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The Fifth Sunday after Trinity

Collect: Grant, O Lord, we beseech thee, that the course of this world may be so peaceably ordered by thy governance, that thy Church may joyfully serve thee in all godly quietness; through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Saints and Blesseds

Monday, July 22: St. Mary Magdalene

St. Mary Magdalene was probably from Magdala by the sea of Galilee. In Luke 8:2-3, Mary, “from whom seven demons had come out,” is grouped with the “women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases… who supported [Jesus] out of their own means” and who traveled with Jesus and the Twelve. In the Western tradition, she was also identified with Mary of Bethany, the unnamed penitent woman who anoints Jesus, and the woman taken in adultery. While that is likely over-simplification, we know that she had a prominent place among Jesus’s followers. She stayed beside the cross during Jesus’s crucifixion, she discovered the empty tomb, and she is the first person to whom Jesus appeared who took the good news of the Resurrection to the disciples. Bishop Hippolytus of Rome (c.170-235) first called her the “apostle to the apostles.”

Wednesday, July 24: Blessed Thomas a Kempis

In the tumultuous fourteenth century, a new order began in the Low Countries called the Brethren of the Common Life. In 1392, a poor young man named Thomas Hemerken of Kempen , or Thomas a Kempis, came to live with the brothers and eventually joined in 1407, remaining until his death in 1471. During these years, he wrote eight books. Between 1416 and 1420, he came upon an anonymous Latin book of aphorisms. Thomas edited and added his own contributions to this book which became the Imitation of Christ. This book has been been the most widely read book, next to the Bible, in the history of modern Europe.

Thursday, July 25: St. James the Apostle

St. James the Apostle was the brother of St. John, both sons of Zebedee and nicknamed by Jesus the “sons of thunder” (Mark 3:17). St. James was among the first four apostles called by Jesus. Peter, James, and John were the inner circle of the the Twelve, present at the Transfiguration of Jesus and with Jesus at his agonizing last hours in Gethsemane. Less flattering, James and John also exasperated the other disciples by asking Jesus to “sit one on his left and the other on his right when he came into his glory.” James was the first martyr of the Twelve. In Acts 12:1-2, Luke records “Now at that time King Herod attacked certain members of the church. He killed James, the brother of John, with a sword and, seeing it was pleasing to the Jews, he also arrested Peter.” The readings for this feast are Acts 11:27-12:3 and Matthew 20:20-28 and here is the collect:

“Grant, O merciful God, that, as thy holy Apostle Saint James, leaving his father and all that he had, without delay was obedient unto the calling of thy Son Jesus Christ, and followed him; so we, forsaking all worldly and carnal affections, may be evermore ready to follow thy holy commandments; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

Friday, July 26: Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary

While we know nothing from Scripture about the parents of the Blessed Virgin, traditionally, they have been named as Anne and Joachim. The Proto-Gospel of James, which dates from the second century, tells of Anne’s barrenness and God’s promise of a child that would serve the Lord, paralleling the Old Testament story of Hannah and the birth of Samuel. St. John of Damascus, reflecting on God’s faithfulness through all generations, exclaimed:

“And so rejoice, Anne, O barren one who ‘has not borne children; break forth into shouts, you who have not given birth.’ Rejoice, Joachim, because from your daughter ‘a child is born for us, a Son is given us, whose name is messenger of great counsel and universal salvation, mighty God.’ For this child is God.”

Saturday, July 27: Blessed William Reed Huntington

William Reed Huntington was an Episcopal priest who lived 1838 to 1909 and is primarily known for his efforts in promoting church unity. He argued that Christian unity could be based on four fundamentals: The Holy Scriptures as the Word of God, the Apostles and Nicene Creeds, the two sacraments of Baptism and Holy Community and the historic episcopate. His argument was accepted by the Anglican church and is the basis for the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral. Huntington was also known for working toward revival of the ancient order of deaconess. He wrote in his book, The Church Idea:

“If our whole ambition as Anglicans in America be to continue a small, but eminently respectable body of Christians . . . If we care to be only a counter-check and not a force in society; then let us say as much in plain terms, and frankly renounce any all claim to catholicity. . . .Thus may we be a Church in name, and a sect in deed. But if we aim at something nobler than this . . . . then let us press our reasonable claims to be the reconciler of a divided household, not in a spirit of arrogance (which ill befits those who best possessions have come to them by inheritance), but with affectionate earnestness and an intelligent zeal.”

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1 Comment

  1. Fiordelisa G. says

    Goodness. I thought I was the only one who knew that today was the Fifth Sunday After Trinity. (I find these things in old hymnals and service books.) This is a beautiful write-up of the week, and I am especially a Thomas A Kempis devotee. Thank you…it’s my first time here, and I added you to my bookmarks. A blessed Lord’s Day to you….

    Liked by 1 person

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