Welcome! Thanks for joining me as we Lectio the Liturgy with the Collect for the 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time.
Let us pray - did you know that at the beginning of the mass, when the priest says “Let us pray,” it is NOT the cue for the server to get the book? It is an instruction to us to pray. We have a few moments to offer to God our distractions, our sorrows, our joys, and our own intentions for the mass. The priest then takes up the first collection of the mass: He collects all our prayers and offers them to God with the Collect. This week’s Collect is one of my favorites!
O God, by whom we are redeemed and receive adoption, look graciously upon your beloved sons and daughters, that those who believe in Christ may receive true freedom and an everlasting inheritance. 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.
In the prayer this week, the Who, or the description of God, contains two words whose definitions are my favorite definitions of all words of all time: redeemed and adoption.
Redeemed is defined as bought with a price.
Adoption is the place and condition of a son given to one to whom it does not naturally belong.
We are redeemed, we are adopted and we are God’s beloved sons and daughters.
We ask God to look graciously upon us for a purpose, something we ask to gain, or I call it the “Accrue.” That purpose is to receive true freedom and an inheritance. These are things we get when we are redeemed and adopted.
In Vine’s Dictionary, “redeemed” also means to buy out, especially of the intent to purchase a slave to set him free. Galatians 5:1 tells us that it’s for freedom of slavery that Christ set us free. We are given freedom not only from sin, but from addictions and from wounds. In exchange, we are freed to become God’s children.
In ancient Rome, adoption meant that the child was freely chosen and desired by the parents, and that the child would be a permanent part of the family; parents couldn’t disown a child they adopted.
God shows us how precious his adopted children are to him, his own son became the cost of our redemption.
As children of God we also receive an inheritance. Not the kind of inheritance we normally would think about, where Jesus gets most of the inheritance and the rest of us have to divide what’s left. With God we get everything that Jesus gets. St. John Paul II wrote, as "adoptive sons we are coheirs of the eternal Son, called to participate in the life of God, in eternal happiness in him.”
Lectio the Liturgy: True freedom and everlasting inheritance are given to those who believe in Christ. Jesus paid for your redemption and freely shares his father with his adopted siblings. Spend some time in prayer this week with the words redeemed and adopted. How does Christ’s saving work deepen your belief in Him? How does that change your identity?
Thank you for praying with me,