Verse of the Day

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Fifth Sunday in Lent

The Propers for today are found on Page 132-133, with the Collect first:

The Fifth Sunday in Lent, commonly called Passion Sunday.

The Collect.


E beseech thee, Almighty God, mercifully to look upon thy people; that by thy great goodness they may be governed and preserved evermore, both in body and soul; 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
Ash Wednesday.

The Collect.


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 Paul’s letter to the Hebrews, starting at the Eleventh Verse of the Ninth Chapter. Paul summarizes both the symbolism and the substance of the Lord’s sacrifice on our behalf. Paul opens the secret of the One Perfect Sacrifice, One Time, for All Time and All Mankind. Paul is clearly appealing to the sense of the Jews when he asks them if the blood of goats will set aside or atone for sin, how much more can be done by the Perfect Sacrifice made on our behalf?


HRIST being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.

This morning’s Gospel comes from the Gospel of Saint John, starting at the Forty-Sixth Verse of the Eighth Chapter and tells the story of Jesus’ confrontation with the Pharisees in the temple. Like much of John it is filled with deep explanation of Jesus and His purpose here.

Knowing them looking to find the worst in Him, Jesus asked, “Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me?” In a point central to Christianity, he went on, “He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.” When we hear the term Jews here, we should hear the world in general, for He spoke to all who would not hear. When they would not hear, He pointed out He sought not glory or praise from them, but only from the Father whom in reality they knew not. Here He offers the singular benefit of Christianity, “If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death.” This concept being foreign to them, they asked if He thought He was greater than Abraham. That brought the crowning touch, “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day.” Knowing He was only in his early 30s, they could not grasp how he could have seen Abraham.

In a demonstration of the non-linearity of God’s time, He said, “Before Abraham was, I am.[1]” As might be expected, this offended the Keepers of The Law.


ESUS said, Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me? He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God. Then answered the Jews, and said unto him, Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil? Jesus answered, I have not a devil; but I honour my Father, and ye do dishonour me. And I seek not mine own glory: there is one that seeketh and judgeth. Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death. Then said the Jews unto him, Now we know that thou hast a devil. Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and thou sayest, If a man keep my saying, he shall never taste of death. Art thou greater than our father Abraham, which is dead? and the prophets are dead: whom makest thou thyself? Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God: yet ye have not known him; but I know him: and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like unto you; but I know him, and keep his saying. Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple.

[1] This response was similar to God’s answer to Moses’ question, “Who do I tell them sent me?”

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