The Propers for today are found on Page 128-130, with the Collect first:
The Third Sunday in Lent.
E beseech thee, Almighty God, look upon the hearty desires of thy humble servants, and stretch forth the right hand of thy Majesty, to be our defence against all our enemies; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
And due to the rubric, the Collect for the Day is followed by the Collect for Ash Wednesday, which is found on Page 124:
The first day of Lent, commonly called
LMIGHTY and everlasting God, who hatest nothing that thou hast made, and dost forgive the sins of all those who are penitent; Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of thee, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
¶ This Collect is to be said every day in Lent, after the Collect appointed for the day, until Palm Sunday.
The Epistle for today came from the Fifth Chapter of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians beginning at the First Verse. He echoes the advice of St. James in his general epistle to be Christians, not just claim to be followers of Christ, when James wrote, “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”
E ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savour. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.
The Gospel for this morning came from in the Eleventh Chapter of the Gospel of St. Luke beginning at the Fourteenth Verse.
ESUS was casting out a devil, and it was dumb. And it came to pass, when the devil was gone out, the dumb spake; and the people wondered. But some of them said, He casteth out devils through Beelzebub the chief of the devils. And others, tempting him, sought of him a sign from heaven. But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against a house falleth. If Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? because ye say that I cast out devils through Beelzebub. And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your sons cast them out? therefore shall they be your judges. But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you. When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace: but when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils. He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth. When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out. And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked. But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.
Today’s Epistle and Gospel share the same theme. You must walk the talk. You must keep constant vigilance against backsliding, for a fallen Christian is in worse shape than one who was never exposed to The Word. The Epistle and Gospel talk about the curious dichotomy; you are saved by faith, your faith alone saves you, not what you do; yet if you have faith, you must act on that faith. When you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and repent of the sin of your former life, you are forgiven of your sins. This is not a signal to keep on sinning and keep on saying you repent. Rather your acceptance of Jesus Christ as your savior and your repentance is the beginning of your life as a New Man in Jesus. Will you slip? Without doubt. But, when you do, will you again repent and continue to do your best to follow the Word of God, the Light and the Truth? Indeed, if you are a Christian that is what you must do. You are called to believe and act on those beliefs to the best of your ability. Remember the second half of the Book of Luke is The ACTS of the Apostles, not thoughts, wishes, prayers or meditations. ACTS.