Thank you for joining me as we Lectio the Liturgy with the Collect for the 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time.
O God, protector of those who hope in you, without whom nothing has firm foundation, nothing is holy, bestow in abundance your mercy upon us and grant that, with you as our ruler and guide, we may use the good things that pass in such a way as to hold fast even now to those that ever endure. 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 prayer this week reminds us of the benefits of placing our hope in God: God is our protector, he is our firm foundation. He is holy and enables us to share in his holiness, he abundantly bestows mercy and he is our ruler and guide. God’s desire for us is to be with him for eternity, and with hope in him, he gives us what we need to make it there.
How do we find hope? Where does hope come from? It comes from faith. Faith is our understanding of who God is and our relationship to him. Faith is what God what has done in your life. In the Collect, it is “the good things that pass.”
Take a look back at the good things you’ve experienced in life. Maybe it was the sun, breaking through the clouds after a rain and shining on the new spring-green leaves of a tree. Maybe it was a card or a phone call at just the time when you needed encouragement. Perhaps God spoke to you through Scripture, a word just for you at just the right time. These are only a few examples of good things that were given to me from God, that built my faith in Him.
Hope is the expectation, that what God has done before, he will do again. Those good things we have experienced are gone, we can’t hang on to them. They have gotten us where we are today, but we are called to hold fast to the things that endure, which are the things of God: his mercy, his love, his faithfulness, his forgiveness, his holiness.
What helps us to hold fast? Love. Love bridges the gap between what God has done, or faith, and what is coming, hope. Love is the encounter with God now.
Today we ask God to give us an abundance of mercy to hold fast to the things that endure. All we need to do is to make sure our hands are open to receive.
This week, as we Lectio the Liturgy, think back to some of the good things God used to build your faith. Did you notice that your love for God and your hope in him grew?
Sometimes we’re like the disciples, we see the miracle, yet still don’t believe. However, we honor God by accepting the gifts he gives, letting our love for him grow, and looking forward to what he has for the future. God longs to hear us whisper, “That was amazing. Could you that again?”
Thank you for praying with me,