Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tuesday in Pentecost, Proper 23: The fruit of justice and mercy

Opening Sentence
The hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for such the Father seeks to worship him. John 4:23

Immortal, Invisible God Only Wise

Commemoration: Latimer, Ridley, and Cranmer

Keep us, O Lord, constant in faith and zealous in witness, after the examples of your servants Hugh Latimer, Nicholas Ridley, and Thomas Cranmer; that we may live in your fear, die in your favor, and rest in your peace; for the sake of Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Psalm 5, 6

Lessons: Jonah 1, Acts 26:24-27:8, Luke 8:40-56

You must therefore combine justice with mercy, spending in mercy what you possess in justice, as it is written: "Keep mercy and justice and draw near to thy God always." Because God loves mercy and justice, those who take care to do mercy and justice draw near to God. It remains, then, for each to examine themselves and for rich people to take careful inventory of the private resources from which they are to offer gifts to God--to make sure that they have not oppressed poor people, or used force against the weak, or cheated those dependent upon them, thus exercising license rather than justice. . . . Do not employ force because you are in command, and do not take advantage of another because it is within your power to do so. On the contrary, show forth the deeds of justice because you are able to perform the deeds of power. Your fear of God and your obedience to Him are not exhibited in abstaining from acts beyond your ability, but in this--that being in a position to violate the law, you refuse to transgress it. If you give alms to the poor after you have despoiled them of their goods, it were better for you neither to have taken nor given . . . God will have no part in avarice nor will the Lord be a comrade to thieves and robbers. He has not left us the poor to feed because He is unable to do this, He asks from us, for our own good, the fruit of justice and mercy.

Basil the Great of Ceasarea
Of Mercy and Justice

Grace Greater Than Our Sin