, hope, and love, and enable us to cherish whatever you command, that we may come to possess all that you promise.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever.

The current Roman Catholic ICEL translation (2011):

Almighty ever-living God,
increase our faith, hope and charity,
and make us love what you command,
so that we may merit what you promise.

The Book of Common Prayer (TEC) p.235:

Almighty and everlasting God,
increase in us the gifts of faith, hope, and charity;
and, that we may obtain what you promise,
make us love what you command;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

St Augustine of Hippo wrote a classic work, The Enchiridion on Faith, Hope and Love.

There is no love without hope, no hope without love, and neither love nor hope without faith. (Chapter 8)

Resources off this site: 
Preaching Resources Down Under
Girardian Reflections on the Lectionary

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