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Archive for April 17th, 2019

COLLECT OF THE DAY:

Merciful and everlasting God, You did not spare Your only Son but delivered Him up for us all to bear our sins on the cross. Grant that our hearts may be so fixed with steadfast faith in Him, that we fear not the power of sin, death, and the devil; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

READINGS:  Isaiah 62:11-63:7  Psalm 70   Romans 5:6-11  John 13:16-38

This is the eve of the Triduum, the Three Days:  Holy Thursday, or Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday, or the Great Sabbath. It was on this day that Judas made his arrangements with the Sanhedrin to betray Jesus for thirty pieces of silver and at the last  Passover meal on Thursday Judas left the Passover meal in order  to complete the betrayal (John 13:25-27).

Romans 5:6-11 English Standard Version (ESV)

6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

It is clear from this appointed Epistle Lesson for this Holy Wednesday the description of  mankind’s condition before the coming of Christ:  “weak” , “ungodly”, “sinners”, “enemies”.  The Apostle Paul clearly uses the first person plural pronoun as he doesn’t just think he had been weak, ungodly and the like, but he knew it.

Such descriptors, as the enlightened say today, is not good for our self-esteem.  It seems we have self-esteemed ourselves into a fantasy world in which our unregenerate flesh shows itself again and again in lust and rage and greed. We cannot look into that mirror on the wall for too long, telling us we are the fairest of all, and not become insane or worse, evil.  We will even dare to die for a good person, cause or country, but even that’s against the grain of the Old Adam. It took God to die for us, the half-hearted, when we were “weak” , “ungodly”, “sinners”, “enemies”, God loves the unloving:

My song is love unknown,
my Savior’s love to me,
love to the loveless shown,
that they might lovely be.
O who am I, that for my sake
my Lord should take frail flesh and die?

Or as C. S. Lewis wrote: “The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us.”

Our lives in Christ our transformed and reformed in His reconciliation…alone.

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