Thanks for joining me as we Lectio the Liturgy with the Collect for the 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time.
God: O God,
Who: who manifest your almighty power above all by pardoning and showing mercy,
Do: bestow, we pray, your grace abundantly upon us and make those hastening to attain your promises heirs to the treasures of heaven.
Through: 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.
This Collect always makes me think about the ways Jesus manifested the power of God. The Transfiguration was pretty good, so was the time when the woman was healed just by touching the tassels of his cloak. Then there was the day he spit in the dirt, made mud, and healed a man’s eyes. While the list could go on and on, we should save space at the top for the raising of Lazarus, as that was pretty powerful, and for the Who line of today’s prayer.
While we can look at the power of God in the Old Testament (seen the parting of the Red Sea and the pillars of fire, among others), and in the New Testament miracles of Jesus, the prayer this week brings our focus back to God and us. God manifests his power to us especially, above all, by pardoning and showing mercy.
In this week’s prayer, the word pardon is “parcendo” in Latin. It means to preserve by sparing, or to spare.
I’ve been thinking this week how God spared us, and how in Romans 8:32a, Paul tells us that God “did not spare his own Son but handed him over for us all.” God gave up his son to spare us. No one else’s son would do.
Sometimes we ask for miracles and we look for external signs, when perhaps the greatest miracles are often unseen. Jesus teaches us that in Mark 2:9, when he heals the paralytic then asks, “Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Rise, pick up your mat and walk’?”
Only God can heal the outside and the inside. Only God can forgive sins and he does it freely if we only ask. We may never notice the one sheep who has returned, or that one sheep may be us, and when it is, do we recognize the power in God’s caring mercy?
But wait there’s more. God not only sacrificed his own son, he’s giving us everything else, too. Paul continues in Romans 8:32b “how will he not also give us everything else along with him?”We need pardoning and mercy, and we receive that, however we also get to receive the rest - the treasures of heaven.
I love these scriptures and prayers that remind us about the treasures of heaven. We do not have to wait until we die, WE are the heirs and these treasures are ours today. The treasurers are given to those who hasten, or run to gain his promises.
Thanks for praying with me.