Sunday, May 10, 2015

Collect for the fifth Sunday after Easter

Prayer book

O LORD, from whom all good things do come; Grant to us thy humble servants, that by thy holy inspiration we may think those things that be good, and by thy merciful guiding may perform the same; through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

This is the last collect before the Ascension and we recall that, before ascending to the Father, Our Lord breathes the Holy Ghost upon His disciples. For them, this is His holy inspiration and from this holy inspiration comes the Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church: One Breath, One Church.

In this act of outpouring the Holy Ghost, prefiguring the day of Pentecost, our fallen wills are given guidance. We no longer have to do bad things, for we are able to choose the way of the Holy Ghost which presents us with the ways that are good and the ways that are bad. The Church has full possession of these ways, even though there are times when her members fall away from them.

Indeed, the fact that the Church now possesses knowledge of good and evil through the gift of God means that it is her members that can be truly shown up for being sinful. Her very existence exposes Christians for being the hypocrites that they are, but to their good and thus the good of the whole world. The true Christian needs to repent actively, and the Inspired Church possesses the ability and authority to help that repentance happen. This ability and authority can only be used if the ministers of God follow that same programme of active repentance and keep to the pattern that Our Lord set for us. In praying this collect, we pray ourselves to be true to the gospel we have received and submit ourselves to the authority of Christ.

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