Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Wednesday in Pentecost, Proper 7: The majesty of the spiritual kingdom

Opening Sentence
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in you sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer. Psalm 19:14

Commemoration: Cyril
Heavenly Father, whose servant Cyril steadfastly proclaimed your Son Jesus Christ to be one person, fully God and fully man: Keep us, we pray, constant in faith and worship; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Psalter: Psalm 119:121-144

Lessons: Numbers 16:36-50Romans 4:13-25Matthew 20:1-16

"The last shall be first, and the first last" (Matthew 20:16).

"He shall spare the poor and needy, and save the souls of the poor" (Psalm 72:13).

In every kingdom, in every empire, there are privileged men; that is to say, eminent persons with rights beyond the ordinary; and the source of these privileges is that by birth or by office they are closer to the person of the prince. It belongs to the sovereign's greatness and majesty that the lustre of his crown should be in some sort reflected on those who approach him near. Now we know from Holy Writ that the Church is a kingdom well-ordered; do not doubt then that it too has its privileged men. And whence will they gain their privileges but from fellowship with its prince, Jesus Christ? But if we would be united with Christ, let us not look among the rich for the privileges of the Holy Church. Our monarch's crown is a crown of thorns, its lustre is suffering and affliction. In the poor, in those who suffer--there dwells the majesty of the spiritual kingdom. Christ himself being poor and needy, it was right that he should enter into fellowship with those like him, and shed his favours on those who share his lot.

Martin Luther
"On the Eminent Dignity of the Poor in the Church"

Alleluia! Sing to Jesus