1 min read
11 Mar

Thanks for joining me, this week we Lectio the Liturgy with the Collect for the 5th Sunday of Lent.

By your help, we beseech you, Lord our God, may we walk eagerly in that same charity with which, out of love for the world, your Son handed himself over to death. 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.

When I first read this prayer, I saw a familiarity to John 3:16, and the more I meditated on the prayer and the verse, I found even more connections.

In John 3:16 we read, For God so loved the world, that he gave His only Son." In the prayer, we pray for the same charity, with which out of love for the world, Jesus gave himself.

In the Latin form of the prayer, for the word charity, we find the word caritate. Caritate is the translation of the Greek word agape, which is the word for love that we find in John 3:16, “God so loved the world.” Agape is considered the highest form love because it is a sacrificial love.

There is another love in the prayer, “out of love for the world.” The Latin word for love used here is dīligō which means to love, or have great esteem for, or to choose.

Our prayer opens by asking God for His help. In the Latin form of the prayer, for the word help, we find the word opitulante, which means to bring resources, strength, power or wealth. In John 3:16, we find the past tense of God’s giving, when what “He gave” were his resources, His son; His strength power to overcome sin and death; and His wealth that is promised as riches in Heaven.

With this help from God, we ask that we desire to walk eagerly in the same charity, or love that Jesus had when he offered himself for us. Eager can be described as excited, glad, or happy and that helped me rethink the words from John, “He sent.”

It’s easy to think that the Father sat down and talked to Jesus, eventually convincing Him that becoming human and dying for a world full of sinners was a good idea. However, if we look at that thought in a new light and see Jesus’ act of love in the same way that we are asking for in this prayer, we would see that Jesus eagerly gave Himself. The unity between the Persons of the Trinity is such that what one loves, the other loves just as strongly. It is such a deep and pure love, that Jesus was eager, He was excited and happy, to become one of us and do what needed to be done to redeem us.

Even though we ask God that we may walk in that love, He usually doesn’t just zap us with it. We must cooperate with the working of the Holy Spirit within us but there is a catch to it. If we’re not open, if we haven’t accepted the love that God has for us, we don’t have his love to give to others. However, when we open our hearts to the Holy Spirit, our hearts of stone will turn to flesh, and God’s love grows in us. When that happens, we are not only eager, but we find delight in giving of ourselves because we know that we are giving God’s love to the world.

Thanks for praying with me,

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